LONDON LOCAL COLLECTIONS

Pages19-30
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb026141
Publication Date01 Feb 1949
AuthorRAYMOND SMITH
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Library & information science
LONDON LOCAL COLLECTIONS1
by RAYMOND SMITH, F.L.A., F.S.A.
Librarian
to the
Corporation
of London
1-2. Definition and scope.
3.
Growth and development of London.
4.
Material.
5.
Repositories.
6.
General collections.
7.
General
collections:
Guildhall: Library.
8.
Guildhall: Records Office, &c.
9.
Bishopsgate Institute.
10.
London Museum.
11.
L.C.C. Library.
12.
Metropolitan Boroughs, generally.
13.
Metropolitan Boroughs, records.
14.
Metropolitan Boroughs, individually.
15.
Government Departments.
16.
Statutory Authorities.
17.
Ecclesiastical Authorities.
18.
Institutions.
19.
Parts
of
other
collections.
20.
Estate papers and private collections.
21.
County archives.
22.
Public records.
23.
Recommendations: strays.
24.
Recommendations: union catalogue of
parochial
records.
25.
Conclusion.
26.
Thanks.
27.
References.
1. To talk on London collections is a most ambitious project if construed in
its widest terms, since there is hardly a library of any size anywhere which
would not include some books or other material on London. I am, however,
taking a much more restricted view. I propose to confine myself to col-
lections in this country whose primary interest is London or a geographical
part of it. By London I mean the administrative area of the County of
London. And by collection I mean a systematic assemblage of
books,
&c.,
adequately arranged, catalogued, classified, and so on, with a trained and
knowledgeable staff to exploit it.
Of course, a good local collection must concentrate on local material; but
a first-class one must do much more if only for the reason that localities, like
men, do not flourish in isolation and are not to be understood apart from
their surroundings.
2.
But even taking a narrower view it
is
impossible for
a
local classification
to be absolutely self-contained and self-centred. At Guildhall we have been
collecting London material for some 125 years. And we have learnt that our
work
is
really two-fold—to collect what we can and to record what we cannot
collect. We have also learnt that the material that can be collected is small
compared with the material that cannot, but all material should at least be
recorded. The main reason for this
is
that so much London material
is
housed
in more general collections both in and outside London. This itself is due to
many interrelated factors of interest and importance, such
as
the circumstances
of London's growth, the nature, sequence, and function of the material avail-
able,
the development of historical scholarship, and the extent of the provi-
sion, at any period, of suitable repositories—i.e. libraries, museums, and
record offices—and of qualified keepers of them.
1 An article based on a paper read before a combined meeting of the Reference Group
(L.A.
London and Home Counties Branch) and the London Group (L.A. University and
Research
Section) at Chaucer House on 23 March 1949.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT