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dent, several members of the Council, and other members of the Club, were officially present, by invitation, at the opening of the Branch Free Library at Cheetham and of the Central Public Library in the Old Town Hall on the 11th of February. Mention has already been made of the papers read upon subject of the British Museum Catalogue and the proposed Universal Catalogue. Sir Henry Cole was present on the occasion of the discussion of the last-named subject, and, in accordance with a suggestion made by him on that occasion, the Council have forwarded a memorial to the trustees of the British Museum, requesting them to include in their proposed catalogue of books issued up to 1660, not only those which are in the Museum Library, but all that are known to exist elsewhere. It will be in the remembrance of the members that the Club last year compiled and issued, both as part of the Club Papers and in a separate form, a Bibliography of Lancashire and Cheshire, giving a list of the publications of the two counties for the year 1876. It was highly praised in many journals, the Bookseller observing that "nothing so suggestive and so really useful to the general book-trade as this important record has hitherto been published in the provinces." But it was a laborious as well as a costly undertaking, and as the promise to continue it was conditional upon an adequate response from the public and the book-trade, and that response has not been forthcoming, the further prosecution of the Bibliography has perforce been abandoned. An important Conference of Librarians—the first in England-was held in London in October, 1877. The Club was not officially represented, but as four out of the five representatives from Manchester are members of the Clubnamely, Messrs. James Crossley, T. B. M. Dutton, Wm. E. A. Axon, and C. W. Sutton-it may not be inappropriate to call attention to a meeting which is likely to have great and beneficial effect upon popular bibliography, and to help in extending the influence of libraries of all descriptions. The Hon. Sec. in the paper read before the Conference renewed the claims of the provinces to a share in the usefulness of the national library. The plea for the printing of the British Museum Catalogue was influentially supported, and has led to discussion on the subject, which cannot fail to help in the promotion of sounder views than those still officially asserted.
It has been suggested that the Club might usefully establish a Books and Libraries, or Bibliographical Section, to consist of all members who are connected with libraries, are interested in bibliographical pursuits, or are cognizant of the growing importance of their encouragement; and, in addition to these, of librarians in the county or district who may wish to enrol themselves as associates. A small subscription might be asked from the associates. The principle of admitting associates in this
way has been recognized by other societies, and works well. A bibliographical section on such a plan might serve for the district the purposes which the newly-established Library Association is designed to effect for the whole country.
The third volume of the Club Papers was issued
to the members soon after the close of the session. The fourth volume is in an advanced state of preparation, and will, it is expected, be in the hands of members early in June. Several of the artist-members have contributed sketches, which will add to the attractions of the volume. The accumulation of materials for the projected Biographical Dictionary of Lancashire Artists, has been prosecuted with diligence during the past year by Mr. Nodal, who has been greatly assisted in his work by Mr. Albert Nicholson. It is still a moot point, however, whether the Club will be justified in undertaking the pecuniary responsibiltity of the work.
The growth of the library, though dependent this sesLibrary. sion entirely upon gifts, has been considerable, and in view of the possibility of making its contents useful to the members, an Honorary Librarian was appointed. The present condition of the library is set forth in his report as follows :—
"The Honorary Librarian reports that 149 volumes and pamphlets have been added to the library by donation, and one volume by purchase. A list of the donations is given in the appendix. He has made an examination of the titles which have been prepared for a catalogue of the Library, and finds that the Club now possesses 542 books and pamphlets as follows:
The albums and scrapbooks are:-(i.) The photographic portrait album of members. (ii. and iii.) Photographs of Chatsworth and Buxton. (iv.) Autographs. (v.) Cuttings relating to the Club. (vi.) Miscellaneous literary scraps. (vii.) Portraits of Dissenting Ministers (presented by Mr. Mayer). (viii.) Drawings and Engravings (presented by Mr. George Hayes). (ix.) Autographs of Lancashire authors. (x.) Photographs of Clayton Hall.
The books written or edited by past and present members of the Club include the publications of the Club; the following periodicals, North Lonsdale Magazine, volume five of Ben Brierley's Journal, Odds and Ends, Country Words, and Manchester Papers, besides 124 volumes and tracts by the following members Messrs. Angell, Axon, J. E. Bailey, Bamford, Bardsley,
Batty, Bealey, B. Brierley, Buckley, Callender, Calvert, Chadwick, Crofton, Crossley, J. Dawson, J. S. Dawson, John Evans, Hadfield, Hardwick, Harland, Henderson, Hildebrandt, Hindshaw, Horsfall, H. H. Howorth, G. B. Johnson, Kingsley, Legge, Milner, Morris, Newbigging, Nodal, O'Conor, Page, Picton, Plant, G. Richardson, Samelson, Standing, Sutton, Swain, Waugh, Williams, Wilson.
The Librarian suggests that this section should be made as perfect as possible, and that all editions (where in any way different from others) of all the works of members should be obtained.
The 310 works relating to, or printed in, Lancashire or Cheshire include twenty-four volumes issued by local literary or scientific societies.
The reference section so far is very small. It is desirable that it should be increased, more especially as in ordinary collections such books as it would contain cannot be borrowed for any lengthened literary research, but must be consulted on the spot. To avoid waste of money, as well as waste of shelf-space, in the purchase of useless books, the Librarian suggests that it would be well to make out lists of select and desirable books, to be secured as opportunities present themselves.
A manuscript catalogue of the library will, it is hoped, be laid before the members at the first meeting after the recess.
Presentations to the Club.
Amongst the donations to the Club during the past year, the first to be named is the portrait of the President, Mr. J. H. Nodal. This has been painted by Mr. Walter Tomlinson, and was presented to the Club, on behalf of the subscribers, by Mr. Morgan Brierley. The Council have had this suitably framed and placed in the council room. They have to thank Mr. Edwin Waugh for a portrait of their late member, Sam. Bamford; Mr. Rowley for a valuable series of framed photographic portraits of eminent literary men; Mr. John Page for a chalk drawing of Mr. Joseph Chattwood, the first President of the Club; Mr. George Hayes for a number of early sketches and engravings; Mr. Morgan Brierley, for an original water-colour portrait of John Butterworth, the mathematician; Mr. Joseph Johnson (formerly of Manchester, now of Douglas, Isle of Man), for a fine engraving of Bradley's portrait of Peter Clare; Mr. John Evans for a large and fine engraved portrait of the Rev. Canon Parkinson; and Mr. Edward Williams for a volume of photographs of Clayton Old Hall.
The number of meetings held during the year (including the excursion to Derbyshire, the two visits to libraries, and two conversazioni,) has been twenty-nine. The
first conversazione was held at the Albion Hotel, 29th October, when a choice collection of works illustrative of Japanese art was exhibited, and Mr. W. B. Tracy read a paper on the life and music of Mendelssohn. The second conversazione in the new rooms of the Clarence Hotel was in some respects the most successful of the series. The absence of any formal programme contributed to the spontaneous enjoyment of the evening. The objects exhibited were of a kind and quality to interest the most exacting. A memorial has been forwarded to the President of the Committee of Council on Education, on behalf of the Club, in favour of the establishment of Owens College as a University. A petition in favour of the amendment of the law of libel as it affects newspapers and their proprietors has been presented to the House of Commons, on behalf of the Club, by our member, Mr. David Chadwick.
Notwithstanding the advance in the amount of the entrance fee, which was decided upon early in the session, the candidatures for admission continue as numerous as ever. Twenty-eight new members have been elected during the year, and the number of members is now 181. Nine have been removed from the list by death and other causes. The deceased members are Mr. William Brown, the author of several dramas, some of which have been produced on the stage, and Mr. James Standing, author of Echoes from a Lancashire Vale. In addition to the enhanced entrance fee, other causes have operated to restrict the indiscriminate admission of members. The council, acting as a ballot committee in accordance with the rules, have been guided in their deliberations by the following standing order -"That in future membership of the Club shall be limited to authors, journalists, men of letters, painters, sculptors, architects, engravers, musical composers, members of the learned professions, librarians, and, generally, persons engaged or specially interested in literary or artistic pursuits." The rigorous interpretation of this "order" has led the council to reject the claims for admission of gentlemen, who, though perfectly eligible on social grounds, did not come within the limits laid down.
JOSEPH C. LOCKHART, Treasurer, in Account with the Manchester
£ s. d.
Cr. £ s. d.
To Balance in hand, April 30,
450 6 12 11
128 I O
26 5 O
I I7 0
Printing Circulars and other Papers....
Expenses of Conversa
,, Expenses of Christmas
Expenses of Excursion to Haddon
To Subscriptions to Nodal
20 15 0
By Purchase of Books
,, Binding Shelving
By Papers, vol. iii..............
I 10 8
0 18 6