Page:Essays in librarianship and bibliography.djvu/132

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112
ESSAYS IN LIBRARIANSHIP

throughout the civilised world would be ready, upon receiving a copy of the republished Museum Catalogue, to supplement its deficiencies by furnishing the titles of such of their own books as are not to be found there. We must establish a central committee or committees to take charge of such titles, to cancel the innumerable duplicates, to reduce the others to approximate conformity with the rules on which the basis catalogue has been executed. We must have learned to what extent pecuniary assistance to small or over-worked libraries may be necessary, and have considered how to provide it. We must have determined whether the General Catalogue is to embrace that of the Museum or to be merely supplementary, and in either case have framed some estimate of the probable expense, and of the means of meeting it. We must have decided some important questions, as, for instance, whether pamphlets, newspapers, public documents, should be included, whether oriental books, to what extent cross-references should be allowed, if admitted at all. These points and many others cannot be settled without active intercommunication among librarians, and when I consider the attendant difficulties I own I am not sanguine that the project will have matured by the time that the Museum Catalogue is in print.

When, however, the difficulties of organisation have been at length overcome, when the Museum Catalogue is actually in the hands of the directors of all important libraries, and the task of supplying