New York State Library 94th Annual Report 1911, Transmitted to the Legislature March 27, 1912. [archive.org, stripped of its illustrations]
Annual report, Issue 94, 1912, [Google eBook]
38 pages devoted to a narrative of the fire
The State Library 7
Destruction by fire 7
Losses and salvage 9
The Dutch records '31
Temporary quarters 32
Manuscript restoration 33
Internal reorganization 34
Order and accession work 36
Library for the Blind 44
Indexing and editing the Session Laws 45
The new State Library 46
Legislation and appropriations 46
Scope of the collections 47
The new building 51
New York State Library School 53
Educational extension - 55
Charters, registry and transfers 58
Field work 63
Round table meetings 64
New York Libraries 64
Traveling libraries 64
Library progress 66
Statistics of tax support 71
Library buildings 71
1 Chapter 901, Laws of 1911 73
2 Chapter 521, Laws of 1912 75
3 Editorial comment of the State press 76
4 Gifts for six months 83
1 Best books of 1911 (Bibliography bulletin no. 51)
2 25th annual report of New York State Library School, 1911 (Library School
bulletin no. 30)
University of the State of New York Bulletin
Entered as second-class matter August 2, 1913 at the post office at Albany, N. Y.f under the act
of August 24, 1912
ALBANY, N. Y.
New York State Library
REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR
The State Library 6
Destruction by fire 7
Losses and salvage 9
The Dutch records 31
Temporary quarters 32
Manuscript restoration 33
Internal reorganization 34
Order and accession work 36
Library for the Blind 44
Indexing and editing the Session Laws 45
The new State Library 46
Legislation and appropriations 46
Scope of the collections 47
The new building 51
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Page 7, Plain Text,
REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR 1911
To the Regents of the University and the Commissioner of Education of the State of New York
This document nominally reports on the State Library for the year ending September 30, 1911. Actually it deals with but the last half of the year, for on March 29, 1911, the Library was almost totally destroyed by fire. The manuscript, ready for printing, of the usual detailed report for the year ending September 30, 1910, was burned. The summary of it in the seventh annual report of the New York State Education Department, in the chapters entitled The New York State Library and Educational Extension (pages 237-56) must now suffice. For the year ending September 30, 1911, all records, statistics, correspondence and data from which might have been prepared a futile report for the first six months, perished with the books and manuscripts they would have recorded and described.
DESTRUCTION BY FIRE
The catastrophe is probably the greatest in modern library annals. The burning of the Kaiserliche Universitats und Landes Bibliothek in Strassburg during the Franco-Prussian War did not destroy so many books. The fire at the Biblioteca Nazionale in Turin (1904) was notable for the large number of rarities and manuscript treasures lost, though no more, numerically, than 25,000 books and 2000 manuscripts were destroyed. The combined library losses at San Francisco in 1906, while perhaps aggregating nearly half a million volumes, were not comparable in the character of the books and manuscripts burned, for the entire Bancroft Library and a great part of the Sutro collection escaped. At Albany a round half million of books, three hundred thousand manuscripts, the costly apparatus of administration, the whole representing the skilled and devoted labors of many faithful and zealous library workers during almost a century — all these, forming a collection ranking with the first half dozen in the western hemisphere and among the first twenty in the world, were swept away in a few hot and disheartening hours. The work of a great going concern — a work reaching not alone into every corner and county of the State, but through correspondence, publications and exchange into every part of the world — a work of
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educational extension, of library instruction, book acquisition, and of diversified and expert reference service was cut off between two days. The fact that within a stone's throw of the fire stood a superb new building almost ready to receive the Library and to protect it from just the catastrophe which overtook it and which had been dreaded for so many years, gives a touch of unusual tragedy to the situation. The fire, resulting from an all-night legislative caucus in the Assembly chamber, got a good start in a part of the Capitol at that hour scantily furnished with watchmen and with slender and wholly inadequate fire protection, and by the time it broke into the neighboring rooms of the State Library it was so fierce that the Library fire apparatus was powerless. Once in the Library quarters thoroughgoing disaster was inevitable, for despite repeated emphatic and plain-spoken warnings during the past fifteen years from those having charge of the State Library, the State had made no suitable provision for the safety of the collection of books, and conditions had been allowed to grow up which invited the very calamity which befell. It is hard to see how there could ever be a more potent argument for the segregation of great libraries in buildings built to house libraries and administered by those having libraries actively in charge, than is afforded by this fire, when all the circumstances which were responsible for it are taken into account. The conditions which permitted it to gain serious headway and which seemed powerless to arrest its rapid spread were those arising directly from the partisan system of administering and caring for public buildings, a system which keeps veterans in responsible positions of watch and guard until they are seventy-five or eighty years old, which is a stranger to fire drills and sufficient patrol and which must always fail of effective esprit de-corps. The plain lesson for libraries from the New York State Library fire is that no valuable collection of books should be housed in a building occupied,
administered and cared for as are undoubtedly all the state capitol buildings in the country.
The fire started between two and three o'clock in the morning in the Assembly library on the third floor of the northwest part of the Capitol. The State Library had no control over nor connection with this room. Apparently the flames were carried into the State Library by leaping from window to window across the corner of a court or light shaft some twenty or thirty feet square, which at this point separated the Assembly from the law library rooms. Almost immediately after reaching the law library the
PHOTO: After Page 8
Page 9, Image.
Page 9 Plain Text,
smoke filled the entire west front of the building from the third floor to the top, and the flames gutted the three floors occupied by the Library with almost incredible swiftness and ferocity. The Library night watchman, Mr. Samuel J. Abbott, was apparently overcome by smoke and found himself unable to escape, for his body was later recovered from the ruins. None of the officers of the Library became aware of the fire until too late to enter any of the rooms occupied by it. Such a thoroughgoing disaster in a building supposed to be reasonably proof against fire, almost passes belief. It is amazing that so many books in such a building could have been so speedily and completely consumed. Some idea of this and of the ensuing desolation may be had from the accompanying pictures reproduced from photographs taken a day or two after the fire.
LOSSES AND SALVAGEAny definite or comprehensive statement of losses would be little less than a full catalog of the various collections. No book was rescued during the fire from any part of the Library quarters. All books saved were taken out after the fire had spent itself. No detailed statement of salvage is feasible except for the manuscript collections, for which such statement appears in the following paragraphs revised from the first draft occurring in the Journal of the Meeting of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, June 21, 1911, pages 426-38. Besides the following described manuscripts actually rescued after the fire, forty-five others of unusual rarity and renown which were particularly described in the Regents Journal, June 17, 1909, pages 12225, and January 25, 1911, pages 346-49, were kept in a safe in a part of the Capitol not reached by the fire.
What remained to the Library after the fire may be fairly accurately stated as follows:
Books saved belonging to the State Library proper, including those in hands of borrowers 7,000.
Traveling library books loaned throughout the .State, including several hundred books for the blind 40,000.
Manuscripts saved 80,000.
Duplicates stored in other buildings 200,000.
These are being sorted and will yield many thousands of volumes for the new library.
Several hundred coins and a few relics, notably those relating to Washington.
Books. The salvage came wholly from the main reading room and the adjoining room and the alcove devoted to genealogy and local history, which from their position and the fact that they had high ceilings confined the principal ravages of the fire to the upper parts of the rooms. The salvage from these rooms comprised general reference books, Poole periodicals, bibliographies and indexes, local history from the New England and Middle Atlantic States and a few dozen volumes of individual genealogy. Nearly everything saved had the covers and edges burned, and when this was not the case the books were thoroughly watersoaked and in many cases had been standing in water from fifteen to thirty-six hours. The drying, cleaning and rebinding of these books presented varied and difficult questions. Many rescued from the ruins proved to be odd volumes of sets or too badly damaged to be worth keeping. Many single volumes, sometimes whole sets, were discarded as being palpably more costly to rebind than to replace.
In saving books and manuscripts for the State Library, work of the utmost discomfort and danger was cheerfully and zealously done by the men of the Library staff, who endured cold, wet and smoke for days, regardless of health, hours, and actual personal loss of clothing and effects. On their own initiative and anticipating request or suggestion, Messrs Vitz, Biscoe, Tolman, Colson, van Laer, Lester and Gavit, heads of the different sections of the Library, and others, for two weeks did the work of laborers, which no one else had the requisite knowledge of books and locations to do so well or at all.
Manuscripts. Especially difficult and indeed dramatic was the work done in saving the manuscripts in the first forty-eight hours after the fire. For the vigorous initiative and prompt action with which this work was prosecuted and for the considerable measure of success which followed, the State is very particularly indebted to two men, Mr I. N. Phelps Stokes of New York City, who was sent to the scene the day following the fire by several of the trustees of the New York Public Library, and Mr A. J. F. van Laer, the State Archivist. Their work may best be told in their own words reprinted below from contemporary newspaper accounts, though these accounts fail to reveal the extent of the dangers braved in the work of rescue. As sufficiently indicative of the actual risks to life and limb, it is proper to say that twice during the first day of rescue work Mr Stokes was carried from the manuscript room,
Room 35, the principal reading room. It was from the central part of this room and from a small side room adjoining that the only considerable number of books was saved. The effect of the fierce heat is seen in the disintegration of the group of marble columns supporting the arches. The circular object on the gallery rail is a clock frame.
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unconscious from the smoke, and each time, upon being revived, he insisted on returning. The following account by Mr van Laer is reprinted from the Albany Argus for April 4, 1911:
The State Archivist tells of his efforts to salvage books and papers, with the assistance of I. N. Phelps Stokes, the salvage expert, whom the trustees of the New York Public Library sent to aid the Department in organizing the work of rescuing valuable documents. When they first entered the manuscript room of the burned library with a ladder, Mr van Laer says, "The sight was appalling. Not a vestige of books, bookcases or desks was to be seen. Nothing but an empty shell, with four feet of smoldering debris on the floor. Fires were starting up in various places, a stream of water played on the ruins and water poured down from the floor above. It seemed well-nigh hopeless to attempt to rescue anything under such conditions, but Mr Stokes insisted that, if anything were to be saved, work must be begun at once. Hurrying to the main reading room of the Library, the archivist secured the help of four or five members of the Library staff, who worked with zest, and under his direction soon recovered some of the older Dutch records in a fairly good state of preservation. Later, Adjutant General Verbeck appeared, who offered his services to Mr Stokes in the name of the Governor, and promptly organized a line of guardsmen to remove the records to the office of the clerk of the Senate. With the efficient aid of his men good progress was made. The men were directed to dig carefully where the most valuable records used to be shelved and, as soon as anything came to light, it was carefully lifted out and' carried away. Many of the volumes were so hot they could hardly be touched with the hand and some were actually burning along the edges.
"As soon as one spot was cleared down to the floor, the debris next to it were turned over and everything taken out that was still legible. Gradually about half the floor space was gone over and to make room the men were told to throw the already examined debris out of the window. The archivist stood himself near the window and watched every shovelful that was thrown out, many fragments being rescued in that way. All this took place in a drenching downpour of water from the floor above. No stop was made for luncheon. When evening came, many of the most valuable records had been saved, and Mr Stokes and the archivist felt themselves richly rewarded for their trying experience. To prevent the fire from breaking out afresh, water was turned on during the night, and next morning at seven o'clock work was continued. The condition of things that second day showed the wisdom of Mr Stokes's timely action, all the books and papers that were found being either more charred or thoroughly watersoaked. By 6 p. m. practically everything that could be saved, including nearly one hundred volumes of colonial and State records, several hundred bundles of papers, about a thousand coins and medals, and the General Worth swords, were safely placed under a guard in the office of the clerk of the Senate.
