Page:Essays in librarianship and bibliography.djvu/66

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46
ESSAYS IN LIBRARIANSHIP

brought forward by Mr. Crestadoro, the very able librarian of the Manchester Free Library, and retouched by Messrs. Jewett, Abbott, and Noyes, in the United States, has been thoroughly discussed in Mr. Cutter's masterly contribution to the American report on public libraries. Mr. Cutter, on the whole, supports the plan, whose defects he has nevertheless stated with his usual force and candour. The principal objections are the great bulk of a catalogue constructed upon such a plan, and the sacrifices of one of the principal advantages of an alphabetical classed index, the congregation of a great number of minor subjects into a grand whole. In such an index, for example, works on the liberty of the subject, Bankruptcy, Divorce, though formed into special lists, would still be found together within the covers of the same comprehensive volume on law, and, taken all together, would afford a general view of whatever existed in print upon that grand division of human knowledge. In the Dictionary Catalogue, where authors and subjects are thrown together in the same alphabetical series, this advantage would be lost; Bankruptcy would be in one part of the catalogue, Divorce in another, and a general view of the entire body of legal literature would not be available at all. The inconvenient bulk of a Dictionary Catalogue (except in the case of small libraries, and any small library may one day become a large one), would be owing to the necessity for multiplying cross-references. To take Mr. Cutter's own illustration, a treatise "On the