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CATALOGUE OF THE LIBRARY
#tercantile Library Association
OF SAN FRANCISCO.
PUBLISHED BY THE ASSOCIATION.
FRANCIS & VALENTINE, PRINTERS, 517 CLAY STREET.
2733 S2602 1874
The first Catalogue of the Association was published in 1854. There were then in the Library less than three thousand volumes. The second followed in 1861, and contained nearly fourteen thousand volumes. The present (or third) Catalogue represents the books in the Library on Feb. 1, 1874, numbering over thirty-six thousand volumes. It is prepared upon what is commonly termed the Dictionary plan,' which consists of an alphabetical arrangement of author, title, and subject, with subdivisions of the latter, when deemed of sufficient extent and importance. The system adopted is the same, with modifications, as that inaugurated by the Boston Public Library, and followed, with a few variations, by the principal libraries of our own country and England. Its simplicity is its great recommendation. No previous study of an elaborate and complex system of classification is required to avail one's self of its contents : its copious references and cross-references render it an index to itself, and guide the inquirer, step by step, through the entire range of subjects kindred to the one sought.
To insure a more ready and complete understanding of the system, with its modifications—which latter, of necessity, vary more or less in different Catalogues—a few general rules, to which we have endeavored to conform, are here subjoined. Books are entered
1. Under the name of the author. This forms the principal entry. Here, and here only, can be found the complete imprint of the work, to wit : as exact and complete a transcript of the title-page as its importance demands, the date and place of publication, and the size of the book. One unusual and important exception to this rule is made in the case of Biographical treatises, where the imprint is placed under the subject-matter or name of the character of the Biography, instead of under the author. This innovation, it is thought, will prove a decided advantage, since the subject of the Biography is the sole centre of interest and the direct object of search. Collections in Biography, with few exceptions, follow the same rule. For examples, see the headings Men, Orators, Queens, Statesmen, etc.
2. Under the subject-matter. By means of this entry are brought together, in alphabetical order, all works on any given subject. They are here arranged by authors, with an abbreviated title of the book, since the primary object of these entries is to inform the reader as to who have written upon the given topic rather than what has been written. They serve to direct one to the principal, or author's entry, where the full description