Source : Sabin

Source Title Bibliotheca Americana
Description A Dictionary of Books relating to America, from its discovery to the present.
Scope of Text

Excerpts from "Prospectus": An alphabetical arrangement, under the names of authors, and, in the case of anonymous writers, under the most obvious subject. In the arrangement of the Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Dutch proper names, we followed the best authorities; but as these differ, we has made free use of Cross References, and remark, with Plutarch, "On the subject of names, however, the irregularity of custom, would we insist upon it, might furnish us with discourse enough."

Statement written by H.M.Lydenberg printed in Vol.XX: On the 5th of June, 1881, Joseph Sabin died in Brooklyn, and soon after his death a young Booklyn bookseller, aged twenty-six offered to continue the work carried on for the past fifteen years by Sabin. For the next decade Wilberforce Eames carried on this volunary task, with never a cent of financial reward as payment, seeing parts 83/4 of XIV through 115/116 of volume XX off the press from 1884, when the first appeared, until 1892. By that time increasing responsibilities had come on him. He had been made Librarian of the Lenox Library, and paid the penalty of all who try to add research to administrative duties. Help came from the Carnegie Institution of Washington with a grant (no. 343) of $3,600 for "completion" of the work, with the understanding that two years would suffice. Leonhard Felix Fuldbegan on June 15, 1906, and later was succeeded by Frederick C. Bursh, the principal part of their task being the whipping into shape for the printer the copy slips already on hand. With the end of the grant came an end to the work, and the Dictionary fell to sleep once more. In an effort to revive the dormant enterprise the American Library Association appointed a committee to try to begin work once more on the Dictionary. It organized on April 16, 1924, composed as follows: R. R. Bowker, Worthington C. Ford, Andrew Keogh, Azariah S. Root, J. w. Wyer, Jr., Victor Hugo Paltsits, Secretary, E. H. Anderson Chairman. The response to the quires sent by this committee indicated that the libraries of the country would support an effort to continue the Dictionary. On Dec. 27, 1924, the Carnegie Corporation granted the Bibliographical Society of America $7,500 as a revolving fund for publications, and the American Library Association on December 31, 1924, discharged its committee, with the understanding that the work would be undertaken by the Bibliographical Society. The latter on Jan. 17, 1925, appointed as a committee for this work, Andrew Keogh, Miss Isadore G. Mudge, Victor Hugo Paltsits, James I. Wyer, Jr., H. M. Lydenberg, Chairman.

Part 117 issued under these new auspices appeared on the 8th of August, 1927, and part 118, 119 and now 120 have followed as circumstance permitted. With part 120 is finished volume XX, and in explanation of the thirty-six years that separate the first and last parts of volume XX this statement seems not unfitting. All who have had anything to do with the work rejoice that Dr. Eames has been granted health and strength to continue his editing. May it be his good fate to supply for the last volume the Preface Joseph Sabin had in mind in 1868.

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