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The present volume is the first printed catalogue of the Patent Office Library since its organization, except a small classitied list of some thirty pages, published in 1847,. when the Library consisted of a thousand volumes, the mere germ of what it has since become by the accumulations of more than forty years. It now contains some twenty four thousaud volumes, not including pamphlets and duplicate specifications of patents.
The labor of cataloguing having been in progress, at intervals, for a number of years, and by different hauds, and the cambrous card-catalogue being practically useless for general reference, the speedy publication of an index in some form was imperatively demanded; and it has been deemed best to issue it upon the present plan, although it was well known to be impracticable, under the circumstances, to secure that absolute uniformity so much desired in works of this kind.
The arrangement of this index by authors and subjects together has been made primarily, and almost exclusively, with a view to the special use for which the Library was designed: for easy reference by Examiners in the Patent Office and those interested in the examinations of claims for patents.
A few books deposited under copyright were retained when the transfer of the copyright Library was made to the Library of Congress, which will explain some of the more miscellaneous entries in a purely scientific or technical collection.
In the "Additions" will be found all accessions to the Library to April 30, 1878, besides many small pamphlets and a few other works omitted in the earlier cataloguing, which could only be inserted after the body of the catalogue bad gone to press. The Law Library is given separately at the end of the volume.
This work, however imperfect, is an attempt to render more available this valuable collection of books, and, though greatly in advance of anything hitherto issued from the Library, is only to be regarded as a step toward something more perfect in the future, when a full subject matter index shall be completed.
LIBRARY UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE, July 1, 1878.
The eutire library was destroyed by fire in 1836,