Scientific American Supplement, No. 832, December 12, 1891 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 132 pages of information about Scientific American Supplement, No. 832, December 12, 1891.
This index embraces now 184,600 cards, not punched, and at present stored in shallow drawers and fastened by rubber bands, and of course they are at present unavailable for use.  There is little prospect of printing this index, and I have been endeavoring for some time to throw the index open to the public by punching the cards and fastening them with guard rods, but as yet have made no perceptible impression upon the authorities, although the expense of preparation would be only about $70.

    There has also been completed an index to the English journal
    Engineering, comprising 84,000 cards, from the beginning to

An index to Dingler’s Polytechnisches Journal was also commenced as long ago as 1878, carried on for six or seven years and then dropped.  I hope, however, at no remote date, to bring this forward to the present time.
On taking charge of the library I was at once impressed with the immense value of the periodical literature on our shelves and the great importance of making it more readily accessible, and have had in contemplation for some time the beginning of a card index to all our periodicals on the same general plan as that of Rieth’s Repertorium.  I have, however, been unable to obtain sufficient force to cover the whole ground, but have selected about one hundred and fifty journals, notably those upon the subjects of chemistry, electricity and engineering, both in English and foreign languages, the indexing of which has been in progress since the first of January.  This number includes substantially all the valuable material in our possession in the English language, not only journals, but transactions of societies, all the electrical journals and nearly all the chemical in foreign languages.  This index will be kept open to the public as soon as sufficient material has accumulated.  In general plan it will be alphabetical, following nearly the arrangement of the periodical portion of the surgeon general’s catalogue.  I shall depart from the strictly alphabetical plan sufficiently to group under such important subjects as chemistry, electricity, engineering, railroads, etc., all the subdivisions of the art, so that the electrical investigator, for instance, will not be obliged to travel from one end of the alphabet to the other to find the divisions of generators, conductors, dynamos, telephones, telegraphs, etc., and in the grouping of the classes of applied science the office classification of inventions will, as a rule, be adhered to, the subdivisions being, of course, arranged in alphabetical order under their general head and the title of the several articles also arranged alphabetically by authors or principal words.

With many thanks for the kind interest and valuable
information afforded me, I remain, very truly yours,

Librarian Scientific Library.

The committee much prefers to record completed work than to mention projects, as the latter sometimes fail.  It is satisfactory, however, to announce that the indefatigable indexer, Dr. Alfred Tuckerman, is engaged on an extensive Bibliography of Mineral Waters.  The chairman of the committee expects to complete the MS. of a Select Bibliography of Chemistry during the year, visiting the chief libraries of Europe for the purpose this summer.

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Scientific American Supplement, No. 832, December 12, 1891 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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