State Library of Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 35 April 1985

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Introduction

E. Morris Miller had a highly unusual and uncommonly varied career. He was at various times “librarian, political activist and lecturer, library association organiser, writer, psychologist, philosopher, bibliographer, university lecturer, professor and administrator, public teacher and public citizen, and mental health administrator.”i Born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, of Scottish parentage, on 14 August 1881, Edmund Morris Miller came to Australia with his parents and maternal grandparents in January 1883. After a brief South Australian sojourn, the family settled at Flemington in Melbourne, where Miller grew up with his two sisters, born in 1883 and 1886 respectively. Morris Miller was an alert, intelligent, inquisitive, and precocious child. He related on one occasion “I developed a dislike of a teen-age girl, named Wales, delivering milk to a neighbour. With a small spade I used to dig a hole in which I hoped to bury her.” But his comeuppance was at hand. Shortly afterwards he fell into “a foundation trench of the new State School building. Failing to extricate myself, I cried out despairingly. The girl I desired to bury became my rescuer!”ii
At his mother's wish Miller's formal education began when he was barely four years of age, at the Kensington State School, where he remained until late 1894. The 1890s economic depression meant the end of the Victorian Government's coveted High School scholarships and Miller was a casualty. So he spent 1895 working in his grandfather's boot workshop, studying Latin arid Algebra in the evenings, and assimilating the habits of a voracious lifetime reader of books, newspapers, and journals. Enrolled in Carlton's University High School in 1896, Miller matriculated the following year, winning a scholarship to Wesley College, where he began study in 1898.
In March 1900 he entered the University of Melbourne, taking a B.A. (1904) and an M.A. (First Class Honours, Philosophy) in 1906. A promising philosophy student, Miller was encouraged to study abroad, and in 1908–09 he attended Edinburgh University. Miller spent 1911–12 as a Research Scholar in Philosophy at Melbourne University. In 1918 he was awarded a D.Litt. for a dissertation on Immanuel Kant. From August 1900 to April 1913 Miller worked as a Junior Library Assistant in the Public Library of Victoria. Yet during these productive years he remained troubled about a choice of vocation. The Public Library seemed too limiting; the Ministry appealed briefly, but he talked himself out of that. His father advised the law but Miller was reluctant. His final decision was much influenced by Alfred Deakin, with whom he developed a father-son relationship. The Millers lived in Deakin's electorate, and were among his strongest electoral workers. Deakin, who had no sons, treated the promising young Miller as an equal, encouraging him in his studies and finding outlets for his abilities, such as Miller's Secretaryship of Australia's Imperial Federation League, 1908–1913, of which Deakin himself was President, 1904–13. Deakin counselled Miller against parliamentary politics. At length, increasing disillusionment at the Public Library dictated an academic career.
On 1 June 1914 Morris Miller married Catherine MacKinnon Carson, daughter of the Rev. John Carson of Melbourne. Theirs was a successful partnership which ended with his death at the St. John's Park Hospital, Hobart, on 21 October 1964 aged 83. His exact contemporary, she survived him by a decade. They had one child, a daughter, Miss Ailsa Morris Miller, now Mrs J.B.F. Young of Hobart.
Morris Miller's lifelong career interests were philosophy, psychology, literature and libraries. He was a Lecturer in Moral and Mental Science at the University of Tasmania, 1913–25, when he became Associate Professor of Psychology and Philosophy. Promoted to full Professor in January 1928, Miller held the Chair of Philosophy until his retirement in December 1951, when he was created Professor Emeritus. Miller published a number of philosophical works,iii and served as President of the Australasian Association of Psychology and Philosophy, 1928–29. Miller's interest in psychology also found expression in his role as Director of Tasmania's Psychological Clinic, 1922–46, and 1951–52. A pioneer in the field of applied psychology, he
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worked as well for other causes like Workers' Education (a precursor of adult education), and daylight saving, which he first advocated in Tasmania in 1917.
Morris Miller made an important contribution to Australian literature. He produced the monumental bibliography, Australian Literature (1940),iv which has still not been superseded, as well as the seminal work on relations between early Tasmania's journalists and viceroys.v Miller also wrote numerous pamphlets and articles on Australian, especially Tasmanian, literature. His work for Australia's libraries was no less significant. Miller served as Honorary Librarian of the University of Tasmania from April 1913 to November 1945, and his achievement in creating the nucleus of a modern tertiary library was recognised officially in January 1961, when the Tasmanian University Library's new building was named in his honour. Between October 1915 and July 1943 Morris Miller was an active Trustee of Tasmania's Public Library, serving as Chairman of Trustees from December 1923.
Most of Miller's energies, however, were devoted to the University of Tasmania. He was its Vice-Chancellor, April 1933 to February 1945, and the person principally responsible for securing the University's new Sandy Bay site in 1939–40. Miller was much honoured. A Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters, he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Australian Humanities Research Council (1958) and of the Library Association of Australia (1959). Miller, an Australian Literature Society Gold Medallist (1949), received the C.B.E. in 1963.
Morris Miller's three-part “Public Library Memories”, which he wrote in August-September 1951, are a valuable, previously unpublished record of a highly important period in Miller's life.vi In their glimpses and pen portraits of individuals as diverse as Alfred Deakin, Henry Laurie, Edmund La Touche Armstrong, and W.J. Chidley, they provide fascinating marginal comments on early twentieth-century Melbourne life. These memoirs also constitute an interesting biographical insight into the making of an extraordinary career.vii
DEREK DRINKWATER
Derek Drinkwater B.A. (Hons.) M.A. (Librarian-ship), formerly a librarian at the National Library of Australia, is now a Research Officer in the Department of the Senate, Parliament House, Canberra. He has published articles on Australian library history and is co-author of A Dictionary of Australian Politics (Melbourne: Longman — Cheshire, 1980). His M.A. thesis was entitled “Librarian Errant: E. Morris Miller and Australian Librarianship” (Monash University, 1983).
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E. Morris Miller as a young man.

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“Public Library of draped in black and purple on the day of the funeral of Queen Victoria — Saturday 2nd Feb., 1901”. (H 13082, La Trobe Collection)

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Part 1: PUBLIC LENDING LIBRARY OF VICTORIA, 1900–02

My call to library service was quite fortuitous. In the Nineties of last century the land boom burst, and the Victorian Government's retrenchment policy wiped out the secondary school scholarships. So I was diverted to employment for a year or so. After two years at the University High School (1896–97) — then a proprietary establishment — I enrolled at Wesley College in 1898, the first year of the headmastership of Thomas Palmer,1 who had granted me a nondescript scholarship. Though I gained prizes and honours, I did not greatly distinguish myself at Wesley. About December 1898 I was attracted by a newspaper notice of three new positions for junior assistants in the Public Library of Victoria. These were open for competition at a public service examination, held early in 1900 at the University [of Melbourne]. The special qualifications required of candidates for the library assistantships, were a pass at the matriculation examination, with passes in three foreign languages. I had qualified in Greek, Latin, and French. Although I was the only applicant with the prerequisites, I had still to pass the general examination for entrance into the public service. The subject of Geography had not been taken by me subsequent to my primary school days. This I studied with William E. Northey, a public library attendant seeking to qualify for the clerical division. He attained eventually an important position in the Lands Department. I passed the general examination, being fairly high up in the lists, and had thus complied with the conditions prescribed for appointment as a library assistant in the Public Library of Victoria at a commencing salary of £40 p.a. I was then 18 years of age. Scholastically I was retarded by nearly two years, due to an intermission in business prior to my entrance to a secondary school.
Having qualified, and having been the only direct candidate, I expected an early appointment; but the ways of the public service administration were a sealed book to an inexperienced aspirant. More than six months elapsed before I was officially notified. During the period of waiting I went almost daily to the Reference Library as a reader, and commenced a study of H.H. Milman's History of Latin Christianity (1854–55) and other works on the history of the early church, shelved in a bay at the North end of the Queen's Hall. As an outcome of this reading, I planned an essay — never really begun — to show how the desire for political power had dominated ecclesiastical leaders during the first three or four centuries, and brought much impurity into the stream of Christianity.
This northern bay of the Queen's Hall was quite isolated and readers there were hidden from view. It always had an attraction for me, even when stock-taking. I presume that this was due to my theological, though unorthodox, bent of mind at the time. Years later, early in 1913, I was surprised one morning to find Archie Strong2 there, absorbed in church doctrine. He was then a Lecturer at the University, and had been attacked by Archbishop Carr3 on the question of trans-substantiation as related to the morality plays. Carr accused Strong of speaking in reply with the voices of Leeper4 and Rentoul,5 and thus Archie determined to show Carr that he could steer his own barque unaided over ecclesiastical seas. When transferred from Melbourne to the Chair of English at the Adelaide University, Strong probably dismissed Carr from his conscience. On an earlier occasion
Editor's Note: Except for occasional small additions to the original typescript, enclosed within square brackets, and some silent corrections of spelling, Morris Miller has been left to speak for himself. The only abbreviations used are PLV (Public Library of Victoria) and LAA (Library Association of Australasia). The editor is grateful to Mrs Ailsa Morris Young of Hobart, Miller's daughter and literary executrix, for permission to reproduce the “Memories”; to Mr Tony Marshall, the La Trobe Library Manuscript Librarian, for locating information about some elusive individuals and sources; and to the Australian Dictionary of Biography's Canberra staff for their valuable research assistance.
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I came across Herbert Brookes6 in the bay. He revealed to me that he had been a devoted follower of Henry Drummond7 during his visit to the University of Melbourne in 1890, and had written a brief reminiscence of Drummond, too late for use by Sir George Adam Smith in the writing of his Life of Henry Drummond (1898). The article appeared in the Expository Times8 When in Edinburgh in 1908 I was privileged to enter the inner circle of Drummond's friends. On the East side of the South end of the main reading room (Queen's Hall), near the entrance to the Barry Hall, the history collections were located. There I also spent many an hour poring over the pages of the illustrated edition of J.R. Green's Short History of the English People (1874), and other historical works.
During the first half of the year 1900 the Boer War9 was at its height. Bulletins appeared daily outside the Collins Street offices of the Argus and the Age newspapers. At any time of the day small groups of men would gather there, engaged in discussions on the sorry results of the early stages of the campaign. I was to be found among them. One day a man about sixty heard me talking and spoke to me. He questioned me on my future. I of course informed him that I was awaiting a call to the Public Library. He then asked me what were the qualifications for the position. Three months after I had begun work in the Lending Library, there came Thomas Fleming Cooke,10 the son of the man who had spoken to me outside the Argus office!
About August 1900 I was requested to report myself for duty at the Public Library. Through frequenting the Reference Library I was already known to several members of the staff. The Chief Librarian (E. La T. Armstrong)11 sent me down to R.D. Boys,12 the Librarian of the Lending Library. Its entrance was from La Trobe Street, opposite the Working Men's College (now the Melbourne Technical College). The La Trobe Street boundary of the Library had a high galvanized iron fence. Double iron gates opened into the asphalt pathway that led down to the entrance door of the Lending Library. This was situated at the back of the North wing of the old Technological Museum (above which was the North end of the Reference Library). Across the North court yard, on its eastern side, and opposite to the Lending Library building, was the residential ground-floor flat occupied by the Chief Librarian. The present octagonal building was erected on the court yard and the Lending Library site. The residence is now used as tea rooms. The flat had a private entrance from La Trobe Street, adjoining the Lending Library gates.
The Lending Library, at the time I commenced duty, had recently been re-modelled and re-classified. I remember the older establishment, though but dimly. In front of a wide delivery counter there was created a high and broad indicator. This is described in Dr T.F. Bride's paper on “The Public Lending Library of Victoria” (1896), (First Australian Library Conference, Melbourne, 1896, Proc. p. 51) as “a wooden frame, containing small oblong pigeon holes, into which are fitted blocks representing the books in the library. On each end of the block the number of the book is printed — one end having a red and the other a white ground. The white represents books in and the red books out.”13 In my secondary school days I was a seeker after H.G. Bohn's translations of the classics, and often awaited a favourable sign. Beyond the indicator the book stacks were placed. So far as I remember, there were no book shelves directly accessible to the borrowers.
The four walls of the remodelled Lending Library were shelved almost to the ceiling. In the centre of the large square room there were stands with grooves for the display of new books. At the entrance door the delivery counter was situated. The borrowers came in on one side from the porch, and went out on the other. The sides were screened off by wire partitions. Inside this area there were tables for the temporary reception of returned books and receptacles for reserved books. On the counter at the incoming side there were trays containing paper pockets, indicating authors and short titles, with borrowers' slips inserted; these were arranged numerically and grouped according to dates of issue. To the left of the attendant at this counter the unused borrowers' tickets were placed in a tray. When selecting a book each borrower had his own slip in his possession. On the outgoing side the trays contained the separate pockets
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R.D. Boys. (H 5497, La Trobe Collection)

E. La Touche Armstrong

of all the books in the library available for borrowers, arranged in numerical order. The attendant at this counter stamped the date of issue on a slip placed at the back of the book, handed the book to the borrower, and inserted the latter's slip in the book pocket which was transferred to the opposite incoming counter for appropriate placement. At the left of the entrance porch was an inquiry window next to which a door led into the assistants' alcove and the Librarian's office. The Library remained in this locale until the re-building of the present Reference Library.14
Early in 1900 the Lending Library Librarian (Boys) classified the books, totalling about 15,000 volumes, according to the Dewey Decimal System.15 Boys, who had been transferred to this position from the accountant's office, used “Dewey” for the first time in Victoria. Experience of its earlier operation in Sydney had been reported to the first Conference of the Library Association of Australasia in 1896.16 These references to Dewey appear to be somewhat naive to the modern librarian, accustomed to the later complications of this standard work. The Melbourne mode of classification was largely general, and the task was done with comparative ease. A guide to the shelf classification was available for borrowers. Shelf-lists on cards were arranged in trays, placed in the Librarian's office. After the reclassification, Boys revised and extended a subject and author catalogue on simple dictionary lines. He was keen on his job. He delighted in the task of book selection and purchased frequently from Mudie's Library,17 London. Boys encouraged the reading of general literature other than fiction, and catered for young people with a practical turn of mind. The section of fiction included mainly authors whose works were sufficiently “standard” to be issued in collected editions or their equivalent. The fiction shelves were very drab in appearance, the dullness being due to the dark (blue-black) buckram binding, which covered what might be termed ill-used books.
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Indeed, the wide-spread mis-handling of books by borrowers, who have never been taught how to turn over the pages, is still one of our serious library-lacks.
My first duty was to alphabetize the catalogue cards and place them in their appropriate trays. My main task was to accession recent purchases and write out the shelf-list cards. When occasion demanded, new borrowers were enrolled and notices sent to such as failed to return books within a specified time or damaged any volume. My daily hours of service, including Saturdays, were from 12 noon to 6.30 p.m. The other assistant worked from 1.30 to 8 p.m. The attendants were rostered according to the “eight hours a day” policy. The Librarian served from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
My first colleague was Louis Esson,18 later to achieve recognition as an Australian dramatist. He was a distant connection of R.D. Boys by marriage, and had been attending classes at the University. His appointment was a temporary one. He rotated with me in hours of service for about three months. My friendly relations with Louis Esson continued until his death. What we talked about across the table at which we sat has faded from memory. What remains is the presence of a man gentle and gracious with a soft ingratiating voice, by no means effeminate, detached from worldly desires and vaulted ambition — one who sought the friendships of the inner men wherever he went. I renewed my relations with him years afterwards on his return from Great Britain in 1905. In 1943 I spent some happy moments with him at a Sydney Writers' Fellowship gathering — a few weeks ere he died, all too early for one who sought above all else to be friendly and fair-minded.
Boys I did not like from the jump. He was not open and remained distant. He was then a bachelor living with his mother. He had been a footballer in his day. He had some distinction in dress, being always well-groomed. He was of sallow complexion and somewhat lean of aspect, his thin grey moustache, combined with a cold-steely smile, giving him the air of an aesthete, the cynosure of his associates, but not their friend. Boys prevented my rightful promotion on the library staff and ultimately forced me into other channels. We were reconciled at a committee meeting of the Australian Library Association held in the Board Room of the Public Library in 1928.
Fleming Cooke, with whose father I had had a previous acquaintance, succeeded Louis Esson, but was immediately placed above me on the ground that he was a second year undergraduate, being two years ahead of me in university studies. Cooke and I remained friendly. He paid a gracious tribute to me in [August] 1928, when I took the chair on the occasion of his lecture at the [Australian] Library Conference [in Melbourne].
In addition to my ordinary duties I sometimes relieved an attendant at the delivery counter. I assisted in the proof reading of the printed catalogue, which Boys was preparing with some zest, as it was to be the first of its kind in Australia.19 One feature of it I greatly valued as a student. Collections of essays were set out in detail, and the separate essays entered under subjects. This method operated to the full in the Reference Library cataloguing. I was later to apply it in the Tasmanian University [Library]. There the practice was extended to cover composite subjects in any one work of an author, particularly significant in the biographical and literary fields. An old typewriter was kept in a small room, used by the staff for odd services and meals. Boys induced me to work the machine. I learnt to do so with the forefinger, but never became proficient. Boys was an applicant for some important position — what it was I do not now call to mind — and he asked me to type his application. I also typed a paper on the Public Lending Library, compiled by Boys. It may have been intended for the information of members attending the third meeting of the Library Association of Australasia, held in Melbourne in April 1902.20 Before that meeting took place, I was transferred to the Reference Library.
For many years, almost from the foundation of the Public Library of Victoria, a travelling library system was in operation. Small collections of books, packed in wooden boxes, up to about one hundred volumes, were loaned to libraries and institutions located outside the city radius. Though the Victorian Public Library was the first to inaugurate this system,21 it was far outstripped by the libraries of the United States,
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A “travelling library” case. (Photograph by Wendy Rew)

