Search results

1 – 10 of 12
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Stephen Chappell and Annie Thackeray

The library of the Arts Council of Great Britain holds material on arts management, cultural policy and the arts economy. It is available to staff, clients and researchers…

Abstract

The library of the Arts Council of Great Britain holds material on arts management, cultural policy and the arts economy. It is available to staff, clients and researchers doing work on arts policy and funding. There are about 10,000 books and the following services are offered:

Details

Program, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

“WE come now to another aspect of the question, and it must be admitted that the resource and ingenuity of the opposition have left nothing unnoticed. This is the common…

Abstract

“WE come now to another aspect of the question, and it must be admitted that the resource and ingenuity of the opposition have left nothing unnoticed. This is the common and constantly repeated assertion that novels are so cheap that every working man in the country can buy all he needs for less than the annual library rate. This statement was first made some years ago when publishers commenced to issue cheap reprints of non‐copyright novels at 1s. and 6d. each. Previous to this the halfpenny evening paper had been relied upon as affording sufficient literary entertainment for the working man, but when it was found to work out at 13s. per annum, as against a library rate of 1od. or 1s. 4d., the cheap newspaper argument was dropped like a hot cinder. We doubt if the cheap paper‐covered novel is any better. Suppose a workman pays £20 per annum for his house, and is rated at £16, he will pay 1s. 4d. as library rate, or not much more than 1¼d. per month for an unlimited choice of books, newspapers and magazines. But suppose he has to depend on cheap literature. The lowest price at which he can purchase a complete novel of high quality by any author of repute is 3d., but more likely 4½d. or 6d. However, we will take 3d. as an average rate, and assume that our man has leisure to read one book every fortnight. Well, at the end of one year he will have paid 6s. 6d. for a small library by a restricted number of authors, and it will cost him an additional 4s. or 5s. if he contemplates binding his tattered array of books for future preservation. Besides this, he will be practically shut off from all the current literature on topics of the day, as his 3d. a fortnight will hardly enable him to get copyright books by the best living authors. With a Public Library at his command he can get all these, and still afford to buy an occasional poet or essayist, or novel, or technical book, well bound and printed on good paper, such as his friend who would protect him against an iniquitous library rate would not blush to see on his own shelves. It seems hard that the working men of the country should be condemned to the mental entertainment afforded by an accumulation of pamphlets. Literature clothed in such a dress as gaudy paper covers is not very inspiring or elevating, and even the most contented mind would revolt against the possession of mere reading matter in its cheapest and least durable form. The amount of variety and interest existing among cheap reprints of novels is not enough, even if the form of such books were better. It is well known to readers of wide scope that something more than mere pastime can be had out of novels. Take, for example, the splendid array of historical novels which have been written during the present century. No one can read a few of these books without consciously or unconsciously acquiring historical and political knowledge of much value. The amount of pains taken by the authors in the preparation of historical novels is enormous, and their researches extend not only to the political movements of the period, but to the geography, social state, costume, language and contemporary biography of the time. Thus it is utterly impossible for even a careless reader to escape noticing facts when presented in an environment which fixes them in the memory. For example, the average school history gives a digest of the Peninsular War, but in such brief and matter of fact terms as to scarcely leave any impression. On the other hand, certain novels by Lever and Grant, slipshod and inaccurate as they may be in many respects, give the dates and sequence of events and battles in the Peninsula in such a picturesque and detailed manner, that a better general idea is given of the history of the period than could possibly be acquired without hard study of a heavy work like Napier's History. It is hardly necessary to do more than name Scott, James, Cooper, Kingsley, Hugo, Lytton, Dumas, Ainsworth, Reade, G. Eliot, Short‐house, Blackmore, Doyle, Crockett and Weyman in support of this claim. Again, no stranger can gain an inkling of the many‐sided characteristics of the Scot, without reading the works of Scott, Ferrier, Galt, Moir, Macdonald, Black, Oliphant, Stevenson, Barrie, Crockett, Annie Swan and Ian Maclaren. And how many works by these authors can be had for 3d. each? The only way in which a stay‐at‐home Briton can hope to acquire a knowledge of the people and scenery of India is by reading the works of Kipling, Mrs. Steel, Cunningham, Meadows Taylor, and others. Probably a more vivid and memory‐haunting picture of Indian life and Indian scenery can be obtained by reading these authors than by reading laboriously through Hunter's huge gazetteer. In short, novels are to the teaching of general knowledge what illustrations are to books, or diagrams to engineers, they show things as they are and give information about all things which are beyond the reach of ordinary experience or means. It is just the same with juvenile literature, which is usually classed with fiction, and gives to that much‐maligned class a very large percentage of its turnover. The adventure stories of Ballantyne, Fenn, Mayne Reid, Henty, Kingston, Verne and others of the same class are positive mines of topographical and scientific information. Such works represent more than paste and scissors industry in connection with gazetteers, books of travel and historical works; they represent actual observation on the part of the authors. A better idea of Northern Canada can be derived from some of Ballantyne's works than from formal topographical works; while the same may be said of Mexico and South America as portrayed by Captain Mayne Reid, and the West Indies by Michael Scott. The volume of Personal Reminiscences written by R. M. Ballantyne before he died will give some idea of the labour spent in the preparation of books for the young. The life of the navy at various periods can only be learned from the books of Smollett, Marryat and James Hannay, as that of the modern army is only to be got in the works of Lever, Grant, Kipling, Jephson, “John Strange Winter” and Robert Blatchford.

