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SAMUEL P, Avery.
President, Hon. John BIGELOW.
HE Astor Building, 40 Lafayette Place, and the Lenox Building, Fifth Avenue
and 70th Street, are open daily, excepting on Sundays, Independence Day, Christmas, and New Year, from 9 A. M. until 6 P. M.
The Reading rooms and the Exhibition rooms are free to all persons; but children under the age of fifteen years must be accompanied by an adult.
In the Reading room of each Library Building certain shelves are set apart for books of reference, which readers are allowed to take down and examine at their pleasure. For all other books an application must be made by filling out and signing one of the blanks provided for the purpose.
Published monthly by The New York Public Library, No. 40 Lafayette Place, New York City
Superintendent, No. 40 Lafayette Place, New York.
During the month of December, 1898, there were received at the Library by purchase 1,019 books and 242 pamphlets, and by gift 731 books and 2,024 pamphlets.
There were catalogued 3,516 volumes and 2,830 pamphlets, for which purpose 22,694 cards and 1,993 slips for the printer were written,
The following table shows the number of readers and the number of volumes consulted in both the Astor and Lenox branches of the Library during the month:
Total number of readers...
The accessions to the Library during the month of December include some very important items, amongst others, a gift of 220 volumes of rare Americana from Mr. Maitland (more than half of them being printed before 1550), a list of which is given in this bulletin ;-a volume of transcripts from the Spanish archives at Simancas, presented by Mr. George L. Rives; a collection consisting of 48 volumes of music, and 151 volumes and over 200 newspapers relating to Socialism, from Mr. F. A. Sorge; 19 volumes, including an old Spanish manuscript biography, from Mr. Avery; and 47 volumes and 56 pamphlets, chiefly Journals of Conventions, from seven Dioceses of the Episcopal Church. Mr. James Henry Coghill, of this city, has also given to the library a rare volume entitled Peintures Antiques de Vases Grecs de la collection de Sir John Coghill, Bart., par James Millingen, printed at Rome in 1817. By purchase the Library has received a copy of the Specula of Vincentius Bellovacensis, eight volumes bound in six, printed in 1473, being the copy from the library of William Morris. This, the first general cyclopædia printed, is noteworthy as a specimen of early typography and is now extremely rare. The Library has also obtained some early American newspapers, books and documents, purchased at the Miller sale in Philadelphia, a full list of which is printed this month.
During the six months ending December 31st, 1898, the total number of books catalogued and accessioned was 15,082, and of pamphlets, 11,055, as against 14, 124 volumes and 11,472 pamphlets during the same period of 1897. The total number of cards made for the catalogue was 127,210, and 6,752 slips were written for the printer.
The total number of readers was 50,113, the daily average being 321, and the number of volumes used 177,783, as against 47,880 readers, an average of 314, and 158,749 volumes in the last six months of 1897.
During the calendar year ending December 31st, 1898, the total number of volumes catalogued and accessioned was 32,835, of which 20,506 were purchases and 12,329 gifts; while the number of volumes actually received was 25,917, of which 15,252 volumes were purchases and 10,665 were gifts. The total number of pamphlets catalogued and accessioned was 21,074, of which 5,984 were purchases and 15,090 gifts; and the number of pamphlets actually received was 33, 196, of which 4,196 were purchases and 29,000 were gifts. The total number of cards written during the year was 266,411.
The total number of cards in the index catalogue at the close of the year in the Astor branch was 308,649–68,649 having been added since the first of July—and at the Lenox branch, 97,100.
The total number of readers during the year was 106,098, and the number of volumes consulted was 357,827, not including those used at the free reference shelves.
On the 31st of December, 1898, there were on the shelves and available for the use of the public 440,148 volumes and 111,055 pamphlets.
THE LIBRARY OF HON. SAMUEL J. TILDEN.
In 1887, the year following Mr. Tilden's death, a shelf inventory was prepared and printed of the books, pamphlets, periodicals, prints, etc., belonging to the estate, at Gramercy Park, in New York City. This inventory contained a record of the principal works in a collection of nearly 20,000 volumes and pamphlets, which were intended to form the nucleus of a free library to be established in New York City in accordance with the terms of Mr. Tilden's will. The litigation which followed led to a compromise agreement between Mr. Tilden's executors and the Tilden Trust on the one hand, and one of the contestants on the other, by which in 1892 the Tilden Trust came into possession of certain properties, including Mr. Tilden's entire library, books, manuscripts, prints, engravings, pictures and statuary. The consolidation of the Tilden Trust with the Astor and Lenox Libraries, to form the New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations, took place in May, 1895, and in July of the same year the Tilden
books were transferred from the house at Gramercy Park to the library building at Fifth Avenue and Seventieth Street, where they were arranged and made available for public use. It is the object of this sketch to indicate briefly some of the chief features of the collection.
Mr. Tilden's law library is not included among the books that were transferred to the New York Public Library. There are, however, small collections relating to jurisprudence, law and lawyers, celebrated trials, railroads, political economy, taxation, finance, banks and banking, exchanges and panics, currency and money. Among the serials are the Railroad Journal, 1854–84, in 33 volumes; the Commercial and Financial Chronicle, 1865-86, in 42 volumes; the United States Economist, 1852-54, in 4 volumes; the Economist, 1857–85, in 25 volumes; the Examiner, 1838–51, in 14 volumes; and the Internal Revenue Record, 1865-80, in 27 volumes.
A collection of about two hundred and twenty-five scarce tracts relating to banking and currency in England is worthy of notice. It begins with treatises on bank credit, printed in 1683; and includes publications of 1694-96 on clipping, coin and script money; on the Land Bank and the Bank of England in 1706-07; on loans in 1710; on the great want of silver in 1717; an essay on coin, 1758; on paper credit in 1760; on money, bullion and foreign exchanges in 1772; on gold coin in 1774; on the revenue and finances of the kingdom in 1781-1800; on gold bullion, bank notes, and the depreciation of currency in 1810-12; on savings banks and the new currency in 1816-17; on the proposed change of currency for Scotland in 1826; and on currency, joint stock banks, etc., from 1825 to 1850.
In English political history there is a good collection, as well as of publications relating to English parties and administrations, to the parliament and constitution, to English social life and antiquities, and to biography in general. There are also over one hundred volumes of speeches of eminent statesmen, and a set of Cobbett's Parliamentary History and Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, in 123 volumes. European history and antiquities, both ancient and modern, are well represented, including a full series of illustrated books of scenery, and over fifteen hundred photographs of views.
American history is of course a strong feature of the library. It includes fine sets of Hakluyt's Voyages, 1599-1600, in 3 volumes; Purchas's Pilgrimes, 1625-26, in 5 volumes; Smith's History of New York, 1757; and many other valuable books. Among the travels in the United States are the large illustrated work of Maximilian, Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio, and the explorations of Carver, Heriot, Lewis and Clarke, Pike, Long, and others. There are also the chief publications relating to the various administrations and political parties of the United States; to Congress and Congressional affairs; and to political and constitutional conventions, especially those of New York State. Mr. Tilden kept bound files of the principal New York City newspapers, each volume of which has his name stamped on the side. These files include the New York Herald, 1846-86, in 115 volumes; the New York World, 1860–86, in 103 volumes; the New York Times, 1865-86, in 83 volumes; the New York Tribune, 1867-86, in 76 volumes; and the New York Sun, 1870-86, in 65 volumes.
One section of the library is devoted to literature and the drama, including poetry, fiction and essays. Among the uncommon books in this section are the first three editions of Milton's Paradise Lost, 1667–78, and the first three folio editions