which saw the advantage of popularizing the library movement by means of travelling units. One of my duties at the Lending Library was to attend to this service. Boys was quite partial to it, and interested himself in the selection of the contents of the cases, which were varied to suit local conditions, such as industry and agriculture. There were, on an average, three shelves in each case or box, which held about forty or fifty volumes. A typed list was sent to each local borrowing authority for its signature as a guarantor, and a corresponding list was attached to each box. The service was not extensively availed of in those far-off days. Greater strides were made in Sydney, which soon outclassed Melbourne in its travelling libraries.
The eighteen months I spent in the Lending Library had not advantaged me very much as a routine librarian. I became familiar with the problems and methods of a lending library, and developed some self-knowledge of general cataloguing. I completed my first year at the University of Melbourne, gaining merely a third class in Logic and passing in Latin, English, and Mathematics. In 1902 I began the second year in Arts. Up to 1899 I had not read widely. Indeed, as a reader I was retarded. With the resources of the Public Library at hand in 1900, I evinced an eagerness
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for knowledge, manifest in a flair for extensive and uncoordinated reading — a practice which I do not recommend.
One or two experiences with books may be recorded. A recent edition of Henry Drummond's Stones Rolled Away (1893) was added to the Library in 1901. This was borrowed by me. It opened a new vista of the religious life. Drummond's visit to the University during the early Nineties was long remembered among Melbourne graduates of the time, and his influence was felt for many subsequent years. Stones Rolled Away brought me up out of the depths of spiritual despair; and while it did not altogether remove doubts, it enabled me to pass through the wilderness of negation, and reach the pleasant pastures of affirmation. (Eight years later I was to be a frequent visitor to Drummond's intimate friends, the Barbours of Bonskeid, Pitlochry, and his Ascent of Man (1894) formed the basis of a Sunday afternoon's address at Bloomsbury.) This youthful contact with Drummond was reinforced by the “Everlasting Yea” of Carlyle's Sartor Resartus (1833–34), which gave me a new emphasis in living, and rendered me receptive to the idea of a Fichtean ego-centred universe, as an assertion of moral strength. The door to Sartor was opened by a study of Carlyle's On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841) set as a text book in English I for 1901. I still have in my possession the copy used by me as a student, purchased about a month after I had joined the staff of the Lending Library.
In this same memorable year of 1901, R.G. Moulton's A Short Introduction to the Literature of the Bible (1901) was entered in the accession book. Now for the first time the Scriptures were found to be a nation's literature, and not a “pious scrap-book”. Here was a series of ancient writings in the form of poems, drama, essays, stories, history, memoirs and wisdom. A set of Moulton's Modern Readers' Bible (1895–98) was eagerly sought after with the assistance of the Rev. S. Pearce Carey, of Melbourne. Moulton's larger work, The Literary Study of the Bible (1895) accompanied me in Scriptural study. Isaiah was revealed as a glorious rhapsody. I read Job and the Song of Songs to young associates at the sea-side. I declaimed the Deuteronomy orations of Moses at home. On the first occasion, by the time I had reached the Seventh Chapter I was standing up, book in hand, playing the part of Moses in addressing his people. These literary joys were a compensation for the ill-effects of an ecclesiastical misuse of a wonderful literature, a rival to the classics of Greece and Rome. The lack of literary form in the typographical set-up of the Bible has been a stumbling block to many. The printing of the Bible, in a manner similar to that of present day publications, led me to read some of the blue-cloth books of the Modern Readers' Bible, when on train journeys to and from the city.
With this background I became interested in the religious trends of the novels of George Eliot.22 The Mill on the Floss and Adam Bede, were obtained from the Lending Library. The influence of Thomas a Kempis23 upon George Eliot struck a sympathetic chord in me at a time when I was treading the tortuous road of disbelief. Walks at midnight confronted me with the splendour of the heavens. Tennyson provided me with an antidote to materialism and the Spencerian philosophy I heard proclaimed on Yarra Bank by the Red-flag orator, John Fleming,24 who was once a protege of Lord Hopetoun's.25 Friends who enjoyed my readings and interpretations of Tennyson during sea-side rambles presented me with an inscribed copy of the poet's works. But the consolation of the Spirit that came to Maggie Tulliver,26 as she divined the mind of Thomas a Kempis, set the compass for a solution of the soul's misgivings. This I made the basis of a paper on “The Mill on the Floss” — my first piece of writing — read before the Bacchus Marsh Literary Society on 10 August 1901. A paragraph on the subject appeared in the Bacchus Marsh Express, written by the Editor, Christopher Crisp,27 a Dickensian character, somewhat Pickwickian in aspect, who was a pungent critic of Victorian politics, and strove to extend his editorial voice beyond the lucerne pastures of Bacchus Marsh.
The shelves containing the works of the English poets were frequently scanned by me, and I can still image the red backs of the Aldine editions. The Lake poets, supplemented by Browning on the philosophical side, appealed to my romantic mind; and in wanderings among hills and by river banks
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their books, borrowed from the Library, were my companions. The Cumberland country, mirrored in their poetry, was revealed to me by Canon Rawnsley,28 whose friendship with [the English critic] John Ruskin brought to my sanctum another mentor. It was my pleasure to express a young man's appreciation of Rawnsley at a meeting of the United Kingdom National Trust in Edinburgh in 1908.
In contrast to these religious musings, I used to have by me, on the library lunch table, Friedrich Paulsen's29 System of Ethics (1899), translated by Frank Thilly, probably accessioned during my second year of assistantship. At first this work was hard reading, but it awakened in me an admiration for Paulsen which led to a visit to the Berlin University in 1908, in order to meet Paulsen in the flesh. To my lasting regret he died a month or so before I arrived there.
This awakening of interest in books was a direct outcome of an entrance into the public library service. A new world floated into my ken. A reading habit was formed. It has remained ever since a business delight and a recreation. During my secondary school days I had read comparatively little. I rarely ever went outside the prescribed books, and these were mostly used as exercises in memorising. This reaction was undoubtedly a sign of inferior talent, which is shown in the limited ability I had for original or creative thinking. I did however, at that time, covet an acquaintance with Thackeray, having received his Miscellanies (1855–59) as a dux prize in 1897. The volume containing “The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century” was taken by me to while away the hour's waiting before the commencement of the great federal rally at the Melbourne Town Hall on 31 May 1898.
To a youth of my literary inexperience the section of the Lending Library on books and reading had a strong attraction. Frederic Harrison's Choice of Books (1886) was an inspiration in itself, and Richard Garnett's30 essays taught me to respect British libraries and librarians. Through him I came under the influence of Edward Edwards,31 whose career as a founder of the modern library movement enlarged my range of vision. I was thus induced to take on extra-curricular studies and interests. One of these was my membership of the Moonee Ponds Wesleyan Mutual Improvement Society, dating from 1900 to about 1904. In the syllabus of 1900 1 debated the subject of a press censorship with Miss Tilly Aston, the blind author, who later published several books of verse and prose, including an autobiography.32 In 1901 her first book, Maiden Verses,33 appeared and was reviewed by me — my first literary effort in print — in the Melbourne University Magazine,34 printed by E.G. Fysh, a nephew of Sir Philip Fysh [a former Tasmanian Premier]. I came to know Fysh through the Library. He was a University undergraduate of the Nineties and died in 1942. Other members of the Society included James Martyn, a prominent member of the Chamber of Manufactures and an unsuccessful supporter of the Irvine Government which drove the public service electors into a political pend, separate from [the] general community,35 Dr E.W.H. Fowles,36 sometime member of the Queensland University Senate, H.G. Joseph, a Melbourne lawyer, and A.W. Martin, an Australian pioneer of preferential voting and proportional representation.
My first direct acquaintance with Australian poetry has faded from memory. My first prose reading was probably W.H. Timperley's Harry Treverton (1889), which I received as a primary school prize in 1894. But [Thomas and Mabel] Harlin's English (matriculation) text-book for 1897, Citizens of No Mean Country (1896), definitely introduced me to Australian poets. Among its selections were the dominion poems of J. Brunton Stephens37 and William Gay,38 as well as Kendall's “Leichhardt.”39 This was the first time Australian poetry was set for a University examination in Victoria. Associated with my hero-worship of Alfred Deakin,40 then member for Essendon and Flemington in the Victorian Assembly, this book aroused in me an immediate interest in the Federal Movement and its poetical harbingers. Alexander Sutherland41 became known to me as an Australian litterateure, when he was called upon to examine in English I in 1901 on the departure of Professor E.E. Morris for London, where the latter intended to see through the press his long-expected work on Captain Cook.42 I did not attend Morris's lectures, which were delivered in a schoolmaster's fashion, and it was a relief that he was not
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to examine. Gyles Turner,43 Sutherland's collaborator, was appointed Vice-President of the Board of Trustees in succession to E.E. Morris, but that did not signify with me. And I was only vaguely aware of Marcus Clarke and Adam Lindsay Gordon. Light came when, on my transfer to the Reference Library in 1902, my long friendship with A.W. Brazier,44 the Sub-Librarian, began.
The borrowers appeared to me to be in the main above average in intelligence. There were some five thousand of them. Readers of current fiction were not catered for. They had recourse to the proprietary and municipal libraries. Other than students, there are scarcely any of the borrowers whom I remember personally. I call to mind Miss Hilda Steven, who was afterwards to devote herself to the memory of her brother, Alexander Steven,45 manly to a degree and yet one of the gentlest souls that graced the Australian temple of the Muses. Hilda Steven was also the author of a book of verse, Lyrics (1916). In 1923 the mother of Alexander Steven presented a bronze bust of him by C. Web Gilbert to the National Gallery [of Victoria].

The Barry Hall. (H 4723, La Trobe Collection)

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Part 2: Reference Library, 1902–05

