Soon people will be feverishly checking old hour exams in the bookcase outside the Periodical Room of Widener. They will probably encounter difficulties similar to those of anyone looking for hour exams last month. He found three sets of finals and three or four sets of hour exams for every year since 1934, scattered throughout five shelves in no particular order. But after kneeling for half an hour and fumbling through the stratified heap, maybe he found his needle. Then he briskly turned the pages and very likely discovered that the key to his success had mysteriously vanished. All that remained was the unravished pieces which pecked out from the binding in apology. Perhaps the person who tore the exam out did so in disgust at the outrageous demands of the course. But more probably, he couldn't spare ten minutes to recopy the questions.
The next place to look is the Archives Room upstairs. Although finals are easily found here because they are kept in volumes with extra copies stored away, but hour exams are kept in loose folders. It is easier to locate a folder, but more exams are missing from them than from the pamphlets downstairs.
Finger-shaking is not liable to influence the thoughtless characters who life these exams. It is up to the library to find a system of protecting the exams from theft as well as making specific exams more easily accessible. When Lamont gets settled, perhaps the problem could be transferred there. The exams could be filed alphabetically at the reading desk. And since the exams do not come on uniform-sized paper, it would be convenient to paste the exams on cardboard sheets. Anyone who wanted to look at an exam could sign for it. The bound copies of finals ought to be kept here too, with duplicates in reserve.
Hour exams are additionally hard to locate since the University Printing Office is sometimes lax in sending all copies over to the library. But this is probably because Widener was never insistent. It goes back to the more basic reason, that keeping track of exams was never taken as a serious thing in the library. Whether old exams should be available at all is open to question. But since the library is doing this service, it ought to do it more efficiently.