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The Library World Volume 11 Issue 3

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 1 September 1908



IN a preface of Smiles' you will find the statement: “Without exaggerating the importance of this class of biography, it may at least be averred that it has not yet received its due share of attention.” The truth of this statement holds good to‐day. That our national industries lie at the root of national progress is recognized by library authorities, inasmuch as efforts are continually made to bring into prominence books on the useful and industrial arts, without, however, bringing under public notice biographies bearing very closely on the history and development of certain British trades and industries. There may be a feeling that this “class” falls under the head of “lives of very great inherent importance indeed, but which appeal to comparatively small circles of readers, from the large demand they make upon the possession of special culture or knowledge.” In point of fact, accounts of industrial processes (be they ever so clearly written) have little fascination for the general reader, but the lives of men who have created or developed those industries seldom lack incident and romance, and thereby appeal to the popular mind. On the ground of its democratic character, industrial biography deserves the librarian's attention —life‐records in most cases of men “ignorant of letters; without art; without eloquence; who yet had the wisdom to devise and the courage to perform that which they lacked language to express.”


(1908), "The Library World Volume 11 Issue 3", New Library World, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 81-120.




Copyright © 1908, MCB UP Limited

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