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'amphlets and Clippings

in a

Business Library


Pamphlets and Clippings

in a

Business Library


CarnatioB Milk Products Company, Chicago


San Francisco





• « •<■


This series of articles, published first in the
Journal of Electricity, and now in pamphlet form,
was written in answer to persistent requests for
definite and reliable details of how best to arrange
pamphlets, leaflets, etc., in a business library in order
to make their valuable contents quickly available.

The subject of this pamphlet is based on the
course of instruction given by the author at the
Riverside Library Service School, Riverside, Calif.
It is not theoretical ; it is the result of the author's
experience in working out a practical method of
filing pamphlets and clippings, based on approved
principles of Library Science; it is operating with
most satisfactory results in her own and other busi-
ness libraries.

It is hoped, therefore, that the information con-
tained herein may serve as a guide to business
librarians in organizing alphabetic subject files, and
also may be of service to teachers who are giving
instruction on this subject.

V. F.
Chicago, Illinois,
February, 1921.


Copyright by

Journal of Electricity and Western Industry




Chapter 1 — Their Value When Organized for

Ready Reference 7

Where to obtain business facts

How to make pamphlet material valuable

The value of proper filing

Chapter 2 — Sources and Selection of Material 14

Periodicals and national commercial organizations

Pamphlets issued by banks

Chambers of commerce at home and abroad

Pamphlets from the United States Government

State publications

Miscellaneous sources

Selection of material

Chapter 3 — Filing Equipment Needed 30

Vertical unit cabinets

Style and quality of folders

Envelopes for clippings

Gummed name labels

Files, with and without guides

Cards and card tray cabinets

Chapter 4 — How Information Is Classified . 41

Systems of classification

Chapter 5 — The Alphabetic Subject File 45

Preparation of material

Subject headings

Marking of material

Cutter numbers

Miscellaneous folders

The catalog or card index

Filing and arrangement in folders

Elimination or discard of old material




A New York bank, in one of its recent advertise-
ments said: "Business judgment involving millions
must be founded on facts. . . . Hasty judgment
based on insufficient knowledge may cause wide-
spread disaster."

The most successful business men of today are
those who study the facts of their business, who
study their trade papers and learn what other people
are doing. It is the absence of accurate data, of
complete knowledge, of planning supported by facts
that cause disaster to enterprises that are launched
without sufficient knowledge and not founded on
facts. Any action is a gamble unless reinforced by
exhaustive information and that information must
consist, not only of precedent, but also of the experi-
ences, experiments and discoveries of others in the
specific field under consideration. A successful busi-
ness man must gather these facts from original
sources. The entire available field of information
must be raked for facts applicable to the business
needs of the individual business man or organization.


Where to Obtain Business Facts

How is the business man to obtain his facts?
Where will he obtain the latest and most authentic
information in order that he may have complete
knowledge and avoid ''hasty judgments"?

Years ago the business man depended on books
for practically all of his facts. Scientific, industrial
and financial problems were fewer than today. He
had more time to read. He had more time to study
and obtain the few facts that were needed for his
business enterprises and these facts did not alter
from hour to hour and become obsolete, as it were,
over night.

However, in the present day of swift growth
and rapid changes and when manufacturing and
commercial organizations are conducting business in
all parts of the world, the success of many enter-
prises hinges upon the character of the facts fur-
nished for guidance; and books alone, as sources of
information, cannot be depended upon because many
of them are out of date before they are printed.
Tn fact, some of them are out of date before their
authors have finished writing them. The value of
books should not, however, be depreciated, because
undoubtedly many of them are most necessary in
business; but the attention of the business man is
emphatically directed to the value of a great Niagara
of printed information that ought to be read because
it contains the advance information from which
books are made and in which will be found the accu-
rate data and the last word on business facts.


Tf not throiig-h books, how is this flood of valu-
able information being spread? It comes in the form
of pamphlets, brochures, reprints, reports, leaflets
and letters. It is to be found in the scientific and
technical journals, in the trade periodicals and in the
newspapers. There are hundreds of technical asso-
ciations, banks and commercial organizations, soci-
eties, clubs and private individuals printing and dis-
tributing information of great value on technical,
economic, financial, industrial and sociological sub-
jects that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Even in
that class of printed matter which is designed pri-
marily for advertising purposes, such as house
organs and trade catalogs, may be found valuable
experimental data, descriptions of tests and appara-
tus with diagrams and tables, that will not be found
in books.

The many and varied departments of the Fed-
eral Government are printing and distributing valu-
able information. Also the departments of the
various states and municipalities of our own and
foreign countries are printing and distributing infor-
mation on specific subjects, all of which may be had
free of cost, or for a very nominal price. Most of
this printed matter comes in pamphlet or mimeo-
graphed form. It records reliable facts and statis-
tics, summarizes laws and furnishes up-to-date infor-
mation that is needed day by day in business offices
and for which the business man cannot wait until it
gets into book form.


