Page images
PDF
EPUB

had had occasion to use many of the more important American libraries specializing in geological literature, and I believe I am fairly familiar with the resources of the larger libraries of foreign countries so far as they pertain to mineral resources.

There is no question that today the library of the Geological Survey is the outstanding geological library of the world. I think its collections are more comprehensive than those of the British Museum or of the Geological Society in London, and certainly better than any of the German collections.

INADEQUATE FUNDS TO PURCHASE BOOKS

It has, however, suffered, as Mr. Conover explained, through its lack of funds with which to purchase books. It has been very fortuDate in that in the geological publications issued by the United States Geological Survey it has the finest set of Government publications on geology ever assembled to use as a trading basis, and the Library through exchanging these publications with those of foreign institutions has built up its really remarkable collections.

Wherever possible to secure exchanges from a government, university, or a scientific society, the United States Geological Survey has effected the exchange within the limits of its small Library staff in checking up the holdings of the Library, and its deficiencies. In this way they have built up a great library without the expenditure of cash by the Government, other than the initial cost of printing the Geological Survey publications.

The Library does, however, lack much substantial and valuable material, because, as Mr. Conover has explained, it is not always possible to give a Survey monograph, or a Survey bulletin, or a Survey professional paper in exchange for some document of a foreign government, or a publication of a foreign society that is publishing a very small edition, and whose only hope of getting the cost of the publiration back is by selling the books once they are published. These Borks may be, and frequently are as important as the material that it has been possible to get through the medium of exchanges.

Now, I have been in very close touch with the Geological Survey ibrary for the last 3 or 4 years. I have used it at least 200 days a Tear in my own work. I was very happy to assist in getting for it une of the outstanding collections of books that it has today and I right say that the reason the Kunz collection was given to the Survey

brary was that although several other institutions were desirous of btaining it, the trustees of Dr. Kunz's estate believed that this splen

ud collection representing his life work should be preserved in the "titution that of all others possessed the finest collection of mineraloziral works. And so it went to the library of the Geological Survey, and not to the Library of Congress, or to the Library of the American Museum of History, with which Dr. Kunz had also been closely conDarted for many years. In view of the question that was brought up here regarding the

ldings of the Library of Congress, I think that it might be well to lear up a few points. The Library of Congress has a wonderful outtanding general library collection. There is no question of that; but it does not specialize on mineralogical literature. It covers all subjects, Peut it relies on the specialized Government libraries to do their parts.

138751—37—-pt. 1- 26

I believe that I am right in saying that Mr. Mitchell, the librarian of the Geological Survey library, in sending out a questionnaire to 600 of the leading librarians of this country asking them to give a statement as to their holdings of books on geology, paleontology, and mineralogy, received a letter from Dr. Putnam listing the holdings of the Library of Congress at some 16,000 plus volumes covering these subjects. I have not the exact figures here, but as I recall them, they were between 16,000 and 17,000.

The Geological Survey Library has well over 200,000 and I am not including pamphlets and geologic maps which constitute important additions. That represents the relative importance of the Library of Congress and the library of the Geological Survey in the field of mineral and geologic literature.

Mr. FITZPATRICK. Do the authors of those books and publications prepare them on actual investigations or surveys, or do some of them come from the imagination of the authors?

Mr. REID. There is very little of that.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. What is that?
Mr. REID. I say, there is very little of that.

MOST GEOLOGICAL LITERATURE IS FACTUAL Mr. FITZPATRICK. That would be very important, though, would it not?

Mr. Reid. A great deal of the material in geology, especially the early literature, comes in general works, which are not primarily geological. I think it is fair to say that the early travelers and the early scientific men were men of broad interests. Some of the first geological work was done by doctors, ministers interested in natural history and by travelers. They visited various places, and they made a record of their observations on natural science including the geology and mineral resources. Those observations are valuable to us. In fact, some of them are practically the only sources of information that we have today on some of the less carefully explored places.

I do not know whether I express it correctly by saying that geology today is a science that is not absolutely fixed. The geologist of today finds very useful the data that have been obtained by people who have been in places years before. They have made definite observations. They have found something worth noting in a definite spot and if they recorded the fact this has very practical value. I feel that probably one of the most valuable sources of information that we have today is the recorded observations of our early explorers,

I know in my own case I once helped to bring in a petroleum field by finding a record of a pitch occurrence on a map that was published by a Dr. Buschroeder around 1796. If I had not found that information in a library in New York, I do not think that particular petroleum field would have been explored in South America until some years later.

Mr. LEAVY. In recent years with scientific and technological advances there have been new values placed on minerals and new mineral classifications, have there not?

Mr. Reid. I would say that you cannot make a fair summary of these values unless you have all of the available data. Now, it is Certain that many travelers years before have made observations that Mr. LEAVY. As a concrete illustration, 50 years ago, a mining engineer, a mineralogist, or a geologist, would hardly have given any value to molybdenum if he had identified it at all, would he?

of great commercial as well as scientific value to us today.

Mr. REID. Well, now, Congressman, you bring out my point 100 percent. I think that this Government should have a complete record of the mineral literature of the world for just that reason. We cannot tell today when the mineral that is of casual interest will be the strategic mineral of tomorrow. Helium is an example of that. I think the library of the Geological Survey should be complete. The amount of money that it would take to make it a relatively complete collection is very small compared to the value that it would be to this country. The mineral industry brings in millions in dollars and cents returns every year. It is practical. The present funds are very low, nor are they all available for additions to the library.

By the time that the appropriation or rather "authorization" for the Geological Survey has been finally allotted—and the Survey has had to buy the dictionaries, the atlases, and the subscriptions for the technical journals for its many field offices—and all of that is taken out of the authorization-you gentlemen make them-I doubt if the library itself has, on an average, much over $1,000 a year with which to purchase new material.

The law library of the Library of Congress gets from $50,000 to $100,000 a year for new material, and the more comparable library of the Department of Agriculture gets over $30,000 for books and equipment, and has had apparently, this sum for many years.

It would take much less to bring this Geological Survey library up to a comprehensive working collection, so that if a person wanted a specific work on mineral literature he could go there with a certainty that he could find the work in question.

Now, I think myself, from a fairly intimate association with the library, that one of the greaetst economic losses to the Nation through the deficiencies in its collection comes from the fact that a great many investigators, both governmental and private, including men from practically every State geological survey, or every State mining bureau, depend on this library as the last authority. That is true also in private industry. In other words, if a person visits Washington looking for this type of material, and he does not find it in the Geological Survey library, he is very likely to leave feeling that he has had an opportunity to consult everything that is worth while on the subject, accepting as a fact that if the material were worth while it would necessarily be found there.

I could recite some cases that I know of personally where men have come down here looking for such information, and left, accepting what was there, as complete, and their error cost them plenty. If the collection had had the missing works it should have had, the decisions made following the study would probably have been different.

Mr. O'NEAL. What assistance do you give geologists on independent investigations toward the publication of their findings. Do they get any assistance?

Mr. REID. That is, from the library?
Mr. O'NEAL. Yes.
Mr. REID. Yes; they get an enormous amount of assistance.

Mr. O'NEAL. No; I mean is there any fund available for putting in permanent form their findings after they have conducted an investigation or have done research work? Is there not a lot of investigating work going on where the men doing this work have not the money to finance the publication of their findings? Is there any fund available to aid those people in the publication of their findings?

Mr. REID. The men who are interested in that type of work usually have enough connections, and enough background so that they are able to finance their own publications either through publication by some society or by themselves or through the cooperation of those who have backed them.

Vir. O'XEAL. But, you have nothing in your library fund to aid a man who wants to do something of that kind?

Mr. Reid. I am interested only in the library as an outsider. I am not identified with the library staff.

Mr. O'NEAL. This question was more particularly directed to those in authority. I mean, is there any fund to aid geologists and investigators in carrying on independent work of that sort and the publication of the results of their work? Is there any place where that is available other than in their own States, if they happen to be connected with a geological department? In other words, do you give assistance to that sort of thing?

Dr. MENDENHALL. I think the answer will have to be that their outlets, when they have not sufficient personal funds to cover the cost of publication, would have to be through some of the scientific societies, such as the Geological Society of America, the Colorado Scientific Society, or the American Institute of Mining Engineers. The Geological Society of America recently received an endowment, upon the death of Dr. Richard Penrose of Philadelphia, which gives it a fund of about $150,000 annually, which is utilized for research and for the publication of the results of research. Nearly all of the Western States have societies like the Scientific Society of Colorado, which offer means of publication, and also the universities, like the l'niversity of California, and Yale l'niversity, one of whose faculty edits a journal called Economic Geology. It is through such media, I think, that men of the type that you speak of now must seek publication. It is true, as Mr. Reid says, that the library of the Geological Survey has no war in the world to help these men publish their findings.

Vir. O'NEAL. Do you think money for that purpose would be well used? I there any need for that sort of thing?

Dr. MENDENHALL. I am inclined to think that the facilities are adequate for that purpose, when you take all the facilities together, some of which I have mentionnd.

Mr. SARIGHAM. Is there anything further? I do not wish in any way to cut you short here, but we have a very heavy schedule, and we desire to expedite it as much as possible.

AVOIST BIQUIRED FOR PURCHASE OF BOOKS AND INCREASED PFR

SONNEL FOR LIBRARY

Mr. FIT?PAIRICA. I think it would be well to ask the Doctor right here wliether or not in your budget estimate you have presented anything for the Geological Survey library. Ilave you made any request for an appropriation for it! I do not need it here. At least, I could not recognize it.

Dr. MENDENHALL. There are no separate appropriation items for the library in the bill in its present form. The salaries of the small library staff are paid from the first Geological Survey item, namely, the "Salaries" item, on page 308 of your bill.

Mr. FITZPATRICK. But I mean for new publications.

Dr. MENDENHALL. Our source of money for the purchase of publications is an item of permission in the early part of the Interior Department bill. It appears at the bottom of page 3 of the act for 1937, where this language appears: "For the purchase or exchange of professional and scientific books, law and medical books,and so forth" and omitting part of the language "there is hereby made available from any appropriations made for any bureau or office of the Department not to exceed the following respective sums: * * * Geological Survey, $2,500.” That $2,500 is not an appropriation, but it grants permission to purchase books from other Survey appropriations.

Now, as indicated by Mr. Reid, the Bureau, as a whole, has to have a lot of working tools, books, magazines, current periodicals, atlases, dictionaries, and so forth. We have to subscribe for such material for our local offices. We have to subscribe for engineering journals to go to many of our field offices, of which there are about 60. So that about half of that $2,500 permissive expenditure goes, not to augment our library, but to buy these working tools for our various offices. So, only about $1,200 of the $2,500, on the average, is available annually to purchase books for the library.

For next year, 1938, the Budget asks that that permissive amount be increased to $3,000.

Mr. FITZPATRICK. Would you like to have it increased to carry out some of the recommendations that have been made here today?

Dr. MENDENHALL. The recommendations made by Mr. Collins and the gentlemen whom he has introduced are, as I understand them, that there be introduced a separate item for the purchase of books for the library and an increase in the "Salaries" item for additional library and other personnel. The suggested item for the purchase of library material would need to be appropriated in the amount of $25,000 annually, for only a few years, until we are able to catch up on the arrearages which have accumulated through the life of the Survey. Mr. Collins is suggesting, if I interpret him correctly, an independent item somewhere in our bill providing such a fund as is needed to purchase geological literature not now in the library.

Mr. FITZPATRICK. Mr. Chairman, do you not think it is advisable for them to submit it to the Bureau of the Budget to see what they tlunk about it?

Mr. SCRUGHAM. Yes, sir, a supplemental estimate to the Budget Bureau, to see what they think about it.

Dr. VENDENHALL. That, of course, can be done.
Mr. LEAVY. How much money would it involve?
Dr. WENDENHALL. $25,000 has been suggested for 1938 for the pur-
Lake of books for the library, and there is also requested an increase

rur library staff. For this alone about $12,000 is estimated. But I understand that Mr. Collins in suggesting $50,000 for both items Es in mind other critical personnel needs also. Whatever personnel

provided for would appear as an increase in the "Salaries" item. Mr. LEAVY. There would be an increase of about $37,000? Dr. MENDENHALL. Yes; in the two library items.

« PreviousContinue »