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very different indeed. Yet the lingering way in which New build- the new buildings are carried on, not only seriously ings.
diminishes the public usefulness of the Museum, but greatly and needlessly enhances the ultimate expenditure. And against this very system the select committee of the House of Commons has most justly
Few points of detail, in the internal management of the Museum, are more important than the provision of good catalogues, as has been already insisted upon. . Ample evidence was adduced before the committee to show the great importance and entire practicability of classed catalogues, or indices, both of printed books and MSS., published in parts or faculties, for separate sale. Sir Harris Nicolas describes the printing and publishing such catalogues as a “sine qua non, if the contents of the British Museum library are really to be made useful to the public.”
Mr. Forshall, while agreeing that “a well-digested and full-classed index of subjects” to an alphabetical catalogue has some advantages over a general classed catalogue, properly so called, is still of opinion that it is also desirable to publish catalogues of the lastmentioned kind
Ib. 4 167.
“of the books, in some five or six branches of knowledge, which are limited in their extent and definite in their nature. I mean such as: 1, the physical sciences; 2, the arts of design, and the mechanical arts; 3, British history; 4, British topography; 5, bibliography, and a few others.” And he continues: “I may perhaps be allowed to take the opportunity of suggesting, whether in the annual lists published each year, the books might not with advantage be disposed alphabetically in classes, so that a reader might find within the compass of a few pages what new books, in his own par. ticular line of reading or research, had been added to the library in the course of the preceding year." These appear to me to be most excellent suggestions.
The following points in the evidence of Mr. John Murray, the eminent publisher, respecting catalogues, are bighly deserving of attention: “Your opinion is adverse to the publication of catalogues in Evidence
of Mr. folio?-I consider it an utter waste of money and destroying the
John very object. Have you any decided opinion as to the value of Murray classed and alphabetical catalogues?—To publish a classed catalogue respecting would be ten times more valuable than an alphabetical catalogue.
catalogues. Would it be more useful in a literary point of view ?- I think it would be of the greatest value in the world. In your opinion would a classed catalogue be not only valuable in a literary point of view, but also successful as a commercial speculation ?-Yes. I think I could publish it safely at my own expense. My opinion is, that I would undertake the expense of it, if it were given me thoroughly digested. In fact, having the MS., you would under. take all the other expenses connected with the publication ?-Yes." (Ev. II., 3750 to 3761.)
I have gone so much into detail on this subject of catalogues, because it is one so intimately connected with the improvement of the British Museum in relation to its highest objects. It was but too truly said by Mr. Panizzi, in his evidence as to the past: “Public opinion is exercised only upon one of the purposes for which the British Museum was instituted; that is, upon its establishment as a show place. Unfortunately, as to its most important and most noble purpose, as an establishment for the furtherance of education, for study and research, the public seem to be [to have been?] almost indifferent. content that my assertion be tested by the feeling which is expressed in the House of Commons when the Museum Ev. ut sup. is mentioned in that assembly."
4936. Nothing will do more to elevate the public conception of the proper character of the Museum than a continuance of that growing spirit of liberality towards such objects on the part of Parliament, of which of late there has been repeated evidence, and which has been attributed by a principal trustee of the British Museum-his Grace
the Archbishop of Canterbury—“to the improvements that have taken place in the Museum itself; to the greater facilities of admission; to the general improvement in the taste of the people for such objects as the Museum presents to their view; and to the effect which these circumstances must have on the members of the government, by showing them that a [large] expenditure of money in that way will be rather approved by the people than otherwise.”
OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY, AND OF THE EFFECTS OF ACADEMIES
IN GENERAL ON THE PROGRESS OF THE ARTS.
“ Amicas reprehensiones gratissime accipiamus, oportet: etiam si reprehendi non meruit opinio nostra, vel hanc propter causam, quód recte defendi potest.'-AUGUST. Hieronymo, Ep. xciii.
“ Die Academie der bildenden Künste ist in der doppelten Absicht errichtet: einmal die Erbaltung und Fortpflanzung der Kiinste, welche nur durch lebendige, ja persönliche Ueberlieferung möglich ist, zu sichern; so dann den Künsten, ein öffentliches Daseyn, ein Beziehung auf die Nation und den Staat selbst zugeben, wodurch sie fäbig werden, ihrer seits vortheilhaft auf das Ganze zuruckzuwirken, den Sinn für Schönbeit und den Geschmach an edleren Formen allgemein zu verbreiten.” &c.—Constitution der Königl. Academie der bildenden Künste von Baiern. § 1.