"Saturday morning, the last scraps of papers were gathered up and during the day everything was removed to 162 State street, the new headquarters of the State Library, where Mr Frank L. Tolman, the reference librarian, and the archivist were busy till 11.30 p. m. arranging the most valuable and watersoaked material on temporary lath racks, to let it dry over Sunday. The loss of historical documents is immense, but thanks to Mr Stokes's wise counsel, about 10 per cent of the entire collection and perhaps 30 per cent of the most valuable material is saved."
Mr Stokes's story is reprinted from the New York Times of April 30, 1911 and is as follows:
"When the fire broke out," said Mr Stokes, "the trustees of the New York Public Library called a hasty meeting and decided that some one should go up to Albany to carry the sympathy of the institution to the
pages x - 10
authorities of the burned library and express their desire to cooperate in any possible way. They asked me to go, so the morning after the day on which the fire broke out I arrived in Albany. I presented the sympathy of the New York trustees and then went out to see what had happened.
"I was told by those who had watched the fire that flames from the room of the archives window had burst out and spread half across the street. So it was generally believed that there was no chance of finding intact any of the priceless, unduplicated records the room had contained. Mr van Laer, the archivist, however, cherished hopes, and I thought, too, there might be a way of saving something.
"Torrents of water had been poured on the building, and we figured out that the soaked manuscripts might not have burned, that at least those on the lower shelves might have been protected by the fallen rubbish from above. However, there was no means of gaining access to the room. The stairway was gone, and that part of the building had been declared unsafe.
"Being an architect, I came to the conclusion that there was not sufficient weight on the floors above to make it unsafe to enter that part of the building if an entrance could be effected. We decided to ask the fire department to give us ladders so as to make an entrance into the third story, but while arrangements were being made for this scheme, we studied the plans of the building and found that it would be possible to get to the floor the archives were on through the burned floor of the room above the apartment of the clerk of the Senate.
"We promptly did this, and by breaking through the panel of the door, were able to climb into the room where the early records of New York's colonial history had been kept.
"The sight did not encourage us in the hope that anything could be saved. Everything had been burned, the shelves and desks, and there was four feet of smoldering debris on the floor. From the ceiling streams of water leaked through. Here and there little fires were starting. It seemed a hopeless proposition.
"Still, knowing the power of resistance to fire that compressed paper possesses, we made the attempt. Mr van Laer, through many years of familiarity with the archives, knew exactly where to look.
"'Here,' he said, 'were some early Dutch records of the State.'
"When we got down through the debris, we caught a glimpse of paper which, while charred and water soaked, was still decipherable. Here were some remaining Dutch records. Evidently, our idea that some things might be saved was not altogether a vain one.
"As quickly as possible we climbed out again and sought the Governor. We laid before him our plan for salvage, and he readily saw that there was not a moment to be lost. He promised his prompt cooperation, and we got back to the scene of action without loss of time. Adjutant General Verbeck sent soldiers, who helped us dig in the rubbish and formed a chain to pass the baskets full of saved stuff to safety.
"The water came down, not in streamlets, but in a steady downpour, filled with soot. It was indescribably dirty and hopeless looking; but, fortunately, we had to waste no time in looking for the most valuable records, since van Laer could point out where they should be and recognized them the moment they were brought to light.
"The room where the archives were contained was a continuation of the corridor. It was about forty feet long and fifteen feet wide, and had a window at the farther end. When the flames broke through the panels of the door, spreading through the corridor, the length of the room and the window at the other side made a kind of flue for the flames to sweep through, and this, of course, had made the spectacular blaze that was seen during the fire. The manuscripts around the upper shelves had been promptly burned to bits, and, just as we had hoped, their fall and the streams of water poured in by the fire engine had savedsome of the things at the bottom
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"Many of the volumes were burned when we got to them and were so hot they could not be held in the hands. We had a hose with us and were constantly obliged to turn on more water to put out the little fires that would break out every once in a while. There was much smoke and discomfort. Although I had assured the men that the huilding was safe, whenever there was a noise as of something falling they would be startled and anxious to quit work, for which nobody could blame them.
"We tried to sort things roughly and to indicate even as we worked in the midst of the debris of the room which were the most important papers. There was a constant line of baskets passing from soldier to soldier. In this way we were able to get out what Mr van Laer considered the most valuable documents during the first day.
"At seven o'clock the next morning we were back at work. Fire had broken out during the night, and more water had been turned on, so that our task was harder than the day before. Then, you will remember that immediately after the fire a cold spell set in with a high wind. Much of the debris at the bottom was frozen stiff, and could not be taken from the floor, and once in a while a loose paper would be caught up and whirled away.
"There was some criticism of this flying paper afterward, but I do not see how working under such conditions we could have prevented a few leaves from escaping, and the only wonder is that the wind, rushing through the gutted building, did not whirl away more of them.
"We worked hard all through the second day, and at the end were able to feel that about everything had been got out that could possibly be saved. Of course, much that we rescued was in an indecipherable condition, and most of it is in a dreadful muddle, so that it will take a year or more for the archivist and his assistant, who alone know the manuscripts thoroughly, to get them into order and make them available for use.
"The useless debris was thrown out of the window as we dug, Mr van Laer himself standing by to examine every shovelful and make sure that no fragment that could be of value was thrown out.
"It will be remembered that the loss of General Washington's sword and the General Worth sword was reported at the time of the fire. The Washington sword was recovered rather curiously. As we worked the first day I saw a workman pick up a twisted bit of metal and show it to another. The other shook his head, thinking the thing useless, and the finder threw it away.
"Mechanically I noticed the incident and saw where it fell. I thought the bit of iron was one of the supporters of the shelves. The whole room was filled with bits of twisted metal.
"The next day I heard of the loss of the Washington sword and recalled the piece of twisted iron I had seen the men handle. It occurred to me that that bit might have been the sword, and as I remembered where it had fallen I got the men to dig there, and it turned out just as we hoped. It was the sword, very much out of shape, but it can easily be straightened and made the same as ever.
"Bishop Doane kindly gave us the use of the house at 162 State street for our manuscripts. They were all taken there as they were rescued. The reference librarian fitted up shelves of laths, where the soaked material was put to dry.
"A corps was organized from the women employees of the Library, and they set to work to tear off the covers of many of the books. The water collected in the covers and kept the inside damp, so it was better to separate the two and let them dry apart. We telephoned to Herbert Putnam, the librarian of Congress, and asked him to send Mr Berwick, who has charge of the repairing of the national archives, to offer suggestions. Mr Berwick promptly responded.
"The Catholic Society came to the rescue later, when the house at 162 State street was filled to overflowing, and gave their large gymnasium as a temporary drying place for the books and manuscripts. This gives room to work in, and all the saved records are there still, so far as I know."
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From a point where the floor of Room 55 once was looking through the door into Room 54 and down into Rooms 34 and 44
Lessons from the fire. In the work of taking manuscripts from the ruins two interesting facts became plain. First, that had the cases and shelving in the manuscript room been metal and not wood there would have been no salvage at all. The wooden shelves and uprights were quickly weakened and burned through and the books on them were thus allowed to fall to the floor in a pile which, when covered with debris, burned slowly and furnished considerable salvage when the heat had cooled sufficiently to allow it to be examined at all. Thus the chief manuscript salvage was from the volumes on the lower shelves, which were buried the deepest, as the fire brought down upon them the wreckage of books, shelving and furniture from the upper portions of the rooms. This condition resulted from a fierce fire which had escaped all control and had swept through the rooms unchecked. The merit of metal shelving, of course, is best revealed as a preventive or check in the incipient stages of a blaze.
It was possible to make a very effective comparison between wood and metal shelving, for in rooms almost adjacent to the manuscript quarters there was a considerable installation of metal shelves and office furniture. At first sight it looked as though the books on the metal shelves were comparatively unharmed, but the moment they were touched it was discovered that they had been literally crisped through and fell to pieces often into a sort of powder or pile of little chips of brown paper, at even the most careful touch which was necessary to take them from the shelves.
A second lesson indicates the high importance of beginning salvage work after a fire at the earliest possible instant. The foregoing narratives of Mr Stokes and Mr van Laer show clearly that there was no delay in beginning the salvage of our manuscripts. Indeed for the first day the work was prosecuted under such conditions of fire, smoke and water as to be definitely dangerous to life. The comfortable assurance is afforded, as the matter is reviewed, that all manuscripts were saved that could have been saved. The same necessity, however, exists in the case of books. And in this work in the State Library it was not possible to use a sufficient number of people in the work of salvage who were acquainted with location and who could give to the work the care and pains necessary to secure any reasonable result whatever. As the work progressed it became clear that with each passing day the books taken from the ruins were less and less likely to be worth saving at all
Manuscripts of Library publications. Another form of loss and a peculiarly poignant one, was the destruction of nine manuscripts of various numbers of the different series of publications maintained by the State Library. Only those who have actually done similar bibliographic work, indexing, revision, editing and translating, will appreciate the amount of time and labor which had been expended on these manuscripts (many of which had been in preparation for several years) and the hopelessness of attempting the reconstruction of some of them, in the face of the calamity which destroyed not only them but the very collections which they described or were designed to illustrate.
A list of these manuscripts follows, with statement in each case as to whether the enterprise has been, or will be, resumed.
Check list of genealogies and of books on heraldry in the New York State Library
This manuscript was almost, or quite, ready for the printer and represented the work of three or four different people for a period of nearly five years. The collection upon which it was based was one of the best two or three in the country, but as it was almost totally destroyed, there can be of course no present thought of attempting another list of genealogies, even though the Library has bought several thousand since the fire.
Comparative summary and index of state legislation for the years 1909 and 1910
The manuscript for these years, almost ready for the printer, was totally destroyed, together with the consolidated index on cards, representing the items which have been included in the successive printed indexes since 1800. When to this is added the fact that the entire law library was burned and that these manuscripts can not be replaced without full sets of session laws from all states for recent years, it is clear that if this work is ever restored, it will not be very soon. Our indexers are at work on the volume for 1911, but unless legislative appropriation provides additional expert indexers, it is obvious that the current work on the index from year to year will consume all time and help available for this purpose.
United States government documents
A new edition of Library School Bulletin 21, well advanced toward publication, was burned, together with a multitude of notes, criticisms and suggestions, covering the five years since the first edition was published. These it is impossible to replace, and no revision of the pamphlet can ever be as good as when made with them before the editor. It is possible that some day, when a considerable document collection is again on the shelves, this bulletin may be revised; but it is not a plan to which a day can be definitely assigned.
Library School register, 1887-1912
For five or six years material has been collected looking toward a new edition of a register of students of the State Library School, to be issued in its twenty-fifth year. After the fire it became necessary to begin the work anew. The new edition, the first since 1902, has been completed, is now in press and will be distributed at the dedication of the new building.
Check list of session laws for American states
This undertaking was in preparation pursuant to an informal understanding with the Library of Congress that it would publish a similar check list covering United States laws. The list for three or four states was complete at the time of the fire; and a mass of material was in work, covering many of the other states. It was based upon the State Library's unusual collection of original session laws. Until another such collection, or a better one, is available, it will be idle to think of resuming the work.