How to Make Pamphlet Material Valuable

Is this mass of printed material really of value ?
Most emphatically, yes, but not all of it to all busi-
ness men. Bulletins, reprints, abstracts, periodicals
and many newspapers specialize and that is what the
busy man of today requires. It is not a very rare
occurrence for a man to find in a single issue of a
trade paper an idea that is worth many times all
that he could pay for trade papers in a whole life-
time. By way of illustration: The librarian of an
engineering firm noted in a trade paper an item of
three or four lines that stated that the Geological
Survey of a certain state had issued a pamphlet on
the manufacture of water gas from bituminous coals.
With the idea that it might possibly be helpful to one
of the engineers who made a specialty of gas engi-
neering problems, he wrote to the State Geological
Survey asking for a copy of this pamphlet. When
it arrived it was sent to the engineer's desk with a
note calling his attention to it as something new
that might contain some original ideas. After exam-
ining the pamphlet, he remarked that if certain ideas
in it could be applied to a property on which he was
working, and he saw no reason why they could not,
it would mean a saving of many thousand dollars
a year.

Every business man needs to have in his organ-
ization, as this business man had, a news gatherer
who knows the interests and needs of that business
organization, and who can classify the gathered
news and make it available promptly, .while it is


news, or file the facts where they can be gotten
quickly when needed.

The Value of Proper Filing

Government documents, miscellaneous pam-
phlets, clippings from newspapers, technical and
trade periodicals, to be of use and of value must
be properly classified and filed. It is a well known
fact that many business men endeavor to keep mis-
cellaneous pamphlets, reprints and clippings in their
desk drawers, or stacked on book shelves, and when
some special facts are needed, waste much valuable
time hunting through this mass of dusty material
for the information that they think they have stored
away, or have a vague recollection that they saw
somewhere, ''not sure just where."

Business facts to be effective must be readily ac-
cessible and in such form as to be quickly compre-
hensible. This collection of informative data, these
business facts, which so often clutter up a business
man's desk, or through lack of appreciation of their
value have been thrown away, could be effective and
available on a moment's notice if correctly classified
and properly filed.

The value of a file of reference material, or
business facts, made from a careful selection of the
pamphlets, reprints and leaflets that are sent to
every business man, either unsolicited or by special
request, and a judicious selection of clippings from
newspapers and periodicals, cannot be over esti-
mated. In private offices where such files have been
established they have become one of the most essen-


tial and satisfactory tools of the business man. They
give him the facts pertinent to his business interests
in handy form, easy to consult, easy to carry about
and study, in addition to the assurance that he has
the last word on these subjects. The organization of
files of this character requires careful planning,
based on a knowledge of classification and indexing,
a knowledge of sources for collecting facts pertaining
to the task in hand and a wise discrimination in
soliciting and discarding material. To be effective
they cannot be managed in a haphazard way. Every
one in the organization should cooperate. These files
must be organized and maintained by some one who
knows and who can give them the attention that is
necessary to make them function properly.

What is the best method of filing this material,
that is, what method is most economical of time and
labor, making at the same time every little bit of
information immediately available or useful, and also
making possible the quick elimination of such ma-
terial as may be supplanted by later knowledge or
discovery ?

Binding, boxes and scrapbooks have been used
in past years with more or less success. Space does
not permit of a discussion of the various advantages
and disadvantages of these methods, especially since
the vertical file is now generally recognized as the
ideal way of handling pamphlets, clippings and office
records in general.

What is a vertical file? A vertical file is made
up of folders and guides standing upright in a
drawer, or set of drawers, and arranged in some pre-


determined order. The folders are marked by num-
ber, subject or name to indicate their contents, and
in them is dropped the printed material pertaining to
that subject or name, according to the method of
classification chosen. The advantages of the vertical
file are that they keep the contents clean, free from
dust, accommodate all sizes and shapes of pamphlets
and manuscripts, are easy to consult, provide for
speedy re-filing and "a place for everything," and
from it out-of-date material is easily and quickly dis-
carded. Such files of pamphlets and clippings are
variously designated as, "Information," ''Reference,"
"Data" and "Subject Files."



Every progressive business organization aims
not only to avoid hasty judgments but also to expand
and develop its business on a permanent basis,
explore new commercial avenues and detect the
course of competition. In order to accomplish this
end, a systematic collection of accurate business facts
must be made and intelligently used.