Early in 1902 a new classification of the staff came into effect and I did not benefit. I was transferred to the Reference Library and placed lower in seniority to two officers who were junior to me in appointment. Two senior members of the staff, A.W. Brazier, the Sub-Librarian, and J.M. Kerr, the Chief Cataloguer, broke down official barriers, and encouraged me in my work and studies. Unfortunately for me J.M. Kerr resigned in July 1902 in order to practive as a solicitor; he was a qualified legal practitioner. A close relative advantaged him from investments in South African mines, and he became a wealthy man. Charm and wit combined in his personality and made of him a man under whose immediate authority it was a delight to serve. He was interested in books as the vehicles of culture, and tended them with a care that bordered on reverence. A.W. Brazier, the Sub-Librarian, had charge of the Library during evenings. He was solely responsible for the classification. We were to remain intimate friends until his death on 3 January 1929.
My duties mainly concerned ordering and accessioning. Books sent up on approval from booksellers, and lists of books recommended for purchase by the Chief Librarian, were checked against duplication. Those were submitted monthly for the decision of the Books Committee of the Trustees. The most prominent member of this Committee was Dr. Alexander Leeper46, the Warden of Trinity College, Melbourne University, and to him the Public Library of Victoria is indebted for its fine collection of books and periodicals on classical literature and philology.
In 1907 when I met Chris. Brennan47 in the old Bent Street building of the Public Library of New South Wales, he expressed his envy of scholars in Victoria, who had access to the philological collections of the Public Library. In those days the practice of inter-library loans had not been inaugurated in Australia.
Alexander Leeper placed his classical scholarship at the disposal of the Trustees. From time to time he submitted long lists of works, taken from secondhand catalogues, or referred to in books he had been reading at the time. Usually the references were not given bibliographically. It was my task—then an unenviable one—to run down the details, check the lists with the library catalogue, and ascertain particulars from the British Museum Catalogue, Ferdinand Brunot's Manual (1887), L.F.T. Hain's Repertorium Bibliographicum (1826–38), W.A. Copinger's Supplement to Hain (1895–1902), and other authorities. At first I reacted badly to this assignment, but I confess that in the long run I discovered that Leeper's recommendations were opening for me the realms of erudition, and started an interest in old catalogues and bibliography which has lasted to the present day. I also followed Leeper's example and began to discover gaps in the Library's collections.
After the Books Committee meeting I was called in by the Chief Librarian and informed of the decisions. I then went down into the Board room, and checked the on-approval books with the invoice and pencilled the initials of the firm, price and date in the upper left-hand corner of the back end-paper of the volume. An attendant brought the books up to the accession room. The accepted books were first collated by an officer of the general staff and imperfections noted. Orders for new books were placed with local booksellers, and secondhand books were purchased either directly from the firms, whether English or foreign, issuing the catalogues, or through the London agent. Foreign works were usually obtained from Karl W. Hiersemann of Leipzig. Books on order were listed on the backs of used cataloguing cards and arranged in alphabetical order in trays.
Large folio accession books were kept. In them there were recorded the accession number, name of author, short title, publisher, date and place of publication, and the bookseller. The mode of acquisition was also inserted, whether by purchase, gift or copyright; the costs of purchase and binding were also given. These accession books came into vogue during 1900, taking the place of the
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antique stock-books. The existing volumes were counted and a round number adopted as the first entry in the new accession book. I cannot remember definitely what this number was. “125000” lingers in the mind. On the bottom line of each page the accessions clerk was expected to record the total number of accessions up to date, the cost of purchases, copyright acquisitions and donations. Sometimes errors in the process of consecutive numbering would occur. This was easily adjusted if the totals for each page were completed; if not some clumsy alterations had to be made, there was also a withdrawl book in which were recorded lost and condemned publications. To ascertain the total number of volumes in the library at any time, the withdrawals were subtracted from the accessions to date.
A separate pamphlet accession book was also kept. It was generally agreed that a pamphlet did not exceed 100 pages unbound, or being less, was not given a separate place on the shelves. Any separately bound publication, whatever the number of pages, received a volume number. These qualifications were subject to argument from time to time. The cards for cataloguing pamphlets were usually in red. This practice has ceased.
The volume number was usually written in the middle of the page at the back (verso) of the title page. The books were then placed on shelves for stamping. Inner margins were stamped horizontally as well as on the back of each separate plate. First and last pages, and a secret page, were stamped by an oval-shaped die. After stamping, the books went over to the office of the Chief Cataloguer for issue to his subordinates, who worked in various parts of the Library.
The appearance of a duplicate was for a junior a source of annoyance, as his checking was thus shown to be at fault, and the more costly the book the greater the mischance. The needs of the Lending Library usually presented an easy solution. If this failed, a pleading with the bookseller followed, usually with a happy ending. But it was considered in those days anathema to take a duplicate into stock, even against an evil day when the original became worn-out with use.
Donations were always scrupulously acknowledged. Donors of important works received appropriate letters of thanks, and the name of each donor was written on the prescribed form [which was] pasted on the inside of the front cover of each volume. Copyright publications occasioned a good deal of trouble. Printer-publishers had to be informed of their obligations under the Copyright Act, as they frequently failed to deposit a copy of any work which they had recently printed or published. I remember my coming into touch with the printers of a small amateur literary periodical, the Microbe, but at that time I did not know that one of them, Frank Wilmot48 was later to become a fellow-labourer in the field of Australian literature.
Stock-taking was a task usually allotted to members of the general staff, including attendants. If any were absent, a clerical officer was detailed to fill the vacancy. I had more than what should have been may share of this uninteresting work, which occupied half an hour each day from 9.15 a.m. The manuscript stock books corresponded with the shelf arrangement, the notation of which was very simple. Each tier and shelf was numbered from the left. So, for example, the shelf notation ran thus:— 272–4–5. For stocktaking the officers were detailed in pairs, one ascended a ladder to reach the upper shelves, and read out the numbers written on labels pasted over the lowest division of the spine or back of the original cover, or binding, where the publisher's name usually appears. Lists of missing books were submitted to a clerical officer whose duty it was to run them down. Books missing indefinitely, but not discharged from the registers, were recorded on the catalogue cards and in the accession and stock books. Stock-taking had a disturbing effect upon the staff, and the separate routine duties of officers were not tackled in earnest until 10.00 am., when the doors were opened to readers.
I continued to act as Accessions and Orders Officer for some two years, and during 1904 I was transferred to the Periodicals [Section]. During that period I completed my second year in Arts and commenced the third year. Owing to a breakdown in health in 1902 I was compelled to forgo the November examination, and had consequently to repeat a year. My main studies were in the fields of philosophy and history. In this ill-fated year (1902), I went twice to Adelaide for health
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reasons. I took with me some textbooks, including James Sully's Outlines of Psychology (1884) and Theodor Mommsen's History of Rome (1862–66). I read them in moments of ease among the foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges. I recall a walk in the Payneham district, reading Chapters 11 and 12 of the fifth book of Mommsen on the character of Caesar and the literature of the period. At the Adelaide Public Library I read [Lord] Stanhope's Life of William Pitt (1861–62), referred to in my pamphlet, School Libraries and Reading (1912).49 I called on J.R.G. Adams50 of the Public Library of South Australia, and I had a long chat with F.E. Meleng51, then Librarian of the Port Adelaide Library, whose acquaintanceship I was to renew at [the Australian Library Conference in] Melbourne in 1928. Influenced by Meleng, I became a warm-hearted supporter of the South Australian Institutes and ever maintained a link with them in the cause of the library movement in Australia.
In my final year (1904) I changed over in mid-year from the subject of the “History of the British Empire” to that of “Consitutional History and International Law,” as an Arts preliminary for a subsequent law course. My father desired that I should prepare for the legal profession. I had no strong inclination in this direction, but whatever impetus there was, it was killed by a daily contact with drab calf-bound case-law books in a dimly-lit section of the Reference Library. Although I did not graduate until after I had [commenced work in] Periodicals, I might here conclude a reference to my University studies. When I was in the Lending Library I attended a few lectures in Logic and Mathematics; but as the work for examination was covered by the text-books, I ceased to attend. In the second and third years a student-friend, Hubert Warner Browne, who was afterwards admitted to the Bar, would leave his notes of Henry Laurie's52 lectures in philosophy with the attendant at the entrance door of the Library. I would write them up on the next day in my note books, and return them to Browne through the good offices of the attendant. As a tribute to Browne I may add that it was his notes of Laurie's lectures that were used by me for my article on “The Work of Henry Laurie,” being part of my presidential address to the Australasian Association of Psychology and Philosophy (1929).53
In April 1902 the third conference of the Library Association of Australasia took place in Melbourne. The sessional meetings were held in a room at the Town Hall. (The Association was founded in 1896 on the initiative of Alexander Leeper.)54 Members and guests were invited by the Trustees to a conversazione in the National Gallery, where a Loan Exhibition had been organised. The Library staff other than four senior officers were not interested in the Association. Indeed their support was not encouraged. I surprised the Chief Librarian (Armstrong), who was the Honorary Secretary, when on entering his room I offered him a half-sovereign as a new member. The Association being in moribund condition, Armstrong was half-hearted in taking the coin. But as I desired to attend the meetings, he accepted it. Accordingly, I received an invitation to the conversazione, attendance at which was regarded as being above the level of mere junior assistants. The Association meetings were poorly attended. The chief participants were librarians in senior positions and trustees. The largest number of enrolled members were South Australians. The New South Wales membership was less than that of Victoria.
Some jealousy existed among the Melbourne librarians towards their Sydney confreres mainly due to the energy of H.C.L. Anderson55, Principal Librarian of the Public Library of New South Wales, who was presumed to be Americanising the public library in Australia, and whose advocacy of the employment of women librarians in the public (State) libraries was not acceptable in Melbourne. From the jump Anderson commanded my respect, and his enlightened zeal in librarianship has ever been an example to me. The recent inauguration of the Commonwealth had brought to the front the question of the establishment of an Australian national library. E. la T. Armstrong discussed it in his paper, “The Proposed Federal Library of the Commonwealth”56 and, as I know, his mental eye was on Anderson all the time. I can call to mind the tall feminine figure of Armstrong, his shrill voice, and the zest which he evinced on the important occasion of his address. The presentation was historic. It was openly conceded that a national library, with
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its librarian, would soon be in the offing. It was not expected that Melbourne would remain the seat of the Commonwealth Government for the unconscionably long period that actually occurred. Nor did I then realise that nearly ten years later a change of government would remove my chances of attaining the Commonwealth Librarianship—of course not even premeditated at that time.
The continuance of the Association did not seem to be promising. There was a deadening air about the whole show. Brazier informed me that Armstrong was quite lukewarm. The former may have been prejudiced, but his prognostication was confirmed. The Association was merely a loose bond between institutions and their leading officials. It had no firmly-rooted rank-and-file support and my temporary membership was an extraordinary episode. The Committee of the Association decided to let things be and no definite arrangements for the future were made. This suited Armstrong's point of view. Shortly afterwards he called me to his office and asked me to receive back my half-sovereign, as a membership then had no advantage for me. Under pressure, generously put I admit, I accepted the coin. Its existence to-day would be an interesting Jubilee exhibit!57
This is a convenient place to mention the Library Record of Australasia, the official organ of the Library Association of Australasia. It commenced in April 1901 and ended in June 1902, [and] its six numbers were edited by E.T. Armstrong. It was useful as a record of contemporary library practice and opinion. After the April [1902] meeting of the Association its continuance was not a prospect to enthuse over and the last issue, June 1902, comprised mainly an epitome of the Transactions and Proceedings of the Third General Meeting, Melbourne, 1902, which were published separately in full. An encouraging feature was the “Quarterly List of New Books,” collected by R.D. Boys. I had a minor share in its preparation. Scarcely any Australian writers were included. The last list (June 1902) noted Thomas Greenwood's Edward Edwards (1902), a copy of which I purchased in the same year. At that time we were so little interested in Australiana bibliographically that it was not till after I had completed my Australian Literature (1940), that I discerned Greenwood's statement (pp. 144–145) that Edward Edwards was joint-author of New South Wales, Its Present State and Future Prospects (1837), usually attributed solely to James Macarthur.58 J.W. Metcalfe later wrote a pamphlet on this.
One result of the Conference that was to have an important consequence for me was my growing friendship with A.W. Brazier, the Sub-Librarian. The Conference brought us closer together as men, but we agreed to respect scrupulously the official standing of our colleagues. Early in 1902 Brazier, as President of the Australian Literature Society, delivered an address on “Marcus Clarke: His Work and Genius”.59 Second in command at the Public Library, Brazier felt some affinity of spirit with Marcus Clarke60 who had held a similar position, though on a smaller scale, over twenty years previously. On their merits he was a great admirer of Clarke's writings and appreciated the man for his own sake. I attended his address, delivered in staccato fashion, with a perfervid faith in his subject. Brazier's main plea was that Clarke was worthy of recognition for his human qualities. In personality, despite his official vicissitudes, he rose superior to his literary work, and added not a little to the prestige of the institution in which he laboured.
Brazier's devotion to Marcus Clarke did not have a seconder in Armstrong, the Chief Librarian. Four years later Armstrong was to compile The Book of the Public Library, Museums, and National Gallery of Victoria: 1856–1906. 61 This publication comprised mainly pages of chronological excerpts from the Minutes of meetings of Trustees. Among the biographical sketches at the end, Armstrong included Marcus Clarke. On his literary predecessor he wrote: “The visible records of [Clarke's] ten years' work in the library are some badly kept minute books, and a worse than badly kept catalogue of bibliographical works that were his special charge. Neither Marcus Clarke's temperament nor training rendered him suitable for the real work of a Librarian … The drudgery of the routine work, which is essential for any Librarian, was not a thing that he would attempt. It is doubtful if there was in his vocabulary such a word as duty, and his conception of the work of a Librarian was a strange one. After ten years' apprenticeship,
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the letter that he wrote in applying for the office of Public Librarian was one that might have been written by the veriest tyro … ” (p. 119). Armstrong was condemned by the Bulletin for these remarks. In 1950 Clarke's letter—the letter “that might have been written by the veriest tyro”—was reported in the press as a discovery by present-day library officials. Probably it never got back to the original files after Armstrong had commented on it! An impartial observer would affirm that it was a well-written letter both as to wording and calligraphy.
I recall here the Brazier-Ifould62 discussion on library classification. At the Adelaide meeting of the Association in [October] 1900 Brazier read a paper on classification which W.H. Hould criticised in some measure at the [1902] Melbourne meeting. In his young days should had been seconded from Adelaide to the Melbourne Public Library for a brief period, and there he developed a friendship with Brazier, whose services he admired, despite technical differences. Brazier replied to Ifould's comments in an editor's note63. The point at issue was the relation of notation to classification. Brazier discussed with me some phases of his reply to Ifhould. Brazier was not an arm-chair classifier, at the mercy of a system rigidly set in book form. He enjoyed the art of classifying by means of shelf inspection. He carried the books around, almost lovingly in his arms and fitted them into shelf positions, where each book would be at home with the fellows he chose for it. He worked in daily contact with the shelves, the contents of which were within his mental grasp. But the library was then reaching a stage where the provision of stacks was fast becoming an inevitable demand; and Brazier was apparently putting off the evil day when notation became subordinate to classification. His theoretical dislike of the Dewey system was later to be turned to his official disadvantage. I may add that when I first went up to the Reference Library, Ifould's short career there had gathered a sort of legendary aspect.
From this digression I return to my duties as Officer in Charge of Orders and Accessions from 1902 to 1904. These had pleasant features, as I was kept directly in touch with the output of current literature and with the works of the past. My lunch was eaten in the room to the accompaniment of book-reading. Influenced by E.H. Sugden's64 interest in Egyptology, I began a study of the hieroglyphs from the works of E.A. Wallis Budge.65 The handling of large quantities of books from month to month brought me into close quarters with Melbourne booksellers, many of whom entered the circle of my literary friendships. Only one of the men of those days remains. My memory brings back the air of reverence and sedateness that gathered about a first-level bookselling establishment of the period. I see the stately figure of Adam Melville,66 walking in Melville and Mullen of the Block, Collins Street, with a dignified tread and wearing a frock coat. Here was a temple of the muses, and admission to Mullen's Library was a hallmark of culture. The live-wire of the place was Leonard Slade,67 who knew all about the practical side of books, if ever a man did. When Melville and Mullen joined with the rival firm, George Robertson & Co., under the popular appellation of Robertson and Mullens Ltd., Slade brought with him the urbanity that characterised Melville and Mullen, known to “Tasma,”68 the Tasmanian novelist. A second hand department minus Leonard Slade seemed like a broken pitcher. At 92 in 1951 he was re-reading Scott and Dickens.
