With a total of more than 4000 books having been secured for the libraries of Lowell and Dunster Houses, the progress of this important part of the Houses is keeping up with the advance of the buildings themselves. The books are being stored in the basement of Widener, where they will be catalogued and sorted by a corps of workers employed especially for the job.
The books being gathered are for reading, browsing, and general course purposes, and the libraries will contain rare books of famous as well as infamous character. Many of the books are being purchased by means of the many gifts which have been contributed for this purpose by graduates of the College and others interested in this new development.
One of the gifts had strings attached to it to the point that the money should be used to buy a complete set of the works of Sir Archibald Marshall. A full set was ordered, the librarian forgetting that possibly some of the books might not be suitable for a House library. When the set arrived it was found that Sir Archibald had written four juvenile books, and that these had been included in the order: these were returned, since it was felt that books entitled "Peggy in Toyland", and "Audacious Ann" might not interest members of Lowell and Dunster Houses.
In order to have as extensive a collection as possible various members of the Faculty have suggested titles of their particular fields, and the effort is being made to include books on every subject. The most difficulty has arisen in the selection of modern books, since the merits of different writers of today for libraries of this kind are often obscure.
Among other acquisitions there have been several complete private collections and libraries given to the Houses. One of these is the A. A. Howard library, extremely complete as to classics books on Economics from the Allen Young library have also been acquired. Many of these books contain both Young's and the author's signatures. At the present time the value of the books either given outright or else purchased with gift money has exceeded the value of those that have been bought with part of the Harkness fund, which was set aside for library purposes.