Page:Essays in librarianship and bibliography.djvu/239

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CLASSIFYING BOOKS AT BRITISH MUSEUM

the Oriental departments of the collection, the Grenville library, and the reference-library of the reading-room.

Such is, in its main features, the system of book-press arrangement which I have undertaken to describe. I have no fear but that it will be pronounced in essentials logical and philosophical. It has undoubtedly proved eminently convenient in practice. That it should be open to revision on some points is inevitable from the nature of things, and from two circumstances more especially—its gradual development as subject after subject was added to the library, and the degree in which it represents the idiosyncrasy of a single mind. Some minor oversights must be admitted. Geology, for example, should unquestionably have preceded Botany. I venture more extensive criticisms with hesitation, yet I cannot help remarking that I perceive no valid reason for the severance of so manifest a branch of History as Biography from the parent stem by the intrusion of the entire department of Geography; while it appears to me that the Useful Arts would have formed, through Domestic Economy, a more natural sequel to Medicine than Fine Art, and in arranging the latter department I should have assigned the last instead of the first place to Archaeology and its allied subjects. Forensic Medicine might also have been conveniently placed at the end of Law, to connect that subject with Natural Science. I should further feel much inclined to form a class for Encyclopædias immediately after Philology; both because