University Library is Still the Seventh Largest in World Says Robert Blake
Total Number of Books 3,602,040 Counting 126,935 Volumes Added Last Year to Collection -- Further Distinction of Being largest University Library
Widedner Library is still the seventh largest library in the world, according to the annual report of Robert P. Blake, Librarian. The addition of 126,935 volumes last year brought the total number of books in the Harvard University Library to 3,602,040, number which is surpassed only by the British Museum, The French National Library, the Library of Congress. The New York City Public Library, the Leningrad Public Library, and the Moscow Public Library. It has the further distinction of being the largest University Library in the world.
Not All in Widener
The three and one half odd million books are not all housed in Widener, however. At present the College Library contains 1,960,762 volumes and pamphlets; the Departmental Libraries, 1,576,859; and the House Libraries 64,419.
During the academic year 1933-34, the circulation in all the libraries was 235-258 volumes, 2,259 less than the previous year when 237,517 volumes were circulated. This number is greater, however, than in the three years prior to 1932-33. The circulation in 1931-32 was 232,338; in 1930-31, 210,981; in 1929-30, 182,429.
Cash gifts to the College Library during the year totalled $111,306 and 20,718 books and 31,899 pamphlets were given.
Exerpts from the report which account for the general decline in circulation are as follows:
"The Reference and Circulation Departments report for the first time in many years a decrease both in the registration of the users of the Library and in the actual circulation of books within and without the building. This decrease is probably not attributable to any one cause, but appears to be proportionate to the slight decline in registration throughout all the departments of the University.
Visiting Scholars Decline
"The number of visiting scholars also shows a slight decrease over the peak figure of last year. Though the number of such scholars is large, 637, the majority of them stay with us for only brief intervals and the bulk of their visits falls during the summer, when it is easy to accommodate callers from outside.
"Inter-library likewise manifest a slight decline from the total of last year. The borrowing institutions are widely distributed over America. While the work involved in this service is very considerable, it is something we do gladly, as it is a point where we can be the greatest service.