Lapas attēli


(b) America has taken the lead in cooperative cataloging enterprises. If we decide that it is on the whole more economical to use the R thickness, is it not probable that the Europeans will change to our thickness?

4. Next to the books themselves and a building for housing them, the card catalog is now admitted to be the most essential item in the equipment of a library. The average card catalog of the R thickness (estimating four cards to the book) occupies not over one seventyfifth as much cubic space as the books which they catalog. If space can be found for the book, can not it also be found for the cards?

5. The thinner the cards the more the public will resort to unusual measures to separate them (e. g., wetting the thumb and rubbing them up or bending or cramping them), with the result that the cards will wear out more rapidly.

6. The use of the larger number of trays is incidentally advantageous in that one person is less liable to be using the tray which another person wishes to consult.

7. The thicker the cards the less liable two cards are to be mistaken for one. Consequently, both public and official searching are quite likely to be more accurate if the thicker cards are used.

8. The R thickness is now used in the public catalogs of the great majority of libraries in the United States. It is admitted to be quite undesirable to mix two thicknesses of cards in the same catalog. If this were done, it would seriously add to the difficulties of using card catalogs and would lead to an increased percentage of errors arising from mistaking two cards for one.

Appendix V


Washington, D. C., June 30, 1905

SIR: I have the honor to submit the annual report of the Law Library for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1905.


The year has witnessed a marked growth in the law collections of the Library. The total accessions for 1904-5 were 7,753 volumes, as against 3,780 volumes in 1903-4 and 2,027 in 1902-3.

The accessions include some notable works. Among those acquired by gift as a result of letters written to most of the foreign governments, their colonies and political subdivisions, are the statutes of Switzerland (federal), Norway, Mexico, British East India, Victoria (Australia), and New Zealand.

The notable accessions through purchase include an almost complete set of Pennsylvania County reports, a manuscript set of the Rhode Island session laws, 1653-1747 (these laws were not printed previous to 1747), the Rhode Island session laws from 1754 to 1773, the session laws of New Hampshire from 1780 to 1789, and a valuable collection of early English law books (see Appendix VI for a list of those published before 1600). The set of Year Books, or court reports, contained in the last named collection gives the Library of Congress as complete a collection of this material as is found in the best English law libraries.

Notable accessions


During the past year and a half many changes have been made in the location of the law literature of the Library. The present location and number of volumes is as follows:

[blocks in formation]

East stack, deck 19: Old editions of English and Amer-
ican treatises, etc..

[blocks in formation]

Reading room: American law reports, treatises, digests,


8, 620

5, 380

I, 51S


35, 030


110, 978

[ocr errors]

North stack, deck 9: Duplicates" for exchange..
: Law books classified with other subjects..

Law Library at Capitol: English and American law reports,
statutes, treatises, etc...

Conference room of the United States Supreme court: American law reports, treatises, etc..


The main collection, which is located in the north curtain of the Library building, duplicates in only few instances the law literature found elsewhere. This material is subject to call by telephone from the Capitol and can be sent there by the underground book carrier in about ten minutes. The shelves are also accessible to persons engaged in research.

The collection at the Capitol comprises 2 copies of the reports of the American State courts, 6 copies of United States Supreme court reports, I copy of the English court reports, the reports of United States courts of inferior jurisdiction, the various reporter systems, collected cases, the modern English and American treatises, encylopædias, digests, compilations, codes, statutes (American State statutes since 1850), and the recent law magazines. It aims to

meet the more constant needs of the American practitioner as a working law library.

The reference collection in the Reading Room of the Library building is less complete. It is composed almost entirely of copies "A" of the copyright deposit of recent years. Because of the inadequate space to accommodate law scholars and students at the Capitol it is highly desirable to add at once such State court reports, statutes, compilations, codes, digests, and treatises as are necessary to make this collection a good working library.

In disregard of the unity of the law collection, about 6,000 law books are scattered among the stacks of the main Library, classified with such subjects as international law, constitutional law, politics, treaties, commerce, education, land systems, revenues, elections, military and naval science, technology, transportation, agriculture, the history of various countries, etc. Outside of the law books classified with these subjects practically the same scheme of shelf classification exists. As all parts of the law collections are resorted to by attendants and readers, it has seemed best to adopt a very simple plan of shelf classification and to have it uniform throughout.


Among the changes which have been made with a view to improving the service are: a special arrangement with the Copyright Office whereby all the law books received on deposit are more promptly placed at the disposal of the Library; another arrangement with the Document Division to attain a similar result in regard to the law books received by gift and exchange; the introduction of certain devices to overcome the difficulties inherent in the administration of the widely scattered law collections, and an adaptation of the shelf-list card catalogue to record the law books discovered to be lacking and the steps taken to acquire them through gift, copyright, or purchase.

A systematic inventory of the law literature of the Library has been begun. This is a large and important undertaking. It involves the critical examination and careful colla

tion of nearly 111,000 volumes, together with the making of a record on cards of such data as are necessary to identify and distinguish each book. The work has progressed slowly and much remains to be done before an accurate appreciation can be formed of what the Library needs to complete its collections.

Law books have been found in all parts of the Library. Sometimes different publications have been discovered incor- rectly bound together; at other times, most misleadingly lettered. Several valuable and rare books not on the records of the Library have been brought to light, e. g., a revision of the Maryland laws of 1700-not known to exist; two copies of the Year Book 40-50, Edward III, Tottell, 1576no copy of which exists in any other library of the world so far as published catalogues, bibliographies, works on early printing, etc., in the Library of Congress show; twelve Year Books of the reign of Henry VI, including four Pynsons, bound together without any mark indicating Library ownership and without mention on any of the Library records. How these and several other rare law books came into the Library it is now hard to say, but that they are here is a matter for congratulation.

Improvements have been made in the heating, lighting, and ventilation of the Law Library at the Capitol.


An attempt has been made to give an estimate of the degree of completeness of the present law collections of the Library for the purpose of submitting some suggestions in respect to a plan of development:

Bibliography of law, legislation, and administration
United States:



Early session laws, except Rhode Island, Massachusetts. . Poor
Later session laws, treatises, digests, revisions-

[blocks in formation]

Briefs and records of the United States Supreme court.... Poor

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »