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Space Tor AntiquiTies On THK
South crPer Floors.
Exhibition Of Coins
40 (all Zoology), together with the rooms marked 41 (Zoology), 42, 43 (Botany), 1 (Zoology), 2 (the site of the principal staircase, as well as the smaller staircase on the west of it), and finally No. 3 (Ethnography), should he transferred to the Departments of Antiquities; subject to the consideration whether the rooms No. 42 and 43 might not be reserved for the Department of Manuscripts, if at any time required. Space is wanted, not only for Antiquities now unprovided with any accommodation, but also for the display of future additions, and for the better arrangement of what is now unsatisfactorily exhibited, either too far from the eye or in dark corners. A large number of objects, to be seen as they ought to be, must be spread over twice the space which they fill at present; a great many more, now placed where they cannot be seen at all, ought to be removed to more suitable situations. The whole of the west side—that is, rooms 9 to 15—would continue to be applied to the exhibition of Antiquities; it is not, however, to be assumed that the objects now there would necessarily be left where they are, nor yet that, for instance, Egyptian Antiquities should necessarily occupy the same galleries which they occupy at present. From room No. 14 must be removed either the Egyptian Antiquities now in it, or the Temple Collection, which was placed there from absolute necessity, there being no other space whatever where it could be exhibited. The British and Mediaeval Collections would probably have to be removed to .some other part of the upper floor, now occupied, or which it is now proposed should be occupied, by Antiquities, where the transition would be less abrupt than from Egyptian to Mediaeval.
As before suggested, space should be set apart for the exhibition of Coins and Medals, besides that which is required for their safe custody, arrangement, and study. Tour Committee will presently state how the latter ought to be provided for. As to the public exhibition of coins, the three rooms, 8, 5, and 4, in which the coins, medals, gems, &c, are now kept, would be admirably adapted for the purpose, after the internal partition walls are removed. It would be desirable to preserve the two rooms, 6 and 7, the one as a study for an assistant, who should be always at hand to give information connected with the coins exhibited close by, and to answer such questions as would not require reference to the general collection; the other as a waiting-room, to which a stranger might be more safely and freely admitted, on the understanding that nothing valuable be kept in it, whilst admission to the assistant's room should be much more sparingly granted. An obvious reason for applying this part of the premises to the above purpose is, that it is provided with special doors, windows, and locks, for the safety of the present contents. And as the objects which it is proposed should be therein exhibited would be of some considerable value, advantage should be taken of the existing arrangements for their security. It is to be noted
that this exhibition would not interfere with the arrangement of any Book in, Collection of Antiquities, with none of which could the coins and Chap.vn. medals properly mix, althoup-h so nearly allied to them. Recon
* . 1 n 8TRUCTOES
The corresponding part of the upper floor on the south-east corner, AND pbo. No. 44 and 45, is perfectly well adapted for the exhibition of prints and Jrctors. drawings. As to space for the arrangement and preservation of the prints and drawings, for the tranquil examination and study of them, for the studies of the officers, &c., your Committee will presently lay before you their views.
Your Committee have endeavoured to show how far a portion of the new accommodation to be gained by removing the Natural History and Ethnographical Collections, by alterations within the now existing Exhibition buildings, and by building on some remaining spots of unoccupied or Prints ground, may with propriety and advantage be applied to the Depart- A"D dr*w" ments of Oriental, Mediaeval, and Classical Antiquities, of the Coins and Medals, and of the Prints and Drawings; your Committee will now show what part of that accommodation might be made available for Printed Books and Manuscripts.
When the erection of the new Library and Reading-Room was sug- Printed gested, it was stated that that Library would hold eight hundred Boo*sthousand volumes; that is, the annual increase for forty years, calculating that increase at twenty thousand volumes. But the annual increase has been, during the last five years, at the rate of upwards of thirty thousand volumes, and during the last four years at the rate of about thirty-five thousand, which number, however, is ultimately reduced by the practice of binding two or more volumes of the same work in one; while, on the other hand, the new building will certainly contain two hundred thousand volumes more than it was originally estimated to hold; so that if the present rate of increase continues, as it ought, the new Library will be full in about twenty-five years from this date. It was necessary to say thus much, as a notion seems prevalent that a great deal more was promised when that building was suggested, and that the number of books, which that new Library can hold, may reach an almost fabulous quantity, and the space be sufficient for an extravagant number of years.
The rooms on the basement floor of the north side, both marked 15 Rooms Is on the plan of that floor, and now occupied by Geology, cannot be Basement otherwise appropriated than to the Department of Printed Books; the TM***D T0 same is to be said of the seven small rooms, marked 17, now used for Printed Geology, as well as of rooms 18 and 19 on the east side, now used for Books. Zoology; all these rooms are immediately under the Department of Printed Books, and naturally belong to it. The rooms marked 13, 14, and 16, from west to east, were formerly appropriated to the Department of Printed Books, to which they should now be restored. When
North Gallery In Upper Floor To Printed Books.
Want Of Space In DePartment Of ManuScripts.
the first importation of Halicarnassian Antiquities took place, they were deposited temporarily in these rooms, as no other space whatever could he found in which to shelter and unpack them. In this space are now arranged the Inscriptions, which have had to be removed from under the colonnade to make room for the Marbles recently arrived from Cyrene. Appropriate space for the Inscriptions will be found without difficulty in the Department of Antiquities, enlarged according to the foregoing suggestions, or, at all events, in the basement, either now existing or to be built under the galleries for Antiquities on the west side of the Museum, where sufficient light may be procured for objects Like these, which are of no great interest to sight-seers, and therefore need not be publicly exhibited; enough that they be easily accessible to the small number of antiquarians and scholars who may wish to examine them.
The north galleries on the upper floor are divided lengthways, from east to west, into two portions; that now containing Zoological Collections (No. 22 to 26) can be advantageously appropriated to the Department of Printed Books when required. The volumes placed there can be easily lowered down and returned through a hoisting apparatus to be placed at either the south-east or south-west corner of No. 24, immediately above No. 41 on the ground floor—the nearest point of any in the main Library to the Reading-Room. By these various alterations space would be provided for about two hundred and fifty thousand printed volumes, in addition to that which still remains available in that department, from which, however, space for about fifty thousand volumes would have to be deducted, as will be presently shown.
Although there is now space remaining in the Department of Manuscripts for the accommodation of twelve thousand volumes, and although the annual average increase of manuscript volumes may be safely reckoned at less than six hundred and fifty, your Committee have, nevertheless, felt that prospective increased accommodation should now be provided, not only for the Collection of Manuscripts, but still more for artists and readers who have occasion to refer to select manuscripts, as well as for assistants, of whom two, together with one attendant and eight readers, are pent up in a space of thirty feet by twenty-three, crowded with tables, chairs, &c, which scarcely allow room for moving from one place to another or for access to the officers' study on each side. The Head of the Department of Manuscripts has recently represented to the Trustees his want of six assistants; but he has, at the same time, been obliged to state that, if appointed, he should not know where to place them. The Trustees have complied with his request, to the extent of granting two new assistants; and ho will experience great difficulty in placing the two who are to be appointed. Add to this, the interruption to which each of these persons is unavoidably Liable from