The problem of translations is one that, sooner or later, besets most special librarians. For a small library, in particular, where no member of the staff can be spared to undertake the work even if qualified to do so, translations are expensive though often necessary. It is all the more frustrating, therefore, when it is later discovered that the article in question has already been translated elsewhere and would have been accessible. Hence the repeated demand, ‘Cannot something be done to avoid this duplication of effort?’ The problem of translations is, however, deceptive. It looks simple. Let there be a central index and ask anyone who makes a translation to register it; then everyone else will know that a translation of that particular article has already been made. So runs the argument. But there are hidden difficulties. It was to describe some of these difficulties and to consider possible remedies that the London Winter Meeting of Aslib held on 17th January, 1955, was devoted to a discussion of the translation of scientific material, under the Chairmanship of Mr. E. B. Uvarov.
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