Before George Robertson and Co. became the Robertson and Mullens of modern times, the men I knew there were the hard-headed practical kind, who disposed of books as goods for sale, but never failed to discount the purchase of an appreciative buyer. In those days “net books” were unknown. G.H. Campbell69 was the head of the firm, a quiet unobtrusive man, as I remember him, who allowed his staff freedom of action. He was suceeded by James B. Symons,70 an aesthete, whose personality was in contrast with the men of the world in the sales department. In manner and dress Symons would win esteem in any society. We were travelling companions from London in 1908. On the publishing side, he was generous towards writers. For him business was an avenue to pleasant associations. Edgar Allan Parr71 was another saleman who made bookselling a delight to the soul. He left Robertson's to set up a separate establishment in an upper story in the Block near Swanston Street. His room was a haven for the bibliophile. He carried
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on for several years until, on his death, the business was purchased by Margareta Webber.72 E.A. Vidler73 was connected with Robertson's for a brief period, and afterwards went into the publishing business on his own account. Himself an author, he was a staunch propagandist for Australian writers and assisted not a few of his poetical confreres.
The Library's connection with Cole's Book Arcade74 was not very close. In the main we went there to find missing books, but occasionally new and second hand publications were selected from the shelves. About this time I became acquainted with Frank Wilmot75 who, with W.T. Pyke,76 served at Cole's for several years. Someone should rescue Cole's from oblivion77 —a quaint place for quaint people and a thoroughfare for homeward-bound shop-assistants. Buying and selling were transacted there with an air of old-world leisure, books as friends of mankind joined client and assistant in a bond of good fellowship. Indeed, many old timers used Cole's as a free public library. I record a youth-time association of 1897. Having walked over three miles from Flemington on a Saturday after lunch, I wandered into Cole's and bought three Cassell's dictionaries in Latin, French and German. I received a poor scholar's discount, and was thus enabled to attend a matinee of Wilson Barrett's (film) “Sign of the Cross” at the Princess Theatre, with Julius Knight in the principal role, the three dictionaries being deposited under a seat in the front stalls.
Coming up to the Reference Library fresh from the Lending Library, I took notice of the borrowing privileges of the Trustees. To loan a book to a reader, not a Trustee, however highly approved otherwise, was an unsanctified procedure. The British Museum precedent was paramount. But Trustees were in a class of their own, Desiring many a book for my own cultural advancement, it galled me to assist a senior clerical officer in the issue of reference library books to members of the Board [of Trustees]. I note four among the privileged. David Syme78 had sent to him at the Age office many authorities to aid him in writing his worthy book on The Soul; A Study and an Argument (1903). In the preparation of his Argus articles on “Deeds that Won the Empire” and “How England Saved Europe,” W.H. Fitchett79 received what might be called a whole library of historical works for this purpose. James Smith,80 then an old man, was a frequent borrower. He was an essayist of no mean quality. A selection of his scattered writings remains a desideratum. A large portion of his library passed through my hands as Accessions Clerk. Alexander Leeper was another debtor, but he had much voluntary service to his credit. These facilties, then favouring the privileged only, are now generally extended to serious readers. After many years of pleading, inter-library loans and approved lending are enlightened features of current policy, to which I make a later reference.
About 1904 I was transferred to the Periodicals [Section], then accommodated at the east end of the Barry Hall. There I remained until the middle of 1908. After graduation at the end of 1904 I prepared myself for the March final honours examination in the History School. The strain of study brought about a breakdown in health and I did not sit. On recovery I decided to turn to the Philosophy School. I was handicapped by a bout of influenza when the examination commenced. We were not given leave of absence for University courses and examinations in those days, and had to take part of our annual leave for this purpose. We were not even allowed time off to attend lectures. I gained a First, being nearly equal with J. McKellar Stewart,81 of Ormond College, who was awarded the scholarship. I owe it to Armstrong to say that, on reading the results of the examination, he called me into his office to receive congratulations. I then asked that I might be transferred to the cataloguing staff. The later careers of McKellar Stewart and myself had similar features. After a ministerial appointment in Melbourne, McKellar Stewart went to Edinburgh, and following a lectureship in Melbourne, he held the Hughes Chair of Philosophy at Adelaide. He followed Sir William Mitchell82 in the Vice-Chancellorship. After a post graduate course at Edinburgh, I went to Tasmania and held the Chair of Psychology and Philosophy. When I became Vice-Chancellor, I met Stewart frequently at meetings of the Vice-Chancellor's Committee of the Australian Universities.
I found the formal work in the Periodicals
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Section very tedious. For this branch of library service, I had not the qualifications nor the patience of E.R. Pitt,83 whom I succeeded in office. The accommodation was ample and comfortable. One faced the whole length westward of the Barry Hall, in the bays of which the history and biographical sections were shelved. The working table was broad and long. The card trays were placed in large grooves in front; over which was a convenient ledge. The periodicals were recorded on large cards, arranged according to their times of publication; and these were contained in boxes, indicating modes of acquisition, purchase, donation and copyright. Two shift attendants were accommodated in a large bay on the right of the aisle facing west. Here there were ample pigeon holes for the placement of current issues. The duties of the attendants included the receiving and opening of packages, collating and stamping, placing of periodicals after recording, issuing to readers, preparing for binding and other routine usages.
The two attendants under my immediate direction, J.W. Brown and J.A. Shannon, were old in service, stereotyped in routine, willing servants of the public, and loyal guardians of what was committed to their care. They alternated in day and evening shifts. The three of us formed a little group on our own. At my instance we all disobeyed one rule of the Library. We were only allowed half an hour for lunch. I always considered this inadequate and insisted on taking an extra quarter of an hour for the body's sake. I requested my two colleagues to conform; and this they did, but with some qualms.
So long as the several periodicals came in regularly and no “misses” occurred, all went well. Keeping track of the missing numbers and writing to unresponsive publishers and booksellers were indeed tedious processes; and checking annual accounts merely varied the tedium. Exchanges to and from the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, enlarged the scope of operations, but added still further to the tedium. The United States Government's publications, most welcome to research investigators, were the despair of the Periodicals Officer. As a relief I used to read the annual reports of the Librarian of Congress, (Herbert Putnam).84 He was a librarian after my own heart. He stood loyally by his staff and institution. On occasion he would inform Congress what his staff requirements were. If these were not satisfied by the appropriation, he would again inform Congress that the necessary work had not been done and that additional appropriation was needed to make up the arrears, accumulated in consequence of the previous failure to appropriate. Thus he called for more staff appointments. In one report I noticed a bibliographical error, and wrote to Putnam about it with due humility of approach. A charming letter came in reply and my name was added to [the] list of recipients of the Congress Library's Annual Reports. I honoured myself in linking Putnam's name with Paul Schwenke's85 in the dedication of Libraries and Education (1912).86 Nearly ten years later he received me personally in his office,87 and showed me over the whole of the great library under his control. To carry out some research I had on hand, Putnam provided me with a private table among the stacks immediately above the main reading room. It would seem that I was a privileged visitor indeed. But no, the ordinary American investigator was similarly treated.
I may note here that in 1921 I also visited the Smithsonian Institution at Washington. Its organisation was explained to me by a genial officer. I followed the process by which the publications of the United States' Government departments, as well as those of learned societies, were gathered and distributed within the Institution for despatch in cases to agents, mainly public libraries, throughout the world. This work was simplified to a degree. An official informed me that it was far easier and less expensive to send the whole annual issue of the congressional papers and documents to a small depository, such as Tasmania's, than to arrange for a selective distribution. Each depository was allotted a separate bin. How the Institution now operates I am unaware.
During my term the Trustees agreed to complete numerous sets of scientific periodicals, which had been previously reported on. From time to time quotations were received from London agents and secondhand booksellers, including Quaritch88 and Hiersemann,89 of Leipzig, who were most assiduous in meeting demands. This enlightened policy has paid for itself handsomely. It was a splendid
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contribution to scientific research in Australia.
The most pleasant of my off-the-record duties was the reading of periodical literature, as well as British and foreign newspapers. The Library had so broadened the base of my predilection in reading that scarcely any periodical became alien to it. Accordingly, I would put aside on the table magazine after magazine for attention or study, and very slowly would these be passed over to the attendants for placement. My mind was markedly receptive of ideas. I had little originality. I would absorb most eagerly the contents of articles on literature, philosophy, art, science and politics. (Technological subjects, however, were outside my choosing). This accumulation of information had an incalculable result. I had developed some talent for conversation. Hence I was able to go among groups of people and display a knowledge of literature and public affairs, acquired in the shallowest of fashions, and get away with it. I fear that this experience of periodicals ruined any concentration of mind I may have had for the work of a specialist. And so I have become unendingly a dabbler in multifarious literary pursuits. But I add that this way of life has pleasures unknown to the paths that specialists tread with zest. Had I not indulged in this practice of magazine reading, I feel sure that the monotony of the processes of recording would have told heavily against my mental balance.
The handling of German periodicals increased my desire to improve my facility in reading German. I made a point of studying J.G. Robertson's History of German Literature (1902). It had an excellent bibliography, which I checked against the Library's contents. I was amazed to find that German poetry was poorly represented in the collections. I drew Armstrong's attention to the deficiency. After some persuasion he agreed to recommend for purchase the works of the authors dealt with in Robertson's History, and instructed me to list them. At that time Robertson had not floated into our ken as the husband and inspirer of Henry Handel Richardson.90 His book is still used as a “text” in our universities.
Drafting the correspondence was ever an unwelcome task. Every letter for the signature of the Chief Librarian had to be written in a round hand on folio sheets in copying ink for duplication in the press-book. Frequently the Chief would make alterations which necessitated the re-writing of the whole letter—an annoying process, as oftentimes the revision was no better than the original. At times I would ask my superior how he would have the request expressed, so as to save myself the labour of re-writing the draft. I never became reconciled to this sort of instruction. A few years later I was in a secretarial relation to Alfred Deakin, when Prime Minister. He used to turn one's draft inside out. In devising synonyms for variation of expression he was most adept. But Deakin always insisted that I should treat his altered draft in the same manner as he had dealt with my original. No first draft, even no revision of a first draft, was sacrosanct to Deakin. He taught me much in the way of administrative composition. And unwittingly he made me feel on a level with heads of departments whose drafts were never inviolate to Deakin's blue pencil or pen.
Had I the sense of a creative writer, I might have preserved pen-pictures of interesting characters that frequented the Barry Hall. W.J. Chidley91 found his way into my acquaintanceship. He sought me out as a student in philosophy, and at times imposed on me the burdensome task of reading his many-paged manuscripts on post-Kantian philosophy, especially Hegelian. Chidley had talent and under disciplinary restraint he might have accomplished much. But he wasted his living over fetishes that in substance counted for little and turned himself into an exhibitionist of his own wares. His bag became inseparable from him as an hobo's dog. Nevertheless his bearing was not without dignity and his voice betokened a man of culture. He is still subject to revival in the columns of the Bulletin, and his Answer (1911) remains under check in the public libraries. Another misfit was old Boulger who claimed to be a Doctor of Letters.92 His mission in life appeared to be the art of demonstrating from the living model that sartorial rags and uncleanliness were not alien to the world of lexicons. One man came daily to bring out genealogies from their hiding-places in tomes disdained by even the illuminati. Another, of professional standing from abroad, persisted in reading from day
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to day the newspapers of the past in order to expose the sins of governments that belittled decentralisation as the basis of the State's transport policy.
Gallery and Museum officials would regularly pass through the East door of the Barry Hall to and from the Reference Library. Baldwin Spencer93 would trip by like one tiptoeing among the tulips, and Bernard Hall,94 courteous and well-dressed, would become almost sombre as he faced the trends of modern art in current periodicals. A man of promise was Herbert Gepp,95 who kept himself constantly in touch with the scientific journals not available elsewhere. He became a leading authority in industrial chemistry and was honoured with a knighthood. But the greatest of all in my time was A.W. Howitt,96 facile princeps among investigators who laid the foundations of Australian anthropology. He came to me for assistance in preparing a scientific paper. Shortly afterwards Howitt was hurled into a controversy with Andrew Lang97 who, in his Secret of the Totem (1905), twisted about some sentences in a quotation from Howitt, and thus gained an unpremeditated advantage in controversy. It was quite clear that Lang was at the mercy of a literary fag. The equitable Howitt was at white heat over this incident. Lang apologised as a gentleman, and his publishers issued separately a revised page for immediate distribution to purchasers of the offending book. A subsidiary controversy appeared in Folk-lore.98 Howitt really took the offence to heart, so punctilious was he himself in such matters. During this hectic time he was gathering material for his presidential address to the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science [delivered at Adelaide in 1907]. Sir James G. Frazer99 revered Howitt as a creator in anthropology, and at Cambridge railway station removed his hat to receive and welcome the little and humble man from Australia, where his greatness is even yet unrealised beyond the small circle of those who know.
Before I was transferred from the Periodicals Section of the Library, E.R. Pitt was directed to prepare a catalogue of periodocals, including newspapers, currently received. The work was published in 1905, and entitled Catalogue of Current Periodicals Received at the Public Library of Victoria. By some inadvertence there is no mention of this important catalogue in [Armstrong's] Book of the Public Library (1906). A feature of the catalogue is the systematic listing of the departmental publications of the British and the United States Governments. The ability shown by Pitt in this work, and his continued interest in periodical cataloguing, led to a request in 1928 from the Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial Research [C.S.I.R.] that he edit A Catalogue of the Scientific and Technical Periodicals in the Libraries of Australia, published in 1930—a monumental work never deteriorating in value.100
I had a minor share in the preparation of the Victorian Catalogue of Current Periodicals (1905). I was allotted the task of listing the newspapers. The provincial newspapers were unbound and deposited in vaults below the Buvelot Gallery. They were collected in bundles and wrapped up in brown paper. Several of them were incomplete and it was desired to indicate the missing numbers. To do all this collating, as well as opening up the bundles, was an exceedingly dusty job, and I developed an allergy which remained a library companion for several years. On a recent looking-over of the pages of the Catalogue, I was amazed to find that I had listed—somewhat perfunctorily I admit—several of the early Tasmanian newspapers which were ultimately incorporated with the Hobart Mercury or the Launceston Examiner, or incorporated with newpapers that were afterwards incorporated with these two newspapers. I was particularly interested to note on p. 290 the recording of the Hobart Town Tasmanian and its association with the Austral-Asiatic Review, a newspaper conjunction which I had to work out at last more accurately for my article on R.L. Murray in Pressmen and Governors (1952).101 So intricate were the relations between these two newspapers that I had to set them forth in tabular fashion for the sake of clearness.
The Sunday opening of the Public Library had long been a subject of controversy in Victoria. As early as 1883, on their own initiative, the Trustees had made attempts to open the Reference Library for public reading, but the Parliament was opposed. Eventually in 1904 the Legislature agreed to make financial provision for Sunday opening. The
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staff was informed of the decision, but there was no compulsion to serve. Practically all the staff volunteered for duty and the pay was quite liberal. The hours of opening were 2 to 5 p.m. each Sunday. Each member of the staff was called on for one Sunday in three. Generally the attendance was not large and as a result of public indifference the Reference Library was closed on Sundays after a trial of barely two years. During my times of service there were comparatively few inquiries. Duties were very light and some private reading was a gratifying compensation. The staff was merely a skeleton one. So far as I remember, it consisted of two members of the professional division and three attendants. The situation is altogether different today.

The Enquiry Room and catalogue. (H 4754, La Trobe Collection)

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Part 3 Reference Library, 1906–13

Prior to its transfer to the present octagonal building, the Library comprised the long Queen's Hall, being the upper floor (first story) of the main structure fronting Swanston Street, and the Barry Hall, being the upper floor (first story) of the south wing, running east and west on the Little Lonsdale Street frontage. The Barry Hall adjoined at right angles the south end of the Queen's Hall. The main entrance from Swanston Street was through the central portion, which looked on to a terraced front, with broad stone steps and lawns reaching down to a high iron fence and gates. The doors led through a turnstile into the vestibule, from which ascended the stairs up to the main entrance of the Queen's Hall. On either side of the vestibule were the ethnological collections. On the landing, on the north side, there was a small room occupied by the Accessions and Orders Officer. From the entrance door of the Queen's Hall the visitor immediately went towards the catalogue cabinets, placed on the opposite side. These were arranged in two divisions of three sides each, the front being long and the others short. Behind each of the cabinets there was a working table for an attendant. When sitting down the two men could not be seen. The cabinet divisions were separated by an approach to the inquiry office, behind the inner window of which was the officer's desk. In the front of the street windows of this office, there was a broad ledge on which were placed the time-book and a rack for letters and notices. With the exception of the two doors, which led into the cataloguing (south side) and classification (north side) rooms, the walls were shelved. Here were placed the British Museum Catalogue and other bibliographical material. The cataloguing and classification rooms received light through the west windows facing the street, and each room had a door opening out to the Queen's Hall, at the south and north sides of the catalogue cabinets.
The Queen's Hall had an upper floor, projecting from the four walls. Its oblong centre was open from the ground floor to the ceiling. The upper floor was reached by stairs which adjoined the classification room, on the north side of the catalogue cabinets. Another stairway was placed at the southeast end of the Queen's Hall, adjoining the entrance to the Barry Hall.
The main reading room of the Queen's Hall ran north and south. The natural lighting came from the ceiling and the windows on the sides. The windows formed the ends of the bays, of which there were seven or eight on the east and west sides of the Hall, except the portions occupied by the cataloguing and classification rooms, the inquiry office, and the alcove at the entrance door. At the north end the bay was bounded by the wall of the north wing of the building. At the south end was the broad entrance to the Barry Hall. Here, at the south-west corner, was the accountant's office.
Each bay was provided with a readers' table. The wooden shelving in rows of nine or ten covered two sides of the bay. A short ladder was necessary to reach the topmost shelves. The north end bay, and the adjoining one on the east, comprised theology. Then followed philosophy and literature. Bound literary periodicals occupied the shelves of the alcove at the entrance. Then continued foreign literatures and British History. On the west side, the sciences and technological sections were represented. On the upper floor of the Queen's Hall there were shelvings for the collections of works on law and political science, mainly on the east side; and for bound periodicals, mainly on the west side. At the south end there was an entrance into the upper floor of the Barry Hall.
The Barry Hall (first floor of the south wing), opened in 1886,102 was a long room running east and west, with a tiled floor. On the northern side, from the entrance to the Queen's Hall to the east end where the periodicals' alcove was placed, there were a series of bays, nine or ten in number, which were shelved on three sides. Opposite each bay, on the Little Lonsdale Street side, at right angles to the windows, there were readers' tables, accommodating eight persons.
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On the same side at the east end, the corner was set apart for the officer in charge of periodicals. In the Barry Hall (lower floor) there were housed works on history, genealogy, travel and description, and biography. The upstairs floor of the Barry Hall projected from the north and east walls, and was protected by a railing. It was reached by stairs either from the Queen's Hall or the east end of the ground floor of the Barry Hall. In the western half the art section was shelved, and in the eastern the medical. The officer's desk was situated in a middle position, about opposite to where the two sections of shelves met. Permission to read books in medicine and art was restricted to readers with passes, obtained from the Inquiry Desk.
The door at the east end of the Barry Hall, at the Periodicals Section, opened on to a landing. On the left there were stairs leading down to the passageway eastward to the art galleries; on the right, there was a small staff room, with wash basins. Opposite, on the east side, a door opened into a large room which, in the charge of the binder, accommodated periodicals, either in preparation for binding or on return from the binders. The Government Printing Office had a bindery which was available for use by the Public Library. At an earlier period the binder's office was used as a cataloguing room.
The stairs, leading eastwards to the picture galleries, led also to the basement of the Buvelot gallery, fronting Little Lonsdale Street, where the Newspaper Room was placed. The newspapers were previously housed in the Rotunda, which was reached from the central vestibule at the Swanston Street (main) entrance. On either side of it were the north and south court yards. On the removal of the newspapers the Rotunda was used chiefly for the shelving of the library's large collection of patents specifications and the parliamentary papers of Great Britain, the Australian colonies (later States) and other countries. The Rotunda was demolished when the ground was being cleared for the erection of the new library building about 1908–9.
Up to the time of transfer to the new octagonal building in 1913, and from about 1900, the staff was distributed throughout the existing library buildings as follows.
The large ground-floor room of the southwest corner (opened about 1900) was the Boardroom of the Trustees. Immediately above it, on the first floor, was the Chief Librarian's office. Outside, on the south, the typist was accommodated in a small room. The door of the short passage led into the west end of the Barry Hall. Just outside this door to the right, coming from the passage, there was a large desk, occasionally used by an assistant or attendant.
The Sub-Librarian, who had special charge of the classification, occupied the room to the right of the Inquiry Office, approached from the entrance door on the east side of the Queen's Hall. The room to the left of the Inquiry Office was used by the Senior Assistant, who had charge of the cataloguing. The Sub-Librarian, who acted for the Chief Librarian, when on leave, generally came on duty daily at 3.45 p.m., and had sole charge of the library during the evenings. Subject to the Chief Librarian, the Senior Assistant was in command of the staff during the daytime.
The cataloguing staff was distributed about the building. One of the senior cataloguers alternated at the Inquiry Desk with a clerical officer. Another cataloguer occupied a small annexe in an alcove at the entrance door. A third worked at the desk on the upper floor of the Queen's Hall, approached by the stairs that ascended from ground floor to the right of the Sub-Librarian's office. Two other cataloguers alternated in the use of the desk in the combined art and medical sections of the upper floor of the Barry Hall. The offices of the assistants in charge of accessions and orders, the periodicals, and the newspaper assistant, as well as those of the accountant, typist, and binder (who also had immediate charge of the general staff), have been indicated. Attendants and messengers had move-able positions, and served at desks on occasion as directed. They returned books to the shelves from the tables, and kept an unobtrusive surveillance of readers.
About the middle of 1908 I was instructed to report to the Chief Cataloguer, R. D. Boys, for cataloguing duty. I was treated as a tyro and submitted my first examples for correction and advice. Soon afterwards I was directed to catalogue secondhand and foreign books, as a primary assignment. Occasionally new books were allotted to me. I shared the desk in the medical-art section on the upper floor of the Barry Hall, alternating day and
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evening shift with an older colleague. The procedure was as follows. The assigned books were taken in handfuls from the shelves of the cataloguing room to the desk. Brief recordings of the title pages were written on scrap paper. Usually between 9 and 10 a.m. the catalogue cards were consulted in order to ascertain whether the author's name was already included in the catalogue and, if the volume was a new edition or a continuation, whether the previous edition or volume was catalogued. Suggested subjects were compared with existing headings. If the author's name was new to the cards, the authority for full Christian names and other particulars were given in accordance with Cutter's rules.103 The British Museum Catalogue and the American Library Association Rules were also consulted. Any appropriate variation from the original entry was investigated. With all this information in hand, the cataloguer proceeded to examine the books at his desk in order to determine the form of set-out and subjects. Before the completion of this process a further reference to the catalogue cards might be required. For this purpose an attendant was sent to the desk in order to relieve the cataloguer, particularly the officer supervising the medical and art sections. Subject headings new to the catalogue were accepted in conformity with existing authorities, and appropriate changes and extensions made in the catalogue. Typewriters were not in use in those days. The cataloguer wrote out the author, subject, and cross-reference cards in his own handwriting, usally adopting a round hand for the sake of legibility. Poor and cramped as my own handwriting was, I conformed to a slowly-written round hand — in later years to the delight of typographers.
A debatable point was how much time should a cataloguer give to the reading of the text of a book in order to decide subject headings. During a conversation on our cataloguing experience in 1907, Chris. Brennan and I agreed that this issue was appropriately settled in terms of the cataloguer's predilections; but our chief cataloguers were not usually in agreement with this unorthodox practice. Where a specificity of subject headings beyond broad lines was desired, the cataloguer had perforce to draw upon his knowledge of the subject-matter in addition to what was dealt with in the texts. It was a primary concern to note Australian names and subjects, and to show favour towards biographical references of a sufficient amount of detail, as well as information of first-rate importance not readily available elsewhere. Chief Cataloguer Boys was a stickler for form, and he had an uncanny flair for consistency in set-out. He was almost ruthless in altering or correcting the cards submitted by a beginner, whatever be his scholastic qualifications otherwise. I did not take kindly to this discipline, as it meant re-writing the cards in accordance with ex-cathedra decisions. But I admit that the training was beneficial. It was not easy to convince Boys on new subject headings, but in argument he was not adverse to giving way.
The leather-covered desk was very broad and handsome, divided into three divisions. Each end was capable of holding the largest folios with ease, and the middle, with sloping top, was comfortable for the sitter — in this case, the worker! A visitor, on approaching to make an enquiry, seemed to be sufficiently far away for the outward assumption, whether forced or voluntary, of an air of deference. The officer, on his part, seemed to be suspended in mid-air, protruding far out into the spacious vacancy of the Barry Hall, with the hospital building prominently filling the windows behind him.
The medical section did not appeal to specialists, and practitioners were comparatively rare as readers. Even the three tables reserved for the works of art were seldom filled. Students were not prominent, nor were artists of note. The Blamire Youngs,104 by way of exception, frequently came. I often saw them there together, but was not acquainted with them. They approached from the door to the shelves with unaffected dignity. In dress they were paragons of neatness, and in bearing unobtrusively aesthetic. They handled the expensive volumes with reverential care. Bernard Hall, the Director of the National Gallery, looked in from time to time on official duty, and undoubtedly was more familiar with this fine collection of art books than anyone else. A music section, with well-selected scores, was reinforced by the interest of E. H. Sugden, of Queen's, sometime Argus music critic in the days when
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Marshall Hall105 loomed large in Melbourne's community of culture.
My friendship with Brazier, the Sub-Librarian, developed through closer evening contacts. A common interest in philosophy and literature enlarged the stakes of our fellowship. At this time Brazier was preparing his poems for the press under the title of Music and Light and other Verses (1907). This association put me in the category of one not persona grata with Armstrong and Boys. And I was not directly encouraged to seek a career in librarianship. Indeed I was regarded as a young man with outside interests, prejudicial to the quiet and so-called drudgery of a librarian's calling. Armstrong had an obsession on drudgery, which he featured in a paper on librarianship, written as early as 1896,106 and he fired the epithet at me many a time. He knew that I was bent on overseas experience, and presumed that I subordinated my routine duties to this larger prospect.
About June 1906 I became Honorary Secretary of a newly-formed Australian National Party — a non-political body organised to develop an Australian sentiment in commerce, industry, science, art, and literature. With the aid of the press the Party made some progress and I addressed public gatherings. The Prime Minister (Mr. Deakin) and other parliamentarians supported the movement. Some months later, after a largely attended meeting at the Athenaeum Hall, the Age dropped us, as it was no longer interested in the Senate candidature of the President (Charles Atkins).107 I advised Atkins to cease activity on behalf of the Party during his candidature. He agreed to do so. I carried on for a few months longer and contributed to Australian Youth some articles on Australian patriotism and poetry. In the following year I became Honorary Secretary of the Imperial Federation League,108 then under the presidency of Alfred Deakin. These interests proved detrimental to my chances of promotion in the library service, but they were also an outlet for my energies. In fact, they were an offset to the discouragement experienced from within.
During 1905 Armstrong, under a resolution of the Board, began to gather material for The Book of the Public Library, Museums, and National Gallery of Victoria: 1856–1906 (1906). It was intended as a Jubilee Memorial. The publication comprises merely abbreviated excerpts from the minutes of meetings of the Board of Trustees, with some biographical rarities. These were housed in the office of the Chief Librarian. Armstrong was good enough to permit me to browse in his room during my off-evenings; and to do this I of course planned not to clash with the nights he was engaged on the memorial. The knowledge thus gained became known to Miss Bertha Börs, the founder of the Alexandra Club, Melbourne109, and some of its members. They desired to see the Library's treasures, and Armstrong granted my request to use his office for these sporadic surveys. He also arranged that they received invitations to the Jubilee Conversazione (28 April 1906),110 held in [the] Art Galleries, which I attended. About a year later I conducted these friends through the galleries, and made some minor pencilled annotations in a copy of the Illustrated Catalogue of the National Gallery (1905) — not by any means a collector's curio! In 1906 there was added to the Library the superb book, The Bishop Collection: Investigations and Studies in Jade (1906), with its magnificent illustrations, designed and printed to the instructions of Heber E. Bishop,111 of New York, at a cost of nearly two hundred thousand dollars. None of the 100 copies was for sale. One can stand three feet away and read the artistically printed pages with ease and delight. A first sight of these volumes is a memorable occasion.
The 50th anniversary of the Library's opening was commemorated in the Queen's Hall by an address delivered by the President, Henry Gyles Turner.112 I was deputed to gather miscellaneous particulars for the address, a draft of which I remember revising when on Sunday duty early in 1906. I was not enthusiastic over this task, which was fulfilled as an official obligation. I was present at the proceedings, but the celebration did not impress me. My imagination was roaming over distant fields and oceans.
Inspired by the achievement of Dr. John Smyth,113 the first Principal of the Teachers' College (the old-time University High School which I attended in 1896–97), who, by the way, asked me to address the teachers in training on library methods, I decided in 1906
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to make plans for a post-graduate course at the University of Edinburgh. I was also encouraged by my devoted teacher, Professor Henry Laurie. The waters of Port Phillip became endeared to me as the first stage of the ocean route to the modern Athens. On my late afternoon walks, after a day's work at the Library, I traversed often the high ground of Ascot Vale, overlooking the then Ascot Racecourse, whence I had a distant view of the blue fairway of Port Phillip and its horizon that bordered on Romance — a call poetised by W. J. Turner.114 My departure was fixed for February, 1908. As I did not desire to throw up my position for an uncertainty, I decided to ask for twelve months' leave of absence without salary. I indicated that I intended to inspect the leading libraries of the countries I visited.
Armstrong was lukewarm towards my proposal, and informed me that he would send up my application to the Under-Secretary without comment. He was of course requested to comment, as he should have done in the first instance. He did not support my application. W. A. Callaway,115 the genial Undersecretary, met me shortly afterwards and said that it seemed extraordinary that the Chief Librarian should fail to encourage a junior officer who sought experience abroad without expense to the government. I knew personally Sir Alexander Peacock,116 then Chief Secretary, who was also a member of the Imperial Federation League. I wrote to him privately and explained the situation. Peacock did an exceptional thing. He sent a letter down to me at the Library by a messenger. He informed me that my leave would be granted through official channels and advised me to go on with my arrangements. Some weeks later, as my date of departure was near at hand, I sought an official answer from Armstrong, who agreed to call on the Undersecretary. I was amused to see him don his belltopper and depart. After lunch he summoned and notified me the leave was granted, and that official intimation would come later. I then told him of Sir Alexander Peacock's letter!
This belltopper once figured in an amusing incident. The officer in immediate charge of the general staff frequently came late, but signed on time as at 8 a.m. One morning a waggish Celtic attendant placed Armstrong's tall hat by the side of the time-book. It was easily seen by anyone approaching the main door from the street. The officer concerned saw the hat, came to the time-book by a circuitous route, [and] ruled himself out on the grounds of illness in [his] family. Attention to the time-book varied in vigilance. A senior officer submitted it occasionally for the formal inspection of the Chief Librarian. Usually the practice was that any time of arrival up to 9.25 was regarded as equivalent to 9 a.m. But occasionally there was a tightening up for a day or so, with consequential rulings-out.
In 1908 I visited several of the leading libraries of the United Kingdom, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, and other continental cities.117 The International Institute of Bibliography at Brussels, with its endless array of card cabinets, left me spellbound. It gave me the impression of a highly organised library without books. At the Royal Library118, I was privileged to meet Dr. Paul Schwenke, First Director, who showed me over the whole institution, including its new buildings. In connection with the Verein Deutscher Bibliothekare,119 he had issued a guide to the Berlin libraries, Probe eines Berliner Bibliothekenführers (1906). He explained to me the technique of the $GAesamtkatalog of the Prussian scientific libraries, and the working of the Auskunftsbureau der Deutschen Bibliotheken. To one whose training was restricted to the Australian libraries of 1908, here was indeed a revelation of the possible having become actual. I learnt for the first time of the facilities afforded scholars and research workers in Germany by means of inter-library loans. Schwenke introduced me to the Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen,120 which included articles on the subject, referred to in Libraries and Education, (pp. 94–95). On my recommendation the Public Library of Victoria subscribed to the Zentralblatt. Inter-library loans for the benefit of scientists and littérateurs were included among the objects of the Library Association of Victoria, formed in [May] 1912, and were adopted by the University libraries on a resolution moved by me at a conference of their librarians some twenty-five years ago. The policy is now Australia-wide.121
When in Leipzig I called on the Library's agent, Karl W. Hiersemann, and arranged
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with him to view recent German publications. At a desk in his office I consulted a large number of catalogues, and selected numerous works for inspection. I was amazed to learn that I would be able to see most of them next day at Breitkopf's warehouse. Current books were on view at the Buchgewerbehaus. Every publisher contributed his publications for the year's exhibition. I listed my recommendations for purchase by the Books Committee, which accepted them.
Karl Hiersemann explained to me [the] operations of the German book trade at Leipzig, the origins of which were rooted in the customs of the Middle Ages. The procedure is outlined in a pamphlet, Der Buchhändlerische Verkahr über Leipzig and der Betrieb des Leipziger Kommissionsgeschäftes, issued by the Verein Leipziger Kommissionäre in connection with the Fourth International Congress of Publishers, held at Leipzig in 1901.122 As an Australian inexperienced in world book trade affairs, I was startled from my complacency by the intricate and ingenious combined organisation of the German booksellers and publishers at Leipzig (Verein Leipziger Kommissionäre) and the transactions of the Borsenversin der Deutschen Buchhandler. The whole book trade of Germany was concentrated on Leipzig, where each firm had either its own establishment or representatives, to the numbers of thousands.123 The trade had been built round the famous Leipzig Easter Fair. All the business was conducted in and through the Verein and the Exchange, which were housed in a fine building, popularly known as the Buchhändlerhaus. All orders from within Germany and from abroad ultimately reached the Leipzig offices. These were then sent out on prescribed forms by the several booksellers, who addressed the items to the respective publishers, or their representatives, in Leipzig. The forms, which were really order-sheets, were distributed through the Versin, which functioned like a postal department. The costs for the despatch of books and periodicals from the book warehouses, or publishing firms, wherever situated in Germany, were zoned on Leipzig as the base or place of origin. Final settlements were made at the time of the Easter Fair. What has happened to this marvellous organisation since the recent Wars I do not know.
When in Germany I received a letter from Brazier, informing me that Armstrong had been ill and was granted six months' leave of absence to enable him to inspect libraries abroad, and to make a recommendation on the proposed new Reference Library building. Sir Thomas Bent, then Premier, had promised the necessary money for the erection of the new library. I met Armstrong in Edinburgh during a late August weekend which unfortunately was marred by rain. We spent a Saturday afternoon and a Sunday morning together, visiting places of interest, including the Royal Mile. We discussed the new Library buildings. Armstrong had just returned from America and had made up his mind to recommend a round structure, with a dome in some aspects similar to the Library of Congress. I advised him against this proposal, arguing that he was trying to do with thousands what the Americans had done with tens of thousands and even more. I pointed out that he had only made provision for a large public reading room with adjoining stacks, and that the staff accommodation would be inadequate. I suggested that he go over to Germany and see some modern representations of the rectangular designs, such as the Königliche Bibliothek, Berlin, and that he give consideration to the needs of researchers in science and literature. My views fell on deaf ears. After lunch at the Balmoral Hotel, we parted amicably.
Immediately on resuming duty, I was asked by Brazier to submit a report on my visits to libraries abroad, and this was received by the Trustees at the same meeting which considered Armstrong's recommendations. The Trustees thanked me for my observations. So far as I can recollect, I passed on the information I had gathered in Germany. The result was negative.124
The Melbourne Herald announced my return on its advertisement broadsides and reported an interview. In the Library I was assigned to my old cataloguing desk in the medical section, and there I alternated day and evening shifts with an academic colleague. My specific task was to catalogue mainly secondhand books, English and foreign, with an occasional sprinkling of new publications. These works were usually catalogued in detail, and each volume absorbed much time. The recording was done on broad
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ruled cards in round hand — an uninspiring process. Variations, directed by the chief cataloguer, involved much rewriting, many of them being merely perfunctory. The setting-out of French collected editions and essays was a time-consuming job. It had interesting features and was useful for the scholar. In those days every cataloguer submitted a “diary” for the information of the Chief Librarian. This advice was no more than a bare statistical register of the volumes catalogued daily by each officer. Because of the detailed cataloguing I was called upon to do, my totals were comparatively low. The allotment of works of fiction, poetry, continuations and so forth, requiring only author and short-title entries, or the recording of an accession number, would run up the worker's weekly score. I did not have this advantage and became subject to criticism. It was assumed that I was more of a reviewer than a cataloguer. In reply, and in defence, I hit upon the plan of treating each essay, or similar feature, as equivalent to a separate publication, such as a novel or a book of verse, and so my figures soared. I was received back into the fold of “good boys”, and satisfied those in command. I also satisfied myself, for then I did have reasonable opportunity for observational reading!
From about 1909 I began to realise that there was no career for me within the Public Library of Victoria, although my interest in libraries in general never flagged. I became more active in outside affairs. The Honorary Secretaryship of the Imperial Federation League, under Deakin's presidency when Prime Minister, gave me much to do in support of the newly recognised imperial policy relating to the Dominions as self-dependent nations within the British Empire. It had a sentimental as well as an administrative and commercial basis. As a result of Deakin's advocacy of inter-Dominion visits, Sir Charles Lucas, 125 whom I had met in London in 1908, was invited to Australia by the Commonwealth Government. At the instance of Baldwin Spencer, Honorary Director of the Museums and a prominent member of the Board of Trustees, Lucas visited the Library and was conducted round the Institution by Gyles Turner, President, Spencer and Armstrong. I happened to be at the catalogue cabinets when the distinguished group appeared on the scene. Lucas instantly came to me, and we engaged in conversation for several minutes. It was mortifying that a humble cataloguer on duty should have broken in upon a high-level visitation to the Library. I was made to feel that, whatever may be the recognition I received outside, I was, on the inside, merely a minor library assistant.
I may observe here that Deakin used to advise me to stick to the Library until some academic appointment was offering, as an intimate contact with books was an advantage not to be despised. The defeat of Deakin's government at the 1910 elections closed the door to a Commonwealth office.126 Dr. Carty Salmon127 resigned the Speakership and a Labor member, Charles Macdonald,128 succeeded him. Not long afterwards the new position of Cataloguer of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library was advertised. Kenneth Binns, E. R. Pitt, and myself as candidates were interviewed by the Speaker. After the interview I looked in on Deakin, who then occupied the room of the Leader of the Opposition; and he anticipated the result. Kenneth Binns129 was appointed. Had Carty Salmon held the Speakership for a further period, what might have happened need not now be conjectured.
In 1909–10 a crisis occurred in the Library. It almost took the form of a staff upheaval. Armstrong has given it brief mention in The Book of the Public Library 1906–1931,130 but his record fails in accuracy. Boys, the Senior Assistant, was closely associated with Armstrong in the administration of the Library, and Brazier, Sub-Librarian and second in command, was checkmated. The differences between these men were long-standing. Boys and Armstrong agreed that the Reference Library should be re-classified according to the Dewey Decimal System. Baldwin Spencer, Honorary Director of the Museums, who was in almost daily contact with Armstrong, was no doubt consulted, for he moved the Board's resolution to reclassify. Brazier, who had direct charge of the classification, was not even asked to report on the proposal. He knew nothing of it until he received an instruction from Armstrong to put into effect the decision of the Trustees. These facts were not stated by Armstrong in the historical Book.
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“Main Reading Room” (i.e. the Queen's Hall). Leader, 20 March, 1897

