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Poole's Index to Periodical Literature – Jan 1 1887 to Jan 1 1892

"The play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out"! Poole’s Index to Literature with Poole left out, - such is the case with the present volume. Dr. Poole has found himself, during the past year, so pressed with other duties that he withdrew, for the time being, from this collaboration, and devolved upon is associate all the honors and emoluments, as well as all the labors of the present supplement. Fortunately the burden was much lighter this time than five years ago, owing to the increased amount of indexing which had been done for the intervening quarterly and annual issues of the Co-operative Index, which material was incorporated in the “copy” for the present volume by the process of cutting up, re-alphabetizing, and mounting on sheets all this printed matter, with the insertion of the written slips referring to the additional periodicals indexed.

It will be observed that the extent of this supplement is almost exactly the same as that of the previous one. The total number of volumes indexed in this volume is 1087, of which 1026 were published during the five years, and 61 belong to the six older sets which have been now introduced for the first time. Most prominent among such sets is the Journal of the Society of Arts [London], the entire thirty-nine volumes of which are now first indexed. The articles in this Journal are of prime importance, especially in the department of applied science, and the set will doubtless come much more largely into use now that it has found a place in this Index. A similar statement my be made with regard to Meliora, the twelve volumes of which, published from 1858 to 1869, are replete with valuable papers on a multitude of sociological topics.

Of the one hundred and forty-eight periodicals covered by the present supplement, sixty-seven are continued from the Index of 1882, forty were first included in the first supplement, and forty-one are now first introduced, of which all but six have come into existence during the past five years.

The birth rate and death rate of standard periodicals would seem to be in the nature of constant quantities, if we may judge from the fact that in the first five years after the edition of 1882, four of the periodicals included in that edition, while in the second five years the corresponding numbers are six and thirty-seven.

Something must in justice be said once more about the apparent recklessness of some periodical publishers as to the sequence of volume numbers. “New series” are begun so frequently, and the series designations are so confusing, that it is only by the heroic method inaugurated by Dr. Poole that we can provide ourselves with the means of making direct and intelligible references to the volumes. Dr. Pooles’s method, which has been adhered to in the most cases, is to provide continuous running numbers for sets afflicted with the “series” difficulty, and to expect librarians to attach these numbers, as “Poole numbers,” to the volumes, for convenience of reference.

In the recent publication of the A.L.A. Index to General Literature, there is fulfilled the hope expressed in the preface of Poole’s Index, 1882, and of the first supplement, that such a work would soon be forthcoming. It is believed that this Index will prove only second in value and usefulness to “Poole” and its supplements, and that the same principle will yet be carried into other departments of literature. Especially for scientific and technical serial is the demand for indexing urgent and pressing.

The number of collaborators in the present supplement is sixty-three, two more than in the previous one. Of this number six have been added to the corps during the five years, and five have left the ranks for various reasons. Five years ago it appeared that only about one half of the indexing was done by the collaborators, the two editors doing the other half. This time the share of the editor is reduced to less than one third, owing to the systematic collaboration on the intervening temporary indexes.

The editor extends to all the collaborators his congratulations on the completion of another five year volume, and on the continued success of this cooperative method.

William I. Fletcher

Amherst College Library

Washington’s Birthday, 1893

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