Page:Essays in librarianship and bibliography.djvu/41

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21
ADDRESS TO THE LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

required some one of competent ability who would go into it heart and soul, sacrifice everything else to it, and devote his whole time to it. When such a man was found in Dr. Murray it is astonishing how soon willing co-workers abounded, and how readily the mass of unorganised material already collected was got into shape. So it will be, I believe, with all co-operative schemes. They will require a head, a single directing mind. Whether this will be forthcoming for the very useful work projected by the Association, the completion of the British Museum Catalogue of early English printed books by the preparation of a supplementary catalogue of such of these books as are not in the Museum, is to me problematical, but time will show. I am, for my part, of opinion that the undertaking had better be delayed until the publication of the second edition of the Museum Catalogue, which it is intended to issue as soon as the printing of the general catalogue is complete, as this would considerably abridge the labour of preparing the supplement. I have already, in the paper read at Paris last year, expressed my opinion that the Museum Catalogue, when complete, will afford the only practicable basis for the far more important and extensive undertaking of a universal catalogue. Success in such an undertaking would indeed be the triumph of successful co-operation, but when the enormous difficulties of establishing co-operation among the libraries, not of a single country only, but of the whole civilised world,