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This catalogue of the books in the Society's Library has been prepared to meet a long felt and pressing want. The principal difficulty in the way has been the matter of expense. But the Council feel that the time has come, now that the financial position of that Society is steadily improving, when they can feel themselves justified in making the necessary advance.
Mr. Vaux had already commenced a MS. of the catalogue. Mr. Cox, of the London Library, not himself an Oriental linguist, but a careful and experienced librarian, was engaged by the Council to make a new draft of the catalogue, and his work has been throughout superintended and revised by the Honorary Librarian, Dr. Oliver Codrington, and by myself.
The aim has been to satisfy the practical need of a book in which the Members of the Society should be able to find, and to find easily, what books their library contains. Among other details the question of the spelling has been settled with this aim in view. Many of the older books have the Oriental words in their titles spelt in accord with the system, or want of system, which prevailed when they were first published. While the titles themselves are reproduced in this old spelling, the catch words, printed in clarendon type, have been uniformly transliterated so as to bring them into accordance with modern ideas.
The transliteration used has been for Sanskrit, Pali, and the allied languages
and for Arabic, Persian, and the allied languages
j=d Arabic Persian
th Arabic = ث
The names of Orientals have been spelt in accordance with this system, except in those few cases in which an author has clearly and deliberately adopted a peculiar transliteration of his own. In place names also such words as may fairly be considered to have become current English have been left in their usual English spelling.
T. W. Rhys Davids,
SECRETARY AND LIBRARIAN.