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I have a fairly clear recollection of these events. It was known that Brazier was a strong critic of the Dewey Decimal System of library classification. His criticism was philosophically based. He did not deny that the system was workable. On receipt of Armstrong's written instruction, given without a personal interview, Brazier drafted a reply, based mainly on the fact that he had been denied the official courtesy due to an officer in his position. Brazier was adept at invective, and his first draft was caustic to a degree, the language going beyond the bounds of administrative relations. He submitted the draft to me, and I severely blue-pencilled it. He gave way on most points, but refused to cut out or modify a sentence strongly condemning Armstrong for his official slight of Brazier's standing. It was this sentence that eventually led to the latter's undoing.
Armstrong referred Brazier's letter to the Trustees, and the Under-Secretary (Callaway) was informed. Callaway advised Armstrong that a question of discipline should be directly submitted to him under the provisions of the Public Service Act. Shortly afterwards Armstrong was indisposed, and took sick leave. Usually, on such an occasion, he notified Brazier, as second in command. Brazier was ignored. By direction of the Chairman, Gyles Turner, Boys assumed control during the day time, and, at Turner's instance, agreed that on the following day he would attend the Books Committee meeting as Armstrong's substitute. On that day Brazier came on morning shift and took charge. He called in Boys, who explained what had happened. Boys was then instructed to carry out his ordinary duties. Brazier informed Turner that he was in charge during Armstrong's absence, and that he would attend the meeting of the Books Committee. Turner countered Brazier by cancelling the meeting. Brazier meanwhile had phoned Callaway, the Under-Secretary, and notified him of these happenings.
In order that he might be aware of the current business of the Library, so as to give the Chairman of the Trustees the necessary secretarial assistance, Brazier requested A. E. H. Phillips, the accountant, to bring in the minute book of the Trustees meetings. At first Phillips declined, but when Brazier insisted on his doing so as a public service duty, Phillips produced the book. Later, Brazier called me in for consultation on his course of action. He informed me of the minute relating to Callaway's instruction to Armstrong on a question of discipline under the Public Service Act. Brazier proposed to report in writing to Callaway on the public service issue, and arranged to meet me next morning at the City Arms Hotel, near at hand in Elizabeth Street. There, in a private room, with some refreshment, we drafted Brazier's letter to Callaway. It was agreed between us that I should avoid contact with Brazier when on duty.
On Armstrong's return to work, another matter involving myself required his consideration. I had previously asked for his “protection” against pinpricks which do not need reiteration here. The complaint involved my rights as a citizen reader during private time. It added grist to the mill of staff difficulties which then occupied Armstrong's attention. When all these matters were reported to the Trustees, the Board resolved on an inquiry, and set up a committee to investigate the trouble. The President, Gyles Turner, was Chairman of the Committee. An additional typist was employed and the office was screened off. Various documents were typed for the information of the members of the Committee, including my own answer to charges. I made a facetious remark that the several typed documents would enable the Library to repair its deficiency in exchanges.
Brazier and I conferred. We agreed to attend the Committee, if requested to do so. But we determined that we would not answer any questons relating to discipline under the Public Service Act. We considered that the Committee had no power to inquire into staff matters. At the same time we were quite willing to cooperate with, and offer our advice to, the Trustees on matters that came directly under their cognizance.
Armstrong was the first witness, and it was presumed that he would not object to answer questions on administration and discipline. Brazier was next called. According to his statement to me, he expressed his willingness to assist the Trustees to carry out their statutory powers as he had ever done. On the Chairman's questioning him on a disciplinary matter — I believe it related to Armstrong's instruction to reclassify the books — Brazier politely refused to answer.
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The inquiry was then at an end. The Trustees decided to seek statutory authority over the staff and conferred with the Chief Secretary. But Parliament declined to transfer the powers of the Public Service Commissioner to the Trustees.
Meanwhile Baldwin Spencer, who was influential with Ministers, and friendly towards Armstrong, was prominent in inducing John Murray, the Chief Secretary, to resolve the staff troubles. This was done by means of an Order-in-Council in which Brazier was removed to the position of Librarian of the Public Lending Library. Boys was then promoted to the Sub-Librarianship. Thereafter, until his retirement in 1922, Brazier had no personal contact with Armstrong. The afternoon hours of service suited his typographical hobby, and at his home in Barry Street, Carlton, within walking distance of the Library, he devoted himself to his press. He was the ablest man on the staff, and had he become Chief Librarian, he would have departmentalised the library and encouraged the members of the staff to gain expert knowledge of the various divisions. He was respected by the generality of the staff for his frankness and fairmindedness. In defence of his differentiation of shelf-notation from book classification, Brazier published a well-written and well-printed booklet, entitled Libraries and Librarianship.131 He dedicated it to the Library Association of Victoria, of which I was Chairman.
Brazier's Music and Light, and Other Verses (1907) has interesting library associations. It was printed on his private press on large paper, and bound by him and published at his home. The imprint was in Latin that passed Professor T. G. Tucker's critical eye: Typis tabellisque impressum tegumentis munitum in aedibus scriptoris et ab eo editum Melburniae, MCMVII. A selection of the wood-cuts, illustrative of Australian flowers and leaves, was taken from the Library's printed Catalogue of 1861. Photographic blocks used for the printing of [the] National Gallery Catalogue of 1905, as well as of pictures in other art galleries, were provided for him by the appropriate authorities. A Library attendant, D. W. Edwards, assisted Brazier in the printing and binding. It is probably the first book published privately under these conditions in Australia.
From the time Brazier took over the Lending Library he became absorbed in terminological problems in ontology. He used his printing press as though he were writing manuscripts, setting and re-setting as his thinking determined. His mind was metaphysically conditioned. The title page of this abstruse work was worded extensively in eighteenth century style. The short title read: The Terms and the Grammar of Creation; A New Method by an Old Student (1919). The terms, set out in tabulated form, were printed on seven large sheets, folded and encased in a pocket at the end cover of the book.
On Brazier's removal from the Reference Library, Boys practically ruled the administration. For obvious reasons I was not sent down to the Lending Library, and continued to catalogue. New universities were about to be established and I turned more definitely towards an academic career. In 1910 I became Honorary Secretary to the University Extension Board, of which Robert Wallace,132 afterwards Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, was soon to become Chairman. In this work I was also closely associated with Archibald Strong and Frank Tate.133 I kept two main doors open, the one leading into philosophy, the other into history and economics, which were then customarily combined. As a librarian for daily bread I maintained interest in library development. The Imperial Federation League published Some Phases of Preference in Imperial Policy (January 1911) and other addresses.134 The material had been gathered partly in preparation for a history of the Imperial Conference. The appearance of Richard Jebb's book135 on the same subject made my task unnecessary, and I confined myself to a booklet on the historical aspects of imperial preference. To carry out these and other studies, I frequented the Library for private reading when not on duty. I used the medical section for this purpose as being the only suitable place for anyone engaged in research. Thither I brought bundles of newspapers when gathering data for the appendix on the “Struggle in Victoria” to B. R. Wise's Making of the Australian Commonwealth (1913). Deakin requested me to do this job for Wise, who eventually printed my unrevised and incomplete typescript, originally sent to him merely for comment and return.136 These
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literary activities brought me into a strange conflict with the “powers that be” on the count of not returning books to the shelves. On being questioned by Armstrong, I hoodwinked him by replying to him solely in my official capacity, and not as a private reader to whom the officer at the desk (my alternating colleague) had shown exemplary courtesy! That colleague, good John Howard, was an unwitting accomplice in this first-level affair which led to my request to Armstrong for his “protection” — a protection needless and not forthcoming in any case.
About this time I published a brochure on Moral Action and Natural Law in Kant (1911)137 which included a lecture on post-Kantian developments, delivered at a literary society associated with Dr. Strong's138 Australian Church. When the proof sheets reached me at the Library, I had apparently been a “delinquent” of some sort, for I was temporarily shifted to a vacant desk, at the west end of the Barry Hall, outside the entrance to the Chief Librarian's office, where I might be under [the] effective surveillance of Boys as he passed in and out. There I corrected the proof sheets of my first published venture in philosophy, which ultimately led to my obtaining a research scholarship in the next year.
I have ever taken and acted on the view that a librarian should be active in affairs outside his institution in order to increase its influence and standing in the community. The isolation of the Public Library of Victoria during the first decades of the century was due to the indifference of the administration to the educative side of a library's service. My outside interests awakened in me a desire to do something to break down the barrier. An opportunity came when I was invited to join a group of academic men who dined monthly for the sake of talking on things that mattered. The promoter was James Jamieson.139 Medical Officer of Health of the City of Melbourne, and one of the University lecturers in medicine. The original members were: E. F. Allen, Alfred Deakin, Robert Garran,140 Bernard Hall, James Jamieson, George Knibbs,141 Henry Laurie, Walter Murdoch,142 W. A. Osborne,143 Ernest Scott,144 Archibald Strong, and myself. Robert Wallace was invited to join on his arrival in the following year. This action was due to a fine gesture from Walter Murdoch, who was not elevated to the Melbourne Chair of English. I was the junior and kept the group together, with headquarters at the Library. New members for old ones enabled it to last till about 1917. Through these friendships press and other contacts were made and enlarged. I then began to value library publicity, encouraged from within by Brazier.
Meanwhile the strain of frustration in 1910–11 necessitated a visit to the family doctor, who advised that I be given three months' sick leave. This was granted. Absence from the Library brought an early recovery, and I continued my Kant studies. Shortly after my return to duty I was surprised by a ring from the inquiry desk that two elderly gentlemen were coming upstairs to see me. They were J. A. Panton145 and George Gordon McCrae.146 They approached me with disarming formality, and stated that they were a “deputation” from the Royal Geographical Society with a request that I might accept an appointment as Honorary Secretary of the Society. We sat down at a nearby table, and they proceeded to explain their proposal in a most pleasing manner. The troubles of the Society had broken some octogenarian friend ships, they informed me sadly; and they gave me time to consider the appointment. The worthiness of these two men of learning and culture appealed to me, and I later fell a victim to their blandishments. I was installed in office in May 1911. One of my tasks was to edit the Journal, and another was to see that the “right” people were invited to hear the reading of a “newly discovered” manuscript, entitled Historical Sketch of the Life of the Late Captain Flinders, with an introduction by George Gordon McCrae. The Lieutenant-Governor (Sir John Madden) presided, and I read the paper. A year or so later Ernest Scott showed that the manuscript was a copy of an article previously printed in an English publication. Nevertheless, from that meeting, there was initiated a movement to erect the Flinders statue, which now stands in the grounds of St. Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne. H. Gyles Turner, the President of the Trustees, was a Vice-President of the Geographical Society and attended Committee meetings. Nevertheless my limit of endurance was twelve months. But the friendship with Panton and McCrae compensated for
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the turbulences of aged committeemen who were not of their ilk.
In the latter half of 1911 the Victorian Government made financial provision for research scholarships at the University. Early in 1912 I was awarded one in philosophy, valued at £75 p.a. It was extended for a second year in 1913. About the time the award was made in 1912, Armstrong had refused to recommend that I be granted the customary biennial increment of £20. My year of absence in Europe (1909) was actually counted against me, though I had served the Library and was thanked by the Trustees. Hence I had to continue for an interval of three years in order to receive a biennial increment. Two years later (1912) I was again not recommended on the ground that my work was “only fair”. At this very time the programme of a widely-advertised Education Conference, organised by Sir James Barrett,147 had been printed. On the night devoted to the University, Professor R. J. A. Berry148 was the main speaker, and I was announced to follow him. The Vice-Chancellor presided in the absence of the Chief Secretary, John Murray, whose name appeared on the programme. I cut out this page and underlined my name. I sent the document to Murray and informed him that, although I was considered fit to serve in such company, I was denied a £20 biennial rise in salary at the Public Library. I was granted the increment over the head of Armstrong! And I received the value of the scholarship in addition. But my future in the Library was hopeless. Within a year I left for my Tasmanian appointment. I was thus relieved from service in the new building which I had condemned. I resolved to have nothing more to do with library work. But that resolution passed into the limbo of things set aside. I may mention here that, at the instance of the editor (L. V. Biggs), I contributed to the Melbourne Age (17, 24 November 1928)149, two pseudonymous articles on the reorganisation of the Public Library. In the second article I criticised the present structure and suggested a new frontage on La Trobe Street.
An opportunity for press activity came in 1911, when the Melbourne Argus featured reports and correspondence on the relations of language and literature in the schools curriculum. I engaged in the correspondence, and pointed out the need for reinforcing class-teaching with library reading. I criticised the existing libraries as being scarcely more than book-mausoleums, and advocated the constitution of a library commission.150 Next I contributed an article on “Libraries and Schools” to the Argus151 and referred to the educational services of the libraries in the United States and the United Kingdom. My criticism was of course directed against Armstrong's do-nothing policy; but I kept myself outside the bounds of disciplinary action by referring always to “public libraries”. Alfred E. McMicken,152 of Prahran, supported me and advocated the formation of a library association. I joined forces with McMicken and we began operations towards the end of 1911. Early next year the Education Department published in the Education Gazette my article on “School Libraries and Reading”, which was separately issued as a pamphlet.153 The Melbourne Herald backed up my views with a leading article and a review.
It was arranged by A. E. McMicken that on 29 May 1912, I deliver a Public Library evening lecture at Prahran on “Libraries in Relation to Education”. We agreed that the occasion should be used to take steps to form a Library Association of Victoria. McMicken, as Librarian of the Prahran Public Library, with the support of the Mayor, convened an afternoon meeting for 29 May. Prior to the meeting the Argus and the Herald praised the “public-spirited promoters” in their leading articles. Municipal and special libraries were requested to be represented. Armstrong wrote that as the future of the Library Association of Australasia (ceased in 1902!) had not been settled, he could not take part. Gyles Turner, the President of the Public Library, wrote a personal letter and warned McMicken against me. Alexander Leeper suggested that the Public Library Trustees be approached to form an association. Two members of the Public Library staff attended as “observers”. Alfred Deakin, Frank Tale, and others expressed their interest in the movement. Sir George Fairbairn,154 Donald Mackinnon155 and Ernest Scott spoke in favour of the proposal.
A provisional Committee, under my chairmanship, was set up to prepare a constitution and rules. McMicken was elected Honorary Secretary. The Mayor and Council entertained
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delegates at tea. The lecture was included in Libraries and Education (1912). Later in the same year, the inaugural meeting of the Association was held at the Town Hall, Melbourne. I occupied the Chair. Among those present were Alfred Deakin, who spoke in support. Professors R. J. A. Berry and Robert S. Wallace, and the following members of the Committee: A. E. McMicken, Prahran, Honorary Secretary, Mrs D. Avery, Home Reading Union, E. Avdall (Patent Office), J. S. Strettle (Institute of Engineers), E. D. Heather (South Melbourne), W. Walker (Surrey Hills). The Minister of Education (A. A. Billson) wrote in approval and apologised for his absence. It was arranged that the annual meeting be held in April 1913. Before that date I had been appointed to a Lectureship in the University of Tasmania. The meeting was held at the Melbourne Athenaeum on 25 June 1913. I did not attend, and my address was read by Mr McMicken. I advocated the cooperation of State and University Libraries in the interlending of books to assist research workers. The library resources of the Commonwealth should be available to scholars anywhere as in European countries. The Association continued in being for some years, and was reconstituted in 1926 under the presidency of A. E. McMicken.156
Two immediate results of the Prahran meeting were the formation of a children's library at Prahran under the direction of Miss Enid Joske, and the publication in October 1912 of Libraries and Education (xvi, 111p.) by George Robertson and Co., Melbourne. As a publishing venture the book was a failure. Outside the few members of the Association there was little demand in Australia. From time to time requests came from overseas, and when these ceased after a few years, the unsold remainder was destroyed. Twelve copies were bound in cloth, and an edition of 500 copies was issued in paper covers. The contents comprised “Libraries in Relation to Education”, the lecture delivered at Prahran on 29 May 1912, a reprint of “School Libraries and Reading”, a revision of a paper on “The University Library” read at the Education Congress, Melbourne, March 1912, and a report to the Victorian Education Department on “Schools and Libraries”. The introduction of an interlending policy among libraries, then operating as an aid to scholarship in Europe and America, was strongly advocated. The “Prefatory Note” included the seven objects of the Library Association of Victoria. The little book was well received by the Library Association Record (January 1913), which referred to its contents as “an able statement of the highest functions of the public library for any nation or country”.157 This little book was the first separately published book on libraries to be issued in Australia.
Morris Miller's years at the Public Library of Victoria were an excellent foundation for his active and highly successful career as University Professor and Vice-Chancellor, University Librarian, and bibliographer and literary historian. Miller sqandered none of the skills which he acquired there, and his “Public Library Memories” were an attempt to repay in some measure what the institution (as distinct from some of its personalities) had given him. In this task Morris Miller succeeded admirably.
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NOTE

