- Manchester (England): n.p. (printed by Cave and Sever), 1851.
- large 8vo.
- modern cloth, leather spine label.
- 14 pages, (iii), 35, 54, (43), 65, 32, 20, 20, 17 leaves.
Price: $251.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 53278
An acquisitions list for an English public library. In 1851, E. Edwards was requested by the Books Sub-Committee (for the new Free Library of Manchester) to make up a list of proposed books for the reference department of the new library. This work, the result of the books S-C's commission, , lists 4,582 works in 12,400+ volumes, not counting 500+ Parliamentary papers, in 7 sections: "Standard British Authors" with some American; History, topography and biography of the U.K. and the U.S.A.; "Political economy, finance, trade...agriculture... manufactures..."(etc.); "Physics, mathematics ...practical engineering, arts and trades, etc.," voyages and travels, "Zoology, botany, mineralogy, geology," and periodicals, dictionaries, etc. The list probably indicates what people were reading the, and what books an educated, reasonably liberal librarian of the time thought the public needed to read or consult. For example, 8 titles are listed for Malthus, along with four for Charles Darwin (pre-"Origin") and the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (in general there is an interest in books from or on America). Religion lacks a section devoted to it (though items on religious topics may appear elsewhere), and philosophy is simply absent. Listings sometimes include prices (mostly as quoted by Manchester and London booksellers). Should interest students of 19th-century English culture, reading, publishing, or libraries. Nicely rebound, with some paper repairs. Inner margins are somewhat tight in places. Lightly browned. Old library stamp in places internally.