In the days of the National Lending Library, the policy of what is now the British Library Lending Division was simply to develop and promote the use of a collection of worthwhile scientific and technical literature. Worthwhile literature was defined as that which might be of use to the higher educational, research and industrial communities. Besides ‘level’ a number of other criteria were also taken into consideration in deciding what we should acquire—demand, cost, availability elsewhere and country of origin. When it became part of the British Library, acquisitions policy changed very little except that coverage was extended to the point where the library began to collect literature in all subject fields and our attitude towards level became somewhat more relaxed.
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