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required to transmit three copies of every work published to the office appointed, upon failure to do which he becomes obnoxious to prosecution. This exaction extends to every successive edition of a work, and also includes those of a costly description. But the government frequently subscribes towards productions of a high and expensive character, in order to facilitate their publication.
In some parts of Germany, it is compulsory that every author shall give to the library under the special patronage of the State, one copy of his work; in others, it is not compulsory, but it is always done, as a sort of traditional civility. It is not customary, however, to present a specimen of every reproduction, unless important alterations have been made. Mons. Libri, an Italian literateur, who has had great experience in the management of public libraries, esteems the usage a hardship and injustice to authors. Sometimes, in the case of large, illuminated, or costly works, in order to evade the sacrifice, bad copies will be done for the government, so that the libraries for which they are destined are afterwards obliged to purchase perfect copies. From his ? familiar acquaintance with the working of this compulsory presentation system, he entertained strong convictions of its practical inefficiency. “I believe,' he asserts, that at least the half of: those books are lost; they come in, generally, in such a way-by sheets, &c.--that it is impossible to get them into proper order : without very large expense, so as to realize the full benefit of the law. It has been stated that at least 25,000 volumes are missing in the Depôt Legal of France. The Depôt Legal is the establishment to which the editors are obliged to consign those copies. It would be more advisable to keep only a single copy of every work, for in that way it might be preserved. At present, in Paris, for instance, those books are not useful at all. If any ? body applies for a modern book, printed during the past year, he is almost sure not to find it in the National Library.' Thus it seems that authors and publishers resort to every available expedient to impede the free working of what they evidently regards as an unrighteous law.
In Belgium, likewise, the law compels the producer of a book to send three copies of every edition to the municipal council of the town in which it is published, and which thus becomes a guarantee for his copyright. The work is then sent from the provincial town to the government. In that country there are very few works towards which the government does not subscribe for a number of copies, thus affording a stimulus to literary enterprise, and placing itself in a position to distribute some copies 14 to the libraries in the provinces, thereby encouraging the estas i blishment and extension of such depositories. All the libraries
have become municipal since the time of the French republic ; those of Liege and Ghent were ceded to the Universities, but with this restriction, that they should always remain the property of the town; in consequence of which the government have sometimes, within a period of twenty years, spent some £12,000 on the enrichment of those noble institutions. Although the Chamber ordinarily only votes a grant of 65,000 or 70,000 francs for the Royal Public Librady of Brussels, yet whenever there occurs a large sale of books, a special grant is made for the purda pose. It recently happened thattone of the most choice ando curious public libraries had been announced for sale zal bulky s cataloguesoccupying six nyols, had been printed , the government immediately came forward, bought the entire collection for aboutii £13,000, and added itrto the royal library at the capital, v They did the same thing also at Ghent. The library-bought at Ghent'i consisted of about 20,000 vols., and that in Brussels of abouts 60,000 vols. in
, 1}?Dinyanyi qan, 10 ANO In many of the Continental States, where the governments' watch all the publications emanating from the press with great jealousy, the books are required chiefly in order to ascertain whether they correspond with the manuscript after it had passed the ordeal of censorship. The same regulation for the compulsory delivery of books by
ti authors or publishers is imposed in England. And although the i: Legislature, a few years ago, reduced the number of copies so" exacted from eleven to five, it is still felt to be an oppressive tax, especially as some considerable portion of the books go to the . :1 extension of libraries that are not public. The origin of this exaction was first of all a private agreement between Sir Thomas Bodley and the Stationers' Company in 1610, which was after i wards recognised by the Legislature. In 1637, there was a li decree of the Star Chamber enforcing the delivery, which had been much neglected. By subsequent Copyright Acts, the three si copies originally levied were augmented to eleven. Still earlier :: than 1610, there had been a demand of one copy from every printer, which was purely for the purposes of censorship. Under s. the Copyright Act, the following are the libraries that were entitled to receive copies of works gratuitously :--The British at Musoum , Sion College, in London; the Bodleian Library, at 11 Oxford 3 the University Library at Cambridge ; the libraries of Trinity Colleges in Dublin , King's Inn, in Dublin ; the Faculty"] of Advocates, in Edinburgh; together with those of the Univers st sities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and St. Andrews; ? :} making eleven in all. The Copyright Amendment Act, passed in": j 1836, abolished the privileges in respectoto six of the number,
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and substituted a money grant from the Treasury, varying in amount—the highest being
that granted to Glasgow of £707; to St. Andrew's, £630 ; to Edinburgh, £575 ; to the King's Inn Library, Dublin, £433 ; to Sion College, London, £363 ; and to the University of Aberdeen, £320 ; so that much inequality now exists. The total amount received by those libraries is £3,028. The Act was not extended to Oxford and Cambridge University libraries, in consequence of their refusal to accept compensation, and the strong indisposition they evinced to submit to any change in the ancient arrangements. In reference to the ineffective and vexatious working of the present law of copyright in England, Mr. Edwards’s remarks are worthy of attention. Even with regard to its express intention,' he says, “I think it is framed in a very bungling manner ; for example, the booksellers of Dublin, instead of delivering a book to Trinity College, may send it up to London, and force Trinity College to get it back at its own expense. I have known that to be done. Booksellers are often very much annoyed by the exaction, and obey the act with great unwillingness.... It would be very desirable to retain the power of exacting copies, but I would grant the power
of payment for them at the trade price ; at least in all instances where payment shall be requested. By this method we should secure the desideratum of having certain great repositories in the country, containing all the books that are published, without inflicting injustice on authors.'
