« AnteriorContinuar »
168th street, 78 West..
169th street, 610 East...
176th street and Washington avenue.
Kingsbridge avenue, 3041...
NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
ASTOR LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS
Published monthly by The New York Public Library at 476 Fifth Avenue, New York City. President, George L. Rives, 476 Fifth Avenue; Secretary, Charles Howland Russell, 476 Fifth Avenue; Treasurer, Edward W. Sheldon, 45 Wall Street; Director, Edwin H. Anderson, 476 Fifth Avenue.
Subscription One Dollar a year, current single numbers Ten Cents.
Entered at the Post Office at New York, N. Y., as second-class matter, January 30, 1897, under Act of July 16, 1894. Printed at The New York Public Library, 476 Fifth Avenue. Edmund L. Pearson, Editor.
READING AND THE WAR
LIBRARIANS, like all other folk who
Whave to do with books, are watching the effects of the war upon the reading habit. It may be said without hesitation that one obvious effect is already noticeable. From a number of points in this Library, where members of the staff are in direct contact with the public, there comes ample testimony of a fairly widespread interest in the recent histories of the countries involved, in books of European travels, in international law bearing upon treaties, upon the duties of neutrals, and upon contraband goods. Authors, journalists and students are continually using these books. In the requests at the main Reading Room, there has been a noticeable emphasis upon military and strategical as opposed to political topics.
The demand for books of a semiprophetic nature has, of course, been great. One Branch Library receives thirty requests in a single day for General von Bernhardi's "Germany and the Next War." It would be forcing the facts, however, to pretend that the war has caused any very marked change in the habit of reading novels, and caused the readers of fiction suddenly to seek more "serious" books. It is too early to say whether any slight
diminutions which may be noted in the percentage of requests for fiction are due to the war, or to the opening of the schools and colleges, or to any one of the numerous obscure causes which influence reading. Undoubtedly the extraordinary events in Europe have led some persons to read, perhaps for the first time, something other than a newspaper or a novel. In this way the percentage of loans of books of non-fiction has been increased.
On the other hand, so many of the books which have been in demand since the outbreak of the war come under the head of fiction, that there has probably been an increase in reading of this class. The philosophical and sociological novels of H. G. Wells, the didactic romances of the Baroness von Suttner, and their like, have to be classified in libraries as fiction. That they are, however, quite as "serious" as many of the volumes of non-fiction, and that they are frequently more valuable than some of the superficial books of travel and current history cannot be doubted. The lending of one of them counts, in library statistics, with the lending of a light novel, and illustrates the unsatisfactory side of statistics.
The war has already affected the reading habits of thousands of persons who
never enter a library. Newspapers have suddenly assumed a place which they have seldom or never occupied. Many people who read them entirely for amusement, or as a matter of routine, now find them necessary factors of daily life. The periodical press seems to be receiving double its usual amount of attention. A war, even of two small and unimportant nations, has always excited the interest of educated people throughout the world. This war, which is not only dramatic and startling, but which may influence the lives of most of the inhabitants of the globe, can leave no writer or publicist unmoved. Consequently, for perhaps the first time in history, nearly all the important writers of England and the Continent, and many of the Americans, have expressed themselves in print, upon one subject, during the short space of ten weeks. Philosophers, theologians, teachers, historians, poets, novelists, and dramatists, of all the countries, have discussed the political aspects of the war in newspapers, magazines and books. This, in addition to the narrative of events, has made ephemeral literature profoundly interesting. It could not fail to affect the reading of multitudes.
The causes of the war lie deep-rooted in history its discussion, consequently presupposed information or research. Deeper still lie the moral questions involved, the ethical position of the combatants. No nation, today, dares openly to avow that the war it wages is aggressive, each seeks to show that it only takes up arms to defend its territory and its honor. It tries to prove, therefore, through the power of the printing press, the justice of its cause. Here again is an appeal to the reading public.
The usual causes of a war racial, geographical, or commercial- are all involved in this conflict. But so- - and this is a rather novel thing - are opposing schools of thought, of the most fundamental questions of right and wrong. Whether the principles of honor which guide a private individual are in all cases equally applicable to a state, to what extent it is true that force is and ever must be the final arbiter of morals, these are the questions freely argued in print by men of learning. There used to be engraved upon cannon the words: Ultima Ratio Regum. The phrase is now challenged and defended. Guns have been, in the evil past, "the last argument of kings." To their power, it seems, still lies the final appeal
Another publication was "Books for Summer Reading," a brief, annotated list reprinted from the June number of the Branch Library News.
"As Interesting as a Novel" is the title of another small list of books, reprinted from the July number of the News, while "Stories of the Sea" has been reprinted from the August number.
"The Literature of the War," the article which appeared in the August number of the Bulletin of the New York Public Library, has been issued as a separate leaflet.