New York Libraries for April 1911
The manuscript for a complete number was actually in the hands of the printing section at the time of the fire. After its destruction the indefatigable editor prepared an entire new number, and the April number of the journal appeared with but few days delay.
Translation of volume 1 of the manuscript Dutch records
Mr van Laer and his assistant had been at work on this translation for nearly a year. It was almost ready, but, with the volume he was engaged in translating, was totally destroyed. Every one of the other twenty-two manuscript volumes was saved.
Tentative list of best books for 1910
This list commonly issued during the first ten days of April each year was on the point of going to the printer. The destruction of the manuscript and of all the books listed in it together with the bibliographic apparatus which made the list possible put quite out of the question any attempt to duplicate it. It was accordingly omitted entirely.
Director's report for the year ending September 30, 1910
This was the manuscript for the usual detailed report of the Director. It was well advanced. As all data and records necessary to reproduce it as well as the Library itself were swept away, there seemed little use in compiling an extended report anew even were it possible. A summary report covering the same year appears as titles 5 and 6 in the seventh report of the Education Department for 1910. pages 237-56; for the Division of Educational Extension, practically the same statistics, with additions, are included in the 94th report of the State Library, pages 55-72.
Manuscripts. The following list of the principal sets of manuscripts in the State Library prior to the fire shows the approximate extent of salvage from each set as it can be determined on September 1, 1912.
The manuscript collection constituted the largest and, from the point of view of the historian, the most important body of archives in the possession of the State. The manuscripts were acquired by gift, by purchase, and by transfer from various State offices during a period of sixty-five years and embraced practically all that had been preserved of the executive, legislative and judicial records of the administration of the province under Dutch regime, 1630-64, 1673-74; the executive and legislative papers, other than land papers, of the English colonial administration,
1664-73, I674~1783; the executive and legislative papers of the provincial administration during the Revolution, 1775-78; the legislative papers from the formation of State government in 1777 to 1910; the papers of the Council of Appointment, 1777-1821; the election returns, 17771905; the census returns, 1801-1905; the correspondence of Sir William Johnson and of Governors George Clinton and Daniel D. Tompkins; the archives of the manor of Rensselaerswyck from its first settlement in 1630 to about 1870; a large collection of papers relating to Vermont, known as the Henry Stevens papers; several series of transcripts from foreign archives and a number of miscellaneous books and papers relating to special persons and topics.
Of this general collection of manuscripts a large and important portion remains, owing to the circumstances that two years ago a number of the most valuable manuscripts were removed from the manuscripts room to a safe in the office of the Commissioner of Education on the first floor of the Capitol, where they were not exposed to any danger from the fire, and that other important and early records were saved by being buried during the fire under a large mass of legislative papers which fell from the mezzanine floor above. The most serious losses occurred among the executive records of the English colonial period, the Sir William Johnson manuscripts, the Clinton papers, the Tompkins papers and the early Senate papers, which stood in a double-faced case and were exposed to the fire on both sides. A detailed statement of the losses and the extent to which the principal sets have been printed is given in the following list. In reading this list it must be borne in mind that the term "volume" applies in most cases not to an actual volume, but to papers which were formerly bound as a volume, since after the fire all manuscript volumes were taken apart and the manuscripts placed between blotting paper to dry. When manuscripts are described as being "in good condition," it means either that the paper did not suffer at all or that the writing is intact though the paper is burned along the edges. When said to be "in fair condition," it means that the paper is badly scorched but that the greater part of the writing is still preserved; when described as "in poor condition," it must be understood that the documents are very badly burned and that of some papers only fragments are left.
MANUSCRIPTS IN THE SAFE IN THE OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION
Charter of the Colony from Charles II to the Duke of York, 1664
Duke's Laws, 1664-65
Dongan Laws, 1683-84
Constitution of the State of New York, 1777
Constitution of the State of New York, 1821
Constitution of the State of New York, 1846
Proposed Constitution of the State of New York, 1867-69; rejected except sixth article
Constitution of the State of New York, 1894
Journal of the Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New York to ratify the proposed Constitution of the
United States, held at Poughkeepsie, June 17-July 26, 1788
Ratification of the proposed Constitution of the United States by the State of New York in Convention assembled at
Poughkeepsie, July 26, 1788
Autographs of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence
Andre Papers. 13 manuscripts
Washington's Opinion of the Surviving Generals of the Revolution, written in the winter of 1791-92, after the defeat of
Gen. Arthur St Clair by the Indians in the autumn of 1791
Draft of Washington's Farewell Address, written in the spring of 1796
Tabulated statement of Washington's household expenses in 1789
Draft of President Lincoln's First Emancipation Proclamation, September 22, 1862 After the transfer to the Library of
the Van Rensselaer Papers,
the following documents from that collection were added to the number in the safe:
Map of the Colony of Rensselaerswyck of about 1632
Patent of the Colony of Rensselaerswyck, 1685
Commissions in the militia, as justice of the peace and as commissioner for Indian affairs to various members of the
Van Rensselaer family, 1670-1768. 21 documents
Commissions to Philip Schuyler as major general in the Continental Army, 1775, and as surveyor general of the State
of New York, 1781
Letters of freedom and citizenship of the City of Albany granted to Jeremy Van Rensselaer, 1733, and to Stephen Van
Draft of commission to Tuenis Van Der Volgen as deputy ranger of the County of Albany, from Jeremiah Van
RECORDS AND PAPERS IN THE MANUSCRIPTS ROOM AND OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE LIBRARY
New York colonial manuscripts, 1638-1800. 103 v. Of this series, 61 volumes are saved in good or fair condition, 22 are fragmentary or in very poor condition, and 20 are entirely gone. These volumes contained colonial government papers on a great variety of topics, among them being the council minutes for the Dutch period, the correspondence for the same period with the Dutch West India Company and with other American colonies, records of civil suits at law involving conflicting land claims, criminal trials, petitions, commissions and appointments, proclamations, muster rolls of colonial troops and census rolls, all illustrating the civil and political history of the colony from its first settlement to the time of the American revolution. Aside from the volumes of orders, warrants and general entries, the volumes of commissions, and the council minutes for the English period, the colonial manuscripts contained almost all the important papers of the colonial government that had been preserved, with the exception of the records that relate distinctly to land transactions, which are in the office of the Secretary of State. The Dutch part of these manuscripts was contained in volumes 1-19 and 23, which were all saved with the exception of volume 1 (containing contracts, leases, wills, powers of attorney, etc., 1638-41), and of this volume we have in manuscript a translation by Dr E. B. O'Callaghan. Of the English papers, 42 volumes (v. 20-22, 24-29, 34-42, 45, 40-63, 79-82, 84-87) are in good or fair condition, 22 volumes (v. 44, 46-48, 70, 74-78, 83, 88-91, 93, 96, 99-103) are fragmentary or in very poor condition, and 19 volumes (v. 30-33, 43, 64-69, 71-73, 92, 94, 95, 97, 98) are entirely lost. Those which were lost relate largely to the administrations of Governors Brockholls and Dongan, 1681-86; Bellomont and Cornbury, 1690-1704; Burnet, Montgomerie, Van Dam, Cosby and Clarke, 1721-41; Hardy, 1756; and Monckton, Colden, Moore, Dunmore and Tryon, 1762-72; and to the boundary dispute between New York and Massachusetts, 1785-1800. A list of the papers in volumes 1-101 was printed in 1865-66 as Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the Office of the Secretary of State, v. 1, Dutch, 1630-64; v. 2, English, 1664-76. Of volumes 102 and 103, which related mainly to the above-mentioned boundary
dispute and were largely copies of earlier records bearing on the question at issue, there was only a manuscript calendar and this was lost. The ordinances and regulations of the government during the Dutch period were printed in 1868; the four volumes of the Documentary History of the State of New York and volumes 1214 of the Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York contain other documents taken from this series; and large portions of volumes 22-24 of the manuscripts, covering the earliest period of the English rule, as well as muster rolls for the entire colonial period, were printed in the annual reports of the State Historian for 1897 and 1898, though not with desirable accuracy. The great mass of the papers in the series, however, has never been printed.
There were also 24 volumes of translations by Francis A. Van der Kemp of the records now contained in volumes 1-19 and 23; these are almost entirely destroyed but as the translations were very imperfect, their loss is not serious. In addition to volume 1 already mentioned, Doctor O'Callaghan translated volumes 2-4 and a few documents from volumes 5, 16, 22 and 23; these translations were saved.
Holland, London and Paris documents, 1611-1782. 80 v. These were manuscript copies of official papers procured in 1841-44 from the archives of Holland, England and France by John Romeyn Brodhead as agent of the State. The copies were almost entirely destroyed but the loss is comparatively unimportant as originals are still in existence and the English papers as well as translations of the Dutch and French papers were published in full as Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, v. 1-10, index v. 11, Albany 1853-61.
New York Council minutes, 1668-1783. 28 v. All the volumes of this series were saved; 14 volumes are in good, 4 volumes in fair, and 10 volumes in poor condition. Of the rough drafts of council minutes, which in a number of cases supplemented the engrossed minutes by giving entries that the engrossing clerk omitted, very little is left. The minutes of the Council acting in its legislative capacity are fortunately in print, Journal of the Legislative Council of the Colony of New York, 1691-1775, 2 v., Albany 1861; those minutes which were not legislative in character are given in abstract in Calendar of Council Minutes, 1668-1783 (History bulletin 6 of the State Library), Albany 1902; more recently the first part of the earliest volume of council minutes has been printed by
the State Historian as Minutes of the Executive Council of the Province of New York—Administration of Francis Lovelace, 1668-1673, 2 v. (index to appear later as volume 3), Albany 1910. Of the minutes after 1686, a set is also found in the Public Record Office, London. In view of the fact that many of the manuscript volumes are in excellent state and that the series has been to so large an extent printed, it is fair to say that the loss of historic material has been slight.
General entries, orders, warrants etc., 1664-1712. 10 v. This series of records of the action of the governors in cases brought before them on appeal, of admiralty cases, of ships' passes, etc., ran from the English occupation to 1683, with a few records which were of later date. Four volumes were saved in part but the loss sustained is severe. The earliest volume of the series was published practically in full as General Entries, v. 1, 1664-65 (History bulletin 2 of the State Library), Albany 1899. Much of the earlier volumes of the series has also been printed in volumes 12-14 of the Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York and, so far as they fell within the period 1668-73, in the illustrative material accompanying the State Historian's recent publication of council minutes.
Court of assizes, 1668-72. 1 v. This volume contained also general entries. The part of the volume made up of the court record seems to be entirely gone, but fragments of the general entries are saved.
Colonial commissions, 1680-1772. 5 v. Fragments only saved. Volume 3 had been received very recently from the Secretary of State. This was a series of records of very great value, not in print.
Colonial laws, 1691-1725. One hundred seventy-five laws engrossed on parchment received from the office of the Secretary of State in 1849, and listed in the 1850 catalog of the State Library, pages 1030-54. These are entirely gone but there are records of most of them in the office of the Secretary of State and all were printed in Colonial Laws of New York, Albany 1896.
Bills which failed to become laws, 168 5-1770. 3 v. Saved in fair condition.
Treasurer's warrants, 1702-76. 6 v. Parts of 4 volumes saved, not in print anywhere.
Quit rent accounts, 1722-1806. 18 v. Parts of several journals and ledgers saved but all very badly burned. These accounts were not in print and were of value principally because they furnished a record of the patents by counties.
Land patents. The 2 volumes of Dutch patents, known as GG and HH, which constitute the very earliest records of the colony and run from 1630 to 1664, were both saved and are in very good condition. Patents for the period after 1664 are in the office of the Secretary of State; 12 volumes of drafts of land patents, 1680-1775, which were in the State Library, were lost except for a few fragments.
Abstracts of land grants, 1664-1775. 12 v. Six volumes saved. These abstracts are arranged by counties and give data as to the date of grant, name of governor, grantee, description and amount of quit rent.
Returns of survey, 1683-86. 1 v. This important volume of returns was saved in fair condition.
Warrants of survey, etc., 1721-76. 7 v. These records included warrants of survey, Indian deeds, etc., 1721-32; licenses to purchase Indian lands, warrants of survey, etc., 1750-76; warrants to prepare patents, 1753-75. Three volumes were saved in poor condition and fragments of several others. The loss is practically complete but the substance of the record is in most cases to be found in the council minutes and the various land records in the office of the Secretary of State.
Indentures of Palatine children, 1710-11. 1 v. The volume was lost but the names of the children, parents and those to whom the children were apprenticed are printed in Documentary History of the State of New York, 3:566-67, quarto edition.
Montgomery charter of New York City, 1730. 1 v. In poor condition.
Provincial militia, 1745-60. Thirty-nine rolls purchased in 1906. These were all lost.
Indian traders' bonds, 1765-71. Two volumes of about 400 bonds. Entirely lost.
Proceedings regarding the boundary line between Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 1741-42. 1 v. Saved.
Commissioners at Greenwich, 1743. 1 v. Minutes of the commissioners appointed to reexamine and determine the controversy between Connecticut and the Mohegan Indians. Saved in good condition.
Territorial rights, 1750-70. 1 v. A collection of evidence vindicating the rights of New York against the claims of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and "the people of the grants who are commonly called Vermonters." Saved in good condition.
Books of entry of the port of New York, 1728-66. 10 v. All saved in fair condition.
Manifest books, 1740-76. Sixteen volumes and 4 file cases. Saved 8 volumes and contents of the file cases, being most of the years 1740-62.Shipmasters' and marine bonds, 1753-67. 10 v. Entirely lost.
Marriage bonds, 1752-83 (with memoranda of licenses issued in 1736-37). 41 v. A number of volumes were saved but all very badly burned. These bonds were filed as a condition to the issue of marriage licenses by the Secretary of the Colony, the licenses themselves being a dispensation from the proclamation of banns when it was inconvenient or impossible to comply with the general usage. Names of Persons for whom Marriage Licenses were issued by the Secretary of the Province of New York, previous to 1784, Albany 1860, is an index to the bonds in volumes 1-40 and Supplementary List of Marriage Licenses (History bulletin 1 of the State Library), Albany 1898, similarly indexes volume 41 and records of this character in other series. The information given by the bond and not given by the index was the town of residence and occupation of the parties to the marriage and of the bondsmen and the names of the bondsmen, of whom the bridegroom was generally one.
Wraxall's abridgment of the records of Indian affairs, 1678-1751. 1 v. As the original 4 folio volumes of records of the Indian commissioners have been lost for many years, this abridgment by Peter Wraxall, secretary to Sir William Johnson, was very valuable for a study of the relations between the colony of New York and the Indians for seventy-five years just before the period of Sir William Johnson's greatest activity. A copy of this record was made a few years ago for one of the historical students of the country who planned to edit and publish it; such publication has not yet taken place but the copy is still preserved.
Sir William Johnson manuscripts, 1733-1808. 26 v. Thirteen volumes (v. 1, 2, 6, 16-25) are in good or fair condition, 9 volumes (v. 3, 4, 8, 10-13, 15. 26) are fragmentary, and 4 volumes (v. 5, 7, 9, 14) are entirely lost. The papers in this collection numbered 6550 and the greater number of them are from the period 1755-74. With the exception of those in the last volume, they were nearly all public and private papers in the possession of Sir William at the time of his death in 1774. Because of the prominent part he played in the history of his time as the agent of the colony and of
the British government in the management of Indian affairs, these letters, official and military reports, and records of public proceedings were of great public importance. Fortunately a list of them was printed recently by the Department, Calendar of the Sir William Johnson Manuscripts in the New York State Library, Albany 1909. About 300 of the papers were printed in the Documentary History of the State of New York, 2:543-1007 and 4:257-504 (quarto edition, 2:315-583 and 4:167-312), Albany 1849-51. Copies of a large number of these papers have also at various times been furnished individuals and societies engaged in historical research and it will probably be possible to secure copies of the copies furnished by us. When Mr Hugh Hastings was State Historian, he had copied about a fourth of the more important papers of the collection and had them in press at the time of his retirement from office. These copies are presumably still in existence in galley or page proof.
Records of the Indian Agency, 1757-59- 1 v. Prideaux and Johnson Orderly Book -— Siege of Fort Niagara, 1759. 1 v.Diary of Sir William Johnson, 1759 and 1761. 1 v. These 3 volumes were really a part of the Sir William Johnson manuscripts, though not belonging to the 26 volumes of the series so-called. All are entirely lost, but the Orderly Book, which was not the original, was copied a few years ago and may possibly be replaced from this copy and the Diary was printed on pages 394-478 of volume 2 of William L. Stone's Life and Times of Sir William Johnson, Bart., Albany 1865. Stone also printed a few extracts from the Records of the Indian Agency.
Letters of Col. John Bradstreet and Gen. Sir Jeffery Amherst, 1755-71- 1. v., Lost
Letters of Governor Tryon to Rev. Samuel Buel, and Other Papers, 1777-80. 1 v. Lost.
Minutes of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety and Council of Safety of the State of New York, 1775—78. 10 v. Same, original drafts. 6 v. Only fragments of these sets were saved but they are printed as volume 1 of Journals of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety and Council of Safety of the State of New York, Albany 1842.
Revolutionary papers, 1775-77. I2 v- Only fragments saved; they were some of the letters and reports received by the provincial government and are printed as volume 2 of the Journals mentioned above.
Papers laid before the Provincial Congress, 1775-80. 16 v. Only fragments saved; these papers comprised credentials of delegates, military committee minutes, military returns (2 volumes of which are of later date than the provincial government, 1779-80), associations, petitions, miscellaneous papers. Selections arranged in chronologic order are printed as Calendar of Historical Manuscripts relating to the War of the Revolution, 2 v., Albany 1868.
Papers relating to the Vermont controversy, 1777-99. 1 v. In fair condition.
Proceedings of the Albany Committee of Correspondence, 177578. 2 v. Saved, being in the office of the State Historian.
Minutes of Commissioners for Conspiracies, 1778-81. 2 v. The originals are now lost but fortunately they were recently printed by the State Historian as Minutes of the Commissioners for Defeating Conspiracies in the State of New York, Albany County Sessions, 1778-81, 3 v., Albany 1909-10.
George Clinton papers, 1763-1844. 52 v. These papers of the man who was governor of the State, with a single intermission, from 1777 to 1804 contained material of great value for a history of the State in the Revolution and during the quarter century following; there were also business papers relating to lands throughout the parts of the State then settled in which various members of the Clinton family were interested. This collection suffered very severely and out of the entire number of volumes only 10 were saved in fair condition; of a few other volumes we have fragments. With exceptions, the papers for 1775-81 (volumes 1-14) were printed by the State Historian as volumes 1-7, and about one-fifth of the papers for 1782-85 (volumes 15-20) as volume 8 of the Public Papers of George Clinton, Albany 1899-1904.
Council of Appointment, minutes 1777-86. 1 v. Entirely gone. The military appointments to the close of the Revolution are entered under the organizations to which the officers were appointed in Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, v. 15 (State Archives, v. 1), Albany 1887. Of the files of the Council, 1777-1821, consisting of about 10,000 papers, some 1000 were saved but many of these are badly burned.
Manuscripts of the Colony and State of New York in the Revolutionary War, 1775-1800. 52 v. in 55. These papers were transferred to the State Library from the office of the State Comptroller in 1910. They formed the basis of New York in the Revolution as
Colony and State, Albany 1897, 2d ed. 1898, supplement 1901, and with other manuscripts in the State Library constituted practically all the important series of records in the possession of the State relative to the service of her inhabitants in the Revolution. About two-fifths of the papers were saved in good condition but the card index of names was entirely lost.
Letter book of Henry Glen, Deputy Commissary General, 177680. 1 v. Badly burned.
Beverly Robinson estate, 1777-79. 1 v. Accounts of sales of personal property belonging to Robinson and other tories. The volume is lost.
Certificates of treasurer. 10 v. These certificates were for the most part for military service in the Revolutionary War and therefore furnish the names of the officers and men so serving. The arrangement follows the pay rolls; the names were rearranged and printed as an "Alphabetical Roster of the State Troops" in Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, v. 15 (State Archives, v. 1), Albany 1887. The volumes were saved but are badly burned.Audited accounts, 1783-94. 2 v. Relate largely to the accounts for which the Certificates mentioned above were issued. Saved in fair condition.
Military balloting book, 1790-94. 1 v. Very badly burned. This book was printed as Balloting Book and other Documents relating to Military Bounty Lands in the State of New York, Albany 1825.
Onondaga commissioners' minutes, 1708-1802. 2 v. folio and 19 v. 16ℴ. These were the records of the commissioners appointed under act of March 24, 1797 to settle disputes concerning land titles in the military tract in central New York. The folio volumes are saved in fair condition though rather badly burned at the edges; the smaller volumes are lost.
Assembly papers, 1777-1831. 43 v. These papers were selected in 1831 from the documents on file in the Assembly and were arranged in 13 volumes called miscellaneous, 11 relating to Revolutionary soldiers and claims, 4 to forfeited estates, 3 to estates of deceased persons, 3 of executive messages and correspondence, 2 of attorney generals' reports, 2 of surveyor generals' reports, 1 of comptrollers' reports, 2 on Indian affairs, 1 on colleges and schools, and 1 on corporations (principally relating to New York City matters). Of this series 36 volumes have been saved, many of
them in excellent condition; the volumes lost include 5 of miscellaneous papers, 1 Revolutionary soldiers and claims, and 1 executive messages and correspondence.
Legislative papers, 1780-1803. 13 v. and index. These were papers similar to the above but taken from the Senate files. Four volumes are in fair condition and there are fragments of two others.
Legislative papers, 1786-1910. Unbound papers kept in file boxes or in packages. There were very few papers earlier than 1800; through 1831 they consisted of Assembly papers which were not considered valuable enough to be included in the bound series and related to the division of towns and counties, the incorporation of cities and villages, and of turnpike and bridge companies, the construction of canals, the erection of dams and wharves, the encouragement of manufactories, reports in relation to militia and military stores, the practice of medicine, and miscellaneous petitions; after 1831 they included also the classes of papers found in the bound volumes and were correspondingly numerous. For the later years they contained practically nothing but the original bills introduced. Out of some 100,000 papers, perhaps 2000 were saved but even these are badly burned.
Election returns, 1777-1905. Ten thousand papers unbound. About 1000 saved, many badly burned.
Queens county court of sessions, 1795. 1 bundle. Saved.