An idea may be formed of the large number of works thus annually exacted, from the fact that during the last ten years there have been published in the United Kindom, 31,395 books ; the estimated value of one copy of each of which, taken at publication price, is £13,420. This calculation embraces new works, and new editions and reprints of old books, but it excludes pamphlets and periodical publications. In Germany the total number of separate works, inclusive of pamphlets, published in 1846, was 11,600; in 1847, about 11,400; and in 1848, about 10,500. In France there appeared, in 1842, 6,445 separate works, pamphlets included; and in 1847, 5,530.
An investigation into the date of the foundation of some of the European libraries, and into the causes of their comparative progressive augmentation, is suggestive of many important considerations that may be turned to practical account by those who are labouring to build up the intellectual greatness of our country. The most ancient of the great libraries of printed books is thought to be that at Vienna, which dates from 1440, and is said to have been opened to the public as early as 1575. The Town Library at Ratisbon, dates from 1430 ; St. Mark's Library, at Venice, from 1468; the Town Library of Frankfort, from 1484; that of Hamburgh, from 1529; of Strasburg, from 1531 ; of Augsburg, from 1537; those of Berne and Geneva, from 1550; that of Basel, from 1564. The Royal Library of Copenhagen was founded about 1550. In 1671, it possessed 10,000 vols. ; in 1748, about 65,000; in 1778, 100,000; in 1820, 300,000; and it is now supposed to contain 412,000 vols. The National Library, in Paris, was founded in 1595, but was not made public until 1737. In 1640, it contained about 17,000 vols. ; in 1684, 50,000; in 1775, 150,000 ; in 1790, 200,000; and it now possesses at least 824,000 vols. The Library of the British Museum was established in 1753, and opened to the public in 1757, with about 40,000 vols. In 1800, it contained about 65,000 vols.; in 1823, 125,000 ; in 1836, nearly 240,000; and it now comprehends 435,000 vols. But it is not to be inferred that the whole of the difference between 1836 and 1848 arises from the actual increase of the collection; but is to be accounted for by the circumstance that many thousands of tracts, formerly in volumes or cases, have been separately bound, and are now enumerated as distinct volumes.
The steady growth of the Copenhagen Library has been mainly owing to judicious purchases at favourable opportunities. The rapid increase of the noble National Library at Paris, since 1790, is in a great measure to be ascribed to the Revolution: the suppression of the monasteries and convents, and the confiscation of the property of rebels and emigrants, having placed many fine libraries at the disposal of the ruling powers of the day. And although, in some cases, large numbers of books and manuscripts appear to have been summarily disposed of . for the service of the arsenal,' more usually special instructions were given, that the officers at the head of the National Library should have an unlimited power of selection, and of this they made extensive use. The increase of the British Museum, on the other hand, is mainly indebted to donations. Of its 435,000 books, at least 200,000 have been presented or bequeathed.
Many of the chief libraries of Continental cities are sustained by their respective governments in a spirit of great liberality. The average annual sum allotted to the support of the National Library, at Paris, is £16,575; to that of the Royal Library, at Brussels, £2,700; to that of Munich, about £2,000; to that of Vienna, £1,900; to that of Berlin, £3,745; to that of Copenhagen, £1,250 ; to that of Dresden, £500; and to that of the Grand Ducal Library of Darmstadt, £2,000.
The average annual sum expended in the purchase of printed books for the library of the British Museum, previous to 1836, was only £1,135. From 1837 to 1845 inclusive, the sum devoted to this purpose averaged £3,443 a year. In 1846 and 1847, in consequence of urgent representations having been made to the Treasury of the great deficiencies existing in the collection of printed books, a special increase of the Parliamentary grant was made, amounting to £10,000. In 1848, however, this sum was reduced to £8,500; whilst, in 1849, it was still further frittered down to £5,000. The entire amount of this latter year allotted to the sustentation of the library, in all its departments, is £23,261. The aggregate of the sums expended in the purchase of printed books, including maps and musical works, from its foundation, in 1753, to Christmas, 1847, is £102,447; and that expended in the purchase of manuscripts, £42,940: together, £145,387. The sums expended during the same period, in prints and drawings, amount to £29,318; in antiquities, coins, and medals, to £125,257 ; and in specimens of natural history, to £43,599.
A comparison between the funds appropriated by the French and British legislatures, for the general formation and maintenance of public depositories of books, places the latter in a still more unfavourable light. Confining our attention to those libraries alone which constitute independent establishments, and where the exact amount of funds can therefore be ascertained, it appears that, since 1823, the French government has voted the sum of £426,571 for four public libraries in Paris, exclusive of another sum of £107,426 for buildings and their maintenance. The accounts of the expenditure of the French Institute show that £16,848 have been appropriated to its library, during the same period, from the public treasury; to that of the University of Paris, £13,011; making a total of £456,430 devoted to the public libraries of Paris; exclusive of those of the Museum of Natural History, the School of the Fine Arts, the Observatory, and the fine public library of the Conservatory of Music (which is said to contain 17,000 vols.). If the proportion of the public grants to these institutions expended on their books be calculated approximately at £65,000, the aggregate total so expended by votes of the French Legislature will be £521,430; or, on the average, to £20,055 a year. :)!
During these same twenty-six years, the sum devoted by the British House of Commons to public libraries in London, is, ' at the utmost," £282,486 ;" or, on an average, £10,864 a year. a
The bird's-eye view we have thus endeavoured to present of the great libraries of Europe would be incomplete without a hasty glance at those connected with the Universities. Those