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City Document. — No, 71. 

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18 57. 


In Common Council, Nov. 5th, 1857. 

Ordered : That the Trustees of the Public Library, be and 
they hereby arc authorized to present their Annual Report to 
the City Council in print : also 

Ordered : That one thousand additional copies be printed. 

Sent up for concurrence. 


In Board of Aldermen, Nov. 9, 1857. 


Approved, Nov. 11, 1857. 


A true copy. 


S. F. McCLEARY, City Clerk. 

In Board of Trustees, Nov. 10, 1857. 

Ordered, That the Report of the President be accepted 
and signed by the members of the Board ; and that the same 
be transmitted to the City Council, agreeably to the requi- 
sitions of the city ordinances. 
Attest : 

EDWARD CAPEN, Secretary. 



In obedience to the fourtli section of the ordinance of the 
14th of October, 1852, providing for the establishment and 
regulation of the Public Library, the Trustees ask leave to 
submit to the City Council their Fifth Annual 


The ordinance directs that a Committee shall be annually 
appointed by the Trustees, consisting of five citizens to be 
chosen at large, with a member of the board of Trustees, to 
act as chairman, whose duty it shall be to examine the library, 
and make report of its condition. The members of the Com- 
mittee the present year are Jacob Bigelow, M. D., Rev. 
Charles Mason, Peter T. Homer, Esq., Henry I. Bowditch, M. 
D., and S. T. Dana, Esq. ; Dr. N. B. ShurtlefiF, on behalf of the 
Trustees, acting as chairman. The Trustees and the commu- 
nity at large are under obligations to their fellow citizens 
who, as members of this important Committee, have kindly 
consented to give their time and attention to the performance 
of its duties. The thanks of the Board are also due to the 
young ladies of the Normal School, kept in the upper story of 
the building in Mason street, who this year as the last have 
kindly aided the Librarian and his assistants in preparing the 
library for the aimual examination. The Report of the Com- 
mittee of Examination, marked A, is herewith submitted. 

4 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 71. [Nov. 

The Annual Report of the Librarian, marked B, made in 
pursuance of Chapter III, Article 12, of the Rules and By- 
Laws of the library is also submitted. 

These reports are designed to contain full and accurate 
statements of the operations of the library during the past 
year and of its present condition. As far as its ordinary ad- 
ministration and action are concerned, the Trustees are not 
aware of anything to distinguish the current year from former 
years, certainly not to the disadvantage of its present condition. 
The resort to the rooms for reading and borrowing books has 
been steadily growing, but having already reached the utmost 
limit of comfortable accommodation in the narrow premises 
in Mason street, could not be expected greatly to increase. 
The books continue to be in general punctually returned, and 
in good order, but the remarks of the Librarian on the latter 
point are deserving of serious consideration. The number of 
volumes not returned is not proportionably greater than last 
year, although it is sufficient to cause some anxiety as to the 
duty of devising means of checking this serious evil. The 
same remark may be extended to accidental and designed in- 
juries to the volumes borrowed from the library. Great reli- 
ance has thus far been placed, and not Avithout reason, on the 
good feeling and moral sense of borrowers, as the surest pro- 
tection from injuries of both kinds. Should this reliance fail, 
and should it become necessary to resort to stringent meas- 
ures of detection and repression, the Trustees will confidently 
look to the support of an intelligent and virtuous community. 

The Trustees, in the purchase of books, have adhered to 
the principles which have hitherto guided them, of keeping 
the library supplied with the current literature and fresh 
reading of the day. They have aimed to add useful books to 
the library, rather than what is called " light reading." The 
best interests of the institution require that it should not be 
regarded as a depository of books of the latter description. 
They are so cheap that they can be otherwise obtained by al- 


most every one who wislies to read tliem ; they occupy space 
on the shelves better filled by better books; and they increase 
the resort of persons to the library whose wants might be 
easily supplied in other quarters, leaving the Librarian and 
his assistants to devote their attention to more earnest and 
thoughtful readers. The Trustees are persuaded that it was 
not the design of the judicious and public-spirited citizens 
who, as members of the City Council in years past, or at the 
present time, have liberally appropriated the public funds to 
the foundation and support of the library, to have it become 
the means of gratuitously supplying to a class of idle readers, 
the unprofitable, not to say pernicious trash, which is daily 
pouring from the press. 

The Trustees have enlarged their purchases of books re- 
lating to this country. They have thought that this depart- 
ment, of all others, ought to be well supplied in a first class 
American library. Although they have not thought them- 
selves justified in buying those scarce and curious volumes, 
whose value consists mainly in their rarity, and which are 
only to be had at extravagant prices, they have been at con- 
siderable pains to supply the library with works pertaining to 
American history, biography, statistics, and general literature. 

They have also added considerably to the number of volumes 
in the principal languages of continental Europe. There is in 
Boston a large population which speaks some one of those 
languages as their mother tongue. All will feel that it is for 
the public benefit, that this class of our citizens should have 
the means of improving their minds in common with the rest 
of the public. There is also a large and steadily increasing 
class of our native population, who read foreign languages, 
and who stand in especial need of the aid of a public library 
in procuring books, for the very reason that works in those 
languages are less abundant and less easily obtained from pri- 
vate sources. 

The increase of the library the past year has exceeded the 

6 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 71. [Nov. 

assumed annual average of six thousand volumes. The num- 
ber actually added in the course of the year, as appears from 
the Librarian's Report, is 6,816 volumes, and 3,667 pamphlets. 
Of these, 5,130 volumes have been purchased from the ordi- 
nary resources of the library, including in that expression 
the income of its permanent funds, and a portion of the sums 
appropriated by the City Council. In addition to the books 
purchased in this way, above 10,000 volumes have been added 
to the library by the munificence of Mr. Bates, in addition 
to about 11,000 volumes, which were received last year 
from the same source. Of the books added to the library, 
exclusive of those given by Mr. Bates, 1,686 volumes and 
3,646 pamphlets have been presented by liberal individuals. 
The largest donations of this kind will be found stated in 
the Report of the Librarian ; and a complete list of the ben- 
efactors to the library is given in connection with his Report. 
The thanks of the commmiity are eminently due to the large 
number of patrons, who have in this way added to the stores 
of the public library. 

All the operations of the library durirg the year, as in 
former years, have been carried on to the same disadvan- 
tage that has been mentioned in former reports of the 
Board, in consequence of the limited extent of the premises 
in Mason street. These disadvantages will all speedily cease 
by the completion of the spacious new building in Boylston 
street. This will in all probability take place before the 
close of the present year, although some time will be required 
after the surrender of the building by the Commissioners, be- 
fore the books can be placed upon the shelves and a catalogue 
be printed which shall ho adapted to the new locality, and 
without which the books cannot be put in circulation. The 
Trustees propose, however, while most of this unavoidable 
labor is going on in the new building, to keep open the library 
in Mason street as usual, closing it only for the removal of 
the books contained in it, and for the shortest time possible. 


Wliile the new building remains in the control of the Com- 
missioners, it would be out of place for the Trustees to make 
it a subject of extended remark. But as two members of the 
Board are also members of the Commission, it may not be 
improper to repeat the remark made in a former Report, that 
the new building, when finished and appropriated to the noble 
purpose of its erection, will, in the opinion of the Trustees, 
reflect lasting credit upon the government and people of the 
City of Boston, and fully justify the liberal appropriations 
which have been made by the past and present City Councils. 

The utmost diligence has been employed during the past 
year, under the direction of the Trustees, in preparing for the 
removal of the library to the new building. The City Coun- 
cil is well aware that our liberal benefactor, Mr. Bates, as 
soon as he was informed of the design of the City Govern- 
ment to erect a spacious fire-proof building for the Library, 
and to make provision for its permanent support, resolved, in 
addition to his generous donation of $50,000, of which the in- 
terest was appropriated by him forever to the purchase of 
books, to present to the City such a number of volumes, in 
the various departments of science and literature, as would 
enable the institution to commence its operations on a liberal 
scale, as soon as the new building should be opened. 

