The following is a brief description of the scheme: A general division into Foreign news and American news; the foreign news to be subdivided into political, economic, social, etc., as for example, the Congo Conference, the Soudan Question, the Franco-Chinese War, Dynamitism, Nihifists, Socialists, and Anarchists, etc.; American news to be subdivided in the same way, for example: The Nicaragua Treaty, Reciprocity Treaties, the Negro Question (including the Negro Scare following the last election), the Silver Question, Strikes, Trades-unions, Monopolies, Civil Service Reform, etc.
The idea is to collect into one place full information upon each of the important topics of present history. The trouble with our careless, intermittent newspaper reading, is that we get but an imperfect, hazy, often incorrect knowledge of passing events. The purpose of the proposed plan is expressed in the phrase-to present a compendious summary of contemporaneous history.
Dr. Herbert B. Adams, instructor in history at Johns Hopkins, speaking on this subject says, "The classification and preservation of the best articles on economic, social, and political topics, is found by all to be exceedingly useful. How often does one wish that he had saved the report of some court decision, scholar's address a statesman's speech, a mayor's message, divorce statistics, new facts and illustrations! How often these things would work into the warp and woof of a student's task if he could only lay his hand upon them at the proper moment."
It might be well to add here that the plan is carried out at Johns Hopkins on a very extensive scale.
One of the incidental advantages to be gained is a certain amount of that preparation for journalism, the want of which is so much felt just now. The two requisites of a journalist are, a knowledge of events that are occupying public attention, and the power to write well upon them. Our theme courses furnish us with the latter, this plan affords us the chance of getting the former.
Of course, the trouble and expense will not be undertaken, unless the students are sufficiently interested to make use of the collection; and this communication has been written to present this plan to the students, and to find out, if possible, their desires in the matter. All, therefore, who are interested are invited to express their opinions and make suggestions or criticisms.