Original minutes of the land office, 1785-98. 1 v. Badly burned. The engrossed minutes are in the office of the Secretary of State.
State census returns, for 1801, 1807, 1814, 1821 and 1850-1905. 750 v. Portions of the returns for 1801, 1814 and 1821 were saved; all the other returns, which were not in the manuscripts room but on one of the upper floors of the Library, were completely destroyed.
Letters on Indian affairs, 1785-1825. 1 v. This volume contained also certain journals of Samuel Kirkland, missionary to the Indians in central New York. Lost.
Indian treaties. Seven file boxes of original parchments. Most of these dated from 1788 to 1822 though there were a few for the colonial period. All are lost.
D. D. Tompkins papers 1795-1845. 36 v. The 15 volumes of copies of letters received, letters sent, military orders, speeches etc. are entirely lost. Something over half of these volumes were printed by the State Historian as Public Papers of Daniel D. Tompkins, Governor of New York, 1807-17, 3 v., Albany 1898-1902.Page 28.
Of the 4000 original papers (letters received, drafts of letters sent, accounts) more recently mounted and bound in 21 volumes, about 1000 papers are saved but many of them are badly burned.Records of the War of 1812. 25 v. These papers were transferred to the State Library from the office of the State Comptroller in 1910. The bulk of the collection consists of accounts of the governor, paymasters and commissaries during the war, but there are also papers relating to roads and bridges, field artillery, fortifications on the northern and western frontiers and in New York harbor, for the last decade of the 18th century; arsenals and military stores, 1795-1821; the Council of Appointment, 1807-1817; accounts with the United States, 1816-1826; Indians (accounts, treaties etc.), 1783-1816; payments to American prisoners of war and Niagara sufferers; and a number of enlistment papers of men who served in the corps of sea fencibles. The volumes were at the time of the fire kept in a room off the north gallery of the main reading room and all were saved.
Tax lists of 1814. 1 v. In good condition.
Common school returns, 1821-22. 1 v. Saved in good condition.
Papers of Adjutant General Fuller, 1823-24. One bundle. In fair condition.
Treasurers' Account Books, 1826-94. Sixty-nine ledgers and a number of day books and accounts with banks. This set of records of recent date was saved.
Meteorological observations, 1826-50 and 1856-57. 36 v. Saved 25 out of 27 volumes of the quarto series, and 5 out of 9 of the folio series. These observations were the basis for Results of a Series of Meteorological Observations at Sundry Academies in the State of New York, from 1826 to 1850 inclusive, compiled by Franklin B. Hough, Albany 1855.
Dearborn's mission from Massachusetts to the Senecas and Tuscaroras, 1838-30. 3 v. This journal and account of treaties for the sale of lands and for the emigration of the Indians west of the Mississippi was lost but as it was copied a few years ago for a historical society it will be possible to replace it.
Constitutional convention of 1846. Four volumes of journals and one volume of documents. Very badly burned.
Putnam continental artillery company, Albany, 1854-59. 1 v. Saved in good condition.
Fort Jackson guard book (Confederate), 1861. 1 v. Saved.
Albany mayor's court, minutes, 1736-37. 1 v. Saved.
Albany Mechanics Society, 1786-1826. 1 v. In good condition.
Society of Associated Teachers of New York, minutes, 1794-1807. 1 v. In fair condition.
Albany Philharmonic Society, 1873-76. 1 v. In fair condition.
Schenectady retailers' applications for licenses to sell liquors and wines, etc. 1 v. Saved.
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, extracts from correspondence with the missionaries. T. Poyer, S. Seabury and others, relating to Long Island, 1704-79. Saved in fair condition.
Frontiers and miscellaneous, 1794. Saved in very good condition.South Carolina Navy Board minutes, 1776-80. 2 v. Saved in good condition.
South Carolina naval pay book,. 1778-79. 1 v. Saved in good condition.
John P. Gaines papers. Several bundles of papers from the middle of the nineteenth century, a part of them dating from the period when Gaines was governor of the state of Oregon. Many of them saved and in fair condition.
Manuscripts miscellaneous. 13 v. This is a distinct collection with this title. The contents of the first 4 and the 12th volumes are very miscellaneous and include an inventory of sundries provided for President Washington in 1790, a list of articles consumed in the family of the President in the same year, and what was possibly an annual budget of the Washington family. Volume 5 contained letters and papers of various members of the Livingston family, chiefly correspondence with Storke and Gainsborough, London merchants, 1733-38. Volume 6 comprised Boston and Philadelphia merchants' letters, 1733-38. Volumes 7 and 8 were made up of British colonial army papers and accounts, 1752-1807. Volumes 9 and 10 were autograph letters of American officials and authors. Volume 11 contained some French manuscripts, 1567-1808. Volume 13 contained the papers of Sir Edmund Warcupp relating to the Popish plot. All of these volumes were saved and are in fair condition.
Miscellaneous files, 1798-1851. 3 v. Among the more important papers in this series were: papers relating to weights and measures, executive proclamations against Canadian sympathizers, anti-rent papers, whaling companies on the Hudson river, papers relating to the Capitol and the transfer of records to Albany in 1798, field book of the division line of Schoharie and Delaware counties, New
York-Vermont boundary established in 1814, Holland Land Company papers, etc. The volumes are entirely lost.
Usselincx manuscripts, 1606-46. 3 v. Copies of papers of Willem Usselincx, an exile from Belgium who was preeminent among the founders of the Dutch East and West India Companies. The originals of these copies are presumably still in existence. Two volumes were saved though rather badly burned.
French papers. Eighty documents copied for the New York State Library in 1888 from the Bibliotheque Nationale and the Archives Nationales at Paris. They relate mainly to d’Tberville's voyages to the mouth of the Mississippi and to the War of the Revolution. A very fully annotated list was published as Descriptive List of French Manuscripts (History bulletin 5 of the State Library), Albany 1902. All these papers were lost.
Rensselaerswyck manuscripts, 1634-1870. This collection included some 200 volumes of ledger and journal accounts, 1000 Dutch letters, 3000 leases, 500 maps and surveys, and 25,000 miscellaneous manuscripts, embracing commissions, land patents, contracts, deeds, poll lists, tax lists, colonial muster rolls, and other papers of a public or semi-public character relating to the territory covered by the former Manor of Rensselaerswyck. The manuscripts saved include, besides those already mentioned as being in the safe in the Commissioner's office, nearly all the early Dutch account books, some 50 later account books, Anthony de Hooges's memorandum book, 1643-48, the court record of 1648-52, the letter book of Jeremias van Rensselaer of 1660-74, records of the Tivoli Manufacturing Company, 1836-40, a few letters and muster rolls and about 1000 leases.
Van Rensselaer Bowier manuscripts, 1621-1606. Manuscript and typewritten copies of the Dutch text of the letters of Kiliaen van Rensselaer and other papers relating to the colony of Rensselaerswyck which were obtained from Holland and published in translation under the above title by the State Library in 1908. These copies were saved in good condition.
Van Rensselaer Bowier manuscripts, 1574-1795. Typewritten copies of another collection of Dutch manuscripts relating to the van Rensselaer and van Wely families in Holland and to the colony of Rensselaerswyck, which was obtained from Howard Townsend, Esq., in 1908 and returned to Jonkheer Marten van Rensselaer Bowier at Amsterdam in 1909. These papers have not been published; the copies were saved in good condition.
Stevens papers. About 250 v. This collection included papers of Ethan Allen, Ira Allen, Heman Allen and Governors Jenison and Tichenor of Vermont, rolls and accounts of regulars and volunteers and Vermont militia in the War of 1812, Burlington customhouse papers, papers relating to the Canadian rebellion of 1839-40, etc., but the great majority of the papers were of a private or business nature. About 100 volumes were saved, many of them in very good condition.
Sermons in Dutch and Latin of Rev. Eilardus Westerlo. 9 v. All lost.
Registers of visitors to the Capitol, from 1883. 9 v. Most of them saved.
Paper money. Two scrapbook volumes, 1770-1864. Saved in fair condition.
DUTCH RECORDSThe 22 manuscript volumes of Dutch records which the Library is to publish under authority of chapter 177 of the Laws of 1910 were all saved except volume 1 of the register of the provincial secretary, which together with a complete typewritten copy and a translation which the archivist had prepared before the fire were destroyed on his desk in the manuscripts room. Of the 21 volumes that were saved 15 volumes, including 2 volumes of register of the provincial secretary, 1 volume of council minutes, 5 volumes of correspondence, 1 volume of ordinances, 1 volume of Curasao papers, 2 volumes of Delaware papers, 1 volume of records of the administration of Governor Colve and 2 volumes of land patents, known as GG and HH, escaped without serious damage to the writing of the documents. The remaining six volumes, which consist of council minutes, were badly burned at the top and in spite of the care that has been taken to preserve the charred edges of the manuscripts it appears that one or more lines are wanting at the top of every one of the several thousand pages of which these volumes are composed. Slight as this damage may seem in comparison to the total destruction of the first volume of the register of the provincial secretary, it involves a net loss of historical material which is scarcely less important than that of the register. The reason for this is that since the loss of van der Kemp's translations there is practically nothing, either in the way of copies or translations, from which the missing parts in the minutes can be supplied, whereas in the case of the register the substance of
the documents is preserved in a manuscript translation by Dr. E. B. O'Callaghan, which was saved in fairly good condition. Aside from the fact that for purposes of verification a mere translation can never take the place of the original record, the principal loss in connection with the register is that of the hundreds of autograph signatures of early colonists which were affixed to the legal instruments recorded in the volume and which formed one of its most conspicuous features of interest.
The time of the archivist for some months after the fire was necessarily taken up with the work of manuscript restoration, and to this extent the active work of translation of Dutch records has been in abeyance. Even after it was possible to resume this work, it was found to be seriously hampered by the lack of a proper bibliographical and historical reference equipment, such as formerly existed in the State Library. As soon as appropriations were available, however, the Library took steps to acquire the books of first importance for this work and the translation is now proceeding as fast as possible under the conditions.
Almost immediately after the fire the Library secured the use of temporary quarters in different parts of the city. The Division of Educational Extension and the Library School are now located in the Guild House of All Saints Cathedral. The work of caring for the recovered manuscripts is being done at the Catholic Union, at which building also the sorting of duplicates is carried on. Each of these enterprises will be the work of many months. The medical librarian is located in a room on the third floor of the building at 240 Washington avenue, occupied by the State Board of Charities, where the current medical journals are made available to physicians. Two members of the library staff are still at the State Normal College. Thousands of duplicates are still stored in the attic of the Senate chamber. The administrative, buying and cataloging departments of the Library, with the larger part of its staff, occupy the building at 162 State street. These scattered quarters will be occupied until the new building is ready, and its near completion with such substantial promise of satisfactory accommodations, does much to reconcile us to the present serious loss of administrative efficiency.
MANUSCRIPT RESTORATIONThese temporary quarters secured, the work of restoration was begun. The manuscript salvage was given first attention. What was saved had been before the fire mostly mounted on heavy sheets with wide margins and bound into volumes of varying sizes. The covers and edges of these were without exception charred and blackened, and in nearly every case the volume was more or less water-soaked. The first step was to remove all covers. Each volume was then taken apart leaf by leaf, and each sheet was laid between print paper for drying. After twenty-four hours every leaf was again handled and placed between heavy blotting paper; after twenty-four hours here, each leaf was again removed to a second blotting paper. At all of these stages pressure was applied to facilitate the drying and keep the documents from wrinkling.
