« PreviousContinue »
THE Johns HOPKINS UNIVERSITY,
Baltimore, Md., April 8, 1937. Hon. Ross A. COLLINS, Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives,
Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. Collins: Being specially interested in the work of the United States Geological Survey, I desire to say a word on behalf of its library and the need for additional congressional appropriations if it is to be maintained as an effective working tool.
I hope that you and your committee will give close attention to the need and that favorable action may ensue. It would be much appreciated by all who have occasion to use the library and to follow the good work of the Geological Survey. Sincerely yours,
Isaiah BOWMAN. STATEMENT BY Isaiah BOWMAN, PRESIDENT OF THE Johns HOPKINS UNIVERSITI
The library of the United States Geological Survey is an important part of the great governmental library system. Its function is to provide basic published material on the geology, mineralogy, and mineral industries of the United States and foreign countries. It fills a unique place in the library structure of the Gove ernment because its collections, to an extent probably greater than those of any other library, are not duplicated by other Government libraries. In response te questionnaires sent out during 1935 the following number of volumes were reported on geology, paleontology, and mineralogy, as being held by other Government libraries: Library of Congress.
19, con Bureau of Mines.
5. 000 Smithsonian: National Museum.
15. (1) Agriculture
6, 200) War Department: Army Medical College on mineral waters.
4. 920 War College about...
50 Compare these figures with the 200,000 volumes in the Geological Survey library.
The library of the United States Geological Survey has been recognized for some years as the leading geological library of the world. It has, in recent years. through lack of funds been unable to provide either adequate personnel or to allow for the purchase of books necessary to keep its collections up to date, and could not consider filling gaps in its collections due to the omissions of earlier years. This library is too often thought of as merely a working library, maintained for a small group of scientists and engineers on the staff of the United States Geological Survey. This is far from being the case as there are daily demands on its resources from other Government departments, universities, scientific societies, and gedicgists and engineers in private industries all over the United States.
The geological surveys and State mining bureaus of the individual States and Territories are accustomed to look to the Survey library for material unavailable in their more limited collections.
The library of the United States Geological Survey is a working library to s degree not generally true of specialized collections. It is consulted on matters having to do with the vital problem of national resources and the development of the great mining industry. It is safe to say that decisions involving hundreds of millions of dollars have been made and largely influenced after consultation of the material in its collection.
Failure to provide the source material required by the library can cause hesry financial loss to private industry for the reason that many people consulting the library take for granted that it has in its collection everything worth while.
The Survey library is particularly deficient in books on Latin America and the Far East, and it will take some years of careful searching to locate and purchase missing material. In this regard it may be well to state that many of the tech nical works dealing with geology, mineralogy, and mineral resources are pute lished in small editions and, in the case of foreign publications, are usually unbourd. It is, therefore, frequently extremely difficult to secure a copy of an important work even a few years after its publication date.
To bring up the collections of the United States Geological Survey library to s proper level means careful searching for many items. It would be desirable, therefore, to have any book-purchase money made available for as long a time as
possible, perhaps a little more than just 1 fiscal year, making the appropriation "immediately available" or something like that—to give the librarian time to conduct a necessarily extensive correspondence, especially among book-dealers abroad, to enable him to locate missing and desirable library volumes and parts.
To expend any considerable amount of money judiciously the librarian of a scientific library should have all the time possible to make his selections.
The library of the United States Geological Survey has a collection of some 300,000 books, maps, and papers on the geology, mineralogy, and mineral resources of the United States and foreign countries.
It is recognized as the finest geological library in the United States, indeed in the world.
This large collection of scientific material has been acquired mainly through exchange, the large number of annual publications of the United States Geological Survey itself affording a fine basis for exchange of publications with other scientific institutions.
There are many important publications however, the producers of which will noi enter into any exchange arranger ents, so that lacking money with which to purchase such publications, the Geological Survey library has become badly one-sided.
It has splendid sets of scientific reports, running back many years from practically every foreign governmental Geological Survey and other Government related scientific institutions. It is lacking, however, to a large extent in books and maps that can be acquired only by direct purchase.
For some reason this library, under the Department of the Interior seems to have been looked upon by the Congress as comprising a local collection of books for the use of the geologists of the Geological Survey. As a matter of fact, it will be found, according to a special act of Congress (Public Res. 8 approved Apr. 12, 1892) that this library is “accessible, under such rules and restrictions as the officers in charge
to the scientific investigators and to students of any institution of higher education now incorporated or hereafter to be incorporated under the laws of Congress or of the District of Columbia.”
It is, therefore, really a public library. As a matter of fact, reports of the librarian show that it has for years been used by more than 50 percent by others than the geologists of the Geological Survey.
This fact seem's never to have been recognized in the financial support that has been accorded the Survey library.
