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Poole's Index to Periodical Literature – Jan 1 1882-Jan 1 1887

In the preface to the third edition of “Poole’s Index,” 1882 (p.vi), the promise was made that the “Supplements will be issued every five years, which will include not only the periodicals which have appeared during that period, but also older serials which are worthy of being indexed, and are not included in this edition.” In fulfilment of that promise the first five-year Supplement is herewith issued under the joint supervision of the same editors. This Supplement includes references to periodicals which appeared from January 1 1882, to January 1, 1887, and also to a considerable number of older serials which were not included in the edition of 1882. The editors regrets that it has not been possible for then to bring out this Supplement so that it might bear the imprint of 1887; and yet those who may have been impatient at the delay will hardly expect an apology when they look at the list of the contributors and their work, and see that a large share of the indexing itself has fallen upon the editors; and are further informed that this work of indexing; with that of arrangement, revision, and proof-reading, has been done by busy men during hours which other workers devote to rest and recreation.

A portion of the references in this Supplement has appeared in Mr Fletcher’s Co-operative Index, formerly issued monthly, and now quarterly, in connection with the Library Journal. This periodical issue of references at short intervals answers an excellent purpose in giving information as to the latest subjects treated in the periodicals; but when such issues have extended over a term of years, the consultation of a great number of alphabets becomes burdensome, and renders the back numbers wellnigh useless. The consolidation of the matter at stated intervals into one alphabet is, therefore, a necessity.

About one half of the references in this Supplement did not appear in the Co-operative Index, and hence are here given for the first time. The number of volumes indexed is 1089, and they belong to 141 different sets of periodicals, 79 of which were indexed in the edition of 1882, and the references to later volumes are here continued. Four serials, - De Bow’s Review, Southern Literary Messenger, American Literary Magazine, and Presbyterian Literary Review, - which were only partially indexed in the main edition, because they were then not accessible, are now completed. Of the remaining seventy-five, four have ceased to exist during the past five years, and seventy-one have run through the whole period covered by this Supplement. Sixty-one sets of periodicals are here included which did not appear in the edition of 1882. Of these, thirty-three are new, having issued their first numbers during the five years, and twenty-eight are older sets which are now indexed for the first time. The list of “Abbreviations, Titles, and Imprints,” and the “Chronological Conspectus,” will give detailed information and to the scope of the work. The origin, purpose, plan, and history of the Index are so fully stated in the preface to the main edition that they need not be repeated nor enlarged upon here.

In the list of Co-operating Libraries, it will be seen that fifteen States of the Union, the District of Columbia, and England are represented. Of the fifty-nine co-laborers, thirteen were associated with the editors in the edition of 1882, and forty-six are new associates.

There is hope that the great desideratum mentioned in the preface of 1882, - an “Index to General Literature,” – on a plan similar to the plan of this “Index to Periodical Literature,” will, at no distant period, be accomplished through the co-operative principle by the Publishing Section of the American Library Association. There are still needed subject-indexes to the serials devoted specially to the various departments of technical science, the practical arts, and the learned professions, of which Jones’s Index to Legal Periodicals is a recent and excellent specimen. There is, perhaps, no simpler or more practical method of producing these indexes, than by adopting the principle of co-operation.

To the librarians who have voluntarily given them aid as co-operators, and have been satisfied with the same remuneration which they themselves received, - nothing for themselves, but all for the cause, - the editors beg to tender their sincere thanks. They very sensibly appreciate the general commendations which their former labors in this department of bibliography have received both in this country and in Europe; and they trust that this supplementary work will meet the reasonable expectation of their friends.

William Frederick Poole

William I. Fletcher

August 1, 1888

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