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The Book-Lover's Library.

Edited by

Henry B. Wheatley, F.S.A.








T will be generally allowed that
a handy guide to the formation
of libraries is required, but it
may be that the difficulty of doing justice
to so large a subject has prevented those
who felt the want from attempting to
fill it. I hope therefore that it will not
be considered that I have shown temerity
by stepping into the vacant place. I can-
not hope to have done full justice to so
important a theme in the small space at
my disposal, but I think I can say that
this little volume contains much informa-
tion which the librarian and the book
lover require and cannot easily obtain



vi Preface.

elseivhere. They are probably acquainted
with most of this information, but the
memory will fail us at times and it is
then convenient to have a record at hand.

A book of this character is peculiarly
open to criticism, bat I hope tlte critics
will give me credit for knowing more
than I have set down. In making a list
of books of reference, I have had to make
a selection, and works have been before
me that I have decided to omit, although
some would think them as important as
many of those I have included.

I need .not extend this preface with
any lengthy explanation of the objects
of the book, as these are stated in the
Introduction, but before concluding I may
perhaps be allowed to allude to one personal
circumstance. I had hoped to dedicate
this first volume of the Book Lover's

Preface. vii

Library to Henry Bradshaw, one of the
most original and most learned biblio-
graphers that ever lived, but before it
was finished the spirit of that great man
had passed away to the inexpressible
grief of all who knew him. It is with
no desire to shield myself under the shelter
of a great name, but ' with a reverent
wish to express my own sense of our
irreparable loss that I dedicate this book
(though all unworthy of the honour) to
his memory. .


-^[email protected]^-


LTHOUGH there can be little
difference of opinion among book
lovers as to the need of a Hand-
book which shall answer satisfactorily the
question "How to Form a Library" it
does not follow that there will be a like
agreement as to the best shape in which to
put the answer. On the one side a string
of generalities can be of no use to any one,
and on the other a too great particularity
of instruction may be resented by those who
only require hints on a few points, and feel
that they know their own business better
than any author can tell them.

One of the most important attempts to
direct the would-be founder of a Library

2 How to Form a Library.

in his way was made as long ago as 1824
by Dr. Dibdin, and the result was entitled
The Library Companion} The book could
never have been a safe guide, and now it is
hopelessly out of date. Tastes change, and
many books upon the necessity of possessing
which Dibdin enlarges are now little valued.
Dr. Hill Burton writes of this book as follows
in his Book-Hunter: "This, it will be ob-
served, is not intended as a manual of rare
or curious, or in any way peculiar books,
but as the instruction of a Nestor on the best
books for study and use in ail departments
of literature. Yet one will look in vain
there for such names as Montaigue, Shaftes-
bury, Benjamin Franklin, D'Alembert, Tur-
got, Adam Smith, Malebranche, Lessjng,,
Goethe, Schiller, Fenelon, Burke, Kant,
Richter, Spinoza, Flechier, and many
others. Characteristically enough, if you
turn up Rousseau in the index, you will find
Jean Baptiste, but not Jean Jacques. You

1 " The Library Companion, or the Young Man's
Guide and the Old Maris Contort in the Choice oL
a Library. By the Rev. T. F. Dibdin, F.R.S., A.S.,
London, 1824."

Introduction. 3

will search in vain for Dr. Thomas Reid
the metaphysician, but will readily find
Isaac Reed the editor. If you look for
Molinseus, or Du Moulin, it is not there,
but alphabetical vicinity gives you the good
fortune to become acquainted with " Moule,
Mr., his Bibliotheca Heraldica." The name
of Hooker will be found, not to guide the
reader to the Ecclesiastical Polity, but to
Dr. Jackson Hooker's Tour in Iceland.
Lastly, if any one shall search for Hartley
on Man, he will find in the place it might
occupy, or has reference to, the editorial
services of ' Hazlewood, Mr. Joseph.' "

Although this criticism is to a great ex-
tent true, it does not do justice to Dibdin's
book, which contains much interesting and
valuable matter, for if the Library Companion
is used not as a Guide to be followed, but
as a book for reference, it will be found of
considerable use.

William Goodhugh's English Gentleman's
Library Manual, . or .a Guide to the Forma-
tion of a Library of Select Literature, was
published in 1827. It contains classified

4 How to Form a Library.

lists of library books, but these are not now
of much value, except for the notes which
accompany the titles, and make this work
eminently readable. There are some liter-
ary anecdotes not to be found elsewhere.

A most valuable work of reference is Mr.
Edward Edwards's Report on the formation
of the Manchester Free Library, which was
printed in 185 1. It is entitled, "Librarian's
First Report to the Books Sub-Committee on the
Formation of the Library , June 30, 1851, with
Lists of Books suggested for purchase." The
Lists are arranged in the following order:

1. Works collective and miscellaneous

of Standard British authors ; with
a selection of those of the Standard
authors of America.

2. Works relative to the History, Topo-

graphy, and Biography of the United
Kingdom, and of the United States
of America.

3. Works relative to Political Economy,

Finance, Trade, Commerce, Agricul-
ture, Mining, Manufactures, Inland
Communication, and Public Works.

Introduction. 5

4. Works relating to Physics, Mathe-

matics, Mechanics, Practical Engin-
eering, Arts, and Trades, etc.

5. Voyages and Travels.

6. Works on Zoology, Botany, Minera-

logy, and Geology.

7. Periodical Publications and Transac-

tions of Learned Societies (not
included in Lists 2, 3, or 6), Col-
lections, Encyclopaedias, Gazetteers,
Atlases, Dictionaries, Bibliographies,
Indexes, etc.
These draft lists include 4582 distinct
works, extending to about 12,438 volumes,
including pamphlets, but exclusive of 553
Parliamentary Papers and Reports, or Blue
Books. Such a practically useful collection
of lists of books will not easily be found

Mr. Edwards gives some rules for the
formation of Libraries in the second volume
of his Memoirs of Libraries (p. 629), where
he writes, " No task is more likely to strip
a man of self-conceit than that of having
to frame, and to carry out in detail a plan

6 How to Form a Library.

for the formation of a large Library. When
he has once got beyond those departments
of knowledge in which his own pursuits
and tastes have specially interested him,
the duty becomes a difficult one, and the
certainty, that with his best efforts, it will
be very imperfectly performed is embar-
rassing and painful. If, on the other hand,
the task be imposed upon a 'Committee,'
there ensues almost the certainty that its
execution will depend at least as much on
chance as on plan : that responsibility will
be so attenuated as to pass off in vapour;
and that the collection so brought together
will consist of parts bearing but a chaotic
sort of relation to the whole."

Mr. Henry Stevens printed in 1853 his
pretty little book entitled Catalogue of my
English Library, which contains a very use-
ful selection of Standard books. In his
Introduction the author writes, " It was my
intention in the outset not to exceed 4000
volumes, but little by little the list has
increased to 5751 volumes. I have been
considerably puzzled to know what titles

Introduction. 7

to strike out in my next impression, being
well aware that what is trash to one person
is by no means such to another; also that
many books of more merit than those ad-
mitted have been omitted. You may not
think it difficult to strike out twenty authors,
and to add twenty better ones in their place,
but let me relate to you a parable. I re-
quested twenty men, whose opinions on the
Literary Exchange are as good as those
of the Barings or the Rothschilds on the
Royal, each to expunge twenty authors and
to insert twenty others of better standing
in their places, promising to exclude in my
next impression any author who should
receive more than five votes. The result
was, as may be supposed, not a single ex-
pulsion or addition."

In 1855 Mons. Hector Bossange pro-
duced a companion volume, entitled Ma
Bibliotheque Franqaise. It contains a select
list of about 7000 volumes, and is com-
pleted with Indexes of Subjects, Authors,
and Persons.

For helpful Bibliographical Guides we

8 How to Form a Library.

often have to look to the United States,
and we do not look in vain. A most use-
ful Handbook, entitled The Best Reading,
was published in 1872 by George P. Putman,
and the work edited by F. B. Perkins is
now in its fourth edition. 1 The books are
arranged in an alphabet of subjects, and the
titles are short, usually being well within a
single line. A very useful system of appraise-
ment of the value of the books is adopted.
Thus : a, means that the book so marked is
considered the book, or as good as any, at a
moderate cost ; b means, in like manner, the
best of the more elaborate or costly books
on the subject. In the department of
Fiction, a more precise classification has
been attempted, in which a general idea

1 The Best Reading : Hints on the Selection of
Books ; on the Formation of Libraries, Public and
Private ; on Courses of Reading, etc., with a Classified
Bibliography for every reference. Fourth revised and
enlarged edition, continued to August, 1876, with the
addition of Select Lists of the best French, German,
Spanish, and Italian Literature. Edited by Frederic
Beecher Perkins ; New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1
1881. Second Series, 1876 to 1882, by Lynds E.

