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Observations on the plans for the new library, etc. online

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convertible into temporary Museums, nor even into Lecture
Rooms, in consequence of their insufficient lighting, which
we have had occasion to notice before. Again, the portion
of the Library above these rooms extending upon a central
line for 185 feet, would abutt obliquely upon the present
Library, if completed as proposed, and even if terminated
with the Geological Museum, it would render the proper
junction of the old and new floors and cielings (in conse-
quence of settlements which are experienced in all new
buildings) extremely difficult and embarrassing. The same
difficulty would present itself at the other extremity like-
wise ; for in neither case is there any natural break in
the character of the Architecture, which would render
any small variation of level at the juncture of the parts
insensible, and therefore unimportant.

Such a Library terminated in the manner described,
would at least look extremely awkward, until the whole
was completed, and it could only be approached by a
temporary staircase from the present Library, whilst it
existed, and by another from the Court, or from the north-
west corner, during the process of its re-building. The
whole undertaking in fact, would lead to a great number
of temporary arrangements, which would add very greatly
to the expense, and be productive of the most serious in-

* Thus, the portion of .the Mineralogical Museum if completed as pro-
posed, must be emptied of all its contents, and its cases removed, before the
entire room could be finished, when the present Library is re-built. If the
Schools of Divinity and Arts were attempted to be fitted up for Museums or
for any other purposes different from their final destination, they must be
despoiled in a similar manner. There would be no entrance to the Court,
(unless by destroying the present School of Arts,) except that from
King's College, which is not under the controul of the University. The
Library, the Rooms for the Librarian and for the Syndics of the Library,
could only t be entered by external and temporary staircases, during the whole
period of re-building the present Library, and the use of the two last of them,
must be almost necessarily abandoned. In fact, there would be no prospect,


The length of the Library which would be completed
in Mr. Cockerell's plan, would be upon a central line
276 feet, including the whole of the west Library and also
the whole of the north Library except the octagonal room
at the north-east corner. They would both of them ter-
minate in parts marked by a natural break and transition
in the Architecture,* and would present a character of com-
pleteness, which would be altogether wanting in Mr. Rick-
man's plan. It would very easily likewise accommodate
all the books in the present Library ;t and inasmuch as it
is furnished with rooms for the Librarian and Syndics, and
a permanent staircase, it would in every respect serve the
purposes of the University for the very considerable interval
of time, which might possibly elapse between the com-
pletion of the first and the second parts of the design.

From what source however must the funds be derived
for the completion of the first and most essential part of

in the course of ten years at least, of making any material and permanent
addition to the present accommodation of the University, beyond the two
Lecture Rooms and the Geological Museum.

* The cieling in Mr. Cockerell's plan forms domical compartments,
extending over two sets of cases and two pairs of external windows. They
are connected by circular arches or bands, forming thereby a marked transition
in the Architecture : they are less subject likewise to any lateral subsidence,
in consequence of each pair of coupled columns from which the adjoining
domes spring, having a common support, and therefore in a great measure
a common settlement. It is for these reasons, that this Library might be
completed by successive domes, in any manner which might be deemed
convenient ; and the pilasters in the external Architecture, would present
so many successive resting places, by which the junction of the old and
new parts would be entirely masked.

+ This portion of the Library, if completed as proposed, with the galleries
and the low cases in each class, (which their great width of 12 feet would
allow) would hold above 150,000 volumes, allowing 130 square feet to 1000
volumes. It would not only hold therefore the whole of the books of the
present Library (about 100,000 volumes) but likewise the additions which
would be made to them during the next 10 years. The portion of Mr. Rick-
man's Library which is proposed to be completed, would not hold, upon the
same calculation, more than 90,000 volumes ; and it would be extremely
difficult, if not impossible, to stow away into it, with any due regard to their
arrangement or classification, the books in the present Library, during the
time of its re-building.


this plan ? The question is one of great importance, and
of no small difficulty ; and the answer to it requires a very
careful and a very cautious enquiry.

The estimate given by Mr. Cockerell for the first part
of his plan is 25,700; though I fully believe it to have
been most cautiously made, we will suppose that it may
extend, in order to meet various and incidental changes
and charges, to 29,000, or 30,000. To this sum must be
added 7000. for fittings of the Library and of the Museums,
making in all 37,000 ; and the question is, in what manner
is this sum to be raised?

