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or the belief in the pseudo-Messiah Sabbathai Zebi (1641-76), of which heresy Jonathan Eybschuetz was accused by Jacob Emden, and which was the cause of a vehement controversy between these two great rabbis and their respective adherents in Germany and the Slavic countries about the middle of the eighteenth century. The Jewish collection now includes over 4,000 volumes, and nearly 1,000 books and pamphlets in JudæoGerman. In collecting literature for this department special attention is being paid to the history of the Jewish people in the United States, and to the growth and development of various Jewish communities in Europe, as also to the anti-Semitic movement. In other branches of Semitic literatures, we have obtained all of the more important current publications, and have filled a number of gaps. Considerable additions have been made to our collection of works on Mohammedan law, which is becoming a subject of interest in this country in connection with the laws and customs of the Philippines.
SLAVONIC DEPARTMENT. A department of Slavonic Literature has been established during the year, and the collection now contains over 1,300 volumes, including 570 volumes of periodicals and transactions of societies, and 281 volumes of recent literature.
Public Documents Department. The Department of Public Documents in the Library now contains about 55,000 volumes; the number received during the fiscal year being 5,724 volumes and 3,450 pamphlets.
Special effort is making to perfect the collection of official statistics, and also to enlarge the files of legislative proceedings of Federal, State, Colonial and Municipal Governments, and the result is that the Library now has the recent reports of legislative proceedings of the United States and its several States, of the Argentine Republic, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, New South Wales, Spain and many of the British and French colonies.
The collection of Municipal Documents has been largely increased during the year, and is much used by special students.
The collection of documents of the early United States Congresses has been considerably increased by additions from the Ford Collection, some of which are unusually fine copies, and some important additions have been made to the set of Pennsylvania and Maryland Provincial laws.
During the year two document check-lists have been printed; the first, issued in March, 1899, being a check-list of Federal Documents in the Library; and the second, issued in May, 1899, being a check-list of municipal documents in the Library. A third check-list, comprising the Reports of Government Departments, is in press.
A file of Congressional Documents, relating to foreign affairs for the years 1809 to 1895, bound in 110 volumes, has been presented to the Library by Mr. John L. Cadwalader, and is now being indexed.
The monthly Bulletin of the Library has been continued, the second volume being completed in December with 480 pages, an increase of 113 pages over the first volume. Each number contains some historical or literary document, printed in most cases from original manuscripts in the Library, and the Bulletin is thus valuable as an exchange. During the fiscal year there have been printed in the Bulletin lists of periodicals relating to science in general, technical periodicals, periodicals relating to general history, literary periodicals, and periodicals relating to art and music. These lists of periodicals include also those in the library of Columbia University. There were also printed in the Bulletin lists of pamphlets relating to the French Revolution, of Cervantes Literature, and of publications relating to Fish and Fisheries, exclusive of Angling and Waltonian Literature.
INSTRUCTION OF APPRENTICES. Apprentices were received at the Library in three classes about the first of October, January and April. Their introduction to Library work has been systematized, instruction being given to newcomers in a class, in collating, copying, cataloguing and filing of cards, so that all began to work at once intelligently and progressed rapidly in acquiring knowledge of the methods.
One day in May was spent in visiting a few other libraries in the city, and the apprentices returned with renewed enthusiasm for the work.
Calls have come from outside for persons to do temporary pieces of work, and six apprentices have filled such positions very satisfactorily.
For the coming year, owing to the large number of applications and the limited desk room, it has been thought best to receive only such persons as have received a good High School education and have some knowledge of modern languages. This has already resulted in the acceptance of a promising class for October.
Gifts. The most important gift of the year is that of the books, pamphlets and prints presented to the New York Public Library in January, by Worthington C. Ford and Paul L. Ford, as a memorial of their father, Gordon L. Ford. It is estimated to contain about 30,000 volumes and 70,000 pamphlets, and a large number of maps and prints, aggregating over 100,000 pieces. An account of the collection is given in the Bulletin of the New
York Public Library for February, 1899, where the letter making the formal presentation is also printed. This collection is especially rich in the pamphlet literature of American History for the period 1750-1850, in the early Journals of Congress, in American Biography, in Economics, and in early American Poetry. It contains many duplicates of works already in this Library, but a considerable number of these duplicates are better copies than those which we had, being uncut or on large paper, or made specially valuable by autographs. This gift of the printed matter of the Ford Collection was made possible by the purchase of the manuscript portion of the same collection by Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan, who has generously signified his intention of presenting the greater part of these manuscripts to the New York Public Library in the near future.
