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nical books on industries common to most communities, e. g. engineering and engineering materials, sanitation, building, etc.
Adaptation to very small libraries. To make the Catalog as helpful as possible to the smallest libraries that can start with only 1,000, 2,000 or 5,000 volumes, in the next edition the 1,000 best to buy first will be marked 1, the 1,000 that added to 1 will make the most useful 2,000 will be marked 2, and those that added to 1 and 2 will make the most useful 5,000 will be marked 5. This does not mean that books marked 1 are better than the others, but merely that they are considered the most useful combination for a library limited to 1,000, and so likewise of 2 and 5.
Classification. The definite purpose of this book is to guide in selecting books, either to read or buy; its form is chosen solely for this use regardless of what may be best for libraries in their own catalogs. For its peculiar use it must be classed by subjects for convenience of both reader and buyer. It was also desirable to allow the printing in separate pamphlets of any classes for which there should be special demand. The Decimal classification was chosen because its use was much more general than any other and its adoption would convenience the largest number; because all material for this Catalog for 27 years has been kept in this order; and because the New York state library, where the editorial work was done, could not use any other method without much confusion and extra labor.
In cases where several different numbers would be equally correct, that one has been chosen which seemed practically best for public libraries: e. g. Plato and Aristotle are classed in literature rather than in philosophy or political science, where they would if classed strictly by content instead of in view of their larger use as classical literature; Burton's Anatomy of melancholy is put in English miscellany instead of under its specific subject; children's primers and readers are classed in literature instead of in education, as they are chosen for their storybook value and not for their bearing on education. Under some heads a comparatively unimportant book appears because its author's works as a whole are included: e. g. under 701 Schiller's Essays æsthetical; under 610 Holmes' Medical essays now nearly 40 years out of date.
Proportion by subject. The number of volumes in each main subject is given for the Catalog of 1893 followed by like numbers for this book. Numbers in each class cover also a selection of juveniles made by special students of children's reading.
The history of the undertaking A. L. A. Catalog is set forth in the editorial preface which follows. The first edition was, it will be noticed, issued by the Bureau of Education, and by direct action of Congress. Since 1893, however, the Library of Congress, promoted into the position of a national library for the United States, has come to be the logical agent of the government for such an undertaking presumed to be in the interest of American libraries as a whole.
It agreed to publish and distribute this revised edition. As appears from the editor's preface, however, its cooperation has actually gone further than this: it printed also and distributed the preliminary trial lists, and it prepared the material which forms the Dictionary section of the Catalog. This it has also reproduced with fuller entries on cards: so that a complete card catalog of the entire 8,000 volumes may be procured from it, at nominal cost, under its system of card distribution. It did not, however, take direct part in the selection of the books.
Distribution.-A single copy of the Catalog complete, in cloth, will be sent free of charge to every library in the United States, and to foreign libraries on the exchange list of the Library of Congress, or making specific request.
Other copies, either of the complete work or of either part, in cloth or paper, may be had by addressing The Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C., and forwarding the price below stated (a nominal charge, to prevent waste):
It would have been difficult if not impossible to print the Catalog in the short time remaining for publication before the A. L. A. conference at St. Louis without the energetic efforts of the various members of the Library of Congress staff-especially, if any may be particularly mentioned-of Miss Irene Gibson, Mr. F. Neumann and Mr. W. D. Johnston, who have devoted to it much outside time; or without the prompt and efficient cooperation of the chief of the Catalog division and of his assistants, who not merely prepared but, under the direction of Miss E. A. Runner, proof read the Dictionary section. The preparation and proof-reading has involved the constant services, in addition to the supervision of the Chief, of no less than seven catalogers for the past eight months. Unofficial time has been freely given.
The remarkable speed with which the Public Printer has put the matter into type, on the press, and through the bindery, is due largely to the personal interest of the Foreman of Printing, Mr. O. J. Ricketts, and the ready response of his staff, who have applied freely the vast typographic resources at their command.
Librarian of Congress
WASHINGTON, D. C., October 1, 1904
EDWARD L. BURCHARD
In Charge of Publication