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To the Honorable the Legislature of the State of New York:
The trustees of the State Library respectfully present this their fifty-eighth annual report:
At the close of the year 1874, the number of volumes in
the library was....
Of which there were in the general library..... 67, 935
At the close of the year 1875, the number was.
This shows an addition larger than that of any of the preceding eleven years by about five hundred volumes. While works in general literature and science have not been neglected, every opportunity has been embraced of adding to the historical collections. In American genealogy, a department daily increasing in interest, but few volumes have been published which are not on the shelves of the library.
2,018 1, 440
The terms of the appropriation to the library by the last legislature were for "the purchase of books and manuscripts." It was understood that special reference was had to a collection of manuscripts made by the late Henry Stevens, of Barnet, Vt., the purchase of which had been favorably regarded by committees of the legislature. The gatherering of these had been the work of many years. They are in about two hundred volumes, averaging more than two hundred papers in each volume, making nearly fifty thousand separate papers. The dates are from 1676 to 1850, ten thousand being estimated to be more than seventy-five years old. Among them are papers relating to the question of jurisdiction between this state and Vermont over Cumberland and Gloucester counties and the New Hampshire Land Grants, the Susquehanna lands in the western part of New York, the French and Indian wars of 1745-1756, including the battle of Lake George, the war of 1812, the papers of Ethan Allen, Ira Allen and Governors Jenison and Tichenor, with a great variety of miscellaneous papers, nearly all of historic interest. The work of classifying and arranging will be entered on as soon as the other work of the library will permit.
To the two thousand volumes of newspapers in the library have been added during the past year sixty-three volumes of the London Chronicle, extending from 1757 to 1797; and seventy-five volumes of the New York Mercantile Advertiser from 1800 to 1838. The former of these presents the English view of the events connected with our conflicts with the mother country which culminated in independence, and the latter, the history of the war of 1812, with the causes which led to it, and of the years of domestic tranquility which followed it. Also Hollandsche Mercurius, Harlaem, 1660 to 1691, seventeen volumes; Europische Mercurius, 1691 to 1693, Amsterdam, four volumes. Also the Mercure Historique et Politique, Tomes, 2-142 Parma, La Haye, 1687 to 1757, one hundred and forty-two volumes, 18 mo. While this collection of newspapers may seem large, there are several libraries in the country which have nearly twice our number.
Valuable additions have been realized from the system of interstate and foreign exchange. Among these are the volumes completing the works of Frederick the Great, in thirty-one volumes, from the Emperor of Germany, and the continuation of the specifications and drawings of patents from the government of Great Britain.
The law department has received valuable additions of English, Scotch and Canadian treatises and statutes, both to supply deficiencies and to provide works necessary to a complete library of general law. American law, in every department, has in no respect been neglected.
The trustees call the attention of the legislature to the deficiency in the appropriation for binding. This should be supplied, and the annual appropriation for this purpose increased, or there will be an accumulation of unbound volumes which cannot be used, and which will hereafter, require a large sum to be rendered available to readers.
The trustees are gratified in being able to assure the legislature that the administration of the library is in the highest degree satisfactory.