« PreviousContinue »
MEDICINE AND NATURAL HISTORY
CONTAINED IN THE
PRINTED BY S. COLLINGWOOD,
PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY.
IT is due to the munificent liberality of the Radcliffe Trustees, and also to the judicious and long continued exertions of my predecessor, the late Dr. Williams, that the scientific public should be made acquainted with the valuable collection contained in that splendid repository, the Radcliffe Library.
With great readiness therefore I proceeded to obey the direction, given by the Trustees in last June, to make a Catalogue of its contents. And though I do not consider that which is now published as a sufficiently satisfactory representation of the valuable collection it describes; yet, considering the length of time which would have been required for the construction of a Catalogue complete in all its details; and that a knowledge of the contents of the Library, by leading to a knowledge of its deficiencies also, would tend to accelerate its improvement; it has been thought right to give immediate publication to the present sketch: respecting the plan of which a very few observations will be sufficient.
The primary object in this, as in the Catalogue of every Library indeed, being a clear and succinct description of the title of each book noticed in it; in order that its existence in the Library may be easily ascertained; I have, in general, in order to distract the eye as little as possible, described the authors of individual works simply by their surnames and the initial of their other name or names, without the addition of their official or other titles: and this will not, I trust, be considered disrespectful. In some instances indeed the sur
name only has been given, as being even more forcibly descriptive than any addition could make it. No other appellation need be added, it may be presumed, to the name of Linnæus, Buffon, or Cuvier.
With respect to books which are either extensively known, or are to be found in most large libraries of natural history, no further description has been given than was considered just sufficient to verify their existence in the collection: but with respect to books which are at the same time of rare occurrence, and of intrinsic value from the character of their contents, in addition to the general description has been occasionally subjoined a short account of the plates, &c. contained in them. On such occasions, where Zoology is the subject-matter, the classification of the "Règne Animal" of Cuvier has been principally adopted; substituting however, usually, a Latin instead of a French nomenclature; and sometimes employing equivalent instead of identical terms, as "Accipitres" for "Oiseaux de proie," and "Gralla" for "Echassiers."
In books to which the author's name is not added, or which are the production of a Collective Society, the initial letter of that appellation by which the book is most commonly known, or of the most characteristic term of the whole title, has determined its alphabetical position in the Catalogue. Thus the Transactions of the Royal Society of London, being most familiarly known under the name of the "Philosophical Transactions," are noticed under the initial letter of that term: but the Transactions of the Philosophical Societies of Cambridge or Manchester are noticed respectively under the initials of those places.
Where the title of a work has been thought too long and diffuse, it has been compressed; and in some instances the
terms of the original description have even been varied: such a liberty being usually considered allowable, provided the purport of the work be truly described. And when the same book is written in more than one language, the description of it has been given in that which is the most generally known; but the common Latin abbreviations relative to the size, &c. of a book or set of books have been used indifferently; which is manifestly convenient to all parties.
Although it is not necessary to enter into a consideration of the reasons which determined the order of classification which has been adopted in the following Catalogue; yet, for the convenience of those who may at any time consult the Library, it is desirable to state that the general subjects are there classed in the same order as they occur in the Library itself. And it will be seen that those subjects are such only as have a direct relation to medicine, or are more or less remotely connected with it; this being in accordance with the intention of the Founder.
As the subjects have been classed under as many as ten distinct divisions, with an alphabetical arrangement in each division, the difficulty of finding any individual work will probably be very trifling; and I have therefore not thought it necessary to add a general Index: though, had there been sufficient time, I should have been desirous of adding an index which should not merely have referred to individual works, but, under appropriate heads, to all the works, and portions of works contained in the library, that bear upon the several branches of each department of Natural History. In order however to facilitate the search for any individual work, I have subjoined to this advertisement the order of arrangement of the subjectsa.
a See p. viii.