The Trustees beg leave to refer to their last Annual Report 
for an account of the measures taken by them, in the year 
1856, to give effect to this new and most signal act of liberal- 
ity, by preparing, at Mr. Bates' request, lists of books to be-, 
purchased by him, and by renting a house in Boylstou Place 
for the reception and preparation for the shelves of the vol- 
umes thus added to the library. This work has been most 
diligently and laboriously carried on during the present year, 
by Professor Jewett and his assistants. The general nature 
of the work to be performed in this department of the Li- 
brary is set forth in the last Annual Report of the Trustees j 
and the extent of the operations of this branch of the Library 

8 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 71. [Nov. 

will be fully seen by the Report of Mr. Jewctt, herewith sub- 
mitted, marked C. It will appear from this Report that up 
to its date, one hundred and forty-two cases of books had 
been received, containing 21,374 volumes, the cost of which, 
according to the invoices, was $38,893. Additional cases of 
books are constantly arriving. These facts will sufficiently 
indicate the generous purposes of our great benefactor, Mr. 
Bates, who is contributing, with such princely munificence, to 
the stores of the library, and who authorizes us to rely upon 
him as a firm friend, desirous, from time to time, to aid its 
progress, should it go on well, and be found to justify the ex- 
pectations of usefulness of which it is the subject. 

In their last Annual Report, the Trustees alluded to the ab- 
sence of one of their number (Mr. Ticknor) in Europe. A 
principal inducement of Mr. Ticknor to visit Europe in 1856, 
was to render such assistance as might be desirable to Mr. 
Bates in carrying out his noble purpose of making a large do- 
nation of books to the library. The Trustees gladly availed 
themselves of the opportunity thus afforded them of supplying 
the library, from their own resources and on the most advan- 
tageous terms, with such other books as it was deemed expe- 
dient at this time to purchase in Europe. They accordingly 
placed at Mr. Ticknor's disposal nearly all the funds at their 
command in Europe, and empowered him in other respects to 
act for them during his absence. In a communication dated 
23d September, 1857, he has submitted to the Trustees a de- 
tailed account of his proceedings under the authority conferred 
upon him by several votes of the Board. The Trustees have 
no hesitation in expressing the opinion that the services ren- 
dered by him are of the higliest importance. It having been 
determined from the first by Mr. Bates that a considerable 
part of his donation should be expended in continental litera- 
ture, and no arrangement having as yet been made by him, 
except for the purchase of French books, the assistance of 
Mr. Ticknor in making arrangements personally for the Ger- 


man and Italian departments was in the highest degree sea- 
sonable and effective. In giving much of his time and his 
unwearied personal attention to the affairs of the library, 
during his absence in Europe, Mr. Ticknor has but continued 
those services to which it was already so much indebted, and 
which have contributed so much to the prosperity of the insti- 
tution. In addition to all that was effected personally by 
himself, the agencies established by him, and the good offices 
of some of the most accomplished librarians and bibliogra- 
phers of Europe, which he has secured for the institution, 
will no doubt materially subserve its interests. The commu- 
nication above referred to, with the Report of the Committee 
of the Trustees to whom it was referred, which Report was 
accepted by the Board, are herewith submitted, marked D. 

The Trustees refer to the Librarian's Report for an ac- 
count of the regular operations of the library during the past 
year ; and they have much pleasure in repeating from their 
former Annual Reports the expression of their satisfaction at 
the assiduity and diligence with which his duties and those of 
his assistants have been performed. It will be perceived, 
from Mr. Capen's Report, that the number of new accounts 
for borrowing books during the past year is 2,263, making a 
total of 13,781. The number of names entered in the Read- 
ing Room in the course of the year is 2,236, making a total, 
since the opening of the Library, of 15,092. The number of 
books which have been borrowed during the year is 89,423, 
making a daily average of 310 volumes for the working days 
of the year, being an increase over the daily average of the 
last year of 19 volumes, or an increase in the aggregate of the 
year of 6,762 volumes. 

The Trustees, in conclusion, beg leave to return their grate- 
ful acknowledgments to the city government, for the liberal 
patronage and support which have been extended to the library 
during the current year, as in past years. They recognize in 

10 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 71. , [Nov. 

this policy, the continuance of those liberal views on the part 
of the City Council, to -which Boston owes so much of the en- 
viable position which she occupies among the cities of the 
Union. The Library has ever been regarded by the Trustees as 
the completion of the great system of public education which 
was founded by law in Boston, as soon as in any part of 
the country, if not even sooner. Till a great public library 
was founded, that system of education remained imperfect. 
It bestowed upon our children the keys of knowledge, but the 
treasure itself was within the reach only of those whose pri- 
vate means gave them access to large collections of books; 
not to dwell on the fact that the amplest private collections 
can but partially supply the place, even for those who have 
the use of them, of a liberally endowed public library. 

Henceforward the inhabitants of Boston, of both sexes, 
whose love of useful knowledge has been kindled and nour- 
ished at our free schools, and whose pursuits in life- require 
that they should be informed of the progressive condition of 
tlie arts and sciences, will have access to a library, already 
nobly furnished by the munificence of our greatest benefactor 
and its other liberal patrons, and destined, from the perma- 
nent funds already established, and the generous patronage of 
the city government, and public spirited individuals, to a 
steady and satisfactory increase. The Trustees have no hes- 
itation in expressing the opinion that no part of the public 
expenditure will bring back a richer return to the community. 

Her geographical situation has prevented Boston from main- 
taining the place which she originally filled among the cities 
of the land, in population, commerce, and material resources. 
Had she consented to remain without a great public library, 
she must have submitted also to a secondary position in the 
means of intellectual culture. The establishment of such an 
institution has prevented this reproach from coming upon her. 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 11 

and will enable her, in this respect, to sustain a generous and 
mutually beneficial emulation with her sister cities. 

All which is respectfully submitted, by 


Note. — The name of Mr. Ticknor is omitted among the signatures to the 
foregoing Report, in consequence of his having been absent during tho 
greater part of the year, and of the reference contained in the Report to his 
proceedings in Europe, 

12 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 71. [Nov. 


The Committee of Examination, appointed in pursuance of 
the seventh section of the city ordinance relating to the 
Public Library, 


That, — in accordance with the section of the ordinance 
which requires that the Trustees of the Library shall annually 
appoint a Committee consisting of five citizens, who with a 
member of the Board of Trustees as chairman, shall examine 
the library and make report of its condition to the Trustees 
— they have visited the temporary library building in Mason 
street, and the other premises occupied for the purposes of 
the library, and have made such examination as they consid- 
ered necessary and proper. This being the fifth time that the 
institution has been submitted to an annual visitation by per- 
sons not immediately connected with its management, (except- 
ing the chairman of the several committees,) and occurring just 
previous to a contemplated removal of its books and other 
appurtenances to a more permanent place of deposit, they 
have felt it their duty, while following the plan of preceding 
reports, to enter a little more minutely than otherwise would 
have been expected of them, into its actual condition at the 
present time, and also in regard prospectively to its future 

First. — The Books. At the examination made by the 
Committee, in November, 1856, the whole number of volumes 
appertaining to the library, exclusive of the liberal donation 
of Joshua Bates, Esq., then, as now, under the special charge 
of the Book Committee of the Trustees, consisted of 28,080 
volumes. 12.386 pamphlets, and a considerable number of 

1857.] PUBi-IC LIBRARY. 13 

bound and unbound newspapers, nearly one-fifth part of the 
books, and one-half of the pamphlets having been added by- 
purchase or received by donation during the preceding twelve 
months. During the year which has just passed, 6,816 volumes, 
3,667 pamphlets, 100 charts, 591 newspapers, and 20 engrav- 
ings, have been added to the library, so that the whole num- 
ber of volumes of books amounts to 34,896, and the number of 
pamphlets to 16,053. Of these books, 1,686 volumes have 
been received as gifts ; and of the pamphlets, all, with the ex- 
ception of 21, have been donations from individuals and insti- 
tutions ; as have also all the newspapers, charts and engrav- 
ings. These numbers" however, do not include the large do- 
nation of books from Mr. Bates — the munificent European 
friend of the library. Such volumes as required it have been 
put into good substantial binding, as have also a portion of the 
pamphlets, so called, which formed, when collected together, 
continuous works. The general collection of pamphlets, com- 
prising tracts on various miscellaneous subjects, and the in- 
complete serial works have been placed in convenient par- 
cels, and, for want of room in the temporary accommodations 
in Mason street, stored for the present, until there shall be 
proper conveniences for their classification and arrangement. 

