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Books and Publishing Lecture Series, Vol. II: 1955 by Charles E. Sunderlin; David C. Mearns; Frances Lander Spain Review by: John David Marshall The Library Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Jul., 1956), pp. 242-243 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4304565 . Accessed: 13/06/2014 00:42 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. . The University of Chicago Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Library Quarterly. http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from 184.108.40.206 on Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:42:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 242 THE LIBRARY QUARTERLY page 11 he speaks of "parchment (a word derived from pergamena, the Latin form of Pergamum)," whatever that may mean. On page 12 he states that "the roll retained its popularity until the beginning of printing," despite the coming of the codex! The next chapter, on "Ancient Libraries," shows no improvement. Here there are misspellings, like "Callabria," errors such as the predating of the Book of Kells, Charlemagne's palace at Tours, the founding of the library at York by Alcuin, and numerous others. Compression leads him to misstatements. The only reference to chained books is in his chapter on monastic libraries: "The more valuable books were chained to the tables or lecterns upon which they lay, and all reading had to be done standing up." Burnett Streeter, who spent many years studying chained books, found that the "lectern syste; m," where the chained volume lay flat, was gradually replaced by the "stall" and "wall" systems, in which the books stood on shelves, and that the library in which the reader had to stand while consulting his book was relatively rare. Again, in order to simplify the telling of the history of the French national library, the author makes no mention of the Bibliotheque du Roi and fails to point out that the present name dates only from the French Revolution. GuiJlaumeBude is called "one of the first librarians of the Bibliotheque Nationale." The origins of printing are poorly handled. When we are told that the little Buddhist charm sheet printed by the Empress Shotoku in Japan "is sometimes called the first printed book," we can only wonder by whom. The history of paper's journey from east to west contains many errors, and when the author tells us, on page 46, that the ink used for early printing with movable type "was available from that used with wood-cuts, although some adaptation was probably necessary," the whole vital difference between a water-base and an oil-base ink is muddled. So much of the book follows the same pattern whenever technical processes are mentioned that the unwary reader would constantly be led astray. The few pages on modern printing telescope the advances so badly that one can only warn a prospective reader to go to a safer source for his information. Although American library history is treated less summarily than European, oversimplification again presents an erroneous picture. In discussing the forerunnersof the public library, the author indicates that the terms "social library" and "subscriptionlibrary" are synonymous and makes no mention of the "proprietary library" -terms which Jesse Shera clearly defines in his Foundations of the Public Library. Somewhat later Mathew Carey is named as head of the firm "Carey and Lea" in the "1810's and 1820's." It is unfortunate that such misstatements as those about Poole's Index to Periodical Literature, Library Literature,and the Annual Magazine Subject-Index are to be found in a book dated 1955. After abusing this poor little book so consistently, one wonders what its merits are. It is a primer on the history of libraries and librarianship which might have some merit if the many errors could be eliminated. The bibliographies at the ends of chapters are helpful, though here again the wheat and the chaff are badly mixed. Many good and really basic titles are omitted, some of them excellent surveys of historical bibliography or librarv history. If a reader is not disturbed by errors and wishes a very brief survey of certain subjects, this book might serve as a starting point. RAYMOND L. KILGOUR RUSSELL E. BIDLACK Universityof Michigan Ann Arbor Books and Publishing Lecture Series, Vol. II: DAVIDC. E. SIUNDERLIN, 1955.By CHARLES LANDER SPAIN.BosMEARNS,and FRANCEs ton: School of Library Science, Simmons College, 1955. Pp. viii+55. $1.75. (Lithoprinted.) In the spring of 1954 the Simmons College School of Library Science inaugurated a lecture series having for its general theme "Books and Publishing." The lectures, delivered by James T. Babb, Jacob Blanck, and Howard Mumford Jones, were issued in printed form as Volume I of the Books and Publishing LectureSeries (reviewed in Library Quarterly, XV [October, 1955], 402). With the publication of Books and Publishing, Volume II, the second season's lectures are now made available to the library profession. The 1955 lectures were sponsored by the Royal McBee Company, Doubleday and Company, and the Spencer Press. Charles E. Sunderlin, of the National Science Foundation, David C. This content downloaded from 220.127.116.11 on Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:42:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 243 REVIEWS Mearns, of the Library of Congress, and Frances Lander Spain, of the New York Public Library, were selected to deliver the lectures. The selection of speakers was a happy choice in each instance, for the three lectures in this volume maintain and continue the quality of excellence which characterized the 1954 lectures. Speaking as the representative of an institution (government) "that has probably done more than any other to aggravate the problem of scientific literature," Dr. Sunderlin in a lucid, thought-provoking, and scholarly manner deals at some length with "The Challenge of Scientific Literature" today. The dimensions of the problem of this literature, as Dr. Sunderlin describes them, are vast indeed: the scientific journal, for the last two centuries the chief medium for publishing research results, is faced with a mounting volume of manuscripts and rising costs of publication; the technical report, which, as a rule, does not find its way into the indexing and abstracting services on which scientists depend for information related to their own research, has emerged as a new and important means of publishing research findings and poses a real problem of bibliographical control; the issuance of separates to hasten the publication of researchresults creates a new and overwhelming problem which deserves attention; the very management and control of the volume of scientific literature constitute a major research problem. A solution that will fit the dimensions of the problem of getting scientific literature from the producer to the consumer, Dr. Sunderlin believes, must come from the co-operative efforts of many people-scientists, engineers, librarians, documentalists, et al. David C. Mearns in his essay titled "Of More Portentous Sound: A Codicil to Boston's Literary Testament" traces "the history of an episode which transpired at the Hotel Somerset on Saturday evening, January 12th, 1907," when the seventh annual convocation of the Boston Authors Club met to honor their president, Julia Ward Howe, and their vice-president, Thomas Wentworth Higginson. That which transpired at the meeting makes delightful reading, and to say more about this essay would be to deny other readers the pleasure of finding out for themselves what took place at the Somerset. The co-ordinator of children's services of the New York Public Library, Mrs. Frances Lander Spain, is particularly well qualified to take "A Mid-century Look at Children's Books." Mrs. Spain is in agreement essentially with the underlying theme of Jacob Blanck's 1954 Simmons lecture-that "children read what they want to" today as well as in the nineteenth century. She points out, however, that children read books which are available to them and that they may be introduced to books which they know nothing about or think they do not wish to read. With these points established, Mrs. Spain considers some present-day trends in children's books-some of which she is happy about, some of which she is wary of. Books in series, books by authors who devote themselves exclusively to children's literature, books by writers who are better known as authors of adult books but who, for one reason or another, have entered the field of children's books, the increasing attention publishers are giving to children's books, and authors, the quantity and quality and variety of children's books at this mid-century pointall come in for concise and knowledgeable discussion. The Simmons College School of Library Science is to be commended on the choice of speakers and for making available to the library profession at large these informative essays. JOHN DAVID MARSHALL Alabama Polytechnic Institute Library Auburn Beitrdgezur Geschichteder Universitdtsbibliothek Rostock im 19. Jahrhundert. By HEINRICH ROLOFF. (Zentralblatt fuir Bibliothekswesen, Suppl. No. 79.) Leipzig: Otto Harrassowitz, 1955. Pp. 66. DM. 6.60. During the last twenty years we have read and heard a great deal about the "crises in cataloging." It may be reassuring and perhaps even amusing to the librarians interested in the history of their profession and of librarianship in general to be reminded of earlier bitter controversies usually ending in some "final solution." The first part of this little book deals with the reform plans 126 years ago of F. W. R6nnberg, second librarian of the University of Rostock. These proposals, which form part of a general renaissance of university and research libraries in Germany and other parts of Europe during the first part of the nineteenth century, deal primarily with cataloging: demands for a single and complete catalog, for a universal subject approach (in this instance the classified Realkatalog), and for a better and expandable ar- This content downloaded from 18.104.22.168 on Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:42:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions