Page:Essays in librarianship and bibliography.djvu/11

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PREFACE


The essays collected in this volume are for the most part occasional and desultory, produced in compliance with requests of friends, or the appeals of editors of bibliographical journals or organisers of library congresses, to meet some special emergency, and treating of whatever appropriate matter came readiest to hand. The most important of them, however, though composed at considerable intervals, and devoid of any conscious relation to each other, are yet united by the presence of a pervading idea, which may be defined as the importance of scientific processes as auxiliaries to library management.

It seems almost preposterous to speak of typography as a scientific process, yet such it is in its relation to the graphic art which it superseded as an agent in the production of books. It would be the merest surplusage to advocate the application of printing to any class of manuscript books but one; and that, strangely enough, is the book of books, the catalogue. When it is considered how few of the great libraries of Europe have as yet managed to get their catalogues printed, and

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