Details

New Library World, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

AFTER the trenchant paper by Mr. A. O. Jennings, read at the Brighton meeting of the Library Association, and the very embarrassing resolution which was carried as a…

Abstract

AFTER the trenchant paper by Mr. A. O. Jennings, read at the Brighton meeting of the Library Association, and the very embarrassing resolution which was carried as a result, one can only approach the subject of the commonplace in fiction with fear and diffidence. It is generally considered a bold and dangerous thing to fly in the face of corporate opinion as expressed in solemn public resolutions, and when the weighty minds of librarianship have declared that novels must only be chosen on account of their literary, educational or moral qualities, one is almost reduced to a state of mental imbecility in trying to fathom the meaning and limits of such an astounding injunction. To begin with, every novel or tale, even if but a shilling Sunday‐school story of the Candle lighted by the Lord type is educational, inasmuch as something, however little, may be learnt from it. If, therefore, the word “educational” is taken to mean teaching, it will be found impossible to exclude any kind of fiction, because even the meanest novel can teach readers something they never knew before. The novels of Emma Jane Worboise and Mrs. Henry Wood would no doubt be banned as unliterary and uneducational by those apostles of the higher culture who would fain compel the British washerwoman to read Meredith instead of Rosa Carey, but to thousands of readers such books are both informing and recreative. A Scots or Irish reader unacquainted with life in English cathedral cities and the general religious life of England would find a mine of suggestive information in the novels of Worboise, Wood, Oliphant and many others. In similar fashion the stories of Annie Swan, the Findlaters, Miss Keddie, Miss Heddle, etc., are educational in every sense for the information they convey to English or American readers about Scots country, college, church and humble life. Yet these useful tales, because lacking in the elusive and mysterious quality of being highly “literary,” would not be allowed in a Public Library managed by a committee which had adopted the Brighton resolution, and felt able to “smell out” a high‐class literary, educational and moral novel on the spot. The “moral” novel is difficult to define, but one may assume it will be one which ends with a marriage or a death rather than with a birth ! There have been so many obstetrical novels published recently, in which doubtful parentage plays a chief part, that sexual morality has come to be recognized as the only kind of “moral” factor to be regarded by the modern fiction censor. Objection does not seem to be directed against novels which describe, and indirectly teach, financial immorality, or which libel public institutions—like municipal libraries, for example. There is nothing immoral, apparently, about spreading untruths about religious organizations or political and social ideals, but a novel which in any way suggests the employment of a midwife before certain ceremonial formalities have been executed at once becomes immoral in the eyes of every self‐elected censor. And it is extraordinary how opinion differs in regard to what constitutes an immoral or improper novel. From my own experience I quote two examples. One reader objected to Morrison's Tales of Mean Streets on the ground that the frequent use of the word “bloody” made it immoral and unfit for circulation. Another reader, of somewhat narrow views, who had not read a great deal, was absolutely horrified that such a painfully indecent book as Adam Bede should be provided out of the public rates for the destruction of the morals of youths and maidens!

Details

New Library World, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

John Crawford

MANY of the parish and community libraries of Scotland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were subscription libraries, as this was the best way for people of…

Abstract

MANY of the parish and community libraries of Scotland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were subscription libraries, as this was the best way for people of limited means to amass and maintain reasonable collections, but it was not always so. When William Ewart and his colleagues met to consider the problem of public libraries in 1849, they interviewed John Imray, a civil engineer who had seen several parochial and village libraries in the north of Aberdeenshire. The cross‐examination by Ewart began as follows:

Details

Library Review, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

BASIL COTTLE

Dr Cottle's paper was delivered at a meeting of the Reference, Special and Information Section's Western Group at Salisbury on 20 October 1977 to mark the centenary of the…

Abstract

Dr Cottle's paper was delivered at a meeting of the Reference, Special and Information Section's Western Group at Salisbury on 20 October 1977 to mark the centenary of the Library Association

Details

Library Review, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

HAVING outlined the scheme for monotyped catalogues, it only remains to consider it in its financial aspects. At Hampstead tenders were obtained for the same catalogue by…

Abstract

HAVING outlined the scheme for monotyped catalogues, it only remains to consider it in its financial aspects. At Hampstead tenders were obtained for the same catalogue by monotype, linotype, and by ordinary setting up. It may be mentioned that the catalogue is of royal‐octavo size, in double columns, each being fifteen ems wide and fifty deep. Main entries are in bourgeois; subject‐headings are set (by hand) in clarendon, and the entries under such headings are put in brevier. Notes and contents were specified for either minion or nonpareil, and many lines break into part‐italics. The monotype machine provided all these founts except the two already mentioned—italic numerals and clarendon. We had to do without the former type, but the latter not being numerous are easily carried in as wanted from an ordinary case. Naturally, I cannot give the exact figures of the accepted tender, but it may be stated that in our particular case the cheapest quotation was for linotype work, although there was not much difference between that and monotyping; whilst for both these methods worked out at appreciably less than the quotations for ordinary hand‐work.

Details

New Library World, vol. 5 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

AT the close of the year we look back upon twelve very chequered months in the story of librarianship. In the field of libraries as a whole, it may be said that they held…

Abstract

AT the close of the year we look back upon twelve very chequered months in the story of librarianship. In the field of libraries as a whole, it may be said that they held their own and indeed that some progress has been made. A few libraries have been opened, mostly branch libraries, but there have been extensions and re‐organisations of central libraries, which point to a universally developing regard for the library service. Even if this has not been dramatic in some places, it has nevertheless been real. Men who were middle‐aged before the war must, however, pass away before we get the right perspective for the conditions of to‐day; that is to say, with few exceptions. We are not speaking of librarians here, but of those who control libraries, but even librarians of the older school have sometimes found it difficult to envisage library service on the scale common in America, which, with adjustments to British circumstances, should be the scale for us throughout the Empire.

Details

New Library World, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

R F Vollans writes:Nothing pleases me more than to see honours bestowed on those who are worthy of them, particularly if they are my close friends and personal colleagues…

Abstract

R F Vollans writes:Nothing pleases me more than to see honours bestowed on those who are worthy of them, particularly if they are my close friends and personal colleagues. It was, therefore, with some delight that I read of the LA'S new awards—the McColvin and Besterman Medals.

Details

New Library World, vol. 72 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

HARROGATE will be notable as the venue of the Conference in one or two ways that distinctive. The Association Year is now to begin on January 1st and not in September as…

Abstract

HARROGATE will be notable as the venue of the Conference in one or two ways that distinctive. The Association Year is now to begin on January 1st and not in September as heretofore; and, in consequence, there will be no election of president or of new council until the end of the year. The Association's annual election is to take place in November, and the advantages of this arrangement must be apparent to everyone who considers the matter. Until now the nominations have been sent out at a time when members have been scattered to all parts of the country on holiday, and committees of the Council have been elected often without the full consideration that could be given in the more suitable winter time. In the circumstances, at Harrogate the Chair will still be occupied by Sir Henry Miers, who has won from all librarians and those interested in libraries a fuller measure of admiration, if that were possible, than he possessed before he undertook the presidency. There will be no presidential address in the ordinary sense, although Sir Henry Miers will make a speech in the nature of an address from the Chair at one of the meetings. What is usually understood by the presidential address will be an inaugural address which it is hoped will be given by Lord Irwin. The new arrangement must bring about a new state of affairs in regard to the inaugural addresses. We take it that in future there will be what will be called a presidential address at the Annual Meeting nine months after the President takes office. He will certainly then be in the position to review the facts of his year with some knowledge of events; he may chronicle as well as prophesy.

Details

New Library World, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

MANY and sundry are the worries which fall to the lot of the librarian, and the matter of book‐repair is not the least among them. The very limited book‐fund at the…

Abstract

MANY and sundry are the worries which fall to the lot of the librarian, and the matter of book‐repair is not the least among them. The very limited book‐fund at the disposal of most public library authorities makes it imperative on the part of the librarian to keep the books in his charge in circulation as long as possible, and to do this at a comparatively small cost, in spite of poor paper, poor binding, careless repairing, and unqualified assistants. This presents a problem which to some extent can be solved by the establishment of a small bindery or repairing department, under the control of an assistant who understands the technique of bookbinding.

Details

New Library World, vol. 9 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

1 – 10 of 12