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(c) Facsimile reproductions (85) of the works of the old masters published by Fischer and Franke of Berlin.
The following exhibitions were put in place during the year:
(a) Commemorating the centennial anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12, 1909), 169 prints, 86 books, 16 manuscripts, 118 medals, 25 broadsides, and 22 copies of sheet music.
(6) One hundred and twenty-one Japanese prints from the Crosby S. Noyes and the Library collections illustrating the costumes of women as shown in the works of Japanese artists of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.
(c) History of Painting and Architecture (264 photographs).
Thę Lincoln Centennial exhibit was of great interest to the public. It comprised material drawn from several divisions of the Library, so that a representative collection was presented illustrating the life and characteristics of Lincoln.
The portraits, including those of his family, numbered about 130, made up of photographs taken at different periods of his life from 1848 to 1865, and of reproductions of portraits painted by Carpenter, Healy, Hunt, Huntington, Marshall, and Volk.
The 118 medals and campaign badges (1860 and 1864) afforded an interesting study in the portraiture of Lincoln.
Lincoln in caricature was shown by cartoons published in this country (1861–1865) and by foreign periodicals such as “Punch,” “Fun,” and also “Vanity Fair” (published in New York), for the same period.
The other subjects presented were “Some of his reading' (53 volumes); “Speeches” (11); “Works recommended by Lincoln for the study of law" (8); "Favorite songs" (4).
Of special interest among the manuscripts exhibited was his copy of the celebrated Gettysburg address, through the courtesy of Prof. Wm. J. A. Bliss, of Baltimore, and of the papers and drawings covering his patent granted for buoying vessels, from the United States Patent Office.
The remaining portion of the exhibition was made up of
(a) Some of the musical compositions relating to Lincoln, published during the Civil war;
(6) Broadsides, campaign silk badges and literature.
READING ROOM FOR THE BLIND
The collection of embossed books for the blind has been increased during the past year by the gift of 18 volumes and the purchase of one volume.
The number of books bound during the year was 41,965 as against 34,275 for the year preceding. The output of the Library bindery alone amounted to 27,355 pieces. The total includes 3,611 volumes of newspapers.
Difficulty in securing materials requisite for special work can be met only by a change in the law which will exempt the Library in such cases from the limitations imposed on government binding in general.
(From the report of the Chief, Mr. Hanson)
The total number of volumes catalogued amounted to 121,640. In addition, 960 parts of volumes were added on the serial record and shelf lists and 6,280 volumes were, after careful search and comparison, rejected as duplicates and turned over to the Order and Documents divisions.
The losses sustained by this division through resignations and transfers, and the increasing difficulty of the work on catalogues and classification as the collections grow larger, no doubt account in a measure for the fact that only 121,640 volumes were catalogued as against 123,828 during the preceding year. The increase in the number of volumes classified (162,475 in 1908–9 as against 145,889 in 1907-8) has also had something to do with the decrease in the number of volumes catalogued, certain new assistants having been assigned to classification and shelf listing rather than to cataloguing
As for losses through resignations and transfers, they have been so heavy during the past five or six years, and the problem of securing new assistants with proper qualifications and training at the salaries now available has become increasingly so difficult that this may now be considered as one of the most serious questions with which we shall have to deal during the remainder of the work upon the arrears. The many resignations and the difficulty of securing expert help may be in part accounted for by a greater demand for trained librarians and assistants in other institutions and a resulting general improvement in salaries, which the Library of Congress has been unable to meet; in part also by the great difficulty of the work on which this division is now engaged, viz, reclassification and recataloguing, in addition to handling annual accessions which have at times exceeded 100,000 volumes a year.
The only remedies that might be suggested for a condition of affairs which must needs interfere with the progress and efficiency of the work are:
1. To increase the salaries for assistants engaged on highly technical work, so as to enable the Library to compete with other institutions in bidding for the service of persons of proper capacity and training.
2. To vary the duties of those engaged on cataloguing and classification, so as to give them at times less exacting work and particularly an occasional opportunity to come into direct contact with the public through reference work.
It is, however, difficult to see how the latter remedy can be applied to any considerable extent until the present reorganization of the collections has been in the main completed.
While the constant change of personnel referred to no doubt causes great loss of time and retards progress, the fact that so many of the assistants are called to other libraries is not without its compensating feature. This fact should in course of time prove of material assistance in furthering the cooperative work which tends to center about the Library of Congress. Intimate knowledge of the methods and equipment of the Central Library on the part of librarians and assistants of other institutions will no doubt prove of mutual advantage in carrying on the various cooperative activities.
There were 725,329 cards filed in the various catalogues of the Division, exclusive of the general Union catalogue and the Catalogue of Early Americana, for which no record has been kept. The record of cards filed during 1907–8 was 704,907.
The following classes were completed during the year: American and British family histories (CS); Seals (CJ); Family, Marriage, Woman (HQ); Associations, Secret societies, Clubs, etc. (HS); Social Pathology, Philanthropy, Charities and Corrections (HV); Socialism, Communism,
Anarchism (HX); Political Science. General works (JA); Theory of the State (JC); Civil government, American other than United States (JL); Fine Arts. General (N), except folios and books in Prints Division; Manufactures (TS); Trades (TT); Domestic science (TX). General periodicals (AP) completed to letter 0; Phil- Reca talogued
in part and under osophy (B); Heraldry (CR); Genealogy, except American way and British families (completed) (CS); Constitutional government, General and Comparative (JF); Civil government, United States (JK); Civil government, Europe (JN); Colonies and colonization, Emigration (JV); Fine Arts (N). As indicated in the report of last year, the completion of Catalogue
rules and guides the Rules for author and title entry seemed likely to open the way for the printing, at least in tentative form, of our list of subject headings. What has tended to hasten the decision to print has been the unsatisfactory state of the present interleaved lists which, besides breaking down in a number of places, required an undue amount of time and labor for insertion of new headings. The preparation of copy was begun in January and it was decided :
(1) To print a tentative list of the headings as they now stand, exclusive of names of persons and places, societies, institutions, and bodies of various kinds, treaties, conventions, and the like, scientific names of individual chemical substances, and systematic names of genera, species, and subspecies in Botany and Zoology.
(2) To print at more or less regular intervals cumulative a lists of additions and changes supplementing the main list.
The plan of subjects now being adopted is to some extent tentative. The present list can not, therefore, be accepted as in any sense final. Changes in many of the headings represented are bound to occur during the progress of recatalogu
a For various reasons the printing of the supplementary lists has preceded the issue of the main list. Three numbers have been issued covering additions and changes from December, 1908, to date.