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LQ Volume 3 Issue 2

Reading notes for the third volume and second issue of The Library Quarterly.

To return to the list of notes on this volume: volume-3

Article 1

This entry is about:

Wilson, Louis R. (1933). The Service of Libraries in Promoting Scholarship and Research. The Library Quarterly, 3(2), 127-145. url:

Note: The first article of the second issue of the third volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “The Service of Libraries in Promoting Scholarship and Research.”

It was written by Louis R. Wilson, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: University of Chicago

Note: Article begins with a description of two new libraries “devoted exclusively to the purposes of scholarship and research” (p. 127). The section concludes with a description of the article's purpose:

Let us consider briefly, and largely by means of illustration, five types of service which American libraries are effectively rendering the scholar today. They are: (1) the accumulation of materials; (2) making materials available; (3) personal assistance to scholars; (4) directing research and publication; and (5) aiding scholarship through international co-operation (p. 128).

This is a timely discussion.

Note: The next seven pages document the efforts many university and special libraries have made in order to build collections in the first part of the 20th century. This section contains valuable historical information and includes a discussion, among other things, of various cooperative efforts.

Note: The next section, on “making materials available,” begins with a discussion of library buildings and the use of them for reading. Then comes a segment on libraries providing catalogs to its users. This includes,

the development of a complete dictionary catalogue of its holdings, with duplicate catalogues for departmental libraries, indexes of periodicals and proceedings of learned societies, printed catalogues of othe notable libraries, and bibliographical and critical apparatus concerning all the subjects contained in the holdings of the library (p. 136).

Even as early as 1933, television (as an electronic information technology) was considered a possible tool for libraries. See last paragraph of last section on p. 138.

Note: The next section is on “personal assistance to scholars.” Here's a key point:

In most libraries emphasis has very naturally been placed on the acquisition of materials and their preparation for use. Too seldom has it been placed on assistance in use. But this is changing (p. 139).

Wilson proceeds to document the many ways that librarians are doing expert work in the services they provide to scholars. Many of these services are still done today although some may look a little different given changes in various technologies.

Note: The next section is on “directing research and publication.” The discussion focuses on librarians as scholars amidst scholars. That is, the focus is not only on librarians as scholars, but it is also on the unique position librarians have as scholars because they are not tied to any specific department but are institutionally oriented.

I like this line on the importance of bibliography:

His service to bibliography, the starting-point and foundation of all sound investigation, has been of inestimable value as he has given it precision and form (p. 142).

Note: The next section is on “aiding scholarship through international co-operation.” Discusses the beginnings of IFLA. More generally, it discusses the kinds of activities librarians among various nations have worked together exchange documents and help build each others libraries.

Note: Wilson finally asks the following question:

What have libraries done, and what are they doing to kindle the enthusiasms of youth and to make men scholars (p. 144).

He draws from a letter written by a former student and then he writes this really eloquent bit:

His letter stopped here, but I can imagine something further. One day, while at work with rare books or early manuscripts, or in conference with his instructor in the library, a new spirit stirred within him. The passing of graduate courses, as such, ceased to be a goal. Knowledge of the civilization of which the books or manuscripts were evidences became a passion … (p. 144).

Note: Wilson ends by stating that while he doesn't know the magnitude of the effect that libraries have produced in their aid to scholars, he does believe that libraries are a necessary condition for scholarship.

Really nice piece.

Article 2

This entry is about:

Chiu, A. Kaiming. (1933). National libraries in China. The Library Quarterly, 3(2), 146-169. url:

Note: The second article of the second issue of the third volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “National libraries in China.”

It was written by A. Kaiming Chiu, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Harvard University

Note: As the title indicates, this article is about the national libraries in China. There were three of them at the time, and all were open to the public. This should be a really interesting article. Chiu will discuss their history, their collections, and how the collections are organized.

Reflection: Just a side thought. Since I know very little about Chinese libraries, this article may or may not impact me as much as, for example, previous articles on topics I'm very close to have (e.g., articles on library school education, etc.). So it may be, as it has been with other articles that are outside my experience, that I may post very little in this entry. I need to examine which of my posts are the longest. That should say something about which articles have meant the most to me. But also look at which posts are the shortest – identify my areas of weakness or areas that may be of interest at a later time.

Note: Some interesting stuff on classification in here. Not a whole lot though (yet).

Note: Discussion of readership, circulation, catalogs, reference works such as gazetteers, encyclopedias, rare works, printing, stone tablets, maps, paintings, manuscripts.

Regarding The National Library of Peiping, too bad:

The library seems unwilling to make known its classification system until it has perfected it (p. 160).

Note: On page 167, an interesting description of the rules that resident research scholars had to follow at The National Sinological Library of Nanking.

Note: Alfred Kaiming Chiu was an interesting person. This seems to be a brief biography:

Article 3

This entry is about:

Reece, Ernest J. (1933). Work-contacts for library-school students. The Library Quarterly, 3(2), 170-179. url:

Note: The third article of the second issue of the third volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “Work-contacts for library-school students.”

It was written by Ernest J. Reece, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Columbia University

Note: This is not an exceptionally profound article, but it does require some reflection. Also, this is Reece's fourth article in *LQ*, and each article is on some aspect of library education. The first three articles by Reece:

Here's the most important question that Reece raises, and there are parts of it that I find problematic:

How best to supplement theoretical instruction with work-contacts has been the subject of much controversy in professional circles generally, and latterly among librarians. Probably most of this disputation, at least in the case of librarians, has been quite needless. All concerned hold that work-contacts and work-participation are antecedent to competence, and that therefore they constitute an indispensable element in professional participation. On the other hand, most doubtlessly would agree that the services of schools in imparting certain knowledge, attitudes, and skills are of value if only in the reducing of apprenticeship and in the consequent saving of time to the intending practitioner (p. 171).

It's that last sentence that is most troubling and yet, most interesting.

Article 4

This entry is about:

Lyle, Guy R. (1933). A royal book-collector. The Library Quarterly, 3(2), 180-191. url:

Note: The fourth article of the second issue of the third volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “A royal book-collector.”

It was written by Guy R. Lyle, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Antioch College

Note: A brief history of King George III's pursuit of a royal library, which eventually, through his son, was bequeathed to the British Museum. The article is highly favorable of the King, and the story reminds me of Thomas Jefferson's role with the Library of Congress, although only superficially analogous.

There's an interesting and rather delightful story about an exchange between Dr. Samuel Johnson and the King. It's entirely quoted. Much of this article is quotes, though.

lq/volume-3-issue-2.txt · Last modified: 2017/02/07 08:52 by seanburns