The work of comparing the books and pamphlets of the Ford Collection with the catalogues and copies of the Library to determine which shall be retained and which shall be placed in a special duplicate collection, is necessarily considerable, and the great mass of the pamphlets is, as yet, unassorted. All of the cataloguing force of the Library which could be spared has been engaged on the Ford Collection since it was received, but it will require another year to complete the selection, cataloguing and accessioning of this material in addition to caring for the current accessions and continuing the work of classification on the shelves.
The collection includes a number of bundles of engravings, among which are numerous interesting pieces of American origin. There are early aquatints, copper and steel engravings, lithographs, many old maps and some caricatures, the most remarkable of the latter class being a half a dozen prints by William Charles, relating to the War of 1812.
In addition to the above mentioned gift, Mr. Paul Leicester Ford has since presented to the Library a collection of fifty-nine letters to John Winthrop from John Davenport and others, dating 1638-1693, and an interesting collection of papers of Gerard Bancker, consisting of maps, surveys, &c., relating to real estate in New York City and vicinity, between 1770 and 1800.
Mr. F. A. Sorge presented to the Library a large collection of books, pamphlets and newspapers, which, with the exception of forty-eight volumes relating to music, chiefly related to the socialistic movement.
In December, 1898, Mr. Maitland gave to the Library over 200 volumes of rare Americana. These volumes relate to the earliest period of American discovery, the greater number of them having been printed before the year 1550, and they include maps and books of the highest interest and value. A detailed list of this valuable gift was printed in the Bulletin for February, 1899.
Mr. Maitland has also given other remarkable books during the year, among which may be named the manuscript“ Buccaneers’ Atlas ” of 1696,
being a description in French of the coasts of South America, with colored charts, and a copy of John Wesley's first published hymn book, printed at Charleston, S. C., in 1737.
From Mr. Avery has been received a considerable number of interesting and valuable volumes; from Mr. Rives, a transcript from the Spanish archives of Simancas of documents relating to the early history of Virginia and other parts of America, 1608-24; from Mr. Charles H. Russell, Mr. Andrew H. Green and Mr. John Bigelow, various publications of importance; and from Mr. Cadwalader, a collection of books relating to outdoor sports, and a collection of about 2,000 pieces of manuscript, being letters to and from James Madison, his son-in-law S. L. Gouverneur, and others of that period; Dr. S. A. Binion gave a collection of 380 letters, proclamations and other documents, of Casamajor, the French commander at Santo Domingo, Comte de Cressac, colonel of colored cavalry, and others, between 1781 and 1809.
Numerous other gifts were received during the year and were duly noticed in the monthly Bulletin of the Library. The Century Association of New York gave over 1,000 volumes and nearly as many pamphlets, and valuable gifts were received from The Evening Post Publishing Company, from Mrs. Henry H. Draper, from Hon. Robert P. Porter, from Rev. F. H. Marling, from the Social Reform Club, and from many others.
Lord Crawford gave a set of his reproduction of three famous old maps; Earl Cowper, a copy of the Cartularium Monasterii Sancti Johannis Baptista de Colecestria; Lady Meux, a fac-simile of an Ethiopian manuscript entitled “Lives of Mabâ Sěyôn and Gabra Krěstôs"; the Duc de Loubat a fac-simile of an ancient Mexican Codex; Captain Chadwick, of the U. S. Flagship New York, a very large map made by the sailors to illustrate the movements of the fleet before Santiago.
In conclusion, I wish to call attention to the fact that the members of the Library staff have been zealous and efficient in their work, each in his or her own department, and manifest a genuine interest in the increase of the resources of the Library, and in supplying the demands of the readers as far as possible. The monthly meetings of the staff have been largely occupied with discussions of questions relating to shelf classification and to subject cataloguing; they have been well attended and some valuable suggestions have been made in them. I am much indebted to the chiefs of the several departments for their cordial co-operation throughout the year.
J. S. Billings,