Reclassed 1/-/- 24€.L.N



It is my privilege to be able to announce the completion of negotiations by which I have become the possessor of the very remarkable collection of electrical books of the late Mr. Latimer Clark of London.

My object in securing the collection was to present the books to our Institute and make it the custodian of the most complete electrical Library in the world, as well as to stimulate such interest that the Institute may in time own a permanent home in New York.

The assurance received from those who have cooperated with me in this undertaking, that the collection is very complete and includes practically every known publication in the English language previous to 1886, on magnetism, electricity, galvanism, the lodestone, mariner's compass, etc., have been more than verified by my own examination of the books since their arrival in this country. There are among its 7,000 titles many books which are not to be found in either of the famous libraries with which it has been compared, and I find that there are even some of the very earliest examples of printing.

I have always been a strong believer in the principle that every professional man is under obligation to contribute in some way to the welfare of the profession in which he is engaged, and in obedience to this idea I now desire to present


this Library to you complete, reserving to myself only the photographs, autographs, and such duplicate books as I may add to my own collection without detracting from the completeness of the Library.

As an early contributor to the Institute and one of the original members of its Building Committee, I am interested in securing for it permanent headquarters and adding to its importance, dignity and strength. It is my desire that the Institute accept the Library and through its Library Committee and a suitable Librarian administer it in such a way as to make it generally useful, and I hope that the possession of these books will add to the Institute's prestige.

I am inclined not to suggest rules for the management of the Library, believing that those who are in charge from time to time are in the best position to know what is desirable, but in order to fix its general character, and secure its permanence, I condition the gift upon the acceptance by the Institute of the following provisions:

First.-The Library to be kept insured against loss by fire as fully as it may be practicable to determine its value, and an annual appropriation of $1,500 to be provided for its maintenance.

Second. A complete catalogue raisonné to be published in the name of the Institute, reciting the conditions of gift and explaining the features of interest of each book for the convenience and information of members. This catalogue to be prepared at once and a bound copy of it to be placed in the hands of each member of the Institute.

Third.—The Library to be in charge and control of a Library Board or Committee made up of members of the

Institute and not more than a quarter of the whole number of members of this Committee to be allied with any one commercial or other interest.

Fourth. The Library to remain in New York City and to be a reference library, free to all, including non-members and available for consultation at least three days in the week and some evenings and some Sundays, as soon as the Institute is in permanent quarters.

Fifth.-Rare books, that is, books which it is practically impossible to replace, to be exhibited under glass with suitable explanatory cards and to be subject to closer examination only at the Library and upon suitable introduction of the visitor to the Library Committee or their representative, the Librarian, and under such other precautions as will positively assure the preservation and safety of the books.

And further, it is my earnest desire that the Institute shall within five years raise a sufficient fund by subscription, and provide itself with a permanent home for its meetings and Library, and that this home shall be centrally located, reasonably safe from fire and not heavily mortgaged.

In case of the failure of the Institute to comply with the substance or spirit of these conditions, or with the desire expressed above for a permanent home, the Library shall revert to me or my heirs or assigns.

Having in view the sole purpose of encouraging the Institute to attain the position which I feel sure all of its members desire, I have sought to name conditions easily within its reach.

Ampere, New Jersey,


May 17th, 1901.



HIS work is due to the generosity of Mr. Andrew Carnegie, who donated a fund to house, catalogue and complete the celebrated Latimer Clark collection of books, pamphlets and periodicals, presented to the Library of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers by Dr. Schuyler Skaats Wheeler. A history in detail of the acquisition of the collection and of Mr. Carnegie's gift is given in the Report of the Library Committee for 1903. It is not inappropriate to recall here that it was on the day following a "Library Dinner," given February 9, 1903, by the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, at which Dr. Wheeler and Mr. Carnegie were the guests of honor, that Mr. Carnegie announced his desire to provide in New York City the building now known as the Engineering Societies' Building. In this palatial structure, of which the two upper floors are devoted to library purposes, the collection has found an ideal home.

In planning the work, and particularly in view of the requirement of the Wheeler Deed of Gift that a copy should be placed in the hands of each member of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, of whom but a small proportion can make use of the collection at its home in New York City, it was felt that the contents should be given as much general interest as the titular scope of the book would

1 As this Report was not published in the Transactions of the Institute, and also contains a history in detail of the founding of the Library, it is printed at the end of Vol. II. with the omission of the sections dealing with financial matters.

« VorigeDoorgaan »