The “Select lists of accessions to the Australian Manuscripts Collection and Picture Collection” which normally appear in the April issue of the Journal have been held over until October.

i

David McVilly, “Personalities from the Past: Edmund Morris Miller: 1881–1964: A Proposal for a Biography”, Australian Library Journal, (24), 7, August, 1975, pp. 315–318. p.315.

ii

Morris Miller, “Autobiographical Notes (1956): Part 1: Early Life to Time of Leaving Wesley College, Melbourne (1881–99)” (W.L. Crowther Collection, State Library of Tasmania). 42 pp. p.2.

iii

Moral Action and Natural Law in Kant (1911); Kant's Doctrine of Freedom (1913); The Basis of Freedom (1924); Moral Law and the Highest Good (1928).

iv

Australian Literature: From Its Beginnings to 1935 (Short Title) Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1940, 2 vols. Revised edition, 1956. The 1940 edition was reprinted in 1973 and 1975.

v

Pressmen and Governors: Australian Editors and Writers in Early Tasmania Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1952. Reprinted, 1973.

vi

Copies are held in the State Library of Victoria (La Trobe Library, Australian Manuscripts Collection) and the State Library of Tasmania (Tasmanian Collection). The typescript is 60 foolscap pages long.

vii

A biography of Miller has been written by his life-long friend John Reynolds, and a Tasmanian literary historian, Margaret Giordano: Countries of the Mind: The Biographical Journey of Edmund Morris Miller Hobart: Melanie Publications, 1984. See also Michael Roc, “Edmund Morris Miller: 1881–1964” in his Nine Australian Progressives: Vitalism in Bourgeois Social Thought; 1890–1960 St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1984. pp. 280–315. Miller as philosopher is discussed at length in S.A. Crave, A History of Philosophy in Australia. St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1984. See the early chapters, passim. See also Derek Drinkwater, “E. Morris Miller and the Tasmanian Archives Office”, Australasian College Libraries, (2), 3, August, 1984 pp. 117–124; and “E. Morris Miller as University Librarian”, Australian Academic and Research Libraries, (15), 4, December, 1984 pp. 216–226.

1

Thomas Palmer (1858–1925+); owner and Principal, University High School, 1894–98; Headmaster, Wesley College, 1898–1902. He was later a successful orchardist in South Africa.

2

Sir Archibald Strong (1876–1930); Professor of English, Adelaide University, 1922–30; Lecturer and later Acting Professor of English, Melbourne University, 1913–19.

3

Thomas Joseph Carr (1839–1917); Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, 1886–1917. Formerly a Bishop and Professor of Theology in Ireland.

4

Dr. Alexander Leeper (1848–1934); classical scholar. Warden of Trinity College, Melbourne University, 1876–1918.

5

John Lawrence Rentoul (1846–1926); Professor of Biblical Greek and Christian Philosophy, Melbourne University, 1884–1926. A leading Presbyterian, and author of The Early Church and the Roman Claim (Melbourne, 1896), lectures replying to Archbishop Carr's Primary of the Roman Pontiff (1896).

6

Herbert Brookes (1867–1963); pastoralist and philanthropist, Vice-Chairman, Australian Broadcasting Commission, 1932–39. In 1905 he married Ivy, Alfred Deakin's eldest daughter.

7

Henry Drummond (1851–97); Free Church Professor of Natural Science, Glasgow, 1884–97. Author of Natural Law in the Spiritual World (1883) etc.

8

No trace of this article can be found.

9

The Boer, or South African War, fought between Great Britain and the two Boer Republics, lasted from October 1899 to May 1902. The conflict was of special interest to the Miller family, who spent some years in South Africa en route from Scotland to Australia.

10

Thomas Fleming Cooke (1879–1955?); Chief Librarian, PLV, 6 March-29 December 1944.

11

Edmund La Touche Armstrong (1864–1946); Chief Librarian, PLV, 1896–1925.

12

Robert Douglass Boys (1866–1942); Chief Librarian, PLV, 1925–31.

13

T.F. Bride, “The Public Lending Library of Victoria”, LAA: Proc.: 1st Conference, Melbourne, 1896. Melbourne: Victorian Government Printer, 1896. pp. 47–53. p.51.

14

The PLV's new Reference Library with its domed Reading Room was opened in November 1913.

15

The Dewey Decimal Classification, first published in 1876, was devised by the American library pioneer Melvil Dewey (1851–1931).

16

Caleb Hardy, “The Decimal Classification of Dewey”, LAA: Proc.: 1st Conference, Melbourne, 1896. Melbourne: Victorian Government Printer, 1896, pp. 56–59. p.56.

17

A highly successful subscription library founded by the Englishman C.E. Mudie in 1842.

18

Louis Esson (1878–1943); dramatist and poet. Author of the play Dead Timber (1911) and Red Gums and Other Verses (1912) etc. In Australian Literature (1940) Miller described Esson as “the first Australian playwright to achieve literary distinction for dramas in an Australian setting and characterization.” (Vol. I, p. 365).

19

The 600p. catalogue of the Lending Library's 17,000 volumes was issued early in 1902.

20

This paper, entitled “The Public Lending Library of Victoria”, was in fact delivered by Boys at the LAA's Adelaide Meeting in October 1900.

21

In 1860 both the Melbourne and Adelaide City Libraries established “travelling box systems”, to be followed by Sydney's Free Public Library in 1883.

22

George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans) (1819–80); English novelist. Author of Adam Bede (1859) and The Mill on the Floss (1860) etc.

23

Thomas à Kempis (1380–1471); Augustinian monk and religious writer. Author of The Imitation of Christ (1486?).

24

John W. (“Chummy”) Fleming (1863?–1950); a well-known agitator and longtime member of Melbourne's Anarchist Club.

25

7th Earl of Hopetoun (1860–1908); Australia's first Governor-General, 1900–02, who was Governor of Victoria, 1889–95. Later 1st Marquis of Linlithgow.

26

A principal character in The Mill on the Floss.

27

Christopher Crisp (1844–1915); Editor, Bacchus Marsh Express, from 1866 until his death.

28

Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley (1851–1920); an English clergyman, one of the three co-founders of Britain's National Trust (1895), and its Honorary Secretary for many years. Author of Ruskin and the English Lakes (1901) etc.

29

Friedrich Paulsen (1846–1908); German philosopher and educationist.

30

Richard Garnett (1835–1906); the British Museum's Keeper of Printed Books, 1890–99, and author of Essays of an Ex-Librarian (1901) etc.

31

Edward Edwards (1812–86); an early British champion of free public libraries, and author of Libraries and Founders of Libraries (1865) etc.

32

Matilda Ann (“Tilly”) Aston (1873–1947); poet and litterateur. Though blind from the age of six, she nevertheless produced nine verse and prose works, among them the Memoirs of Tilly Aston (1946).

33

Published by Massina, Melbourne.

34

Where Miller's review appeared remains a mystery. The Melbourne University Magazine did not begin publication until 1907.

35

Sir William Irvine (1858–1943); Victoria's Premier, 1902–04, who won office on a platform of parliamentary reform and public service retrenchment as principal prerequisites for State economic recovery. The latter policy in particular caused much understandable civil service opposition.

36

E.W.H. Fowles (1871–1945); barrister and public citizen. Foundation Senator, Queensland University, 1910–16, and first Chairman of its Library Committee.

37

James Brunton Stephens (1835–1902); author of Miscellaneous Poems (1880) which included “Dominion of Australia.”

38

William Gay (1865–97); one of his best known poems is “Australian Federation” which appeared in Sonnets (1896).

39

Henry Kendall (1839–82); author of Leaves from Australian Forests (1869) etc. His “Leichhardt” was first published in the Sydney Mail, 21 February 1880.

40

Alfred Deakin (1856–1919); Australia's second Prime Minister, 1903–04, 1905–08, and 1909–10. Deakin held the seat of Essendon and Flemington in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, 1889–1900. The Miller family lived in Deakin's electorate, and Miller's father and a maternal relative, Arthur Lee Crichton, were among Deakin's most ardent campaign workers.

41

Alexander Sutherland (1852–1902); Acting Professor of English, Melbourne University, January-August 1902.

42

Edward Ellis Morris (1843–1902); Professor of Modern Languages and Literature, Melbourne University, 1883–1902. The work, entitled “Cook and his Comrades in Australia”, was never published.

43

Henry Gyles Turner (1831–1920); an unusual mixture of banker and historian. A PLV Trustee from 1884, he became Vice-President (1902) and President of Trustees (1905). Co-author with A. Sutherland [q.v. note 41] of The Development of Australian Literature (1898).

44

Amos William Brazier (185?–1929); Sub (Deputy) Librarian, PLV, 1900–10.

45

Alexander Steven (1885–1923); five books of his verse were published between 1911 and his death. Steven's Collected Poems appeared in 1925.

46

Leeper, a PLV Trustee from 1887, served as President of Trustees, 1920–28.

47

Christopher Brennan (1870–1932); poet and scholar. Professor of German, Sydney University, 1920–25. He was employed by the Public Library of New South Wales, 1895–1909, initially to catalogue David Scott Mitchell's Australiana collection. Author of Poems 1913 (1914) etc.

48

Frank Wilmot (1881–1942); a poet who wrote under the pseudonym “Furnley Maurice.” With Alfred Dickson he edited and published the monthly magazine Microbe, 1901–03. Author of Unconditioned Songs (1913) etc.

49

E. Morris Miller, School Libraries and Reading. Melbourne: Victorian Government Printer, 1912.

50

J.R.G. Adams (1859–1919); Principal Librarian, Public Library of South Australia, 1904–09. On the Library's staff from 1884.

51

F.E. Meleng (1866–1930); Librarian, Port Adelaide Institute, and Secretary, Institutes Association of South Australia, 1897–1930.

52

Henry Laurie (1838–1922); Australia's first Philosophy Professor. Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy, Melbourne University, 1886–1911.

53

E. Morris Miller, “The Beginnings of Philosophy in Australia and the Work of Henry Laurie”, Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, (7), 4, December, 1929 pp. 241–252; and (8), 1, March, 1930, pp. 1–22. The lecture was delivered at Sydney University, 23 May 1929.

54

At a PLV Trustees Meeting on 29 November 1894, Leeper proposed a successful motion which led to the founding of the Library Association of Australasia, 1896–1902.

55

H.C.L. Anderson (1853–1924); Principal Librarian, Public Library of New South Wales, 1893–1906.

56

E. La T. Armstrong, “The Proposed Federal Library of the Commonwealth”, LAA: Proc: 3rd General Meeting, Melbourne, 1902. Melbourne: McCarron, Bird & Co., 1902, pp. 62–70.

57

Miller kept the half-sovereign for many years, finally giving it to his friend, the bibliophile J.K. Moir.

58

The 344p. book was ghosted by the librarian Edward Edwards for James Macarthur (1798–1867), an Australian pastoralist and M.P., during the latter's 1836–39 sojourn in England. Edwards' fee was £80. The full story is told in J.W. Metcalfe's booklet Edward Edwards. Sydney: Public Library of New South Wales, 1952.

59

Published in 1902 by Echo, Melbourne.

60

Marcus Clarke (1846–81); author of the novel For the Term of his Natural Life (1874). Sub-Librarian, PLV, 1873–81. Secretary to the PLV Trustees, at the Chief Trustee Sir Redmond Barry's invitation, 1870–73.

61

Melbourne: Ford and Son, 1906.

62

W.H. Ifould (1877–1969); Principal Librarian, Public Library of New South Wales, 1912–42; Chief Librarian, Public Library of South Australia, 1909–12.

63

A.W. Brazier, “The Principles and Practice of Library Classification”, LAA: Proc.: 2nd General Meeting, Adelaide, 1900. Adelaide: South Australian Government Printer, 1901. pp. 29–39; W.H. Ifould, “Library Classification”, pp. 23–31, and A.W. Brazier, “Editor's Note”, pp. 31–32, in LAA: Proc.: 3rd General Meeting, Melbourne, 1902. Melbourne: McCarron, Bird & Co., 1902.

64

E.H. Sugden (1854–1935); Master of Queen's College, Melbourne University, 1888–1927, and a PLV Trustee from 1902. Author of Israel's Debt to Egypt (1928) etc.

65

Sir Ernest A. Wallis Budge (1857–1934); a leading British Egyptologist. Author of a multi-volume History of Egypt (1902+) etc.

66

Adam Melville (1842–1921); bookseller, and a mainstay from the mid-1860s of Samuel and William L. Mullen's Melbourne bookshop, opened in 1859. Failing health caused the senior partner Samuel (1828–90) to sell to his brother William, Melville and a long-serving colleague, Leonard Slade [q.v. note 67] in October 1889. Thereafter the firm traded as Melville, Mullen & Slade (1889–1900), and Melville & Mullen (1900–22) until its merger with George Robertson & Co. to become Robertson and Mullens Ltd.

67

Leonard Slade (1859–1954); a valued employee of Mullen's bookstore and its successor firms, 1876–1939, and a partner for some years.

68

Pseudonym of the novelist and short story writer, Jessie Catherine Couvreur (1848–97). She excelled at depicting nineteenth century Australia's urban middle class life.

69

G.R. Campbell was actually a bank executive who managed the firm of George Robertson & Co. Pty. Ltd. for twenty years, after its takeover by the Bank of Victoria in 1988.

70

James B. Symons, who was Head of George Robertson's Book Division from 1899. Later a publisher.