Introduction. g

of the relative importance of the authors is
indicated by the use of the letters a, b, and
c, and of the relative value of their several
works by the asterisks * and **/'

Having noted a few of the Guides which
are now at hand for the use of the founders
of a library, we may be allowed to go back
somewhat in time, and consider how our
predecessors treated this same subject, and
we can then conclude the present Intro-
duction with a consideration of the less
ambitious attempts to instruct the book
collector which may be found in papers
and articles.

One of the earliest works on the for-
mation of a library was written by Bishop
Cardona, and published at Tarragona in
1587, in a thin volume entitled De regia
S. Laureniii Bibliotheca. De Pontificia
Vaticana [etc.].

Justus Lipsius wrote his De Bibliothecis
Syntagma at the end of the sixteenth
century, and next in importance we come
to Gabriel Naud6, who published one of
the most famous of bibliographical essays.

io How to Form a Library.

The first edition was published at Paris in
1627, and the second edition in 1644. This
was reprinted in Paris by J. Liseux in 1876
" Advis pour dresser tine Bibliotheque, presente
a Monseigneur le President de Mesme, par
G. Naude P. Paris, chez Francois Farga,

This essay was translated by John Evelyn,
and dedicated to Lord Chancellor Claren-
don. " Instructions concerning erecting of
a Library ; Presented to My Lord the
President De Mesme. By Gabriel Nau-
deus P., and now interpreted by Jo. Evelyn,
Esquire, London, 1661."

Naude enlarges on the value of Catalogues,
and recommends the book-buyer to make
known his desires, so that others may help
him in the search, or supply his wants. He
specially mentions two modes of forming a
library ; one is to buy libraries entire, and
the other is to hunt at book-stalls. He
advised the book-buyer not to spend too
much upon bindings.

Naude appears to have been a born
librarian, for at the early age of twenty

Introduction. 1 1

the President De Mesme appointed him to
take charge of his library. He left his em-
ployer in 1626, in order to finish his medical
studies. Cardinal Bagni took him to Rome,
and when Bagni died, Naud6 became librarian
to Cardinal Barberini. Richelieu recalled
him to Paris in 1642, to act as his librarian,
but the Minister dying soon afterwards,
Naud6 took the same office under Mazarin.
During the troubles of the Fronde, the
librarian had the mortification of seeing the
library which he had collected dispersed ;
and in consequence he accepted the offer
of Queen Christina, to become her librarian
at Stockholm. Naude was not happy abroad,
and when Mazarin appealed to him to
reform his scattered library, he returned
at once, but died on the journey home at
Abbeville, July 29, 1653.

The Mazarin Library consisted of more
than 40,000 volumes, arranged in seven
rooms filled from top to bottom. It was
rich in all classes, but more particularly in
Law and Physic. Naude described it with
enthusiasm as "the most beautiful and best

12 How to Form a Library.

furnished of any library now in the world,
or that is likely (if affection does not much
deceive me) ever to be hereafter." Such
should be a library in the formation of
which the Kings and Princes and Ambas-
sadors of Europe were all helpers. Naude"
in another place called it " the work of
my hands and the miracle of my life."
Great therefore was his dejection when
the library was dispersed. Of this he
said, " Beleeve, if you please, that the
ruine of this Library will be more care-
fully marked in all Histories and Calendars,
than the taking and sacking of Constan-
tinople." Naud6's letter on the destruction
of the Mazarin Library was published in
London in 1652, and the pamphlet was re-
printed in the Harleian Miscellany. "News
from France, or a Description of the Library
of Cardinall Mazarini, before it was utterly
ruined. Sent in a letter from G. Naudasus,
Keeper of the Publick Library. London,
Printed for Timothy Garthwait, 1652." 4to.
4 leaves.

In 1650 was published at London, by

Introduction. 1 3

Samuel Hartlib, a little book entitled, "The
Reformed Librarie Keeper, with a Supplement
to the Reformed School, as Subordinate to
Colleges in Universities. By John Durie.
London, William Du-Gard, 1650." 1

John Durie's ideas on the educational
value of Libraries and the high function of
the Librarian are similar to those enunci-
ated by Carlyle, when he wrote, " The true
University of these days is a Collection of
Books." Of this point, as elaborated in
the proposal to establish Professorships of
Bibliography, we shall have something more
to say further on.

