THE Advocates' Library, the greatest of the Scottish Libraries, has been offered to the Government, largely owing to the fact that the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh has found it too great a burden in these expensive days. The Secretary for Scotland has answered the offer by what is, for the present, more or less a refusal; but he has offered a grant of £2,000 a year, and has intimated that government control and support of the library are to be desired when national conditions permit. It is most unfortunate that the offer had to be made at the present time, when expenditure on education and culture is attacked daily; especially when the fact is remembered that the Advocates' Library is able to exact a very large tax from authors and publishers and ought certainly to be a “public library” in the old sense of the phrase. The Advocates' Library has certainly been available to all genuine students quite freely, but not by the same right that a Londoner may use his British Museum. It is manifestly unfair, too, that a body which numbers only 400, which we understand the Faculty of Advocates to do, should be expected to maintain what is equivalent to a Scottish British Museum Library. We trust, therefore, that the hope expressed in varous quarters will be kept in sight and realised later, when Scotland has got over her astonishing— for her—crusade against education.
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