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In 1855 a complete catalogue of the New York State Library was published. The Trustees of the Library, though authorized by law to publish at this time a like catalogue, have deemed it proper to issue supplements instead of full catalogues, until the library has attained such a magnitude as to warrant the embodiment of the whole into a single work.
They now present the first supplement to the catalogue of the General Library. Those of the Law Library, and of the manuscripts, engravings, coins, medals, etc., are in course of preparation, and will follow in due time. These supplements will be properly distributed, and together with the catalogue of 1855 will form really one work, exhibiting the present condition of the Library, and opening its treasures to all who wish to explore them.
This volume contains the titles of works added since the publication of the catalogue of 1855, with such titles of that catalogue as it has been thought best to modify.
The whole number of volumes in the Library at that date was 43,634; of which 13,623 were in the Law Library, and 30,011 in the General Library. The aggregate number now on the shelves is 59,167, being an increase, since the last publication, of 15,533 volumes; of which 11,774 are additions to the General Library, and 3,759 to the Law Library.
Among the additions are twelve thousand pamphlets and two thousand almanacs, which have been bound in six hundred volumes. The pamphlets are about one-half British, and the other half American. The titles of all of them are recorded in their alphabetical places in the Catalogue. The names of the real or supposed authors of six hundred of such books and pamphlets, as were published anonymously, have been ascertained from the best sources, and are appended to the titles, with cross-references.
The most noticeable of all the additions is the immense series, amounting already to nearly seven hundred volumes, containing 30,000 Specifications and Drawings of the British Patents, from the commencement to the present time. This magnificent publication of the British Government surpasses, in extent and expense, any single undertaking of the press since the invention of printing, and its value, both for the History of Invention and for Inventors, is inestimable. The number of complete sets is very limited: the State Library was highly favored therefore in the gift of a copy from the British Commissioners of Patents, which was obtained on the personal representations of Mr. Pruyn, chairman of this committee.
From the King of Denmark, has been received, through the kind offices of Col. De Raasloff, the Chargé d'affaires of Denmark to this country, the splendid work of Dr. C. R. Lepsius, on the Monumental Antiquities of Egypt and Ethiopia, in twelve volumes imperial folio; and from the King of Prussia, the complete works of Frederick II, in fifteen volumes quarto.
The present catalogue is constructed on the same general principles with that of 1855, with some new features to render it more useful; the Explanations preceding the first page will show for the most part what the improvements are. The labor of its preparation has been performed by Mr. Homes, one of the assistant librarians, with occasional aid from the other officers of the Library. The Trustees bear cheerful testimony to the ability and zeal with which the work has been executed.
JOHN V. L. PRUYN,
Committee on the Library. December 1861.
TRUSTEES OF THE STATE LIBRARY.
THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK,
ROBERT G. RANKIN.
Superintendent of GEORGE W. CLINTON.
Public Instruction. Rev. ISAAC PARKS, D.D. ERASTUS CORNING.
LORENZO BURROWS. PROSPER M. WETMORE.
ROBERT S. HALE. JOHN LORIMER GRAHAM.
ELIAS W. LEAVENWORTH. GIDEON HAWLEY, LL.D.
J. CARSON BREVOORT. JAMES S. WADSWORTH.
Library Committee, 1861.
S. B. WOOLWORTH, LL.D., Secretary of the Trustees, and
of the Library Committee.
ALFRED B. STREET, Librarian.