AN IMPORTANT RUSSIAN PERIODICAL
HE Slavonic Division of York Public Library has secured a complete set of the Kolokol (the Bell), a Russian periodical which appeared in London and Geneva from 1857 to 1869. Its editor and publisher was the famous publicist Alexander Gertzen (known in English and German literature as Herzen). Although forbidden by the censorship it had a large circulation among the intellectual classes of Russia, and was read by the Emperors Nicholas I and Alexander II. Its influence upon the latter is supposed to have hastened his action in emancipating the serfs. An important feature of the set is that it contains all the French and Russian supplements up to 1869.
READING LIST ON NEW YORK
NEW York City and the Development
of Trade" is the title of a reading list published by the Library in connection with the Commercial Tercentenary Celebration. It contains references to books and to articles in periodicals. Many of the entries are annotated. The compiler was Elsie Gansevoort Seymour.
NEWS OF THE MONTH
HE following gifts of especial interest were received by the Library during the month of September: From the Century Company came a collection of 59 wood engravings by Timothy Cole, including a set of the French and Spanish masterpieces in American galleries. The National Shorthand Reporters' Association presented 10 volumes and 16 pamphlets relating to shorthand; Sir William Osler of Oxford, England, sent us "The deeper causes of the war," by Dr. Sanday, Oxford, 1914; Mr. Clarence A. Pitman was the donor of 28 volumes and 9 pamphlets of works on shorthand, as a contribution to the Pitman Centenary Collection; Prof. John W. Stimson of Redding Centre, Conn., gave us a copy of his work "The gate beautiful, being principles and methods in vital art education," Trenton, N. J. 1903. From the estate of Kate Warner the Library received a collection of 57 prints, 4 pamphlets, and 3 circulars, including prints by Asher B. Durand and Aug. de St. Aubin.
The following authors presented the Library with copies of their works: Mr. William Raimond Baird of South Orange, N. J.; Mrs. Howard M. Chapin of Providence, R. I.; Mr. Arthur Kyle Davis, Petersburg, Va.; Miss Carolyn Gorham Dickerman of New York; Mr. Edward C. Farnsworth of Portland, Me.; Mrs. Elijah Atwood Gove of Watertown, S. D.; Mr. Sadakichi Hartmann of South Aurora, N. Y.; Mr. Leroy F. Jackson of Pullman, Washington; Prof. Maurice Parmelee of the College of the City of New York; Mr. P. E. Pieris of Ceylon, Dr. Denton J. Snider of St. Louis, Mo.; Mr. Lee A. White of Seattle, Wash.; and Mr. Earl M. Wilbur of Berkeley, Cal.
Important additions to our genealogical collection were received from the following: Dr. Samuel Omar Barwick of Elk
hart, Ind.; Mr. Henry W. Belknap of Salem, Mass.; the Nebraska Society, Daughters of the American Revolution; the Samuel Ashley Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Claremont, N. H.; Mrs. Isaac Roberts Davis of Penllyn, Pa; Dr. Horace M. Du Bose of Atlanta, Ga.; Mr. Levi H. Elwell of Amherst, Mass.; Mrs. Harriet Munby of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England; Mrs. John Ruckman of Chevy Chase, Md.; Mr. John Columbia Scantling of Washington, D. C.; Mrs. S. G. Stoney of Charleston, S. C.; Mr. S. Townsend of New York; and Mr. Bayard Tuckerman of New York.
The following interesting miscellaneous gifts were received: From Mr. Charles A. Boston of New York a collection of periodicals, reports of various cieties, etc., consisting of 64 volumes, 224 pamphlets, and 34 circulars; from Mrs. S. Buchhalter 9 Hebrew prayer books published in Roedelheim, 1827-1832; from Miss Alice R. Burt of Brooklyn 20 engraving tools and 2 rollers, which belonged to Charles Burt, also 1 gelatine tracing and 1 tintype, both portraits of James Russell Lowell; from Mr. Campbell Dodgson of the Prints and Drawings Department of the British Museum, 3 photographs of the New Wing of the British Museum; from Mr. Beall Hempstead of New York a copy of "Uniform and dress of the Army of the Confederate States as prescribed by General Orders in June 1861 and article 47 of Army Regulations, published by R. E. Lee Camp No. 1, Confederate Veterans, Richmond, Va." [June 2, 1911]; from Miss Eleanor G. Hewitt of New York, English government publications relating to the present war; from Mr. Harry P. Kreiner of New York 10 copies of "Eugenie Lineiff's folk songs" in two volumes, also a copy of the "Songs of the Oukraine," all in Russian text; from Mr. H. R. Kuhardt of New York volumes 1-6 of "La costume historique...recueil publié sous la direction de M. A. Racinet," Paris, 1888; and from Mr. J. S. Schlussel of New York a collection of 52 volumes and 48 pamphlets consisting of Poor's Manual of Railroads, and various periodicals.