It may be of interest to compare the Geological Survey library with its 200,000 and more volumes, its large number of scientific pamphlets, and its 50,000 or more maps, descriptive of the geology of not only America but of the rest of the world-a total holding exceeding 300,000—with other scientific libraries here in Washington, supported by the Congress.
I have seen some figures indicating that the fine library of the Department of Agriculture, which appears to be only a little, if any, larger than that of the Geological Survey, maintains a staff five times as great as that of the Geological Survey library, which has but seven employees on its staff, and that, according to the report of its librarian of agriculture, it is provided with 9 or 10 times as much money for the purchase of books and equipment. (Salary rolls, Department of Agriculture $71,000 against United States Geological Survey $14,860.)
The Patent Office library, a much smaller library than that of the Geological Survey. has, I believe, a staff several times as large.
The library of the Department of Commerce is a smaller library than that of the Geological Survey with a much larger staff.
The library of the Office of Education, in the same Department as the Geological Survey, has a staff, I am informed, nearly double the size of its sister library.
It is obvious that the Geological Survey library is greatly undermanned.
The Library of Congress has, of course, by far the greatest collection of books in the United States, but it is a fallacy to suppose that it has the most complete collection on all subjects. For example, the Library of Congress, as I understand it, expects the Geological Survey library to be as nearly complete as possible in geologic science and does not, itself, attempt to compete. The same is true with reference to other governmental libraries.
Therefore, it is, in my opinion, incumbent upon the Government to provide the support for these libraries, which may be considered as integral units of the “Great National Library” at Washington, to maintain their collections in a condition somewhere near approaching completeness.
The Johns Hopkins University has two fine libraries, a general library and a medical library; but no scientific library is self-sufficient. Every library has to borrow books from other libraries, and, of course, the Government scientific libraries should be the last word. In geology, the United States Geological Survey library is supreme, yet, according to its catalogue, it is far from what it should be.
The interlibrary loan plan is a comparatively new institution and has already proved itself to be one of great benefit to scientific workers throughout the country. It provides for a free interchange of book-loans between all of the principal libraries of the l'nited States and Canada.
Thus, if I am in uregent need of some rare book, of which there are only a few copies in existence, I, through my library, may borrow one of these copies from the Leland Stanford' l'niversity, for example. Under this national plan I am able to draw on the wealth of all the other libraries in America. If a large library is highly specialized, such as the l’nited States Geological Survey library, it will be called upon to lend far more books than it borrows. Thus, the Geological Survey library inakes a fine contribution to science throughout the l'nited States in lending its books to hundreds of institutions annually, but this service is apt to be overlooked by the supporters of the library. Of course, such a contribution is costly to a library in service and in wear and tear on books.
THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 1937.
BUREAU OF MINES
STATEMENTS OF DR. JOHN W. FINCH, DIRECTOR, AND JOSEPH
H. HEDGES, ASSISTANT TO THE DIRECTOR
GENERAL STATEMENT Mr. SCRIGHAM. The general inquiry on the Bureau of Mines will be conducted by Mr. O'Neal.
Mr. O'XEAL. Dr. Finch, have you a general statement that you wole to make first as to this part of the Department of the Interior?
Ir. FIXCA. Yes. I would be glad to make a statement showing the scope of the Bureau's work, and the great variety of its services.
The Bureau of Mines was established in the Department of the Interior by the act approved May 16, 1910. On July 1, 1925, by order of the President, it was transferred to the Department of Commerce. It was moved back to the Interior Department by Executive order, effective April 24, 1934.
The Bureau wis created, and is operated under its organic act, to help the mining industries improve health conditions and increase safety; to wint in promoting economic development through increand efficiency in mining, preparation, treatment, and utilization of mineral - zbrancem; to aid in conservation of resources through prevention of wante.
Vir SCRE’t,HAM Let me interrupt you. Have you a copy of the organic set with you? It does not necessarily have to be included in the record, but we would like to have it for reference Will you see that one in brught up this afternoon?
Dr. Fincu. Ves; and what I am giving you now is a digest of the act
The accomplishment of these enda is sought through investigation of scienufic. teehnologie, and economie problems of the mineral indusa tries, and dissemination of resulting information,
The Bureau investigates the causes of mine accidents and seeks means of preventing them; it studies health hazards in the mineral industries and recommends remedial measures; its engineers inspect mines, mills, and smelters for the purpose of assembling, correlating, and later disseminating information which the industry has acquired through long experience; it conducts special studies in field and laboratory with a view to improving methods of mining, treating, and utilizing mineral substances. Economic analyses are made of mineral statistics compiled by the Bureau. Problems of distribution and marketing are studied to aid in promoting commerce in mineral products.
Information regarding the number and cause of accidents is assembled and published for the use of mining companies, insurance companies, State industrial commissions, and other organizations interested in lowering the industrial accident rate.