It is always interesting to see the views
of great men exemplified in the selection of
books for a Library, and we may with ad-
vantage study the lists prepared by George
III. and Dr. Johnson. The King was a
~OTttector of the first rank, as is evidenced
by his fine library, now in the British

1 Dr. Richard Garnett read an interesting paper on
this book under the title of Librarianship in the
Seventeenth Century, before the Library Association.
See Library Chronicle, vol. i. p. I (1884).

14 How to Form a Library.

Museum, and he knew his books well.
When he was about to visit Weymouth, he
wrote to his bookseller for the following
books to be supplied to him to form a closet
library at that watering place. The list was
written from memory, and it was printed by
Dibdin in his Library Companion, from the
original document in the King's own hand-
writing :

The Holy Bible. 2 vols. 8vo. Cambridge.
New Whole Duty of Man. 8vo.
The Annual Register. 25 vols. 8vo.
The History of England, by Rapin. 2 1

vols. 8vo. 1757.
Elemens de l'Histoire de France, par

Millot. 3 vols. i2mo. 1770.
Siecle de Louis XIV., par Voltaire. 1 2mo.
Siecle de Louis XV., par Voltaire, nmo.
Commentaries on the Laws of England,
by Sir William Blackstone. 4 vols.
8vo. Newest Edition.
The Justice of the Peace and Parish

Officer, by R. Burn. 4 vols. 8vo.
An Abridgement of Samuel Johnson's
Dictionary. 2 vols. 8vo.

Introduction. 1 5

Dictionnaire Francois et Anglois, .par

M. A. Boyer. 8vo.
The Works of the English Poets, by Sam.

Johnson. 68 vols. 1 2mo.'
A Collection of Poems, by Dodsley, Pearch,

and Mendez. 1 1 vols. nmo.
A Select Collection of Poems, by J.

Nichols. 8 vols. i2mo.
Shakespeare's Plays, by Steevens.
CEuvres de Destouches. 5 vols. i2mo.
The Works of Sir William Temple. 4

vols. 8vo.
The Works of Jonathan Swift. 24 vols.

Dr. Johnson recommended the following
list of books to the Rev. Mr. Astle, of Ash-
bourne, Derbyshire, as a good working
collection :

Rollin's Ancient History.
Universal History (Ancient).
Puffendorf's Introduction to History.
Vertot's History of the Knights of Malta.
Vertot's Revolutions of Portugal.
Vertot's Revolutions of Sweden.
Carte's History of England.

1 6 How to Form a Library.

Present State of England.

Geographical Grammar.

Prideaux's Connection.

Nelson's Feasts and Fasts.

Duty of Man.

Gentleman's Religion.

Clarendon's History.

Watts's Improvement of the Mind.

Watts's Logick.

Nature Displayed.

Lowth's English Grammar.

Blackwall on the Classicks.

Sherlock's Sermons.

Burnet's Life of Hale.

Dupin's History of the Church.

Shuckford's Connection.

Law's Serious Call.

Walton's Complete Angler.

Sandys' s Travels.

Sprat's History of the Royal Society.

England's Gazetteer.

Goldsmith's Roman History.

Some Commentaries on the Bible.
It is curious to notice in both these lists how
many of the books are now quite superseded.

Introduction. 1 7

In another place Boswell tells us what
were Johnson's views on book collecting.
"When I mentioned that I had seen in the
King's Library sixty-three editions of my
favourite Thomas d Kempis, amongst which
it was in eight languages, Latin, German,
French, Italian, Spanish, English, Arabick,
and Armenian, he said he thought it un-
necessary to collect many editions of a boot,
which were all the same, except as to the
paper and print ; he would have the original,
and all the translations, and all the editions
which had any variations in the text. He
approved of the famous collection of editions
of Horace by Douglas, mentioned by Pope,
who is said to have had a closet filled with
them ; and he said every man should try to
collect one book in that manner, and present
it to a Publick Library."

Dr. Johnson's notion as to the collection
of editions which are alike except in the
point of paper is scarcely sound, but it has
been held by a "librarian of the present day,
as I know to my cost. On one occasion
I was anxious to see several copies of the

1 8 How to Form a Library.

first folio of Shakespeare (1623), and I visited
a certain library which possessed more than
one. The librarian expressed the opinion
that one was quite sufficient for me to see,
as "they were all alike."

The possessor of a Private Library can act
as a censor morum and keep out of his collec-
tion any books which offend against good
morals, but this role is one which is unfit for
the librarian of a Public Library. He may
put difficulties in the way of the ordinary
reader seeing such books, but nevertheless
they should be in his library for the use of
the student. A most amusing instance of
misapplied zeal occurred at the Advocates'
Library on the 27th June, 1754. The Minutes
tell the tale in a way that speaks for itself and
requires no comment. " Mr. James Burnet
[afterwards Lord Monboddo], and Sir David
Dalrymple [afterwards Lord Hailes], Cura-
tors of the Library, having gone through some
accounts of books lately bought, and finding
therein the three following French books :
Les Contes de La Fontaine, L 1 Histove Amour-
euse dcs Gauks and L'Fcumoire, they ordain

In troduction . 1 9

that the said books be struck out of the
Catalogue of the Library, and removed from
the shelves, as indecent books, unworthy of
a place in a learned Library."

At a Conference of Representatives of
Institutions in Union with the Society of
Arts held in July, 1885, the question of the
compilation of a Catalogue of Books fitted
for the Libraries of Institutions was raised,
and shortly afterwards was published, under
the sanction of the Council, "A Handbook of
Mechanics' Institutions, tvith Priced Catalogue
of Books suitable for Libraries, and Period-
icals for Reading Rooms, by W. H. J. Traice."
A second edition of this book was published
in 1863. The list, however, is not now of
much use, as many of the books have been
superseded. Theology and Politics are not
included in the classification.

In 1 868 Mr. Mullins read a paper before
a Meeting of the Social Science Association
at Birmingham, on the management of Free
Libraries, and, in its reprinted form, this has
become a Handbook on the subject: "Free
Libraries and News-rooms, their Formation

20 Hozu io Form a Library.

and Management. By J. D. Mullins, Chief
Librarian, Birmingham Free Libraries.
Third edition. London, Sotheran and Co.,
1879." An appendix contains copies of the
Free Libraries Acts and Amendments, and
a " Short List of Books for a Free Lending
Library, ranging in price from is. to ~js. 6d.
per volume."

Mr. Axon read a paper on the Formation
of Small Libraries intended for the Co-
operative Congress in 1869, which was
reprinted as a pamphlet of eight pages :
" Hints on the Formation of Small Libraries
intended for Public Use. By Wm. E. A. Axon.
London, N. Triibner and Co."

Mr. A. R. Spofford has given a valuable
list of books and articles in periodicals,
on the subject of Libraries in chapter 36
(Library Bibliography), of the Report on
Public Libraries in the U.S. (1876).

The volume of Transactions and Proceed-
ings of the Conference of Librarians, London,
1877, contains two papers on the Selection
of Books, one by Mr. Robert Harrison,
Librarian of the London Library, and the

Introduction. 2 1

other by the late Mr. James M. Anderson,
Assistant Librarian of the University of St.
Andrews. Mr. Harrison gives the following
as the three guiding principles of selection
in forming a library : i. Policy; 2. Utility;
3. Special or Local Appropriateness; and
he deals with each successively. Mr.
Anderson writes 'that "the selection of
books should invariably be made (1) in
relation to the library itself, and (2) in
relation to those using it."

We have chiefly to do with the formation
of libraries, and therefore the use made of
them when they are formed cannot well be
enlarged upon here, but a passing note
may be made on the proposal which
has been much discussed of late years,
viz. that for Professorships of Books and
Reading. The United States Report on
Public Libraries contains a chapter on this
subject by F. B. Perkins and William
Matthews (pp. 230-251), and Mr. Axon also
contributed a paper at the First Annual
Meeting of the Library Association. The
value of such chairs, if well filled, is self-

22 How to Form a Library.

evident, for it takes a man a long time
(without teaching) to learn how best to
use books, but very special men would be
required as Professors. America has done
much to show what the duties of such a
Professor should be, and Harvard College
is specially fortunate in possessing an officer
in Mr. Justin Winsor who is both a model
librarian and a practical teacher of the art
of how best to use the books under his


How Men have Formed Libraries.

S long as books have existed there
have been book collectors. It is
easy now to collect, for books of in-
terest are to be found on all sides ; but in old
times this was not so, and we must therefore
admire the more those men who formed their
libraries under the greatest difficulties. In
a book devoted to the formation of libraries
it seems but fair to devote some space to
doing honour to those who have formed
libraries, and perhaps some practical lessons
may be learned from a few historical facts.

Englishmen may well be proud of Richard
Aungerville de Bury, a man occupying a
busy and exalted station, who not only
collected books with ardour united with

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