SPECIAL LIBRARIES With a view to greater accessibility of special resources, the American Association of Special Libraries was formed in 1909, and has issued a directory (2nd ed. 1925). The formation of a corresponding British Association has already been recorded, and a similar directory was published by this body in 1928.
In Great Britain, during 1910-26 there was a great development of scientific, technical and commercial libraries and bureaux of information. The same movement has developed in America, probably to an even larger extent, though in that country the public library has, until recently, undertaken a larger proportion of this kind of service. Of great importance in this connection are compilations like the World List of Scientific Periodicals (1926-27), and the Subject Index of Periodicals (1915).
Besides the unrivalled libraries of the capital, France possesses a remarkable number of provincial libraries. In 1857 there were 340 departmental libraries with an aggregate of 3,734, 26o printed vols. and mss. In 1908 the printed books had increased to over 20 million and are now probably 3o million at least.
Paris.----The Bibliotheque Nationale (formerly Bibliotheque du Roi, Royale, or Imperiale), is, perhaps, the finest library in the world. The real foundation of the institution may be said to date from the reign of King John, the Black Prince's captive, who bequeathed his "royal library" to his successor, Charles V. Charles V. removed the library from the Palais de la Cite to the Louvre, where it was arranged on desks in a large hall of three storeys by the first librarian and cataloguer, Claude Mallet, the king's valet-de-chambre. His Inventaire des Livres du Roy nostre Seigneur estans an chastel du Louvre is extant, as well as the inventories made by Jean Blanchet in 138o, and by Jean le Begue in 1411 and 1424. Charles VI. added some hundreds of mss. to the library, which, however, was sold to the regent, duke of Bedford, after a valuation had been established by the inven tory of 1424. transferred to England, and finally dispersed at the regent's death in 1435. Charles VII. did little to repair the loss, but under Louis XI. another library was created; the first librarian was Laurent Paulmier, and Jean Foucquet of Tours was named the king's enlurnineur. Charles VIII. enriched it with many fine mss. executed by his order, and also with most of the library of the kings of Aragon, seized by him at Naples. Louis XII. incorporated the Bibliotheque du Roi with the fine Orleans library at Blois, and further enriched it by plunder from Pavia, and by the purchase of the Gruthuyse collection; it was described at this time as one of the four marvels of France. Francois I. enlarged and removed it to Fontainebleau in 1534. He set the fashion of fine bindings, which was still more cultivated by Henri II., and which has never died out in France. During the librarian ship of Amyot the library was transferred from Fontainebleau to Paris. Henri IV. removed it to the College de Clermont, but
in 1604 another change was made, and in 1622 it was the Rue de la Harpe. Under J. A. de Thou it acquired the library of Catherine de' Medici, and the Bible of Charles the Bald. In 1617 a decree ordered the deposit of two copies of every new publication, but this was not enforced till Louis XIV.'s time. The first catalogue worthy of the name was finished in 1622, describing some 6,000 vols., chiefly mss. Many additions were made during Louis XIII.'s reign, notably that of the Dupuy collection, but a new era dawned under Louis XIV. Colbert, one of the greatest of collectors, so enlarged the library that it became necessary to make another removal. It was therefore, in 1666, installed in the Rue Vivien (now Vivienne). The departments of engravings and medals were now created, and were soon important. Nic. Clement made a catalogue in 1684 according to the arrangement still used (in 23 classes, each designated by a letter of the alphabet), with an alphabetical index. After Colbert's death Louvois employed Mabillon, Thevenot and others to pro cure books, etc., from all parts of the world. A new catalogue was compiled in 1688 in 8 vols. by several scholars. Towards the end of Louis XIV.'s reign it contained over 70,000 volumes. Under the Abbe Bignon the library was removed to its present home in the Rue Richelieu. Between 1735 and 1739 a catalogue in 11 vols. was printed, and duplicates were sold. In Louis XVI.'s reign the La Valliere sale yielded many valuable accessions. A few years before the Revolution the printed books numbered over 300,00o vols. and opuscules. The Revolution increased the library, now called the Bibliotheque Nationale, and the other State libraries, with the forfeited collections of the émigrés, as well as of the suppressed religious communities, which by enactments of 1789-92 were gathered into "depots litteraires." (See below opening of account of provincial libraries.) In the difficulties made by such numerous acquisitions Van Praet showed himself a great administrator. Napoleon increased the Govern ment grant; and by the strict enforcement of the law of deposits, as well as by the acquisition of collections, the library progressed, under him, towards his idea of universality. At the beginning of the century it held 250,000 printed vols., 83,00o mss., and 1,500,000 engravings. After 1815 the mss. which he had taken from conquered capitals had to be returned. After the World War, with the fall in the value of the franc, the library was seriously impoverished. A new administrator, P. Roland-Marcel, mitigated poverty by various means: (I) a "consortium," under a joint council, of the library with the other chief Parisian national libraries, i.e., the Mazarine (which became the 5th depart ment of the Nationale), the Sainte-Genevieve, and the Arsenal, and later, the University of Paris, by decrees of Aug. 29, 1923, and Dec. 28, 1926, purchases of books and periodicals being divided between them; (2) the library, and then the group, were by laws of April 28, 1927, and March 5, 1928, given the status of "civil personality," carrying the right to hold funds, (3) the loi du depOt legal was amended, with the result of greatly enlarging the re ceipts of current French books ; the weekly catalogue of accessions of new French books was amalgamated with the list of new publi cations issued by the trade ("Bibliographie de la France") ; (4) the "salle ovale" or "salle de lecture publique," rendered less im portant by the development of the public libraries of the arron dissements of Paris, was, in 1928, being converted into a periodical room, equipped with (5) a bureau of information, the main feature of which is an index of the special collections in all French libraries; (6) a "service de prets," or central exchange for loans of books between libraries, whether in France or between France and other countries, established in 1927; (8) an "Office de documentation et de recherches bibliographiques," established by the Society of Friends of the Bibliotheque Nationale. These developments greatly increased the library's effectiveness. But the sum available for purchases of printed books in 1927 (130,228 fr.) did not allow of any purchases of old or rare books.