With the first few volumes handled, each leaf was put into a bath of clear water and a camel's-hair brush applied to remove dirt. It was soon found that this took too much time to apply to all manuscripts and that they would mold and mildew if faster progress was not made. The bath was therefore omitted with the greater part of the manuscripts treated, and the camel's-hair brush was applied dry, and such dirt as could be removed was taken off in this way.
When each leaf had thus passed through these three drying processes, those belonging to the same volume were collected and carefully tied up in boxes or separate packages to wait until all the manuscripts were thus treated. The manuscripts were first saved from fire and water. The race through the ensuing two weeks to save them from mold and mildew was quite as keen and hard.
When all were dried, the manuscripts were arranged in volumes, a slow matter, as but one or two persons were enough acquainted with them to be able to tell just which documents belonged together. The rarest pieces will in time be mended, nearly all will be covered with crepeline, all will be mounted on fresh paper and carefully bound into new volumes. The archivist estimates that this work will keep a dozen or fifteen people busy for about a year.
This work, as described above, was initiated under the direction of Mr William Berwick, expert in manuscript restoration, who came to us for ten days from the Library of Congress. Mr Berwick not only personally organized our work, but has given the archivist and certain members of our staff explicit directions as to its prosecution to completion.
The accompanying photographs taken by Mr Berwick will perhaps serve to make more vivid the work described just above.
INTERNAL REORGANIZATIONSome faint notion may be had of the tangle into which the official records and business affairs of the Library were plunged when it is recalled that all records of outstanding orders were destroyed, that there was no way of knowing for how many thousands of dollars worth of books the Library was obligated or how many and what books had been received and not paid for at the time of the fire. Hundreds of then unknown "continuation" orders were cut off in midsets and even after agents had furnished lists of these orders supposedly complete, it was hard to decide wisely which to cancel or continue. These decisions were particularly hard because they must be made almost at once and it was impossible to decide just what the scope of the Library would be or upon what scale of expenditure it would be restored. The burning of all numbers for the first three months of the year 1911 of more than 3000 current periodicals broke 3000 volumes, many of them difficult and impossible to restore. All mailing and exchange lists showing what State publications were sent to and received from hundreds of institutions in all parts of the world were likewise burned and restored only by laborious correspondence. All accession records, the official shelflist, and practically all the public author catalog were destroyed. Much of the classed subject catalog, however, was saved and will be of considerable use in ordering new books. These incidents are cited merely as typical of hundreds which presented themselves during the months immediately following the fire and which at once emphasized the necessity for formulating a new plan of internal library organization which should be comprehensive enough to provide properly for the organization of a great library, yet which might be curtailed at certain points if it should later appear that any curtailment in plan were necessary.
With the Library thus entirely swept away, with the card catalog destroyed or burned beyond further use, with all records and correspondence wiped out, the situation was much like that which would confront a new library about to organize. Calling for immediate consideration and decision were such questions as: What system of classification shall be used? What form of catalog shall be constructed? Shall an accession book be used? What form of shelflist is desirable? What is the best record for current
Some badly burned manuscript treasures. On the top of the truck are some single sheets standing against a sheet of blotting paper below are some manuscript volumes after covers had been removed showing burned edges.
The same manuscripts drying leaf by leaf between heavy blotting papers The burned volume which is to be next treated
lies on the bench.
Manuscripts as received from the ruins placed on hastily built slat shelves awaiting treatment.
The folio edition of Audubon's Birds of America as saved from the ruins.
periodicals? How shall records be duplicated or differentiated among the various special libraries which in the future more even than in the past will probably as a group make up the State Library?
Naturally the factors affecting the decision of these questions were varied, involving the purpose and scope of the new Library, its various lines of coordinate work, such as the Library School and the Division of Educational Extension, the relation of all its activities to library and educational endeavor throughout the State. These were all questions which must be decided by the Library itself. No expression of opinion would be made, no definition of scope or purpose would be promulgated by the Legislature, and the State law merely said in general terms that the purpose of the act of 1818 "was to establish a public library for the use of the government and of the people of the State." Immediately after the fire, at the time when these questions must be decided, though the Legislature was in session it had not and could not for some weeks give any definite indication as to what appropriations might seem to it reasonable and proper for the work of restoration and reorganization. The Library authorities, however, assumed, and as the event proved with ample warrant, that the State wished to build up a new Library which should match the preeminence of the Empire State among state libraries and which should take again its former rank with reference libraries in the subjects which it should mark off as its own scope and province. Decision in these fundamental questions of reorganization was of course considerably helped by the knowledge and the fact that in the Education Building, at the time of the fire three-fourths complete, were provided ample quarters for the State Library which had been planned upon the various lines of work carried on in its former quarters in the Capitol. It was assumed, therefore, that none of this work would be given up and that ample appropriations would be made by the Legislature to enable the State Library to take its former place not only as the official head of the library system of the State but among the great libraries of the land.
A program for the technical reorganization of such a library is necessarily complex, far more minute and intricate than would suffice for smaller libraries. As described here it is not presented as a whole, nor are any of its features urged, as ideal provisions for any other libraries of similar size and kindred purpose. Among state libraries there is almost no other which combines under one administration in the same centralized way so many of the library activities of the state. The very extent and interrelations of thePage 36.
various other lines of educational and library work which are carried on by the New York State Library are in many cases justification and reason for the adoption of certain features of administration and certain forms of record which are not universally appropriate.
ORDER AND ACCESSION WORK
A temporary catalog. Several thousand books saved from the fire, all thoroughly wet, and most of them partially burned, called for first and immediate attention. They must be dried and prepared for binding; but as the bindery was burned and a new one to be found or equipped, it was necessary to make a record by author and title of all books saved from the fire which after examination should prove to be fit for binding and an ultimate place in the new Library. Obviously at such a time full and minute cataloging could not be thought of, and yet if possible a record was desirable which should take a permanent place in the economy of the Library and perhaps for some years form a satisfactory part of its catalog equipment. Gifts began to pour in at once; books were returned which were in the hands of borrowers; within a few weeks purchases began to be made, at first the most necessary bibliographic equipment, then for the Library School and the Division of Educational Extension, which resumed work with very little interruption. Records must be kept of all these accessions to avoid duplication and to be able to tell at a moment's notice whether such a book was on hand. To meet the need for a simple yet adequate catalog a consolidated index was devised which has come to be known through the staff as the "C. I." The following description of it will give the best notion as to the various problems which pressed for consideration almost at once in the reorganization of the internal library economy.
"Consolidated index." The consolidated index contains a record by author and occasionally by subject or title of all books in the Library, or of those ordered or begged, with certain other records likely to be helpful in the rebuilding of the State Library. More specifically, it will list:
1 All books saved from the old Library, either by salvage or returned by readers, which are wanted in the new Library.
2 Orders outstanding. For all books ordered there will be made an order card and a duplicate (carbon slip where possible). The duplicate card is filed into consolidated index, while order card. proper is kept in order index until book is received and accessioned,Page 37.
when it is filed into consolidated index in place of the duplicate which is then used in ordering Library of Congress cards.
3 Orders received (as explained in 2).
4 Outstanding requests for gifts. Two cards are filed (as with orders), one, the original, into "begging" file, kept by gift clerk to follow up, the duplicate into consolidated index. When request for gift is not successful, begging slip is changed to an order card or facts (not received) noted and card filed in want list.
5 Requested gifts received. When gifts are received in response to request, date of receipt is noted and the begging slip is transferred from "begging" file to consolidated index, in one of two ways; (a) if book is to be accessioned, book and slip are passed to accession clerk and routine is same as for purchase; (b) if not accessioned (as with certain pamphlets or parts of volumes or sets), slip is immediately filed into consolidated index.
6 Unsolicited gifts. These are first examined as to their desirability. If wanted by the Library, a card is made out for all gifts of four or more pages and filed into consolidated index.
7 Books bid on at auction. For all books on which bid is successful, two cards are made out as in purchase routine.
8 Reference cards to all titles on serials list.
9 Reference cards to all titles on annuals list. (In New York State Library serials are distinguished from annuals. Purchased annuals go on serials check list.)
10 Continuations. If these are issued in few volumes, so that order card will take -clearly and easily all required information, follow routine in (2) except that original card remains in order index until set is completed. In case of long and complicated sets, place reference card in consolidated index and keep record of receipt of continuation on sheets in continuations list. On completion, discard sheet into discard file and note fact on card in consolidated index.Accession book. In recent years many libraries have done away with this record; and in reorganization the question at once arose: Shall the accession book be retained in the State Library? After discussion by the heads of the various sections (a sort of library council which considered and settled all matters of this sort at this time) the various alternative or substitute plans were discussed. It became clear (1) that there are some items in the standard printed forms for accession books that seem to be unnecessary in any library; (2) that in many small libraries so few of these
items are a necessary part of its records that the accession book may well be discontinued and the essential items incorporated into another record or distributed over two or three records, such as the shelflist, the card catalog or the bill book; (3) that the question is not so small in a large library which is in effect a group of special libraries and which is intimately related both in its work and its internal library machinery to the library extension work of the State and to the Library School. It was therefore decided to retain the accession book but to use instead of, as formerly, a specially printed form with a dozen or more items of information, the standard condensed accession book printed by the Library Bureau, and of the items therein provided to omit size, place, minor paging, and binding information. A minor consideration which determined the retention of the accession book was that certain necessary statistics as to gross number of volumes added, volumes added during stated periods, separate figures for gifts, etc. were much easier procured from an accession book than from any substitute anywhere offered. It was believed, moreover, and in practice has so worked out, that other important steps in connection with the routine of getting books into the Library, the keeping out duplicates, maintaining fundamental and necessary business records, etc. might be grouped around the process of accessioning in such a way as not only to make it a more important step than formerly but to simplify the order routine.
Because the accession clerk must examine the book carefully to get facts for the accession record, she is made responsible for: (1) detecting such imperfections as may be discovered from a rough collation; (2) determining whether the book received is the exact book ordered; (3) preventing the accessioning or marking in any way of books ordered in duplicate because of an error in the author's name or in the title or imprint.
In other words, without very appreciably increasing the work of accessioning, she does a large share of the work that would be done by a receiving clerk in a library which kept its accession record in some other department.
In addition, the accession clerk is expected to see that books are assigned to the proper department among the five in the Library which have special bookplates and records, that is, main library, Library School, law, document collection, and traveling library. In the case of a purchase or gift en bloc, the work of eliminating the duplicates is done by the accession clerk.Page 39.
CLASSIFICATIONBefore the fire the Library used the Decimal classification. At the time this system was adopted (nearly twenty-five years ago) there was no other serious competitor. Within recent years the Expansive classification and the Library of Congress classification have appeared. These three systems then were considered by the New York State Library.
The Expansive classification is incomplete; it has been so for years and seems to be making but little progress toward completion. It does not seem to have been adopted by many large reference libraries within the past few years. For these reasons it was passed over.
As to the Library of Congress classification, many good points were conceded: among them its excellent grouping, its possibilities for easy interpolation, its minuteness, the fact that expert and competent people are constantly engaged in extending and improving it and its recent adoption by several important college and reference libraries. On the other hand it is not complete, it exists in print in confessedly tentative form, and could not therefore be adopted with any assurance as to the ultimate integrity of its present schedules.
It seemed, too, that the Decimal classification when intelligently used will result in shorter class marks. It is being actively revised, a new and considerably enlarged edition appearing just at the time of the fire. It has a considerable and growing international use and it is the only system of classification which may be properly termed universally current in this country. Any system universally current, or nearly so, or tending to become so, is for these very reasons much the most serviceable system. The Decimal classification is undoubtedly in this position and has in its favor so weighty a presumption of use and experience that any competing system must show a marked perfection in detail to make a stronger case. Then, too, aside from two or three of the very largest libraries in New York State, nearly all important collections are classified by the Decimal system. All printed bulletins of the State Library now distributed in hundreds, of institutions all over the world, the A. L. A. catalog, prepared at this Library, the instruction in our Library School for twenty-five years and the resulting usage in hundreds of libraries in all parts of the country, seem to constitute controlling reasons for the retention of this system. Even in its latest edition there were at once apparent many sections whichPage 40.
were not detailed enough for our purpose, but through an understanding with its editors, that any extension or amplification which should be approved by Mr. W. S. Biscoe, the head of our cataloging and classification, would be incorporated in the next edition of the Decimal classification we were thus enabled to make our extensions with the certainty that they would become a part of the official schedules.
CATALOGINGBefore the fire the principal public card catalog was a classed catalog, its arrangement and classification based upon the Decimal classification used by the Library. It had been twenty-two years in making and was one of relatively few card catalogs of this sort in the country, as it was perhaps the largest. Since this catalog was begun in 1889 the tendency has been distinctly away from the classed catalog and toward the dictionary catalog. A great classed catalog such as the one destroyed in the fire is a wonderfully effective instrument for research, reference work and investigation, particularly so in the hands of a staff highly trained and expert in the knowledge and use of the Decimal classification. There are many ways in which even the best dictionary catalog can never wholly fill the place of a good classed catalog. The trend in the other direction, however, has been and still is so decisive, the necessity for emphasizing, in the Library School, instruction in dictionary and not classed cataloging, and the desirability of having the principal catalog of the State Library not only in line with the best modern cataloging practice but thoroughly illustrative of the instruction given in the Library School — all these operated as potent reasons for deciding upon a dictionary catalog.
The State Library is in effect a group of special libraries occupying five separate reading rooms, one of which is further divided into three alcoves devoted to separate and important subjects. The Library School, too, maintains separate collections of bibliography, the Division of Educational Extension has an auxiliary collection which will number again, as it did before the fire, probably 100,000 volumes. While the desirability of making a catalog which shall contain cards for the books in all these collections is apparent, yet it becomes necessary to equip these special libraries with separate catalogs, most of which will duplicate cards in the general catalog but which in many cases will contain supplementary and independent matter. In addition to these public catalogs there must be created a considerable apparatus of official catalogs and records.
This entire cataloging equipment is briefly described below. The program is an ambitious one. It is formulated with the full knowledge that it can not in its entirety keep pace with the large purchases of books which seem assured within the next few years. Probably the State Library will be in arrears in full classification and cataloging for a quarter of a century. Short cuts and modifications of routine must be adopted as temporary expedients, yet the following program will serve as an ideal toward which, as time and available help will permit, the Library will proceed.
NEW YORK STATE LIBRARY CATALOGS
Public catalogsGeneral dictionary catalog; in the public catalog room
This catalog includes author and subject cards (with many added entries) for all books in the general library,
The collection in library economy (010-029) shelved in the Library School
Medical library (610-619)
Law library — author and subject cards for all law books except state and federal reports and statutes, codes, compilations, tables of cases and citations, indexes to laws, digests
In cataloging bar association reports it is believed that a reference card from the name of each bar association to full cataloging in the law library catalog will suffice. The law library notes its subject headings on cards for textbooks and trials only, it being assumed that the general catalog does not include subject cards for other material, or, if it does, that the subject headings will be obvious as in the case of legal periodicals, law dictionaries and the proceedings and debates of constitutional conventions.Serials — a reference card for each title and subject of each periodical referring to the serials catalog and certain full entry cards; for details see below, under Special catalogs: serials
Government documents. Includes printed reference cards only, referring from the names of countries, states or cities to the official checklist kept in the documents room. These cards to file immediately after the guide cards for countries, states and cities, and to refer to the collected sets of their documents. All government documents which are classified into the general library are fully cataloged
Traveling library books — author cards for all books which are not already in the general library
This catalog excludes:
Manuscripts, with a very few exceptions, as in genealogy. A separate card catalog of manuscripts and broadsides is kept in the manuscripts section.
Books for the blind. A separate card catalog of these is kept in the library for the blind.
Library School class work collection. A separate card catalog is kept in the Library School
Serials: in the public catalog room. On specially ruled sheets (9" x 11/4"); current serials to be added when bound; back numbers of incomplete sets are entered unbound. Editor cards, filed in the general catalog, are made for prominent names if on the title page or cover of a periodical. Complete sets of discontinued serials and American serials discontinued before 1830, even if incomplete, to be entered on serials sheet with full imprint cards in the general catalogDictionary or author catalogs for various collections are kept in different rooms or sections of the Library:
a Law, in the law librarySee under general dictionary catalog — Law, for information as to what law cards are also in that catalog.
b Medicine, in the medical library
Dictionary catalog: full entries put in the general catalog. Contains many temporary cards for which no entries
are found in the general catalog.
c Traveling libraries, in the Educational Extension Division
Dictionary catalog: simple author and subject cards with title cards for fiction and essays. Contains subject
and title cards, not included in the general catalog, for traveling library books.
Author cards only for all traveling library books are filed in the general dictionary catalog.
d Books for the blind, in the library for the blind
An author catalog: not duplicated in the general catalog. Contains also subject cards for biography and some
title cards. Duplicate author cards are filed in the official universal catalog.
e Manuscripts and broadsides: in the manuscripts section
Author catalog: contains usually one card only for each manuscript. This is occasionally a title card; or a subject card, as in the case of an anonymous biography. Some secondary entries will be made.
f Library School class work collection, in the Library School
Author catalog: not put in the general catalog. Contains an author card for each book in the collection, and an additional title card for works published anonymously, when the author is known.
g Library economy collection, in the Library School
Dictionary catalog: fully duplicated in the general catalog except certain cards for minor material relating to
libraries, not put in the general catalog (e. g. leaflets, clippings, blanks, pictures of library buildings, etc.). Classed catalogs
a Bibliography and library economy, in the Library School
b Genealogy and local history, in the history alcove in the general reading room
These classed catalogs of course duplicate entries in the general dictionary catalog. It was first planned to
make them a part of this general dictionary catalog under the broad headings, Bibliography, Local history and
Genealogy. After the reading room was opened it was found rather more convenient, even necessary, to take
these classed sections out from the general dictionary catalog and establish them in the rooms and alcoves
where the books so cataloged are kept.
Official catalogsUniversal catalog, room 142
An author catalog, including:
a Depository catalog of the Library of Congress
b John Crerar Library printed cards
c Harvard University Library printed cards
d British Museum accessions slips mounted on cards
e New York State Library official author cards, one for each separate title, with call number, accession number and tracing
f New York State Library name list cards recording authorities for author headings adopted — made only for names not found as headings on Library of Congress cardsPage 44.
g One author card for all books for the blind
h Cards saved from the old official catalog (before the fire) when they contain information not on any of the
aboveAccession book, Library Bureau Condensed, room 148
Consolidated index, room 148
A description of the Consolidated index is found on pages 36-37Shelflist, on cards 7½cm x 12½cm, room 142. Library of Congress cards to be used whenever available.
LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND
At the time of the fire there were in the hands of readers all over the State nearly 500 books, periodicals and pieces of music in embossed type. These were all that were saved out of 3299 volumes which had been accumulated during the twelve years that this work has been carried on by the State Library.
All records were destroyed so that it was impossible to know where a single one of these books was located. There was nothing to do but wait for their return in regular course. As soon as they began to come in they were utilized for further circulation and the first book was sent out on April 10, 1911, less than two weeks after the fire. So many books in embossed type were given to the Library immediately after the fire, by readers who had enjoyed its privileges in the past and by many institutions for the care and education of the blind that by September 30, 1911, the collection numbered 1039 volumes. The circulation with this stock for the six months immediately following the fire was 2479 volumes.The printing of books by the State Library, according to its custom for some years, was not of course interrupted by the fire and the following list of books in New York point was issued during the two years ending September 30, 1911. This list continues that which appears on page 45 of the Director's report for 1909. The prices annexed do not represent the cost of the book to the Library but the price at which it is sold by the Library to other institutions which maintain collections of books in embossed type.
Books published in 1910AUTHOR TITLE PRICE
Cross...... ….Mill on the Floss, 5.v....... $17 50
Harland …...My friend Prospero, 2v........ 5 ..
Humphrey...Over against Green Peak.......3 50
Loomis …....Cheerful Americans...............1 50
Little Maud and her mamma
Araminta and the automobile
While the automobile ran down
A man of puttyPage 45.
Montgomery..Anne of Green Gables, 3.v........... $9 75
Palmer.............Life of Alice Freeman Palmer, 2.v...7 ..
Richards........Wooing of Calvin Parks................ 3 50
Schurz........... Reminiscences of Carl Schurz, 3v.10 50
Tabb.............. Selections from Works....................... 40
Ten short stories, 2,v............................................... 5 ..
My Lord, the elephant, Kipling
As one having authority, Bunner
The cat and the canary, Cameron
In the Quantick stage, Hopkins
Wee Willie Winkie, Kipling
Did he take the prince to ride, Hale
Miss Becky's pilgrimage, Jewett
A Christmas present for a lady, Kelly
His Majesty the king, Kipling
The master of the inn, Herrick
Three years behind the guns...................................3 50
Tileston Children's treasure trove of pearls, 2.v.. 6 50
Torrey Footing it in Franconia............................... 3 50
Books published in 1911AUTHOR TITLE PRICE
Abbott........... .Molly Make-believe...................................................................$2 25
Allen.................Kentucky cardinal....................................................................... 2 ..
Barrie................Little white bird, 2 v. (Gift of Miss Nina Rhoades)..................5 ..
Bryce................American commonwealth, pt 2, National government, 5v...16 50
De Morgan......Somehow good, 5v................................................................... 17 50
France...............Crime of Sylvester Bonnard, 2v.................................................6 ..
Grenfell.............A man's faith................................................................................ 1 50
Henry, O...........A municipal report..................................
Let me feel your pulse.............................
Calloway's code........................................1 v.............................3 ..
Ransom of Red Chief.............................
Sociology in serge and straw...............Palmer...............Self cultivation in English.............................................................70
Peabody...........The piper...................................................................................... 3 ..
Rohlfs...............Leavenworth case, 3v................................................................9 75
Wiggin.............Penelope's experiences in Scotlana, 2v................................... 5 ..
INDEXING AND EDITING NEW YORK SESSION LAWSUnder chapter 216, Laws of 1908, the State Library is charged with the preparation for publication, the editing and indexing of the session laws of each year. When the fire occurred the preliminary work of editing the Laws for 1911 was practically completed. This included the preparation of all the prefatory matter, such of the tables of the appendix as were then obtainable, the preparation of cards for the index and the tentative indexing of the perennial items in the appropriation bills. At the date of the fire, March 29th, 54 chapters of the Laws of 1911
had been signed by the Governor. These had all been indexed and the copy of these laws with side notes and footnotes was ready for delivery to the printer. Cards also for the important tables of amendments and repeals affected by these chapters had been prepared. Every one of these was destroyed as well as some 1200 index cards which had been held over from the year before for use in preparing the cumulative table in the consolidated laws. This work had to be done over at a time when the indexing and annotating of the chapters being approved was engaging the entire attention of the library assistants regularly available for this work. All the office files of the printed and engrossed legislative bills for preceding years as well as the extensive apparatus of reference books, catalogs and indexes were likewise swept away. Duplicates of these were obtained only after considerable delay and after serious handicap to those doing the work. On June 21st the Legislature took a recess until September 6th. It was impossible to proceed with the printing of the laws enacted before June 21st as it was almost certain that further chapters would be enacted after the recess. This proved to be the case. The Legislature adjourned finally on October 6th, and the ensuing thirty days allowed the Governor by the constitution for action on bills in his hands at adjournment, postponed final delivery of copy to the printer until November 8th. The proof reading was handled with all possible expedition and the session laws were printed, bound and ready for distribution within the second week in December.
THE NEW STATE LIBRARY
LEGISLATION AND APPROPRIATIONS
After saving what was possible and giving to the damaged books and manuscripts such immediate care as was imperative; after restoring a semblance of organization and arranging to carry on the pressing work both usual and unusual which followed the fire, the most important consideration was a program for restoring the Library. An adequate new building was already nearly complete, an expert staff, loyal and tried, was at hand. Public sentiment expressed by press1 and people was quick and unanimous to urge a new and greater Library. The one requisite was money. Representations to the Governor and the Legislature that a million and a quarter dollars should be named by the State as the sum it was willing to spend at once to provide a new State Library, not
1 See appendix 3.Page 47.
only met with no opposition but with definite approval and encouragement. A bill was early introduced into the Legislature naming this amount of money and, after some vicissitudes, which never at any time challenged the wisdom and propriety of the measure, was finally passed. The provisions of this bill (chapter 901, Laws of 1911 )2 contemplate the expenditure of a million and a quarter dollars within four or five years, certainly as fast as it can be spent wisely. This bill and a later act (chapter 521, Laws of 1912)2 appropriated $550,000 of this sum for immediate use and when to this sum is added the regular annual book appropriation for the Library which has been continued without change, a total of $584,500 has been actually appropriated for the purchase of books since the fire and the State has by law set its seal of approval upon extraordinary appropriations as needed in the further sum of $700,000. While these sums do not represent the money value of the books destroyed, it is certain that they will found for the State a great library, and that the expenditure of them within a comparatively brief term of years will give a unity and balance to the collection which is inevitably lacking in any library that has grown up through a century. It will provide a collection of books worthy of the setting which the State has made for them in the new building.
The question of ways and means being thus happily disposed of, a well-considered plan became necessary, and the following statement of the proposed scope of the new Library was prepared and issued in separate form under date of October 20, 1911. While designed for the information of those having books or manuscripts to sell, as here reprinted with a few minor changes, it will serve as a definitive program for the formation of the new Library.
SCOPE OF THE COLLECTIONSBook purchases. The New York State Library, largely destroyed by fire March 29, 1911, is now, by reason of liberal provision made for it by the State, prepared to begin arranging for its new collections.
It is the duty of those charged with the purchase of materials to see that the State gets full value for all money expended and to make sure that only choice books of real worth and usefulness are permitted to enter into the new Library. The act of the Legislature, just passed, directs that the foundations now to be laid shall be made fit to carry, ultimately, a greater library than the one which was burned.
2 See appendixes 1 and 2 for text of these laws.Page 48.
To this end it seems well to state briefly to dealers and others who may have books to give or to sell, and for the information of the general public which will be interested, something about the scope of the new Library soon to be brought together.
It is not planned to make the New York State Library a great general library. Though it will have some books on most subjects, it can not undertake to collect all the books or even all the important books on all subjects. It is, however, to be a great reference library zealously specializing in certain definite subjects.The immediate definite constituency of the Library is of course the Legislature, the courts and the departments of the State government with their employees. In recent years as the business of the State has increased and the conception of the functions of the State has enlarged, the range and volume of the official demands made upon the State Library have steadily become greater and greater. It is expected that this will continue. It must be abundantly provided for.
A remoter but possibly an even more important constituency of the Library is steadily developing in every part of the State. Every school, every library, and all of the cultural, commercial, professional, and industrial activities in the State are depending upon and becoming, in effect, branches of the State Library. Through them any individual citizen may expect to find the unusual book not found in local collections. It is the business of the State Library to serve and to encourage all such, agencies and activities.The Library will, from the first, pay special attention to the following subjects, and in these subjects will aim to make its collections preeminent.
General reference books, a Complete sets of all journals named in the chief general indexes to English and American periodicals.b All books named in any important indexes to general literature, e.g. The A.L.A. Index, A.L.A. Catalog, Granger, Cotgreave, Reader's Guide.
c All strictly "reference books" in all subjects, in the general acceptance of the term, an acceptance which may fairly be indicated by the scope of Kroeger's Guide to Reference Books.
d Publications of learned societies with particular attention to those on the subjects in which the Library is to specialize.
e Bibliography; especially titles listed in New York State Library School Bulletins 26 and 5, and Bibliography Bulletin 36. Books about books, the history of printing, examples of early printed books, of notable bindings, of books from famous presses, of exceptional typography. Library history, administration and publications.
Law. All American, British and colonial official, unofficial, side and local court reports.
All series of selected cases or cases covering special topics.
American, British and colonial statute law.
All law periodicals in the English language, with a selection from those in other languages.
Digests, tables of cases, citation books and all legal bibliographic apparatus necessary to the convenient and exhaustive study of case law.
Legal cyclopedias and dictionaries, American textbooks in all editions, legal history and biography, literature of the law, international law, constitutional law, trials.
Reports of American bar associations and legal societies.
Such of the statute law and legal literature of foreign countries as will be useful to our State courts and departments in passing upon foreign questions coming before them, and to the Legislature for a comparative study of legislation.
Medicine. Complete sets of all important medical serials, especially those listed in New York State Library Bibliography Bulletin 47 and those indexed in Index Medicus.
Transactions of medical academies and societies, bulletins from hospitals, publications from research laboratories, public health reports, vital statistics.
Important cyclopedias, handbooks, reference works and texts, and of less use but surely claiming a place, the literature recounting the history and development of the medical sciences and the lives of famous physicians.
History. The standard histories of all countries, with special attention to those European nations which were early or active explorers of America, which were colonizers of this country and which have left traces upon our government, people and institutions.
Americana will be collected with zeal and in the broadest sense of the term, emphasizing strongly the thirteen original colonies.
The collection of books and manuscripts relating to New York State must, of course, be by all odds the best in the country.
Local history, geography, travels, cartography, American Indians, American imprints before 1800, New York imprints before 1825, American newspapers before 1830, New York newspapers before 1850 and a selection of New York State dailies and local papers since 1850. American biography and genealogy, with so much of English and foreign genealogy as shall be necessary to trace immigrant ancestry, are some of the collateral historical subjects which will have attention.
American literature to be principally represented by first and notable editions of the standard authors.
Education. The State Library is a part of the State Education Department, the Regents of the University are its trustees, and it is thus directly associated with the administrative educational offices of the State. The State Library must make its collections on educational theory and practice as complete and as useful as is possible to the thousands of educational officers, teachers and students throughout the State. Schools, colleges, and universities, public and private, in all parts of the country are urged to send to the Library as full sets as possible of their reports, catalogs and publications.
Social science. The Library must have extensive collections on social, economic and political science; industrial history; statistics. In this field lie the political and economic questions which are the subjects of legislation and of State regulation or control. On such topics for example as elections, suffrage, labor, taxation, banking and finance, municipal government, conservation, public utilities, insurance, charities, no pains will be spared to build up notable collections.
Technology and engineering. The State is engaged, as few other states are, in great engineering enterprises, and schools and students of technology are not only multiplying in numbers but pressing their work with unparalleled energy and technical skill. The State had just begun the policy of providing a technological collection. This should be renewed with all expedition and generosity. The Legislature, the public officers, and the technological schools must be enabled confidently to look to the State Library for any books required in their work. The Library will especially strive to secure all the journals in every phase of engineering and the publications of all engineering societies. It will more particularly notice topics which relate to activities or enterprises in which the State is engaged: canals, railroads, highways, water storage, agriculture, public health and the engineering phases of the utilities regulated by the Public Service Commissions.
Science. Beyond the fundamental general reference material, the State Library will specialize in science only so far as may be necessary to serve such agencies or departments of the State government as are doing scientific work. Good working collections will be made in geology, zoology, entomology, botany, with more particular attention to the economic phases of these subjects, and in chemistry as related to agriculture, the arts and commerce.
Manuscripts. Besides the manuscript archives which in accordance with law are from time to time transferred to the State Library by other State departments, the Library will secure all important private manuscripts that can be obtained relating to the history of the State and to the lives of its public men. Extensive collections of letters are especially desirable and the appropriateness of depositing them in the State Library is suggested to families in which such collections exist.
Government documents. As complete a set as possible of the printed documents of the United States Government both in the collected and departmental editions.
The same for every state in the Union. At this point many other State libraries have been prompt with offers of substantial help, which will be freely availed of as occasions for it arise.
The collected edition when issued (otherwise the separate editions) of the documents of every American city with more than 25,000 population, and for all counties, cities and incorporated villages in New York State.
In proceeding to secure books according to this program it will be assumed that whenever practicable the principle of competition as to prices must prevail. The Library will be free to go into the markets of the world and all who have materials to sell may be assured of fair dealing upon the basis of the best advantage to the Library.
The Library invites tenders from all who have books to offer which are within the scope of its proposed collections.
These tenders must be specific as to price, and clear and accurate as to the physical condition and bibliographic identity of the books offered.
Tenders of sets of periodicals, transactions of learned societies, state and government reports or serials of any sort should be for complete sets only, unless it is well known that the publication is exceedingly scarce.
Representatives of the Library expect to make personal examination of important purchases. It is therefore suggested that tenders be confined strictly to books actually in hand and not to books which individuals or dealers hope or plan to acquire later, unless they are standard and easily obtainable in the open market.
Unusual discounts will be expected for purchases involving considerable sums.
Any and all tenders may, of course, be declined. All of the facts and conditions affecting each specific tender will be considered and purchases will be made upon the basis of the best advantage to the State.
When cash is not paid contracts will be made for future delivery at the State Education Building in Albany, N. Y. Payments will be made after delivery of goods in satisfactory condition. It is likely that many important purchases and those involving large sums of money will be made on this contract plan. Form of contract to be used, additional copies of this circular, and lists of books wanted on particular subjects may be had from the undersigned, to whom all tenders and correspondence should be addressed.
J. I. Wyer, Jr
Director New York State Library
THE NEW BUILDING
The most hopeful feature in the situation which confronted the State Library after the fire was the fact that just across the street, within a stone's throw of the catastrophe, stood the State Education Building two-thirds done, in which had been provided thoroughly adequate and carefully planned quarters for the State Library and its auxiliaries, the Library School and the Division of Educational Extension. But for this fact the outlook would have been discouraging indeed, as our experience in trying to