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It may justly be doubted whether a general publishing business comes within the proper scope of a university. Still in a measure the fostering and encouragement of letters and research must be included in the field of work of all higher institutions of learning. Five journals of research are conducted under the auspices of Johns Hopkins University; and the Pitt press at Cambridge and the Clarendon press at Oxford have long been famous. These enterprises certainly add to the influence of colleges where they are located and extend their usefulness. Harvard has done little in such ways; principally no doubt because of lack of funds.
Harvard men naturally find the local papers of other colleges generally of little interest. Of course, a Harvard reader can always find something of interest in the papers of Yale, Columbia or Princeton, our great athletic rivals, but in other respects few of them are worthy of extended perusal. The Columbia Spectator finds many readers here, however, and is always a paper of sufficient merit and brightness to repay reading. The Princeton Tiger is of the same class, only "more so," and is rapidly becoming a very entertaining and valuable publication. But the journal which, in our opinion, would be found most readable, on account of its general spirit and excellence, is the Williams Argo. It certainly is the most neatly formed, the best written and the most carefully edited of any of the papers printed at other colleges. The Tiger and Spectator are on sale in Cambridge. Would it not be worth the while for its editors to place the Argo on sale here also? Of course the standard of interest for the general reading public in such matters is not the standard of local value and interest. In that respect all these papers are possibly excelled by others.
The subjects that many of our Western exchanges delight to treat of are sometimes truly formidable. A curious and interesting list might be compiled on these attempts at literary greatness. "Women in Literature," "Patriotism as a Virtue," or "The Saracens in Europe," are truly subjects that would do honor to a Bowdoin prize essayist, but must fill the reader of a college magazine with dismay.
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