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The Trustees of the State Library are required by law to report annually to the Legislature the additions to the Library, and also at the end of every five years a full catalogue of its contents. The Catalogue of 1850 was comprised in one octavo volume of nearly eleven hundred pages; but the additions to the Library have since been such as to render it expedient to issue the present Catalogue in three volumes, of a size more convenient than the former.
The present volume contains the Catalogue of the Law Books and State Papers in the Law Library. The remaining two volumes contain, one, the Catalogue of the printed books in the General Library ; the other, the Catalogue of the manuscripts, maps, engravings, coins, etc. in the General Library.
The number of volumes in the Library at the time of the publication of the Catalogue in 1850 was 23,274. The whole number now on the shelves of the Library is 43,634 ; of which, 30,011, including 144 volumes of manuscripts, are in the General Library, and the remaining 13,623 in the Law Library. This shows an increase of 20,360 volumes in five years ; of which, 16,607 appertain to the General Library, and 3753 to the Law Library.
[ Law LIB.]
While this result has been produced chiefly by purchases made from the annual appropriations by the State for the enlargement of the Library, much of it has arisen from donations made by foreign governments and authorities, principally through the system of international exchange conducted by M. VATTEMARE ; by the Government of the United States ; by the several States of the Union ; by learned societies; by individuals, both at home and abroad; and by the deposit of the library of the late Hon. HARMANUS BLEECKER, consisting of about 2700 volumes. These additions have been specially acknowledged in the Annual Reports of the Trustees.
The additions since 1850 in the department of American History, to which the Trustees have given special attention, have been very considerable.
In 1854, the Library was removed to the substantial and appropriate building in the rear of the Capitol, constructed by the wise liberality of the Legislature for its reception.
The extent of the collection, and the convenience of the arrangements of the Library are such, that the number of readers who avail themselves of its privileges is constantly increasing ; and it is a source of just pride to the citizens of the State, that those who are engaged in learned, scientific or useful inquiries, may here find liberal provision made by public munificence to aid them in their labors.
STATE LIBRARY, October 1856.