Library Trends 05 (4) Spring 1957: Rare Book Libraries and Collections


Library Trends 5 (4) Spring 1957: Rare Book Libraries and Collections. Edited by Howard H. Peckham.

To devote an issue of Library Trends to rare book libraries and collections is clear recognition of two facts: that they are administered differently from other libraries, and that there is no extensive literature on the subject. Not alone is the American public in labeling rare book libraries as esoteric places difficult to understand. Younger librarians, trained under today’s banner extolling service, sometimes are affronted by locked book cases and regard "non-circulating library" as almost a contradiction in terms, akin to "bladeless knife." Even some scholars think it pointless extravagance to buy an expensive first edition of a title that has been reprinted or can be photostated. Inevitably, the rare book library has acquired a reputation for arrogance or preciousness.

The articles assembled here do not, of course, cover all aspects of the subject. Rather they touch on certain highlights and perplexing problems in this area of librarianship. Acquisition has been discussed in an earlier issue of this journal; the special cataloging problems of rare books should be explained in conjunction with the subject of cataloging generally; the relation of rare book libraries to private collectors is a hackneyed theme. The topics which are discussed sometimes are broad, sometimes are particularized.

Library Trends (ISSN 0024-2594) is an essential tool for librarians and educators alike. Each issue thoroughly explores a current topic of interest in professional librarianship and includes practical applications, thorough analyses, and literature reviews. The journal is published quarterly for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science by The Johns Hopkins University Press. For subscription information, call 800-548-1784 (410-516-6987 outside the U.S. and Canada), email jlorder [at], or visit

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