71

Edgar Allan Parr (d. 1932) served as Retail Manager of George Robertson's General Book Department after 1899. He and his wife opened their own bookstore in Little Collins Street in 1913. One bookseller remembered him as a “quirky Englishman”, known by the sobriquet “Old Parr”, after Thomas Parr who died in London in 1635, reputedly aged 152 years. See Margareta Webber, “[Recollections]” in The Golden Age of Booksellers. Sydney: Abbey Press, 1981. pp. 167–171.

72

Margareta Webber (1892–1983); bookseller. She began her training in 1923 under Edgar Parr [q.v. note 71] and in 1931 established her own business, developing an Australia-wide clientele and reputation. The business, which she sold in 1972, continues under her name.

73

Edward Alexander Vidler (1863–1942); bookseller, publisher and man of letters. He was in charge of George Robertson's Publishing Division from 1899. His own publishing firm later produced works like the series “Australian Repertory Plays”, 1925–28. Editor of The Adam Lindsay Gordon Memorial Volume (1926).

74

A highly successful book bazaar, founded in central Melbourne in 1883 by Edward William Cole (1832–1918). Cole's combination of showmanship, competitive prices, and unusual advertising, made it such a profitable business that other capital city branches were opened. Melbourne's was the last branch to close (in 1929). Cole also produced his own wares like the popular Cole's Funny Picture Book (1879).

75

Frank Wilmot [q.v. note 48] joined Cole's in 1895, later becoming its Manager.

76

William Thomas Pyke (1859–1933); bookseller and author. He worked for Cole, 1873–1928, and became the first Manager of Cole's Book Arcade, which opened on Melbourne Cup Day 1883. Later Foundation President, Victorian Booksellers' Association.

77

See Cole Turnley, Cole of the Book Arcade. Hawthorn, Vic.: Cole Publications, 1974.

78

David Syme (1827–1908); owner and Editor of the Age newspaper from 1860 until his death, and a powerful figure in the State of Victoria. A PLV Trustee from 1889.

79

W.H. Fitchett (1841–1928); clergyman, writer, and educator. Author of Deeds that Won the Empire (1897) and How England Saved Europe (1899–1900). A PLV Trustee, 1893–1928.

80

James Smith (1820–1910); man of letters and public citizen. He was the first to advocate a National Gallery of Victoria, later playing a leading part in its establishment. A PLV Trustee, 1880–1910.

81

John McKellar Stewart (1878–1953); Professor of Philosophy, Adelaide University, 1923–49, and its Vice-Chancellor, 1944–48.

82

Sir William Mitchell (1861–1962); Vice-Chancellor, Adelaide University, 1915–42.

83

Ernest Roland Pitt (1877–1957); Chief Librarian, PLV, 1931–43. Author (with Ralph Munn) of the influential report, Australian Libraries (1935).

84

Herbert Putnam (1861–1955); Librarian, Library of Congress, 1899–1939.

85

Paul Schwenke (1853–1921); a distinguished German librarian, whom Miller met at Berlin's Royal Library, 1908.

86

E. Morris Miller, Libraries and Education. Melbourne: George Robertson, 1912.

87

As a Consultant to Tasmania's Psychological Clinic Miller toured the U.S.A., February-May 1921, to study the institutional care of the mentally ill. During his peregrination he also visited several large research institutions.

88

Founded by Bernard Quaritch (1819–99).

89

Whose owner was Karl W. Hiersemann (1854–1928).

90

Pseudonym of the Australian novelist E.F.L. Richardson (1870–1946), author of the trilogy The Fortunes of Richard Mahony (1917–1933). In 1895 she married J.G. Robertson (1867–1933), Foundation Professor of German, London University, 1903–33.

91

William James Chidley (1860–1916); a well-known eccentric whose views on sexual conduct — in particular “false coition” as the cause of most human ills — expressed in The Answer (1911), earned him much undeserved abuse and notoriety. He died in an asylum.

92

He was a D.Litt. Edward Vaughan Boulger (b. 1846), a first-class prizeman at Trinity College, Dublin, won in his first year a classical scholarship ahead of Alexander Leeper [q.v. note 4]. In 1869 he graduated with the highest honours, being awarded an M.A. and, some years later, a D.Litt. He married in 1871. From 1883 he was Professor of English and Mental and Moral Philosophy at Adelaide University. In 1886 Boulger was an unsuccessful, but highly recommended, candidate for Sydney University's Chair of Modern Literature. His referees included Leeper and E. E. Morris [q.v. note 42] as well as eleven eminent British classicists. Early in 1894 he agreed to act as Professor of Classics, pending the arrival of a new incumbent. The strain of holding two Chairs was too much: he resorted to stimulants, which harmed his health, and neglected his duties. In December, 1894 he resigned all his posts. The unsigned A.D.B. article on Boulger (Vol. 3, 1851–90) relates that “thereafter his name disappeared from South Australian directories” (p.202). Whether Leeper was aware of his old friend's frequent visits to the PLV is unknown.

93

Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer (1860–1929); Foundation Professor of Biology, Melbourne University, 1887–1919. Honorary Director, National Museum, Melbourne, 1899–1929. He was a PLV Trustee from 1895, and Vice-President of Trustees, 1920–28.

94

L. Bernard Hall (1859–1935); Director, National Gallery, Melbourne, 1892–1935. He was also an accomplished artist.

95

Sir Herbert Gepp (1877–1954); mining metallurgist, industrialist, and civil servant.

96

A.W. Howitt (1830–1908); anthropologist, geologist, and explorer. In 1861 he led the first party sent to search for Burke and Wills, bringing the explorers' bodies back for burial in December of that year. Author of The Native Tribes of South-East Australia (1904) etc.

97

Andrew Lang (1844–1912); Scottish scholar, man of letters, and folk-lorist.

98

The Lang-Howitt exchange lasted from Vols. 15–18 of Folk-Lore (1905–08), until curtailed by the Editor.

99

Sir James G. Frazer (1854–1941); an outstanding British anthropologist. Author of The Golden Bough (1890) etc.

100

The C.S.I.R., formed in 1926, was re-organised and re-named the C.S.I.R.O. in 1949. It still produces such a listing.

101

E. Morris Miller, Pressman and Governors. Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1952. Ch. I. “Robert Lathrop Murray”, pp. 3–39. Murray, Editor of the Hobart Town Gazette and the Colonial Times during the 1820s, had a stormy relationship with Van Diemen's Land Governors.

102

Named after the judge Sir Redmond Barry (1813–80), the Library's founder and its President of Trustees, 1856–80.

103

Charles A. Cutter, Rules for a Dictionary Catalogue. (1st Ed. 1875).

104

W. Blamire Young (1862–1935); painter and poster artist. In 1895 he married the talented English wood-carver, Mabel Sawyer.

105

G.W.L. Marshall-Hall (1862–1915); Foundation Professor of Music, Melbourne University, 1890–1900 and from 1914 until his death, who was the main force behind the University's Conservatorium of Music, founded in 1895. After 1900, in which year Marshall-Hall was not reappointed to the Chair of Music, he fashioned the institution into a very successful musical centre, separate from the University. Its orchestral concert series were highly acclaimed.

106

E. La T. Armstrong, “The Librarian and his Work”, LAA: Proc.: 1st Conf., Melbourne, 1896. Melbourne: Victorian Government Printer, 1896. pp. 28–33, p.32.

107

Charles Atkins (1859–1938); a wealthy Flinders Street merchant, who championed Australian-made products and founded “Made-in-Australia Day.” His parliamentary ambitions remained unrealised, though he did serve as a Melbourne City Councillor, 1913–23.

108

Imperial Federation League of Australia members advocated a more consultative form of Imperial organisation, within Britain's Empire. Deakin was the League's President and guiding spirit, 1904–13, and Miller an industrious Honorary Secretary, 1908–13.

109

The Alexandra Club, a residential club, was founded in 1903 for “women of means and position.” Modelled upon London's gentlemen's clubs, its inner city premises comprised twelve lavish drawing rooms, and five bedrooms for country members. High entrance and membership fees, as well as “blackballing”, assured exclusiveness. Miss Bertha Börs, its first Secretary, was succeeded by Miss Mary Living in 1908, when the Alexandra Ladies Club Company was formed. The Club is still active. See Helen Davis, “Women in Clubland: The Alexandra Club, Melbourne”, Red Funnel (Dunedin), (2), 1, June, 1906 pp. 455–462.

110

The climax to a week of celebrations, jointly organised by the PLV Trustees and the Melbourne University Council, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of these institutions. 1200 guests attended.

111

Heber Reginald Bishop (1840–1902); American art collector. The book; published in one volume during Bishop's lifetime (1900), was revised, enlarged and privately printed in two volumes by the De Vinne Press, New York in 1906.

112

On 21 April 1906. The Victorian Government Printer published it later that year as a 10p. pamphlet.

113

John Smyth (1864–1927); Foundation Professor of Education, Melbourne University, 1918–27; Principal, Melbourne Teachers' Training College, 1902–18.

114

W.J. Turner (1889–1946); man of letters. He left Australia for England in 1910, and became a successful playwright and literary critic. His bestknown play is The Man who ate the Popomack (1922).

115

W.A. Callaway; Under-Secretary, Chief Secretary's Department, 1908–20.

116

Sir Alexander Peacock (1861–1933); thrice Premier of Victoria, and Chief Secretary, 1907–08.

117

Miller chronicled his odyssey in a travel diary taking the form of letters to his family. Some parts are missing, but it appears he left Australia on 10 April 1908, returning home on 10 February 1909. Among his many memorable experiences was one recorded in a letter home from Dundee, where he was staying with relatives: “In the evening I listened to Churchill. There was a large crowd there … The Hall was filled at 7.00 pm … Churchill is a man of many fine phrases and good sallies, but he is no orator. He is nowhere near Deakin at all. He also has an unfortunate lisp, but he overcomes it remarkably” (Leaf 262: 11 October 1908). The British statesman Sir Winston Churchill (1874–1965), already at 33 Britain's youngest Cabinet Minister since 1866, was Liberal M.P. for Dundee, 1908–22. See E. Morris Miller, “Diary of Travels 1908–09” (400 small octavo size sheets; imcomplete) (State Library of Victoria, La Trobe Library, Australian Manuscripts Collection).

118

Adolf von Harnack (1851–1930) served as Foundation Director of Berlin's Royal Library, 1906–21 (re-named the Prussian State Library in 1919). Schwenke was a high-ranking official of the institution.

119

The Association of German Librarians, formed in 1900.

120

German librarianship's leading professional journal, founded by Otto Hartwig in 1884.

121

Conference of Representatives of Australian University Libraries (Proceedings), University of Melbourne, 22–23 August 1928. (Typescript) (Monash University, Graduate School of Librarianship) 6p. p.5.

122

10–13 June 1901.

123

Leipzig was also the home of Karel Baedeker's famous guidebooks, first produced in 1857.

124

The Memorial Stone of the new Library and domed Reading Room was laid by Victoria's Governor Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael on 26 October 1909. Lord Denman, the Governor-General, officially opened the building on 14 November 1913. Its octagonal Reading Room, first mooted by Armstrong in 1905, was 114 feet in diameter and height. Miller's reservations were justified by events. The structure was indeed “a disastrous commitment of resources at an unfortunate time” which resulted in “a grossly inefficient building for a library”. See, “The State Library Building”, in La Trobe Library Journal (2) 6, October 1970 pp. 31–36 p.31.

125

Sir Charles Lucas (1853–1931); English civil servant and scholar. Author of The British Empire (1915) etc.

126

Deakin was Prime Minister and head of the “Fusion Government”, composed of three conservative political groupings, 2 June 1909–29 April 1910. It lost office to the Labor Party.

127

Dr Charles Carty Salmon (1861–1917); a Liberal Member of the House of Representatives for Victoria, 1901–13, 1915–17, and Speaker of the House, 28 July 1909–1 July 1910.

128

Charles Macdonald (1861–1925); Labor Speaker of the House of Representatives, 1 July 1910–23 June 1913 and 8 October 1914–14 June 1917.

129

Kenneth Binns (1882–1969); Librarian, Parliamentary and Commonwealth National Libraries, 1928–47; Librarian, Commonwealth National Library, 1923–28. He became the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library's Cataloguer, 1911 and its Assistant Librarian, 1918.

130

E. La T. Armstrong and R.D. Boys, The Book of the Public Library, Museums, and National Gallery of Victoria: 1906–1931. Melbourne: Fraser and Jenkinson, 1932. pp. 12–13.

131

A.W. Brazier, Libraries and Librarianship (By “A Mere Librarian”). Melbourne: privately printed, 1912.

132

Sir Robert Strachan Wallace (1882–1961); Professor of English, Melbourne University, 1912–27; Vice-Chancellor, Sydney University, 1927–47.

133

Frank Tate (1863–1939); Director of Education, Victoria, 1902–28. Later a distinguished library layman.

134

E. Morris Miller, Some Phases of Preference in Imperial Policy. Melbourne: Paul Hewitt for the Imperial Federation League of Australia, 1911. In 1912 the same publisher brought out Miller's Dominion Interests in Imperial Administration, in which he advocated the appointment of Australian Governors and Governors-General. (p.9).

135

Richard Jebb, The Imperial Conference: A History and Study. London: Longmans, 1911.

136

E. Morris Miller, “The Struggle in Victoria”, in B.R. Wise (Ed.). The Making of the Australian Commonwealth: 1889–1900. London: Longmans, 1913, pp. 333–349.

137

Published by George Robertson, Melbourne.

138

Dr Charles Strong (1844–1942); a renegade Presbyterian clergyman, who resigned from the Church in 1883 and went to Europe. Returning to Australia in 1885, Strong founded the Australian Church which he headed until his death. The Church closed in July 1955.

139

James Jamieson (1840–1916); Melbourne City Medical Officer, 1885–1912. A distinguished publicist on medical matters and Editor, Australian Medical Journal, 1883–87.

140

Sir Robert Garran (1867–1957); constitutional lawyer and civil servant. A leading 1890s campaigner for Federation, he wrote The Coming Commonwealth (1897). Commonwealth Solicitor-General, 1917–32.

141

Sir George Knibbs (1858–1929); first Commonwealth of Australia Statistician, 1906–21.

142

Sir Walter Murdoch (1874–1970); scholar and man of letters. A Melbourne Argus journalist, he became Professor of English, University of Western Australia, 1912–39. Author of Collected Essays (1938) etc.

143

W.A. Osborne (1873–1967); Professor of Physiology, Melbourne University, 1903–38.

144

Sir Ernest Scott (1867–1939); Professor of History, Melbourne University, 1913–36.

145

Joseph Alexander Panton (1831–1913); Melbourne's first Metropolitan Police Magistrate, 1874–1907, and President of the Royal Geographical Society's Victorian Branch.

146

George Gordon McCrae (1833–1927); poet, man of letters, and civil servant, called “the Father of Victorian Poetry.” His best known poem is perhaps The Man in the Iron Mask (1873). Father of the poet Hugh McCrae (1876–1958).

147

Sir James Barrett (1862–1945); an eminent ophthalmologist and publicist, whose many interests included Empire Affairs and educational reform. Vice-Chancellor (1931–34) and Chancellor (1935–39) of Melbourne University. Barrett himself confessed his “‘unconquerable prospensity for having a finger in every pie.’”

148

R.J.A. Berry (1867–1962); Professor of Anatomy, Melbourne University, 1905–29.

149

E. Morris Miller, “Library, Museum and Gallery”, Age, 17 November 1928 p.9. “Library Museum and Gallery: Reorganisation Suggestions”, Age, 24 November 1928. p.9.

150

E. Morris Miller, “School Libraries: Letter to the Editor”, The Argus 12 July 1911. p.4.

151

E. Morris Miller, “Libraries and Schools”, Argus, 5 August, 1911. p.8.

152

Alfred Ernest McMicken (1872–1964); Librarian, Prahran Municipal Library, 1902–39. A PLV Trustee, 1928–64. He died three days after Morris Miller.

153

E. Morris Miller, School Libraries and Reading. Melbourne: Victorian Government Printer, 1912.

154

Sir George Fairbairn (1855–1943); politician, pastoralist, and businessman.

155

Donald Mackinnon (1859–1932); barrister, pastoralist, and politician. Victoria's Attorney-General, 1913–14.

156

The first Library Association of Victoria expired in 1914, but its successor lasted for fifty years, being dissolved by its remaining committee members in 1977.

157

C.F.N. “Review of Libraries and Education”, Library Association Record (London), (15), 15 January 1913. pp. 44–45. p.45.