A report of a Syndicate made in the month of April
last, made the disposable capital of the University about
13,000. after all claims upon it were satisfied, and after
leaving a balance of 5,000. (exclusive of a great amount
of bills not due,) in the hands of the Vice- Chancellor, for
the purpose of carrying on the ordinary business of the
University. And it appeared from the Report of a former
Syndicate, which was appointed to inquire into the income
and expenditure of the University, that the excess of the
income above the ordinary expenditure was about 2500.
It was expected however that this excess would speedily
become much greater, in consequence of the increased activity
and capabilities of the Public Press, the trading profits of
which form the great source of the income of the University.
It would not therefore be unreasonable to suppose that the
sum which could be safely allowed trom the University
chest, would be 12,000. at the commencement of the
work at Midsummer 1831, and an additional 5000. before
its completion in 1833. And it would follow therefore, that
20,000. at least must be provided by extraordinary means.

Various plans have been proposed for this purpose,
and amongst others, an appropriation of the funds of the
Library which were provided by a Grace of the Senate
in 1825. In order to form a proper opinion of the ex-
pediency of this plan, it will be necessary to commence
with a short enquiry into the amount and nature of all
the existing funds for the use of the Library, and into the
manner in which they are expended.

There is the Worts' fund, which is the variable surplus
of several specific trusts, the average amount of which
has been, of late years, nearly 500 : it is expended entirely
under the direction and controul of Worts' trustees, and has
been appropriated by them generally to the purchase of
books on Natural History, or works of a splendid and costly

There is the Rustat fund, the income of which is nearly
200. per annum, which is under the controul of Trustees,
who are directed to purchase choice books, which are not
to be allowed to go out of the Library. It has not been
applied to the uses of the Library for several years, nor
will it be so, until a considerable debt, incurred by the
anticipation of its receipts, has been repaid. I am not
aware at what period it will come into operation again.

There is the Manistre fund of 150. per annum or nearly,
the produce of 5,000. stock, lately left by the Rev. Mr. Ma-
nistre of King's College, for the use of the Public Library ;
this is now available for the purchase of complete sets of
books only.

There is the fund which arises from the contribution
of 1*. 6d. quarterly, by every M ember of the University,
{Sizars excepted) resident or non-resident, whose name is
upon the boards of any college: it last year produced the
sum of 1450. 10*. and its amount is slowly increasing
from year to year, with the increase of the number of
Members of the University.

When this fund was established by a Grace of the Senate,
it was expressly stipulated that the salaries of the Librarian,
Library Keepers and of the London Agents, together with
the expences of repairs and new cases, amounting to nearly
650. per annum, should continue to be paid out of the
University chest. And it was also expressly stated that
the whole proceeds of this fund, should be applied to the
purchase and binding of books.

The expences of binding books, amounting to nearly
250. per annum, and of the purchase of foreign journals and
periodical publications, amounting to nearly 200. per annum,
had been previously defrayed from the University chest ; the


additional fund therefore which was thus provided for the
Library, was about 1000. per annum, the University
chest being benefited therefore, indirectly, to the extent
of nearly ,450. annually. It is now two years since the
Vice-Chancellor began to deduct 500. per annum from this
sum, leaving the Library benefited therefore by the Grace
of 1825, to the extent of 500. per annum only * ; and it is
proposed by some persons to appropriate this sum likewise
for several years to come, to the general fund for re-building
and enlarging the Library. Before this is allowed to be
done, however, it will be proper to consider its consequences,
both as regards the Library itself, and the general con-
venience of the Members of the University.

It appears that more than 200. annually is expended
in the purchase of foreign periodical publications, and it
is said to require at least 400. more to supply the Library
annually with the most valuable part of the current
literature of the continent of Europe and America. If
to these sums be added 250. for binding, there would
be a deficiency of 400. annually, in case the second pro-
posal was acceded to; and inasmuch as the disposal of all
other funds, excepting that of Mr. Manistre, is limited
by the conditions of the bequests, or placed beyond the
immediate controul of the Librarian, such purchases how-
ever necessary and important, must be in a great measure

Those persons who like myself have experienced the full
benefit of possessing the power of an immediate reference to
the most valuable literature of the day, whether domestic or
foreign, and who can procure, through the watchful exer-
tions of the Librarian, whatever works may be required
for a specific enquiry or research, would feel most sensibly
the inconveniences which would result from the proposed
appropriation of this fund to purposes foreign to its
original destination : and it is no sufficient answer to say,
that this diversion of the ordinary supplies of the Library,

* Unless this deduction be sanctioned by a specific Grace of the Senate,
there is now 1000. due to the Library Fund : it may be convenient to appro-
priate it hereafter to the fittings of the new Library.


would be temporary only. For in what manner are the
wants of the Members of the Senate, many of whom are
now residing in Cambridge, expressly for the purpose of
enjoying the assistance derived from this Library, to be
supplied in the mean time ? The lapse of a few years, which
may appear trifling to a permanent institution, may com-
prehend the whole period of activity of those very persons
whose interests in this question, are the most deeply con-

Again, if these funds of the Library should once be
diverted from their original object, who can venture to
fix the period when they will be replaced ? New wants
will spring up from year to year, which some men will
consider equally or perhaps more pressing than those which
are now under consideration : and very little scruple will be
felt about continuing for a little longer, that misappro-
priation of funds, which has already received the sanction
of a precedent.

But there are many other reasons which I should venture
to urge against the adoption of this very unhappy pro-
posal. The flourishing state of our Public Library, has
lately become a subject of pride and constant interest to
every resident and to many non-resident, Members of the
Senate. Every exertion is made to supply its deficiencies,
not for purposes of ostentation, but of use, and it promises
to become, if its progress be not arrested, in a very few
years, the best consulting Library in the kingdom*. If,
however, the University should cease, as is proposed, to
maintain this supply of the best books, on all subjects
and in all languages, its attractions will decline from year
to year, the Librarian will cease to labour, the Student
will cease to recommend or to enquire, and the whole
establishment will speedily relapse into the state of torpor

* The Library at Gottingen, by a constant attention for many years
to the supply of cotemporary literature, and the purchase of the best, (not
the rarest) books in every department, has become the best consulting
Library in Europe. The British Museum from the irregular and inter-
rupted nature of its supplies, though full of riches, is a very bad Library.


and neglect, from which it has been rescued within so
short a period.

So far therefore from seeking to appropriate any portion
of this Library tax, to any foreign uses, however pressing
and important they might be, I would even wish to increase
its amount by extending its operation to the sizars. The
scruple which exempted this class of students in the first
instance, always appeared to me very unnecessary, inas-
much as the sum paid is so trifling, as to become almost
insensible in the amount of the expenses, even of the poorest
and most economical student. But there are nearly 500
persons (300 sizars, whether bachelors or undergraduates,
and 210 ten-year men *) who are referred to this class, and
the mere effect of numbers makes the loss to the University,
very sensibly felt.

If this addition (150. per annum) was made to the
produce of this tax, I think it would in that case be reasonable
to charge it with all the fittings of the New Library. Such
an appropriation of it likewise would have the appearance at
least of being perfectly conformable to the original destination
of the fund, and would tend to remove the apprehensions
of those persons, who believe that if the stream was once
diverted from its original channel, it would never regain it. t

Upon the same principle likewise, I would charge the
fittings of the Geological Museum upon the Woodwardian
fund: this amounts at this moment to more than ,1700.;
and the appropriation of the whole, or of a part of it to

" The ten-year men were included in this exemption, in consequence of
the vagueness of the terms of the Grace by which the tax was imposed.
It was never intended, and I believe it was never wished, that they should
escape its operation, and those who are Members of Trinity and Magdalene
Colleges have always paid it through their sponsors.

t If a composition in one sum (say 4. 4,?.) was accepted in lieu of
these quarterly payments, the funds of the Library would be greatly
benefited by it, and a very considerable sum would be immediately raised,
which might be appropriated to the specific object above mentioned. Such
an arrangement would be likewise very convenient to those Colleges, which
accept a composition in lieu of all the payments made by Members
of the Senate, particularly if it was extended so as to include the Pavinp
as well as the Library tax.


this purpose, would be perfectly consistent both with the
terms and with the spirit of Dr. Woodward's will.

We should thus reduce the sum to be provided by
other means to 15,000. If this sum was borrowed from
the Exchequer Loan Office, at 4 per cent, it would require
an income of 1350. in the first instance, to pay the interest
and the original portion (5 per cent.) of the principal which
is required by the Act of Parliament. It would be quite
sufficient for our present purpose therefore, if we could
shew that there exist very simple expedients by which this
and more than this may be done.

The Matriculation fees paid to the University chest
(exclusive of the Government tax and fees to the Registrary)
by different classes of Students are as follows:

. s. d.

Noblemen 7 17 6

Fellow-Commoners 3 7 6

Pensioners 1 5

Sizars 039

These fees were fixed to their present amounts, by a
Grace of the Senate in 1825, and were so regulated that
their average amount, combined with the fees for Bachelors
degrees, should defray, or nearly so, the charges incurred
in the various examinations and in the maintenance of the
discipline of the University.

The Building of Lecture Rooms and Museums, and the
proper furnishing of them, being chiefly designed for the
benefit of our Students, it is but reasonable that they should
bear the chief part of the charge: and it is upon this
principle, which has been already in some measure re-
cognized by the University, that I would propose the
following new payments, the produce of which should be
exclusively appropriated to this object.

An addition of 2. 10*. to the Matriculation fees of all
Noblemen, Fellow- Commoners, and Pensioners, exempting
Sizars : this would produce 1000. annually, if the num-
ber of such Matriculations should keep up to the average
of the last five years.


A payment of 5.y. each term by every resident Under-
graduate, and of 10s. each term by every resident Graduate : *
if we estimate the number of resident Undergraduates, (in-
cluding Sizars) at 1500, and of resident Graduates at 300,
these payments would annually produce the sum of 1575.

The joint produce of these payments would not merely
enable the University to borrow 20,000. but would provide
a fund for its repayment in less than ten years.

It is very possible that some objections might be raised
to these additional payments, upon the plea of their in-
creasing the expenses of education, which are already so
considerable. I should think, however, that the advantage
gained by thus increasing the means of instruction, and
by thus supplying new motives for study, an overmatch- for
the cost incurred : and I have no doubt but that the Under-
graduates themselves, their parents and guardians, and the
public generally, would coincide in my opinion. It is the
want of a regular employment in which the mind is in-
terested, which generates habits of idleness, and therefore
of expense; and I know of no more certain method of
reducing the expenses of University education, than by
increasing in every way the motives and opportunities for
acquiring knowledge, t

* If proper Reading Rooms were provided in the New Library, I can
see no reason why the Undergraduates generally should not be allowed to
consult books, whilst the privilege of taking them to their own rooms
should be confined to Graduates. It would require two rooms, in one of
which the catalogues would be placed, and an additional Library Keeper,
for procuring the books which might be asked for, and for replacing them
afterwards in their proper places in the Library.

t Every person who has been engaged, like myself, in the business of
public tuition, must be well aware that there are many Students, who by
illness, disappointment, or other causes, are thrown out of the current of the
regular academical studies, and who are removed thereby beyond the influence
of those powerful motives for exertion, which the honors, and rewards of the
University present. To such persons it is of the utmost importance, that the
tutor should to be able to recommend, those new lines of study, and to
furnish those new hopes of distinction, which regular and systematic courses
of public lectures, with their necessary accompaniments, would so abundantly



There are many other sources of income which might
be pointed out, but I know of none which are so reasonable,
so simple, and so just, as those which I have proposed:
I say reasonable, because so moderate in amount, that
no Student would sensibly feel their pressure: simple,
because admitting of immediate collection, without trouble
and loss, at the same time and through the , same hands,
with the existing taxes for paving and lighting and for
the Library: just likewise, because they would be paid
by those persons only, for whose express benefit, either
immediate or future, they were intended. If the object pro-
posed was one of ostentation merely, and not for the essential
improvement of our system of academical education, I should
be the last person to recommend, or to attempt to justify the
imposition of any tax which should extort one shilling from
the pockets of the Undergraduates.

Before I conclude this pamphlet, which has extended
to so great and so unexpected a length, I beg leave again
most earnestly to call the attention of the Members of the
Senate, to the great importance of the decision which they
are called upon to give. The proper execution and arrange-
ments of the work to be done, involve most seriously the
scientific character of the University, as well as the conve-
nience of all its Members. The character of its architecture
and its adaptation not merely to its specific objects, but
also to the noble buildings in the neighbourhood, involves
not merely the splendour of the University, but our repu-
tation for good taste. Whilst the justice of the decision,
as far as the Architects themselves are concerned, involves
not merely our character for impartiality in the distribu-
tion of our rewards and honors, which constitutes the
real glory of the University, but must very materially affect
the confidence which in any future competition of a similar
nature, would be reposed in our judgement.

supply. Even the most idle and dissipated of our Students, would thus
be deprived of those excuses for their folly, which sometimes baffle the
most assiduous of our tutors ; and the tutors themselves would acquire an
additional power of remonstrance with all classes of their pupils, which
would produce the best effects upon the studies and character of the University.




Page Line
it 1 from top : for " though sufficiently " read " though otherwise


9 12 from top : for " Of this kind " read " Of this latter kind."
23 Note : add, " unless we suppose the basement and colonnades to in-
trude at least 5 or 6 feet upon the ground belonging to King's

26 4 from bottom, Note, for "we" read "they."

27 2 from top: for "north" read "north side."

27 4 from top : add Note : " or 68 feet by 54 if such be the width of

the interior court."

27 12 from top : for " two steps " read " three steps."
27 11 from bottom: add Note: it seems doubtful from the plans whe-
ther the projecting cases are intended to be on both sides of
these entrances or on one side only.

29 11 from top: add: "and also masked by two enormous columns."
45 Additional Note : It may be proper to state that the centres of the
columns of the portico in Mr. Rickman's pkn are in the same line with the
end of the Senate House, and that the flight of steps which leads to it,
with their flanking basement, intrudes nearly 10 feet upon the space in
front of it: if Mr. Cockerell had not respected the Senate House more
than Mr. Rickman, he might have added 16 feet to the lengths of his
North and South Libraries ; and even by so doing, no part of the
front of the Senate House would have been masked by his building.

A 000 553 654 5



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Online LibraryGeorge PeacockObservations on the plans for the new library, etc. → online text (page 6 of 6)