The Bureau tests fuels purchased for the Government, and for many years purchased the fuel required by the various departments in Washington. The latter function was transferred October 15, 1933, together with the personnel and equipment of the Government Fuel Yards, to the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department. The Bureau operates a plant for production of helium gas required by the Army and Navy Air Services. It conducts research into methods of producing helium and supervises explorations for new sources of supply of this gas.
Now, as to the organization of the Bureau, it is organized in four branches, dealing respectively with technology, economics, and statistics, health and safety, and administration.
The Technologic Branch carries on the Bureau's scientific and technological investigations. It consists of seven divisions: The Coal Division samples and analyzes coal for the Government and for the industry, studies the constitution of coals, preparation of coal, and combustion problems to improve fuel-burning practice; most of its work is done at the Pittsburgh Experiment Station. The Mining Division maintains a staff in the field and supervises the work of the experiment station at Tucson, Ariz., and the experimental tunnel at Mount Weather, Va.; deals with mining and exploration problems of the mineral industries, including mining and milling methods and costs, ventilation, methods of prospecting, estimation of ore reserves, and studies of ground movement and subsidence. It investigates mining machinery and tests electrical equipment for use underground. The Metallurgical Division directs investigations in electrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, and pyrometallurgy conducted in the field and at the experiment stations; also tests typical ores and devises treatment methods. It has field stations at Minneapolis, Minn.; Rolla, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Reno, Nev.; Berkeley, Calif., and Boulder City, Nev.
The Division of Petroleum and Natural Gas deals with problems arising in the production, transportation, refining, and use of petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas. Its laboratory investigations are conducted largely at the Bartlesville, Okla., and Laramie, Wyo., experiment stations, although studies are also carried on through field offices at Dallas, Tex., and at San Francisco, and in the major producing fields. It also operates a gas field and plant at Amarillo to supply helium for the Army and Navy, and supervises
the helium research carried on at the Amarillo station. The Nonmetals Division conducts studies and research upon the beneficiation, processing, and utilization of nonmetallic minerals, in experiment stations at Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Seattle, Wash.; New Brunswick, N. J.; and College Park, Md. The last two named will soon be consolidated at College Park. The Explosives Division promotes efficient use of explosives in mining and tests explosives for permissibility, a term used to indicate suitability for use in gassy mines. It also conducts research to develop safer and more efficient explosives adapted to various uses, and studies the poisonous gases produced by explosions.
The Economic and Statistics Branch compiles statistics on production and movement in commerce of all mineral commodities and studies economic problems of the mineral industries. The work extends to all mineral products, including coal, petroleum, and natural gas, iron ores, copper, lead, and zinc, nonmetallic minerals, and rare and precious metals. It includes investigation of mineral resources and production, both domestic and foreign, and surveys of consumption, stocks on hand, and prices. Studies are made of distribution, markets, and commercial uses. Trade conditions are investigated and statistical data relating thereto are collected and distributed. Trends in production and consumption of individual mineral commodities are observed and analyzed and their possible economic effect on the industry considered. Weekly and monthly reports are issued giving current data on production, consumption, distribution, and stocks of coal, coke, and petroleum products, and annual reports are prepared on all important mineral commodities. The branch is organized on a combined functional and commodity basis and comprises a Coal Economics Division, & Division of Mineral Production and Economics, a PetroleumEconomics Division, a Division of Metal Economics, a Nonmetal Economics Division, and a Foreign Minerals Division. Its field offices are located at Denver, Colo.; Joplin, Mo.; Salt Lake City, l'tah; and at San Francisco, Calif. Two others are contemplated.
The Health and Safety Branch investigates conditions affecting the health and safety of men engaged in the mining, metallurgical, and related industries. It operates safety stations at San Francisco, Calif.: Birmingham, Ala.; McAlester, Okla.; Norton, Va.; Pittsburgh, Ps; Salt Lake City, l'tah; Seattle, Wash.; Vincennes, Ind.; Jellico, Tenn; Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Denver, Colo.; Duluth, Minn.; Phoenix, Ariz : Madison ville. Ky, Juneau, Alaska, and two mine rescue cars head. quartered at Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and Charleston, W. Va. The branch includes two divisions.
Mr. SCRIGHAM. Let me interject just a moment there. Has cognizance been taken of the fact that the use of mine-rescue cars is more or less obsolete in many cases, and have you done anything in your budget to reduce the amount of money to be spent for mine rescue car maintenance?
Dr. Fisch. The view is taken that those cars still serve a very uspful purpose where there are broad race tracks in the conl arees of the East, but in the West we find that the work can be carried on sati factorily with trucks.
The Health Division studies working conditions underground, and sanitation in mining communities. In cooperation with the Publle Health Service it investigates the pathological effect of industrial