Owing to the scanty accommodations for the books in the 
rooms now occupied for the administration of the library, a 
large number of the books least frequently required for con- 
sultation and circulation, have been stored in apartments in 
the Quincy School House. These have been viewed by the 
Committee in the performance of their duty. 

In general, the books are in good condition, a few only 
having been injured by actual wear, or mutilated or defaced 
by inconsiderate persons to whom they have in the ordinary 
operations of the library been loaned; and in the case of 
these few exceptions, the books are uniformly those which 
have done much and good service, having been constantly in 
use since the fii'st opening of the library, and the loan of the 

14 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 71. [Nov. 

baoks for home use, — wliicli was in May, 1854. It is believed 
that in this respect the Public Library has been specially 
favored, not having suffered more than other libraries whose 
volumes have not been so much nor so constantly in use. It 
has been rare during the year to find books returned with 
their binding so materially injured as to require repairs, or 
their paper covers so unnecessarily soiled as to need renewal. 
Yery few volumes, and those of books of comparatively small 
value and easily to be replaced, have been laid aside by the 
librarian on account of becoming imperfect or worn out. 

The books are chiefly in the English language, and are in a 
great degree such as have been considered by the Trustees 
as most appropriate for general use ; a portion, however, of 
those recently purchased are in foreign languages, and some 
are such as are specially required for constant reference or 
for occasional consultation. Indeed, thus far, in the selection 
and purchase of books, it seems to have been the desire of 
the Trustees to procure almost entirely the books most needed 
to supply the wants of the greatest number of readers, leav- 
ing to a future butnot distant day, the procuring of others less 
demanded, though not less valuable. Of the most ?eccnt and 
most popular books of the day, in many instances, a consider- 
able number of extra copies, and when advisable, different 
editions of them, have been purchased, so that readers could 
have the advantage of an early perusal of those books which 
appeared in print from time to time possessing a transient value, 
oftentimes depending upon local or occasional circumstances. 

Preparatory to the examination by the Committee, the 
books in circulation were called in ; and during the usual an- 
nual period of closing the library, they were put in proper 
order, and in place upon the shelves. In this condition they 
were carefully examined in connection with the alcove (or 
shelf) catalogues, by several young ladies of the Girls' High 
and Normal School, and the deficiences noted. This service, 
thoroughly performed, exhibited a deficit of 217 volumes. 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 15 

A portion of these will be restored to their places, when they 
shall have been sent for and recovered, as will be done by the 
librarian in the course of a short time, according to the 
rules and regulations of the library. The books missing are 
generally of small value j and their cost will be more than met 
by the amount of fines collected during the year from persons 
who have detained books longer than the time allowed by the 
regulations, and who have cheerfully paid the forfeiture. 

The books have been very actively circulated, perhaps in 
this respect exceeding those of any other public library; the 
average daily circulation during the past year having been about 
310 volumes. In one week when many books were loaned out 
the daily average was 476 ; but the greatest number taken 
from the library in any one day amounted to 730, making 
in all about 90,000 volumes, — an increase in circulation of 
6,762 volumes over that of the last year. In addition to those 
who have previous to the commencement of the present library 
year qualified themselves under the rules to use the books, 
2,236 have affixed their signatures to the proper book, and 
2,263 new entries have been made in the loan book. When it 
is considered that books can be detained from the Library 
fourteen days, and consequently that about 4,000 volumes at 
the above rates can be out at one time, and that the present 
temporary building only contains about 20,000 of the volumes 
belonging to the library, it may be justly inferred that the in- 
stitution has done during the past year all that could reasona- 
bly have been expected of it. A proper record of all books 
loaned has been kept in the books prepared and used for the 

Besides the class of books already alluded to, the Library 
is particularly well endowed with the most valuable books 
pertaining to periodical literature, with the most recent issues 
of which the tables of the Reading Room are constantly cov- 
ered. The back volumes of the most desirable of these have 
been procured and bound, and are always at hand when called 

16 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 71. [Nov, 

for in the manner indicated by the rules. These include the 
most prominent of the American and English periodicals, and 
a proportion of others from the principal seats of literature 
in continental Europe. About one hundred and forty in num- 
ber, they comprise the most popular works of that class in 
polite literature, and also in the various departments of sci- 
ence and the useful arts. These and the books which are 
read or used for consultation in the Reading Room by every 
class of citizens, largely increase the amount of use of the 
library, over and above the home use of the books of circula- 
tion ; but of this kind of use of the books no very accurate 
estimate can at this time be given. 

Second. — The Catalogues. The system of cataloguing 
the books in the Public Library is as perfect as that of any 
other in the country. It consists of a series of catalogues, 
each of which has a special object to accomplish, and all of 
which have a relation to each other. The Slip Catalogue con- 
tains the first rough minutes of the daily accessions to the li- 
brary, and is kept on square pieces of paper of uniform size, 
each title being written in the fewest words with the date and 
source of accession on each slip. These slips arranged chron- 
ologically form the basis of the catalogue of accessions, and 
when placed subsequently in alphabetical order, also the 
ground work of the short title, or finding catalogue. The 
Catalogue of Accessions contains a daily list of all books re- 
ceived either by purchase or donation, those of each day by 
themselves, and each book title having a number prefixed to it 
strictly in the numerical order in which it is there recorded, 
together with such particulars relating to date and place of 
publication, size, condition, source whence obtained, cost, 
&c., as may be valuable for future reference either in respect 
to indivdual books or for the history of the library. In con- 
nection with this catalogue, an Index of Donations is kept in the 
library, in which arc recorded, in alphabetical order, the names 
of all beucfactora to the library, with reference, by page, to 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 17 

the accession catalogue for the necessary details. For the 
record of accessions of the periodicals, a special book has 
been kept from the first institution of the library. The next 
of the series is the Alphabetical Card Catalogue, which, as its 
name implies, preserves the constant alphabetical means of ref- 
erence to the titles of all the books in the library. In this 
the full title of every book is given, arranged when possible 
by the name of the author, with such cross references to sub- 
jects as may be needful in furnishing ample imformation re- 
specting the books. This catalogue can always be inspected 
under the eye of the librarian and his assistants, by any per. 
son so desiring for the attainment of useful ends. No book 
is allowed to go into circulation until its title has been en- 
tered in the Alcove Catalogue, which contains the short titles 
of the books, with the necessary particulars strictly in the 
numerical order in which they stand on the shelves. The ac- 
cession number, which should in all cases be affixed to each 
title, gives the desirable means of easy reference to the cat- 
alogue of accessions. The last of the series is the Short 
Title (or finding) Catalogue, by which the contents of the li- 
brary are known to the public, and the places of the books to 
persons asking for them, and to the assistants who seek for 
them for delivery. When the library was first opened, and the 
pecuniary means of the institution were scanty and more needed 
for books than for library luxuries, a catalogue was printed by 
the Trustees, in which the titles of books were given once only, 
and these, according to the custom of other libraries, and the 
best authorities under similar circumstances, were in the name 
of the author when practicable. In the small days of the li- 
brary, when the number of the books was small, this plan of 
single titles was sufficient for its administration; but now 
that the number has become large, and the interleaved cata- 
logues somewhat bulky and extensive, the multiplication of 
entries of cross references to each title in this catalogue has 
become absolutely necessary, and a good printed catalogue of 

18 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 71. [Nov. 

the books alphabetically arranged according to authors, and 
especially subjects, with a concise index of general and also 
of particular subjects duly classified, is imperatively called 
for by the reading public as well as by the scholars who make 
use of the library. It is hoped that this will be one of the 
points which will meet the prompt attention of the Trustees 
on opening the library for use in the new building which has 
been so munificently provided by the city for the accommoda- 
tion of the treasures under their charge. 

