Below are given the complete reports of the Library and Membership Committees of the Union, as presented at the annual meeting on Thursday:
Library Committee Report.
The Library Committee of the Harvard Union presents its report for the year during which it has held office--April, 1905 to April, 1906--and for the financial year which came to an end during its term--August 1, 1904 to July 31, 1905.
On April 1, 1905, the library contained 7,560 volumes; on April 1, 1906, it contained 8,064 volumes, a gain of 504. Of these, 95 have been gifts, the remainder having been purchased from the regular funds of the Union Library or from special sums given for the purchase of books. For copies of their own works we are indebted to Colonel T. W. Higginson, President Henry S. Pritchett, Professor A. B. Hart, Professor George Santayana, Rev. S. C. Beach, and Messrs. Ripley Hitchcock and Edwin S. Balch. Other volumes have been received from Messrs. H. P. Arnold '52, and John Brown Gerrish '71, who have been generous givers to the library in previous years, from Messrs. A. J. Hammerslough, G. H. Chase and Clarence Cary, and from a number of institutions and officials. Mr. George Blaney '07 has presented a set of Charles Dudley Warner's works, in 15 volumes. From the Signet Society we have received a gift of $30, which has not yet been expended.
The library is already fairly well provided with standard English literature, but among the longer sets of works purchased during the year have been George MacDonald's works, Charles Reade's novels, Charles Kingsley's works, Froude's "History of England," "The Spectator," Arber's "English Garner," and translations of Turgenef and Tolstoi, the latter by Professor Wiener, of the Harvard Faculty.
The committee thinks that the library is now ready to go on somewhat further with the buying of French and German works, and it is indebted to Professor C. H. C. Wright and to Professor Walz for suggestions in regard to the authors which it is desirable to add. Sets of Goethe, Schiller, and Lessing have already been provided by the Deutscher Verein. Sets of many of the more important French authors were given some years ago by Mr. Hyde, or were received from the library of Roger T. Atkinson '94. The works of several German authors have already been ordered, and it is expected that a number of French authors will be added before the end of the year.
Some changes have been made in our periodical list. Sixty-one periodicals are now taken regularly, of which 39 are American, 17 English, 3 German, and 2 French. The annual cost of these is about $290. Only a very small number are bound; the others are given away, for the most part through the Phillips Brooks House, after their current interest has passed by.
Twenty-five newspapers, besides the Boston papers, are regularly received. Most of these come to us as gifts from Harvard clubs or Harvard graduates in different cities of the United States. For the "London Times," we are indebted to M. H. P. Arnold, of Pasadena, California.
The regular income of the library is derived from three funds: the Hyde Fund, yielding about $575 a year; the Simes Fund, established in memory of Robert F. Simes '85, yielding $225 a year; and the Fund of the Class of 1878, from which about $125 is available annually for the library. This gives us an income which we can depend upon, of about $925.
In the financial year, August 1, 1904, to July 31, 1905, the library spent $1,031.24. Of this sum $998.70 was derived from the three funds mentioned above, the balance, $32.54, being charged to gifts received from the Class of 1902, from the Deutscher Verein, the Harvard Memorial Society, and other sources. The balance on our account at the beginning of the year was $161.99; the receipts for the year $899.76, giving $961.75. The expenditure of $1,031.24 therefore overdrew our account with the Union by $69.49. This, however, was due to the fact that the income from the Class of 1878 Fund, which was counted upon, was not actually received by the Treasurer before the end of the year. It is therefore only a nominal deficit. If $125 had been received from this source, as expected, we should have had a balance of $55.51, and so have kept within our income. During the current year we have already spent $662, so that we can easily keep within our normal limit of $925.
The committee regrets to have to report that some losses have occured from the library during the year; more, in fact, than during the two years previous. When the shelves were examined during the Christmas vacation, it was found that 53 volumes were missing. A list of these was posted in the library, and the CRIMSON called attention to the fact that the library was suffering from this sort of illegitimate use. Twenty-seven of these volumes have since been returned, but 26 are still absent from their places. A recent examination of the shelves shows that 12 volumes in addition have disappeared since the Christmas vacation. The committee has been unwilling to adopt stringent measures for protection, feeling that the most delightful element in the use of the library is its freedom of access. By placing the attendant's desk near the entrance door, it has tried to check the removal of books; but with our present staff it is impossible for the attendant to be at his post without interruption, and in any case, it is easy enough for a person who is so disposed, to carry a book off with him. For improvement we can only depend upon the general recognition of the fact that fair-play and a regard for the rights of others are fundamental requirements for the running of a club, and for the use of a library like ours.
The Corporation has lately offered to place on deposit with us three interesting portraits which formerly hung in Memorial Hall, but for which another place had to be found in consequence of the rearrangement of the Memorial portraits which has lately been carried out. Two of these--George Washington and John Winthrop--have been hung in the Living Room; the third, Gurdon Saltonstall, a beloved member of the Class of 1878, has been placed in the Committee Room. The committee of the class of 1904 has presented sixteen group photographs of the principal athletic teams of 1901, 1902, 1903 and 1904. Mr. H. P. Arnold has given us handsomely framed portraits of Lincoln and Grant, which now hang in the south room of the library. He has also presented the exhibition case in the Periodical Room, and has borne a substantial part of the cost of the new seats in the Living Room, which make a pleasant spot for talking or lounging on the south side of the room.
In the exhibition case, plates from the College Library have been constantly on exhibition, and have been changed every week or fortnight. The subjects represented by these plates have been--Armor from the Spitzer Collection; the Mosque of Tamerlane; the Castle of Neuschwan-stein, in Bavaria; the Sistine Chapel, in Rome; the Louvre, in Paris; Spanish Tapestries; Japanese Costume; prints from the British Museum; statues of gods and athletes, exhibited at the time of the football game; and illustrations of the human figure, ancient, mediaevel, and modern. At Christmas time, the Fogg Museum lent us a collection of photographs appropriate to the season. W. C. LANE, Chairman Library Committee.
Membership Committee Report.
During the year the Membership Committee has met only five times. The first meeting was for the purpose of organizing the committee. The second was called to discuss ways and means of increasing the membership, and the next two were held jointly with the House Committee, while the last meeting was called to nominate officers and committeemen for the ensuing year. Thus, the work accomplished by the committee was practically nothing; and what little was done would better have been in the hands of the House Committee. In the first place, the powers of the Membership Committee are only nominal; and in the second place, the House Committee has, during the past few years, gradually taken to itself practically all the powers delegated to the Membership Committee by the old constitution. As a result the members of the Membership Committee realizing the unimportance of their work have taken only desultory interest.
For these reasons, I believe that the Union voted wisely in adopting the new constitution whereby the Membership Committee was abolished, and merged with the House Committee into the Governing Board, which will have charge of the Union for the ensuing year.
I should like to thank the House Committee for doing so much of the Membership Committee's work. However, I would add that the members of the Membership Committee did not shirk their work, but realized rather that the House Committee, which practically ran the Union during last year, should have its own way in all matters of administration. D. A. NEWHALL. Chairman Membership Committee