Page:Essays in librarianship and bibliography.djvu/197

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LIBRARIANSHIP IN SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

agriculturist, and to whom several of his own treatises are inscribed.

The tract in which Dury published his ideas respecting the duties of a librarian is entitled "The Reformed Library Keeper; with a Supplement to the Reformed School, as subordinate to Colleges in Universities" (London, 1650). It appears with a brief preface by Samuel Hartlib, to whom the "Library Keeper" is addressed in the form of two letters, and who had already published Dury's "Reformed School," to which another portion of the tiny pamphlet is a supplement.

From the general drift of Dury's observations, it would appear that in his view, which was very probably correct, librarianship had in his day reached such a degree of development as to have become an independent profession, but not such a degree as to be a very useful one. It was necessary to have librarians, but librarians, as such, had not enough to do to constitute them very important or valuable members of the community. The remedy for this state of things was destined to come slowly, partly by increase of books, and even more by an increase of readers. We know that the profession at present finds ample employment for well-nigh all the energies of its most active members. This was far from the case in Dury's day, and being unable so to accelerate the march of intellect as to find sufficing occupation for the librarian, and at the same time hating to see a functionary potentially so important comparatively useless, he not unnaturally sought to provide him