The catalogues alluded to in the preceding remarks have 
been carefully kept up by the labors of the librarian and his 
assistants, and reflect much credit upon the institution, for the 
prompt manner in which a portion of library work, so often 
neglected or inefficiently performed, has been satisfactorily 

The catalogue of accessions has always been kept up to 
date, delay only arising when extensive donations have been 
received or large acquisitions made by purchase, and in all 
cases the donations have been recorded in strict chronologi- 
cal order, under their various dates before the purchases, and 
never with a delay of more than three days. Cards have been 
written for all books received previous to the last large dona- 
tion which came just as the library was about to be closed 
for the annual preparation for examination ; and the necessary 
cross references for most of the works in the English lan- 
guage, and a large portion of the others have been made. 
The interleaved copies of the printed short title catalogues 
for the Reading Room have been assiduously kept in a condi- 
tion for use by a written insertion of the titles of the books 
added day by day, as they have been placed upon the shelves 
for use. Besides keeping the old interleaved catalogues com- 
plete with the new entries, two additional manuscript copies 
have been newly written. In no instance has a book been put 
upon the shelves foruse without an entry being made at the same 
time in the alcove catalogue. In the administration of the li- 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 19 

brary the Trustees have kept records for the entry of bo9ks 
"asked for " and for books ordered," with the necessary par- 
ticulars; and these have been posted up in order. 

Third. — The Library Rooms. The apartments in which 
the library is managed are the same as last year ; namely, 
two rooms in the building in Mason 1 street, occupied in part 
for the Girls' High and Normal School. One of these, con- 
structed with alcoves, contains the volumes that are now 
most frequently demanded for current use and circulation ; 
and the other, although it has a small display of books around 
its sides, is used in part as a Reading Room, and partly as a 
room for the delivery of books to borrowers. Many of the 
books are stored in two rooms in the uppermost story of the 
Quincy School House ; and others, packed up in boxes, have 
been removed to the new building in Boylston street, where 
they will remain without being unpacked until the building is 
used for library purposes. A considerable portion of the 
pamphlets is stored in one of the rooms of the Boylston 
place house. The inconvenience and the crowded state of the 
incommodious temporary apartments in Mason street, have 
been causes of great discomfort to those having the active 
administration of the library ; but the foresight and liberal 
provision of the city government have placed the library in 
respect to future accommodations in a position that will soon 
relieve it from embarrassment for many years to come. 

In the discharge of their duty the attention of the Commit- 
tee was called to the carefully kept records of the Board of 
Trustees, the letter book in which the correspondence relat- 
ing to the library is transcribed, the numerous manuscript 
books appertaining to the management of the library, such 
as the book containing the signatures of the persons using 
the library, another book containing an alphabetical arrange- 
ment of the same names, the strangers book, in which the 
names of persons not residents of Boston, but visitors 
only, are recorded, together with the various catalogues and 

20 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 71. [Nov. 

loan books already alluded to in another part of this report. 
The Committee cannot close this report without expressing 
great satisfaction in the appearance of the library and its ar- 
rangements, many of which are peculiar to this institution, and 
add much to the ease with which it is managed. They trust 
that the prosperity which has marked its dawn, will be con- 
tinued to it for many years to come, and that it will prove a 
blessing and fruitful inheritance to the generations which are to 
succeed those who now enjoy the benefits of its rich treasury 
of knowledge. 

Respectfully submitted. 


Boston, Nov. 7, 1857. 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 21 


To ilic Trustees of the Public Library: 

Gentlemen, — I respectfully submit the following, as the 
Fourth Annual Report of the Librarian on the condition and 
increase of the Public Library of the City of Boston. 

Since the date of my last Report, Oct. 31, 1856, 6,816 vol- 
umes, 3,667 pamphlets, 591 papers, 20 engravings and 100 
charts, have been added to the Library. Of these, 1,686 vol- 
umes, 3,646 pamphlets, and all the papers, engravings and 
charts, have been received as donations, many of them quite 
valuable, from one hundred and thirty-two persons and associ- 
ations. If it be permitted, where one spirit, that of good will 
to the institution, has actuated all donors, to designate any, I 
will mention the following : We have received a complete set 
of the Boston Transcript, from Hon. Lemuel Shattuck, James 
B. Richardson, Esq., John Odin, M. D., and Messrs. Button &, 
Son; the Boston Liberator, nearly complete, from Henry I. 
Bowditch, M. D., and Robert F. Wallcut, Esq. ; the Christian 
Review, complete, from Joseph A. Pond, Esq. ; a complete set 
of the American Traveller, from Messrs, Worthiugton & Flan- 
ders ; a set of the Minutes and Proceedings of the Institution 
of Civil Eugineers, London, and a catalogue of the Library, 
from the Institution ; one hundred or more charts of the Coast 
Survey, from the Department of the United States Coast Sur- 
vey ; a series of drawings of public buildings, from the United 
States Treasury Department, Capt. A. H. Bowman, Engineer in 
charge. Sundry volumes containing a complete series of these 
drawings forwarded from the same Department, and registered 
on the books of the Express Company at Washington, failed to 
reach us — a matter of regret, as a complete set of this valuable 
work cannot now be procured to supply the loss. We have 

22 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 71. [Nov. 

received from Hon. Edward Everett, a set of the Southern 
Literary Messenger; from M. A. Vattcmare, five sjjlendid folio 
vols, entitled Catacombcs de Rome, and other works of value ; 
from the Imperial -Royal Geological Institution, in Yienna, a 
set of the Transactions, of the Year-book, and other publica- 
tions ; from Rev, J. S. C. Greene, and Hon. Lemuel Shattuck, 
very large donations, that of the former rich in works on Nat- 
ural History, that of tlie latter rich in the department of sta- 
tistics. We receive regularly files of the following papers, 
some of which are not printed in the published list, for the 
reason that no volume has been completed for the binder. 
Anglo Saxon, two copies, from Bartlett, St. John & Co. ; Bos- 
ton Courier, from Clark, Fellows & Co. ; Daily Evening Trav- 
eller, from Worthington, Flanders & Co. ; New York Musical 
World, from Richard Storrs Willis; The Inventor, sup- 
posed from Low, Haskell & Co. ; The Medical World, from 
J. Y. C. Smith, M. D. ; The Prisoner's Friend, from Rev. 
Charles Spear. We have received, also, a continuation of the 
valuable series issued from the British Patent Office, not men- 
tioned in the printed list, for the reason that they have been 
forwarded, without entry, to the branch of the Library in 
Boylstou Place ; and, by way of exchange with the Royal Li- 
brary of Brussels, 115 volumes. 

The number of volumes now belonging to the library, is 
34,896, which does not include a purchase of nearly three hun- 
dred volumes of pamphlets, from the library of the late Dr. 
Beck, of Albany. The number of pamphlets belonging to the 
library, is 1G,053. 

During the year, 2,23G names have been registered, and 
2,263 accounts have been opened in the loan books. The 
whole number of subscribers is now 15,092, and the number of 
accounts, is 13,781. The number of volumes delivered to bor- 
rowers, was 89,423 — 6,762 volumes more than were deliv- 
ered last year. The average daily circulation was 310; last 
year it was 291. From Nov. 1st to April 25th, the average 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 23 

was 359 ; from Dec. 1st to March 31st, it was 381 ; from Jan. 
1st to March 3Lst, it was 397; from Jan. 12th to March 21st, 
it was 402; from Feb. 16th to March 21st, it was 417; from 
Feb. 23d to Feb. 28th, it was 476 ; from April 27th to Sept. 
15th, it was 260. Tlie largest number of books borrowed in 
one day, was 730, on the 24th of January. 