Periodicals and National Commercial

Every business man should keep himself in-
formed and up to date on matters that pertain to
his special business interests by reading his local
newspapers, possibly one or more out of town finan-
cial and commercial papers, and by reading the peri-
odicals of his specific trade, business, or profession.
The engineer, be he civil, electrical or mechanical,
receives the various periodicals that pertain to his
special calling; the lumber man, the oil man, the coal
man, the export man, the banker, each has his
-•special journals as do all other lines of business.

In addition to the newspapers, financial, trade
and technical periodicals, the clipping and filing of
which will be discussed in subsequent chapters, each
of these special classes of business men receives from



the technical, trade or commercial organizations to
which he belongs, bulletins, monographs and re-
prints written by authorities, and containing the
last word on processes, surveys, investigations, laws,
results reached in the thousand activities of the
world's work, and without which sources of informa-
tion the workers of today could not keep sufficiently

For example, the electrical engineer in business
reads, or his librarian reads for him, some, if not all,
of the following periodicals: the Electrical World,
the Journal of Electricity, the Electric Journal,
the General Electric Review, the Electric Railway
Journal, and the journal of his technical society, the
American Institute of Electrical Engineers. From
the national commercial association of his industry,
the National Electric Light Association, he receives
a monthly bulletin containing up-to-date facts and
figures on the electrical industry. He may also avail
himself of the small periodical entitled "Rate Re-
search," published weekly by the National Electric
Light Association, which gives all the latest commis-
sion decisions with extracts from articles on subjects
which bear upon electric rates. The National Elec-
tric Light Association also issues for his benefit the
"N. E. L. A. Rate Book," with three quarterly sup-
plements, which give him electric light and power
rates in force in all cities of 25,000 population or
over. He also receives in pamphlet form from this
association the important papers and reports of com-
mittees which are presented at the annual meetings
of the Association and which later appear in bound


volumes. All other special classes of business men
are aided in their special industries by their period-
icals and commercial associations just as the elec-
trical man is aided in his particular industry.

A fairly complete list of ''Commercial and Indus-
trial Organizations of the United States" with data
about each organization, including the address of the
secretary, revised to November 1, 1919, has been
issued by the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Com-
merce (Miscellaneous Series No. 99). It may be
purchased from the Superintendent of Documents.
Washington, D. C, for 15 cents, or may be obtained
from the local office of the Bureau of Foreign and
Domestic Commerce, established in some of the
larger cities of the United States.

References to some of the most valuable ma-
terial to be obtained for the information files is scat-
tered here and there in the text of periodicals. Lists
of pamphlets under such headings as ''New Trade
Publications" and lists of advertisers and classified
lists found among the advertising pages should not
be neglected as possible sources of value. It is
essential in a business house that the information
files be administered by a trained librarian who
knows how and where to look for material of inter-
est, and who watches for announcements of new
publications when reading periodicals and news-
papers in search of business facts.

Pamphlets Issued by Banks

Many of the banks of the United States issue
regularly very valuable bulletins containing trade


and financial information, and are most generous in
Rending their publications gratis to business houses
requesting them. Some of these banks are the fol-
lowing :

The National City Bank of New York

The National Bank of Commerce in New York

The Irving National Bank, New York

The Guaranty Trust Company of New York

The National Shawmut Bank of Boston

The National Bank of San Francisco

Most of these banks print a list of their publi-
cations which they will send to business houses from
which a selection may be made. Other banks, such
as the Continental and Commercial Banks, Chicago,
print their publications only occasionally and these
will be noted in reading the newspapers and peri-

Chambers of Commerce at Home and Abroad

The Chambers of Commerce in various cities of
'the United States, organized to promote commerce
and advertise their communities, are excellent
sources of information. Foremost among these is
the Chamber of Commerce of the United States at
Washington, D. C, which has an exceptionally fine
information bureau.

Any business organization interested in foreign
trade will find valuable sources of information in the
American Chambers of Commerce established in for-
eign countries, a list of which with addresses can be
had from the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Com-
merce, Washington, D. C, or from the branch offices


of that bureau in various cities of the United States.
These Chambers of Commerce will furnish data
pertaining to their foreign localities.

There are also foreign Chambers of Commerce
or Associations with offices in the United States,
such as, The Argentine-American Chamber of Com-
merce, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the
American-Asiatic Association, the French Chamber
of Commerce, and many others, which are prepared
to furnish trade information of their respective
countries. A list of the foreign Chambers of Com-
merce established in this country may be obtained,
with their addresses, from the Bureau of Foreign
and Domestic Commerce.

The International Chamber of Commerce,
formed in Paris in June, 1920, plans a complete and
reliable information and statistical bureau for inter-
national trade available for all interests and coun-

Pamphlets From the United States Government

The departments of the United States Govern-
ment operating through their various specialized
bureaus publish in pamphlet form or mimeograph
sheets, information that every business man should
obtain and use. To become familiar with this large
amount of pamphlet material which has been issued
and is constantly being issued is not an easy task,
and to select the pamphlets applying to a particular
business, requires a large knowledge of Government
resources, which the trained librarian can supply to
the business house.


The best method of keeping posted on what the
Government is "■;" "■'^rang is to obtain the printed
catalogs of pul.-.„:-.ns that have been issued by
the various departments and bureaus, and supple-
ment these by subscribing to the "Monthly Catalog
of Government Documents" obtainable from the
Superintendent of Documents. Wasiiington. D. C,
price 50 cents per yeai\ which records all pamphlets
issued each month by all depaiiments and commis-
sions of the Federal Government.

The following is a select list of the piinted
catalogs of the pan"iphlet material issued by the vaii-
ous depaitments and bui^eaus of the Govei-nment
which ai'e especially useful in business, and which
will guide in selecting pamphlets and tell which ones
are free for the asking and which ones must be
paid for.

Department af C<Miimerce

This department issues a yearly list of publica-
tions with a monthly list of additions. It maintains
a mailing list of i)eople who ask to have this catalog
and the monthly additions sent to them. This list
of the Depaitment of Commeixre contains the pub-
lications of its bui'eaus. three of which are of si)ecial
interest to business, namely, the Bureau of the Cen-
sus, the Bui*eau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce
and the Bureau of Standai'ds. Each of these bureaus
issues a separate list of its own publications which
may be procui'ed fi*om the bureau if desii'ed. The
catalogs of the Bui'eau of Standai'ds and the Bureau
of the Census give veiy full annotated descriptions
of the contents of theii* pamphlets, which ai'e not


given in the list issued by the Department of Com-
merce. They also record publications out of print,
but that may be seen at the Public Library, and aim
to be a complete catalog of everything that has ever
been issued by that particular bureau. They do not,
however, issue current lists of new publications, so
that the monthly supplements issued by the Depart-
ment of Commerce covering their publications are of
value. The ''Monthly Catalog of Government Docu-
ments" also covers their current publications.

Emphasis should be placed upon the value to
business men of the publications of the Bureau of
Foreign and Domestic Commerce and the Bureau of
the Census. The Bureau of Foreign and Domestic
Commerce is an indispensable source of information
for firms engaged in foreign trade, and it is also
prepared to give data of value to those engaged only
in domestic commerce. It issues ''Daily Commerce
Reports," a valuable pamphlet that contains impor-
tant financial, commercial and industrial news and
statistics gathered from all parts of the world by
the American Consular officers and Commercial
Agents of the Government. Its price is $2.50 per
year from the Superintendent of Documents. This
bureau not only furnishes printed pamphlets but also
issues advance trade information on mimeographed
sheets. From it also may be had lists of importers
in foreign countries of various American products
and manufacture.

The Bureau of the Census furnishes for busi-
ness use, statistics not only of population but also
of manufactures and special industries, and agricul-


ture in general. Statistics of cotton production and
consumption are issued frequently during each gin-
ning season, and statistics of tobacco production are
issued quarterly. It compiles, every five years, re-
ports on electric railways, electric light and power
stations, telephones and telegraph business. An ex-
amination of its catalog of publications will show
many other important s-tatistics which the business
man may use with great profit.

Geological Survey .

This department issues a yearly list of publica-
tions with a monthly list of additions, sent free on
request. Among its wide range of pamphlets of
interest to business men should be noted particularly
its statistics on mineral production and petroleum
and natural gas resources of the United States. The
petroleum statistics are issued each month on mimeo-
graphed sheets, and the Survey also issues monthly
statistics on ''Production of Electric Power and Con-
sumption of Fuel by Public Utility Power Plants in
the United States." This department of the govern-
ment is also strong in information dealing with water
power resources.

Bureau of Labor

This bureau issues a catalog of publications
semi-annually but does not issue any monthly list
of additions. These will be found, however, in the
"Monthly Catalog of Government Documents" which
has previously been mentioned, and also in its excel-
lent monthly periodical entitled ''Monthly Labor Re-
view," price $1.50 per year from the Superintendent


of Documents. This Review, in addition to articles
and statistics on industrial conditions in different
parts of the world, contains, as an appendix, a list of
references to pamphlets and books on labor questions
published in the United States and foreign countries.
The pamphlets and reports issued by this bureau
cover conditions of labor in industry, such as hours,
wages, employers' liability, also cost of living, whole-
sale prices of commodities, labor laws, etc.

Bureau of Mines

This bureau issues quarterly a new edition of
its catalog, each issue bringing the complete list up

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