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Editorial

OUR NATIONAL LIBRARY.

(Baltimore Sun.)

THE annual report of Herbert Putnam, Librarian of Congress, shows that the great collecton of books in the magnificent building east of the Capitol is fast growing in size and value, despite the chronic disinclination of Congress to pay for any considerable additions to it. The number of volumes on the shelves is now nearly 1,900,000, which gives the library third place among the world's depositories of books, only the French Bibliotheque Nationale, with 2,600,000 volumes, and the British Museum, with 2,000,000, being ahead of it.

To maintain this huge collection costs nearly $700,000 a year, but of that sum only $100,000 is available for the purchase of books. The result is that the librarian must depend chiefly on donations for the filling of gaps upon his shelves. Old books, and particularly old books of the sort a national library should have, are very expensive. At the recent Hoe sale, for example, Mr. Putnam found such high prices ruling that he was unable to make a single purchase. There were plenty of books that he wanted-plenty that the library needed-but they were selling for from $10,000 to $40,000 apiece, and with but $100,000 in his wallet and many demands on it he was forced to refrain from buying.

In the department of new books, of course, the library is more fortunate. By the terms of the copyright law two copies of every book, pamphlet, musical composition, print or map copyrighted in the United States must be sent to the Library of Congress. The accessions from this source are very large in number. Last year, for example, more than 20,000 new books were received. But the great majority of these were novels, gift books, volumes of bad poetry and other such ephemeral things. They should all be in the national library, true

enough, but they will be of little interest and no value until many years have come and gone.

If the library is ever to rival the great European collection, in quality as well as in mere quantity, Congress must be a bit more liberal. The old books in the world are far from innumerable. In the case of the really important editions every surviving copy is located, and the tendency of all of them is to gravitate toward the great public collections. Once a unique copy gets into the British Museum the Library of Congress has lost it forever. And that very thing is happening almost daily.

THE REFORM OF LEGAL PROCEDURE.

BY MAX B. HARLIN.

UNDER the title of "Imperative Law Reforms" an article appeared in the July, 1911, number of THE EDITORIAL REVIEW from the pen of Mr. Edward J. McDermott, of the Louisville bar. The distinguished writer refers to law reform in England, and suggests that such reform there makes it "plain that we ought to reform and must reform, by radical measures." He refers to the trial of Dr. Crippen as an example of English justice because the defendant was convicted after a trial which lasted only four and one-half days. He calls attention to the Whiteley case where the defendant was convicted after only five hours had been consumed in giving a trial, and that only eight precious minutes of British time had been lost in securing a jury to try the case. He says that, "in England criminals. are neither coddled nor lionized," and calls the reader's attention to the fact that if a convicted person should have the arrogancy to say that the trial court erred, and appealed his case, the Appellate Court is liable not only to affirm the judgment but to increase the penalty.

Conceding, for the sake of argument, that Crippen was guilty and deserved the death penalty, I want to say that if all the accounts of that trial, which I have read are true, I thank God that I neither live in the jurisdiction of that court nor have to practice law before it. May I ever be delivered from appearing as counsel for any man being tried in a court where the malignant hatred and feeling of the mob in the galleries is deflected from the face of the presiding judge so strongly as to blind the jurors in the box. In Kentucky men are not convicted by scowls from the face of the court nor significant remarks of the judge in the presence of the jury. In Kentucky the trial judge does not indicate by the tone of his voice and his manner, when

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