I cannot testify in this Report, as I did in the last, to the 
universal care exhibited by borrowers for the preservation of 
books. The practice of marking upon books, with ink and pen- 
cil, has been quite prevalent ; and repeated instances have come 
to our knowledge of their mutilation. These have been re- 
ported from time to time, to the Committee of the Trustees, 
and are now mentioned for the information of the Board and 
the public. The number of volumes laid aside as worthless 
has increased, but is not larger than would arise from a fair 
usage of books of the class to which they belong. 217 vol- 
umes are reported as lost. Of these we may receive about 
67, and be obliged to charge 150 to the loss of the year. 

In one view, the above statement is far from flattering. It 
might be supposed that one enjoying the privileges of a large 
and valuable library, which spread before him, without money 
and without price, treasures in all languages, which hitherto 
had been accessible only to the few, would be considerate 
enough to comply with the few rules that are deemed neces- 
sary in its administration, especially if he has in writing 
promised to obey them. In another view, one might say, it 
is matter for gratification and pride that 90,000 volumes 
should be held in circulation with so small a percentage of 
loss, by 14,000 borrowers, selected, not from the circle of lit- 
erati, who value books, and have ample means to exercise 
care in using them, but from all the avenues of a populous 
city, such as choose to come, and represented, in many in- 
stances, by children, of whom we must not expect too much. 
The latter view I take ; and, while expressing regret that any 
should so far forget themselves as to mar or mutilate the 

24 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 71. [Nov. 

property of the library, would retain a coiifidins^ hope that a 
public sentiment strong enough to protect all its interests 
will be established, and that the future administration of the 
Library will show that the trust has not been misplaced. 

There have been 1,413 volumes bound, at an expense of 
$1,076.57. Many of these belonged to sets of books in folio, 
such as the Boston Transcript and Liberator, and several vol- 
umes of the Traveller ; also several folio volumes in the do- 
nation of M. Vattemare and of Mr. Greene were deemed 
worthy of a binding proportionate in value to that of the 
works. 776 volumes have been bound after use in the Circu- 
lating Library, and 234 after use as periodicals in the Read- 
ing Room. 169 were purchased and bound previous to receiv- 
ing places, and 234 were donations. 

Tlie amount collected and paid into the treasury for fines, 
since the first of Oct., 1856, is $130.85. 

As usual, there will be found appended to this Report a 
memorandum of the amount received from the invested funds 
of the library; a list of donors, and the number of volumes, 
pamphlets, &c., presented by each, and a financial statement 
for the period from Nov. 1, 1856, to Oct. 31, 1857, inclusive. 
Respectfully submitted. 

EDWARD CAPEN, Librarian. 
Boston, Oct. 31, 1857. 





For One Year, from November 1, 1856, to October 31, 1857, 


Binding books, ------ 

Blank books, stationery, &c., - - - - 

Books purchased in the United States, 

Books by foreign invoices, about 

Expresses, cartage, &c., . . - . . 

Freight, customs, wharfage, &c.. 

Fuel, , - 

Furniture, tools, (fee, . . . - . 


Insurance, .--..-. 
Periodicals, ....... 

Porter, for fires, cleaning, &c., 

Postage, .-...--. 

Printing and paper, 

Salaries and extra help, 

From this amount the following sums should be 
deducted, and charged to the account with the 
Boylston Place house : — 

Expresses, cartage, <fec., - 
Freight, customs, wharfage, <fec., - 


Furniture, -.---- 


Insurance, ------ 


■ $1,076 




■ 2,258 




























$24 75 

34 25 ^ 

21 37 

13 75 

31 35 

505 26 

124 00 

754 73 

.6,544 79 

26 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 71. [Nov. 


Of Expenses incurred on Account of House No. 13 Boylston 
Place, from Nov. 1, 1856, to Oct. 31, 1857, inclusive. 

Blank books, stationery, <fec., ----- $45 51 

Construction, repairs, &c., 191 41 

Freight, 275 31 

Fuel, - - - - 132 29 

Furniture, 66 43 

Gas, - - - - ' 31 35 

Insurance, - 37 50 

Printing, 124 00 

Rent, - - 850 00 

Salaries, 3,377 59 

$5,131 39 

To this amount the following sums should be added 
from the preceding account : — 

Expresses, cartage, &c., - - - - $24 75 
Freight, customs, wharfage, <fec., - - 34 25 
Insurance, 505 26 564 26 

$5,695 65 




FOR THE YEAR 1856-57, 

And the number of Volumes, Pamphlets, MajJs, ^c, received from, 


Bates, Joshua, London, interest, 

$3,000 00 

Bigelow, John P., Hon., " . . . 

60 00 

Phillips, Jonathan, Hon., - - - - 


600 00 



Alger, William R., Rev., .... 


Amer. Antiquarian Society, Worcester, 


Amer. Asso. for the Advancement of Science, 


Amer. Unitarian Association, 





Balfour, David M., 



Barrows, H. G., M. D., 


Bartlett, J. R., Hon., Providence, R. I., 


Bartlett, St. John & Co., .... 


Boston, City of, 


Bowditch, Henry I., M. D., - 


Bowditch, H. I., M. D., and Wallcut, Rob't F., 


Bowditch, Nathaniel, children of. 


Bowditch, N. I., 


Bradlee, Caleb D., Rev., - - 36 papers. 



Browne, George M., 


Burnham & Brother, 





Boston Courier. 

Chandler, J. G., - - - Two dollars. 

Channing, Walter, M. D., - 

Christcrn, F. W., N. Y., 

Clarke, Edward H., M. D., ... 

Clark, Fellows & Co., - 

Coale, W. E., M. D., - 

Codman, Edward, 

Copeland, Elislia, 

Cummings, I., M. D., Roxbury, 

Dehon, William, 

Dixon, B. Homer, 

Dodd, William, Mrs., 

Dudley, Dean, 

Dutton & Son, - 

Eliot, Samuel, 

Eliot, Samuel A., Hon., 

Elliott, E. B., Esq., 

Essex Institute, Salem, 

Everett, Edward, Hon., 

Farnliam, Luther, Rev., 

Flint, Charles L., 

Foster, E. B. & Co., - - - • - 

Foster, William, 

France, Minister of Marine, 

Fuller, Arthur B., Rev., .... 

Fuller, Henry W., 

Gale, Lydia S., ----- - 

Goodwin, Daniel, Hartford, Conn., 

Gould, A. A., M. D., and Storer, D. II., M. D., 

Grafton, Joseph, Major, .... 

Gray, William, Mrs., ..... 

Greene, J. S. Copley, Rev., 10 Engravings, - 
Greenough, W. W., ..... 

Hall, Charles B., Secretary, - . - - 
Hardy, Alpheus, & Co., 

492 papers, 
12 papers. 



























Hartshorn, E. P., Mrs., 

Harvard College Observatory, - 

Henry, Joseph, LL. D. 

Hiekcox, John H., Albany, 

Higgiuson, T. Wentworth, Rev., Worcester, - 

Holland, F. W., Rev., .... 

Hopedale Quarterly Conference, W. W. Cook, 
Institution of Civil Engineers, London, 
Inventor, The, Publisher of, - 
Imperial-Royal Geological Institution, Vienna, 
J. Francis Kimball, ..... 

King, David, M. D., Newport, R. L, - 
Lawrence, Abbott, . . . . . 

Lawrence, T. Bigelow, .... 

Lee, Thomas J., ----- - 

Library Company, Philadelphia, Pa., - 
Little, Brown & Co., ..... 

Loring, James S., - - - - - 

Lunt, William P., Jr., ..... 

McCleary, S. F., 

McCleary, S. F., Mrs., 

Mass. Charitable Mechanic Association, 
Merriam, J. W., - - - G3 Papers, 

Missouri, Governor of, - - 
New Bedford Public Library, Trustees, - 
Ncwburyport Public Library, Directors, 
New York Mercantile Library, Directors, 
New York, Regents of the University of, - 
Nicolson, Samuel, ---... 
Nott, Samuel, --.... 

Odin, John, M. D., 

Odiorne, Jas. C, - - - - - 
Oliver, Fitch Edward, M. D., ... 

Page, Wm. H., M. D., - - - - 
Peabody Institute, Danvcrs, - - - 




















30 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 71. [Nov. 

Vols. Pamph. 

Pond, Joseph A., 18 

Prescott, William H., 3 

Putnam, Charles G., M. D., - - - 1 

Quincy, Josiah, Hon., - - . . . 3 

Reed, Sampson, - . . . . l 

Richardson, Jas. B., - - - - - 2 

Robbins, Chandler, Rev., .... 2 

Seidensticker, J. G., 11 

Senoner, Adolph, 9 33 

Shattuck, Lemuel, Hon., - - - - 527 1063 

ShaAv, Benjamin S., M. D., - - - 8 1 

Shurtleff, Nathaniel B., M. D., - - - 5 2 

Smith, J. V. C, M. D., - . . . 1 137 

Smithsonian Institution, . - . . 3 

Snelling, Edward A., - - - - 1 7 

Sparks, Jared, ...... 1 

" States"mans' Letters, Author of, - - 1 

Stodder, Jonathan, - - - - - 11 

Sumner, Charles, Hon., . . - . 1 

Tappan, J. L., Ann Arbor, Michigan, - - 1 

Thornton, J. Wingate, .... 5 

Thwing, Thomas, ..--■.- 1 1 

Ticknor, George, 1 

Townsend, S. D., M. D., - - - - 3 
U. S. Coast Survey, - - - 100 Charts, 

U. S. Department of the Interior, ... 5 

U. S. Navy Department, Charles W. Welsh, 1 

U. S. Patent Office, 2 

U. S. Treasury Dept., Capt. A. H. Bowman, 7 3 

U. S. War Department, .... 1 
Vattemare, Alex. International Exchange, 20 

Engravings, 140 91 

Yiele, Egbert L., N. York City, - - 2 

Wallcut, Robert F., 2 

Ward, Thomas W., 1 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 31 

Warren, J. Mason, M. D., - 


- 76 



Wells, E. M. P., Rev., 



West, Charles H., Charlestown, N. H., - 

. 1 


Wetherell, Leander, .... 



Whitmore, Wm. H., - - . . 

- 3 

Whitney, F. A., Rev., Brighton, 



Wilkins, John H., Hon., 

- 4 

Willis, Richard S., Musical World. 

Willis, Nathaniel, 

- 1 

Winsor, Justin, .... 


Winthrop, Robert C, Hon., - 

. 2 


Worthington & Flanders, - 



Wright, Caleb, 

- 2 

Wyatt, Sophia, Mrs., 


32 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 71. [Nov. 



Tu the Book Committee, relative to the operations of the Branch 
of the Public Library in Boylsto?i Place. 

Branch of the Public Library, 
No. 13 Boijhton Place, 5 Oct., 1857. 

To THE Hon. Edward Everett, 

Chairman of the Committee for the 'purchase of BooJcs for the 
Public Library. 

Sir: — In accordance with your request, I have the honor 
to present to you a Report respecting the -branch of the 
Public Library which has been under my superintendence, 
at No. 13 Boylston place. 

The operations of this branch of the library have included 
all the details of preparing the lists of books to be purchased 
and presented by Mr. J>ates; and of the reception, collation, 
cataloguing, and classification of the books. 

Previous to my connection with the library, a number of 
literary and scientific gentlemen of known eminence had, at 
the request of the Trustees, furnished with great care, lists 
of works in various departments of knowledge, which they 
deemed most important for a collection of this kind. 

The titles upon these lists were transferred to separate 
slips of paper and arranged in alphabetical order. Duplicates 
and those already upon the catalogue of the library were re- 
jected. The titles were then revised by the aid of catalogues 
and bibliographical dictionaries, the best edition of each 
work selected and designated upon the slip, and such remarks 
were added as were deemed necessary to guide purchasers. 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 33 

The titles were then reviewed with respect to their proper 
distribution amono; the various branches of knowledu-e. At 
each stage of the work large additions were made, till the 
whole number of volumes selected was about 35,000. 

The slips were next assorted with reference to the econ- 
omy and convenience of purchasing, and lists were written 
out and transmitted to agents of Mr. Bates, in London, Paris, 
Leipsic and Florence. 

The books have been procured and forwarded with great 
promptness. The first arrival was in May, 1856. In less 
than a year and a half we have received 142 boxes, containing 
21,374 volumes, the cost of which, according to the invoices, 
was $38,893. Others are fast arriving. All the books re- 
ceived have passed repeatedly under my inspection, and I 
am happy to state, for the satisfaction of all who are inter- 
ested in this munificent donation, as well as in justice to the 
agents through whom the purchases have been made, that they 
are in excellent condition as to the binding and as to the per- 
fectness of copies. 

As this house is too small to contain so many volumes, and 
afford room for the operations to be performed in making them 
ready for public use, about 40 boxes of books, after having 
been fully prepared for the shelves, have been repacked and 
stored in a room in the basement of the new library. 

Every work has been carefully collated, page by page, to as- 
certain whether any signature or leaf were wanting or mis- 
placed. The few deficiences which have been discovered, have 
been registered for transmission to our agents in Europe, and 
by them promptly supplied, as far as possible. 

The books in each box have been compared with the in- 
voices, and with the " slips " from which the orders were writ- 
ten. Upon these slips have been noted the date of reception 
and the " record number," together with any variations in 
edition, number of volumes, <fec., between the work received 
and the work ordered. These slips, it will be remembered, 

34 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 71. [Nov. 

ipreviously contained the title of the work with tlie indication 
of the edition desired, notes for the guidance of purchasers, 
the name of the person at whose suggestion the book was or- 
dered, and the number of the order. It will readily be seen 
that the collection of these separate papers, arranged as they 
now are, in alphabetical order, furnishes a complete history of 
the acqu'ishlon of these books. 

Except about 3,000 volumes for which cards were made in 
London, and a few Italian books lately received, the entire 
donation of Mr. Bates has been catalogued under my superin- 
tendence. The English cards also have been thoroughly 

The catalogue on the cards consists of an exact transcript 
of the title-pages, with accurate designations of authorship, 
edition, form and number of volumes, and occasional biblio- 
graphical notes. 

The contents of all the collected worJcs of authors, and of all 
collections of single works of various authors with a common 
title, have been given in full. This part of the work has con- 
sumed much time, but will be of great importaucc to those 
who may use the library, and who may not be familiar with 
other sources from which such imformation might be derived. 

Each work of every author appears distinctly under his 
name, and cross references are made from every word of the 
title under which anyone would be likely to look for the work 
in an alphabetical or in a classed index. 

One important advantage of this specification is, that it 
will frequently prevent the unnecessary purchase of dupli- 
cates. It would be known, for example, that Villeliardouin's 
History of the Conquest of Constantinople is contanied in the 
■collections of Michaud and Poujoulat, of Petitot and of Bu- 
chon; though without the minuteness of registration of which 
we are speaking,* it might be ordered again for a library pos- 
:sessing all of these collections, and not requiring any choice 
.of editions. 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. So'. 

Another important advantage of such specification is, that 
it relieves librarians and readers from constantly-recurring 
inconvenience and loss of time. Thus, if the works of Arch- 
bishop Cranmer were called for, it might not be known to the 
librarian or to the visitor that they are included among the 
publications of the Parker Society, if, as is commonly the case, 
these publications are named simply as a collection, in so many 
volumes, without designation of contents. Or, if a particular 
work of Cranmer were called for, it might not be readily 
ascertainable whether that work were included in the edition 
belonging to the library; for many collections purporting to 
be complete are only partial. Or, again, a reader might de- 
sire to consult a particular treatise, and might be sure that it 
is contained in the edition of the collected works 6f the author 
belonging to the Library, but might not know in which volume 
of the two, the ten, the twenty, or the fifty, it is to be found. 
But if the contents of every collection be specified in the cata- 
logue, such disappointments and losses of time are prevented. 

Besides the catalogue upon cards, with full titles, and the 
lists upon slips, with brief titles, from which the orders were 
made, another list or catalogue^ with short titles, upon slips, has 
been prepared, corresponding in general with the catalogue of 
the library already printed. These slips, which have been 
written with care, have furnished the exact entry to be made 
in the " Accessions Catalogue," which constitutes the chrono- 
logical record and permanent inventory of the property of the 
library. The "accessions number" is placed upon these 
slips, and the number denoting the shelf, and order of the 
book upon the shelf, will be added ; so that this set of slips 
will contain all that is necessary for a printed catalogue of 
the library, with short titles. From them such a catalogue 
might perhaps be printed, without even the labor of copying. 

The next process in the care of the books' was the classifi- 
cation of them by subjects, for their permanent location upon 
the shelves. For want of room, it has not been possible to- 

36 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 71. [Nov. 

make the division so minute as will hereafter be desirable. 
The classification of the slips, however, is complete ; the 
arrangement of the books will therefore be merely mechan- 
ical, unless it should be thought best to change the system of 

The books have all been stamped with the mark adopted for 
identifying the property of the library. The book plate has 
been inserted in nearly all of them, and the date of reception 
and the accessions number written upon the plates. 

So rapidly have the books been received, that it has not 
been found possible to make the cross references as fast as 
the cards were finished. The arrears in this particular can 
easily be brought up, as no further inspection of the books will 
be necessary. 

The only remaining processes through which these books 
must be carried are, the location of them in their permanent 
resting places; the preparation of shelf lists, on which the 
books upon each shelf are recorded, in the order in which 
they stand, and by which the librarian can ascertain the title 
and history of any book which maybe missing; and the mark- 
ing of the number of the shelf and the order of the book upon 
the book itself, the record, the slips, and the cards. 

The processes are indeed numerous through which every 
book must pass before it can be incorporated among the «se- 
ful possessions of a public library. Some of these processes 
consume much time. It has, for instance, been found by long 
experience that, on an average, not more than thirty or forty 
titles a day, or about 10,000 a year, can be accurately written 
by the most competent and diligent person. But it is gratify- 
ing to know that when this work is once done, it is done for 
all time, so far as these books are concerned. No further ex- 
amination of the books themselves will ever be necessary. The 
materials will exist, in the most available form, for the rapid 
and easy preparation and publication of any Jcind of catalogue 
which may be demanded, — with long titles or with short 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 37 

titles ; alphabetical, chronological, or classed ; with separate 
indexes of subjects, or with such indexes combined in one 
alphabet, with the authors and titles- 
Whatever form of catalogue may be the most perfect, it is 
at least satisfactory to know that there exists in manuscript, 
in a form to be readily printed, such a directory to the con- 
tents of this library as will enable any one to find what he 
searches for, if he knows but one of the following things : — 
The name of the author ; 
Any prominent word in the title of the book ; 
The subject of which the book treats ; or. 
The class of composition to which it belongs. 
If these names of persons, books, topics and classes be 
arranged in one alphabet, it would seem that every person, 
whether conversant or not with methods of learned research 
and bibliographical systems, will have every possible facility 
for ascertaining what the library possesses, and where each 
possession is located. 

I merely beg leave to add my testimony to the industry, 
fidelity and zeal which have been, manifested by those who 
have been employed upon the work of the library, under my 



38 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 71. [Nov. 



In Board of Trustees, 

Seinember 29, 1857. 

Mr. Ticknor submitted a full Report upon the manner ^n 
■which he had performed the duties intrusted to him by the 
Board during his late absence in Europe. 

Read and referred to the Committee on Books. 

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 1857, Mr. Everett, in behalf of the Com- 
mittee, submitted the Report and resolutions which follow. 

The Report was accepted, and the resolutions were adopted. 

And, thereupon, it was ordered. That the Report, with Mr. 
Ticknor's communication, be printed as an Appendix to the 
Annual Report of the Trustees to the City Council. 


EDWARD CAPEN, Secretary. 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 39 


To the Trustees of the Public Library, Boston: 

Gentlemen, — When I was about to visit Europe, fifteen 
months ago, ou business connected with the munificence of 
Mr. Bates to the Public Library, and also during my absence, 
which was protracted from June 18, 1856, to September 10, 
1857, you gave me authority, by sundry votes, to do, on your 
behalf, certain things unconnected with my principal object. 
Of the manner in which I have fulfilled your wishes and used 
your authority, I desire now to report to you. 

And, Jirst, on the 27th of May, 185G, you passed the fol- 
lowing votes: — 

Resolved, That the sum of eleven hundred pounds be placed 
at the disposal of Mr. Ticknor, during his absence in Europe, 
to be expended at his discretion for the Public Library, and 
that the President be authorized to open a credit with the 
Messrs. Barings, in favor of Mr. Ticknor, to that amount. 

And on the 3d of February, 1857, you passed the following 
vote : — 

Ordered, That all the funds of the Library in London, at 
the disposal of the Board, be placed to the order of Mr. Tick- 
nor for the purchase of books, with the exception of X50. 

Under the autliority given by these two votes, I have made 
the following disbursements, viz. : 

40 CITY DOCUMEXT.— No. 71. [Nov. 

In England, for books in the English language, £848 17 2 
In Germany, for books in various languages, 

but chiefly German, - - - - 220 4 10 
In Italy, for books in various languages, but 

chiefly Italian, 199 9 

In France, for books almost exclusively French, 514 18 5 
In Belgium, for books almost exclusively relat- 
ing to that country, - - - - 66 5 10 
Total, - ^ - - Xl,849 15 3 

Following the uniform practice of the Trustees, as the 
safest and best for the Library, I received no monies from the 
Messrs. Barings, but merely gave drafts and credits on them, 
the payments of which have already appeared, or will ap- 
pear, in the accounts of the City Treasurer, and will be found 
balanced by the aggregate amount of the invoices of books 
received at the Library. It is, therefore, only necessary to 
refer to the City Treasurer's accounts, and to the Records of 
the Library, for the details of all my doings, under the votes 
of the Trustees of May 27, 1856, and Feb. 3, 1857. I would, 
however, add that I have not exhausted the credit the last 
vote gave me. What is the precise balance in the hands of 
the Messrs. Barings cannot, indeed, be exactly determined 
until the City Treasurer receives from them the full account 
of their charges, not only on the books forwarded by me from 
different parts of Europe, but on some of those sent us by 
Mr. Bates. This balance, however, at the present moment, is 
not, I believe, less than two hundred pounds. 

Second, on the 27th of May, 1856, you passed the following 
vote : — 

Resolved, That Mr. Ticknor, during his absence in Europe, 
be authorized and recpiested to appoint such agent or agents 
as he may deem expedient for the purchase and transmission 
of books, and the transaction of any other business on the 
part of the Library. 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 41 

Without formally commissioning any agent, I have employed, 
for the service of the Library, Dr. Felix Fliigel, of Leipzig, 
and Professor Eugenio Alberi, of Florence, and have received 
propositions from Henry Tuke Parker, Esq., of London, to ren- 
der us similar services. The two first named gentlemen have, 
I think, very faithfully and judiciously fulfilled the trusts I com- 
mitted to them respectively, and I allowed them, by previous 
agreement, ten per cent., as a commission on the cash cost to 
them of the books they purchased for us, but no commission 
whatever on expenses incurred by them in. binding, packing, 
or any other way. Mr. Parker is willing to render us similar 
services on the same terms, as you will observe by his letter 
of July 28, 1857, annexed hereto; and Mr. Laugel, who has 
sent us large collections of books, by order of Mr. Bates, 
will, I doubt not, act for us, if we desire it, in Paris. These 
four persons will, I believe, prove satisfactory agents for the 
Library in the four principal book marts of Europe. Mr. 
Charles Ruelens, also. Secretary of the Royal Library at 
Brussels, and Dr. Karl Brandes, Secretary of the Royal Li- 
brary at Berlin, who afforded me efficient aid in the purchase 
of books, when I was in their cities, will, I feel sure, be kind 
and helpful to us hereafter, if we should need their assistance, 
although, from their official positions, they cannot act as our 
regular agents. But neither of these six persons, nor any 
other person in Eu^jope, has now authority from me to pur- 
chase any books on account of the Library, except Mr. Charles 
Ruelens, who has been good enough to say he will complete 
our set of the Memoirs of the Belgian Academy, — a commis- 
sion of small pecuniary amount, and not likely to be executed 
for several months, if it can be executed so soon. 

Third. On the 25th day of November, 185G, you passed 
the following vote: — 

Ordered, That the subject of international exchanges be 
referred to Mr. Ticknor, with full powers, after inquiries 

42 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 71. [Nov. 

made in Paris, to determiue whether they shall be continued 
or not, and on what conditions. 

In obedience to this vote, I put myself, on my arrival in 
Paris, at the beginning of June last, in communication with 
Mr. Alexandre Yattemare, sole agent for the exchanges re- 
ferred to by the Trustees. He declined making any specific 
arrangement for exchanges with us, or becoming in any way 
an agent of our Library, conceiving such a connection to be 
unsuitable to his position. But he expressed much interest 
in our institution, and permitted me to make such a selection 
of books for it as I could find in his collections for exchange. 
I was able to choose about fift}^ volumes, — some of them 
quite valuable, — and many numbers of the Annalcs du Com- 
merce Exterieur, of which our set is incomplete. These 
books and pamphlets have arrived here, marked with the let- 
ter Y, in an invoice of Porquet, dated August 26, 1857, as 
well as entered in a separate invoice forwarded to tlie Mayor 
of the City by Mr. Yattemare, who claims no return, though 
I hope the Trustees will make a suitable one. Under the 
circumstances of the case, it is obvious tliat no permanent 
arrangement can be made for exchanges with Mr. Yattemare; 
but it seems to me that exchanges can continue to be made 
with him, from time to time, as heretofore, so long as they 
shall be found beneficial to both parties. 

Fourth. On the 3d of February, 1857, you passed the fol- 
lowing vote : — 

Ordered, That Mr. Ticknor be authorized to purchase the 
Tozzetti Library, now on sale in Florence, provided, in his 
opinion, it shall be expedient. 

On reaching Florence, in the subsequent month of May, I 
found that the library in question liad, from a period earlier 
than the date of your vote, been oflercd to the Grand Duke 
of Tuscany, and that no negotiation in relation to its pur- 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 43 

cliasG could be entered into with any other party until his de- 
cision should be known. Moreover, after a somewhat careful 
examination of the whole collection, I thought it less valuable 
for oar purposes than, from the representations I had received, 
I had previously supposed it to be, although, at the same time, 
it seemed to me to be quite an important acquisition for Tus- 
cany, where, I apprehend, it will be retained. Still, if, from 
any circumstance, it should hereafter seem worth while fur- 
ther to consider the subject, Professor Alberi will be able to 
give the Trustees all the information they will need for their 

Without any particular vote or request from the Trustees, 
I obtained, by way of exchange, from the Royal Library at 
Brussels, a considerable number of books, which were ac- 
knowledged by them, and an equivalent ordered to be sent, 
Sept. 2, 1856; and more recently I have obtained from the 
French government about twenty important volumes, marked 
M, in Porquet's invoice of August 20, 1857, for which, I sup- 
pose, our thanks should be returned. The officers of several 
scientific societies in Germany and Italy also gave me assur- 
ance, which some of them have already fulfilled, that they 
would send us their publications ; and I have recently received 
an intimation to the same effect in relation to the Belgian 
Government, which annually prints works that it will be in- 
teresting to us to possess. No doubt, with proper exertions, 
accessions of value may be secured to the library by arrange- 
ments like those under which the present were obtained. 

It only remains for me to express my hope that what I 
have done under the votes of the Trustees above recited may 
be satisfactory to them ; and to add that I am desirous, in 
such mode as they may direct, to transfer back to them the 
balance standing to my credit, under their orders, with the 
]\Iessrs. Barings ; thus making a final adjustment of my rela- 
tions with the Public Library for whatever I may have done, 
under the authority of its Trustees, during my recent absence 

in Europe. 


Boston, 23J September, 1857. 

4-i CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 71. [Nov. 


In relation to the Report (if Mr. Tlchior. 

The Committee on tlie Pm-chase of Books, to -whom was re- 
ferred the communication of Mr. Ticknor, of the 23d Septem- 
ber, have had the same under consideration, and beg leave to 
submit the following Report: 

The aforesaid communication contains a perspicuous ac- 
count of ^Ir. Ticknor's proceedings in Europe, in execution of 
the trusts confided to him by several votes of the Trustees. 
The most important of these related to the purchase of books 
in England and on the continent, from such funds as stood to 
the credit of tlie Trustees in London, from their ordinary re- 
sources, and such as were placed at Mr. Ticknor's disposal by 
our great benefactor, Mr. Bates, in pursuance of the munifi- 
cent purpose anounced by him to the City Council the last 
year. Under the authority vested in him by their votes of 
the 27th of May, 1856, and 3rd of February, 1857, Mr. Tick- 
nor charges himself with having expended in these purchases 
the sum of .£1849 15 3. This amount corresponds with 
the sums stated in the Auditor's books, in account with the 
Messrs. Barings, and is represented by the several invoices of 
books purchased by Mr. Ticknor and received at tlie library. 

In making these purchases Mr. Ticknor had occasion to visit 
London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Florence 
and Rome, and other European cities. The Committee ex- 
press with great confidence tlie opinion that the purcliases 
have been skillfully and economically made; and that the in- 
terests of the library have been more effectually })roinoted by 
Mr. Ticknor's confidential intercourse with Mr. Bates, by his 
personal attentions and superintendence, and by his selection 

1857.] PUBLIC LIBRARY. 45 

of competent purchasing agents, than they could have been in 
any other way. 

The other subjects committed by the Board to Mr. Ticknor 
referred to tlie establishment of agents, to international ex- 
changes, and to the purchase, at his discretion, of a large li- 
brary of books in natural science, at Florence, formed by the 
Tozzetti family. Referring to Mr. Ticknor's communication 
for his proceedings in reference to these subjects, the Commit- 
tee deem it sufficient to state that those proceedings appear 
to them to have been eminently judicious, and conducive to 
the best interests of the Library. 

With this general expression of their views on the several 
subjects embraced in the communication referred to them, the 
Committee recommend the adoption of the following resolu- 

Respectfully submitted, for the Committee. 


Resolved, That the Trustees are deeply impressed with the 
importance of the services rendered by Mr. Ticknor during 
his late visit to Europe, in virtue of the authority conferred 
upon him by several votes of the Board, and that they regard 
him as entitled to the grateful thanks of the Board and of 
the community, for his disinterested and indefagitable atten- 
tion to the business of the Library, whose prosperity he had 
already done so much to promote. 

Resolved, That all the purchases and agreements made by 
Mr. Ticknor under the said votes, as set forth in his communi- 
cation, be and the same are hereby approved and confirmed by 
the Board ; and that Mr. Ticknor be requested to retransfer 
to the credit of tlie Trustees on the books of the Messrs. 
Barings the unexpended balance of the funds placed by the 
Trustees at his disposal. 

Resolved, That tlie Committee on the purchase of books be 

46 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 71. [Nov. 1857. 

authorized to expend such a sum a they may think reasonable 
in procuring books to be forwarded to M. Vattemare, in cx- 
chanf^e for those presented by him to the library. 

Resolved, That the President of the Board be requested to 
address a suitable letter of acknowledgment to the public 
authorities and learned bodies by whom donations have been 
made to the library through the intervention of Mr. Ticknor, 
and that a copy of this Report and resolutions be appended 
to the Annual Report of the Trustees.