A Dictionary of Hymnology/Preface to the Second Edition

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Since the publication of this Dictionary of Hymnology in 1892, hymnologioal studies have made great strides in many directions, and interest therein has led to the issue of many works on hymns and hymn-writers. Some of these productions are of an elementary character, others are of striking value, and all bear witness to the catholicity and importance of this branch of sacred study.

2. In addition numerous Hymn Books of an official, quasi-official, and un-denominational character have been published in various countries, especially in Great Britain and America. These collections contain matter hitherto unknown to the general public, the authorship, origin, and history of which are regarded as of supreme importance by the hymnological student, and of general interest to the Christian Church in all lands.

3. Fifteen years have also made great inroads in the ranks of Authors and Translators, and brought into prominence many hymn-writers and others whose work is of a valuable and enduring character.

4. When, therefore, the original edition of this Dictionary was exhausted in 1904, it was decided that, instead of issuing a reprint from the stereotyped plates as a second edition, advantage should be taken of the opportunity to revise the whole work, and to bring it up to date.

5. Although the book was stereotyped after the printing of the first Edition, yet the few errors in names and dates which were discovered in the text have been corrected and a certain amount of new matter has been added.

6. The most valuable and important part of the new Edition, however, is the New Supplement, in which are embodied many new features. In this the contents of the principal hymnals which have been issued during the past fifteen years are annotated; biographical notices of Authors and Translators are given; the history of National and Denominational hymnody has been extended to the present time; and new Indices have been included. The subject-matter contained herein has been arranged to secure the greatest amount of information in the least possible space. To insure success in the use of this work the student should refer, in the first instance, to pp. 1–1306; 1525–1597; and 1599–1729, and consult them in alphabetical order. Failing to find what he requires he must pass on to the Cross Reference Indices: for First Lines, to pp. 1307–1504; and 1730–1760: and for Authors and Translators, to pp. 1505–1521; and 1761–1768.

7. The task of amassing the information necessary for fulness of detail and accuracy has been great, but it has been lightened considerably by the aid given, willingly and cheerfully, by a large body of correspondents, to whom personal acknowledgment has been made for their generous assistance.

8. It is again a privilege and a duty to record with gratitude the-co-operation of the Contributors whose signatures are appended to their respective articles, amongst whom the Rev. James Mearns, M.A., the Assistant Editor, is the most important. His minute and careful research in all departments of hymnological literature has greatly enriched the New Supplement, and contributed much towards its general accuracy and fulness of detail.

Topcliffe Vicarage,
July, 1907.