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Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature – Fifth Supplement

In the Preface to that magnum opus, the Poole’s Index of 1882, the following promise was made: "Supplements in a style uniform with this edition will be issued every five years, which will include not only the periodicals which have appeared during that period, but older serials which are worthy of being indexed, and are not included in this edition."

The present issue is the fifth of the five year Supplements thus promised, marking the completion of a quarter-century since the 1882 volume appeared. With the great increase in the number of excellent periodicals, growth in the size of these Supplements is inevitable, and it will be noticed that this issue contains ten per cent. more pages than its predecessor. It covers 190 different periodicals as against 170 in the last volume, and indexes 1360 volumes.

It will be observed on examining the Chronological Conspectus prefixed to this volume that of the 232 sets included in the edition of 1882 only 49 are continued in this Supplement, while 141 newer ones are here included. Of this number 33 appear in the Supplement for the first time, a portion of these being new ventures, started during the period or just before its beginning, and others representing the effort to fulfil the promise that "older serials worthy of being indexed" should be taken up in the Supplements.

Special pains have been taken to include in this volume references to a large number of college and university publications, making the index of special value to the larger libraries; while at the same time it has not been in the least weakened on the more popular side. Among these additions to the list, special attention may well be called to the Princeton University Bulletin, 15 vols., the Catholic University Bulletin, 12 vols., the University of Chicago Record, 10 vols., the Columbia University Chronicle, 8 vols., the California University Chronicle, 8 vols., the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine, 7 vols., and the Technology Review, 8 vols. While these periodicals are quite largely occupied with matters pertaining to the institutions issuing them, such matter not being of value for the purpose of this Index, they also have many papers of importance on live subjects, and it is thought that their inclusion will be appreciated in all the larger libraries.

The increasing multiplicity and complexity of the subjects treated by magazine writers, and the lack of any well-established terminology in most departments of knowledge, makes the task of the indexer who would have his work somewhat systematic a well-nigh hopeless one. There is a strong temptation to depart from a strictly alphabetic order of entry and fall back upon a classification under well-established headings. But we have constantly resisted that temptation, and have endeavoured to carry out as consistently as possible a purely alphabetic arrangement, modifying some headings to keep together things that belong together, but avoiding any considerable recasting of the titles.

The separation of plural headings from their singulars, with many intervening headings having no relation to them, - as in the case of "Cat, The" and "Cats," with such headings as Catalogues, Cathedrals, Catherine, etc., between them, - this seems unfortunate and unreasonable, and an attempt has sometimes been made to avoid it, but we conclude that a recognized and persistent adherence to strict alphabetic order is a sine qua non in an alphabetic index, and have tolerated many apparent infelicities for the sake of such adherence, nothing being more important in a work of this kind than its users shall know what they can depend on.

Attention is called to the list of Collaborators on the opposite page, and the editors wish to express their high appreciation of the value of the help they have rendered, without which this work could not be continued. More than one-half of the references in this volume have appeared in the Library Index, published by the Library Journal office in New York, which furnishes the Annual Supplement to "Poole", suggested by Dr. Poole himself in 1882, and which is prepared under the same collaboration.

It is to be regretted that this volume appears so many months after the close of the period it covers. A work of this extent undertaken by the persons with other important claims on their time must necessarily proceed slowly, and in the present case there have been unexpected obstacles in the mere process of printing. Now that it is done, may it prove no less useful in its day and then it predecessors, or than the parent "Poole's Index."

William I. Fletcher

Mary Poole

January 31, 1908

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