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THIS CATALOGUE describes the books added by purchase or gift to the Library of the Royal Academy of Arts, from the publication of the Catalogue issued in 1877 by the late Mr. S. A. HART, R.A., down to the year 1900, and includes the further accessions made during the librarianship Mr. HART, to his death in 1881, those acquired by the advice of Mr. J. E. HODGSON, R.A., who occupied the office from 1881 to 1895, and those added since the present librarian commenced his duties in 1896.
The literature connected with the fine arts extends to so vast an accumulation of books, many of them being of small permanent value, that a well-considered system of selection is absolutely necessary in order that the Library may properly serve its main purpose of administering to the requirements of the Members and Students of the Academy. The aim of the Council and successive librarians has been to form a collection of the best ancient and modern treatises in all languages on the theory, history, criticism and practice of the arts of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture and Engraving; of catalogues and descriptions of exhibitions, museums, and galleries, private and public; of the literary works and biographies of great artists; of books on costume, archæology, ancient buildings, tombs, sculptured monuments, enamels, gems, mosaics, coins and medals, personal ornaments, dresses and lace, utensils and furniture which show
decorative design, decoration of all kinds, and on anatomy for the use of artists.
Mr. HART, to whose learning and unwearied labours the collection owes so much, in his Observations on the Contents of the Library' prefixed to the Catalogue of 1877, laid stress on "the necessity of making the Library a factor in the teaching power worthy of a College of Art," and this intention, which was conscientiously kept in view by the late librarian Mr. HODGSON, has been followed by his successor.
The Catalogue has been arranged after the same plan as that of 1877, to which it forms a supplement. It is alphabetical under Authors, with an ample system of crossreferences; and under each country, town and place references are supplied to every work connected with the name. Under each artist is grouped the literature specially relating to him. A certain number of works of reference and other bocks chiefly in general literature, not strictly of an artistic character, are not included.
To this alphabetical author-catalogue it is hoped that there may be added an analytical subject-index to the whole collection.
The etchings, prints and engravings are described in a separate catalogue.
The writer has the agreeable duty of recognising the valuable aid that Mr. HENRY R. TEDDER, the Secretary and Librarian of the Athenæum Club, has given in the task of editing and superintending the publication of this volume.
WILLIAM FREDERICK YEAMES, R.A.,
ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS,