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must be found for this department; there are no means of providing on its present site against the evils above mentioned.
In the next place, your Committee have taken into consideration the absolute necessity of providing for the exhibition of specimens of coins and medals, always intended by the Trustees, but never carried into effect for want of space. And not only a selection of coins and medals, but also one of gems, cameos, and valuable ornaments, should be exhibited to Museum visitors. The want of room for such a purpose is the source of great trouble and inconvenience. The present Medal Room is much too confined even for the arrangement and preservation of its contents, and for such accommodation of its officers as is necessary to enable them to perform properly their duties. Moreover, as visitors cannot be indiscriminately admitted to the Ornament Room, still less to the Medal Room, such of them as do not take the proper steps for gaining access to those rooms are debarred from seeing even specimens of objects which acquire a peculiar interest in proportion to the strictness with which they are guarded. The general visitors should have an opportunity of satisfying their laudable curiosity by seeing a good selection of coins, just as they can at the present time see interesting specimens of manuscripts and printed books; scholars and persons who have special reasons for examining coinB leisurely and minutely, ought to have the means of doing so comfortably under proper regulations, and in a separate room, in the same manner as readers are allowed to use books; but no stranger should be admitted into the room where the Collection of Coins andMedals is preserved unless in rare and exceptional cases, and always in the presence of the Principal Librarian, or the keeper of the department.
In the third place, your Committee, being aware of the importance of space for the due exhibition of prints and drawings, and of the repeated complaints of the keeper of that department, who cannot find room wherein to arrange the collection so as to have it safely preserved as well as readily accessible, have given their best attention to those complaints. Most of the inconveniences which are felt by visitors, as well as by Museum officers, in the existing Medal Room, are equally felt in the existing Print Room; and many of the wants which it is suggested should be provided for to make the Collection of Coins and Medals as useful and instructive as it ought to be in a great national institution, are wants against which provision must be made in order to render equally useful and instructive the Collection of Prints and Drawings. These wants are ample space for classing, arranging, and preserving the bulk of the collection, as well as ample space wherein to exhibit, for the amusement and instruction of the public generally, such a selection of prints and drawings as may be calculated to give a general notion of both arts from their infancy to comparatively modern times, in various
Exhibition or Coins
Exhibition or Prints And DrawIngs.
countries, and according to the style of the most celebrated masters. Studies should likewise be provided for the keeper, and also for an assistant-keeper, in this department, as well as accommodation for artists who come to copy or study critically any of the objects, or classes of objects, forming part of this collection, and for those who come for the purpose of researches requiring less minute attention, and who desire to see a variety of prints and drawings in succession.
In the fourth place, your Committee have taken into consideration the want of space for carrying on the binding of the Museum books. The Collection of Manuscripts, and, much more, that of Printed Books, have of late years been increasing with unexampled rapidity; but the bookbinders' accommodation has not been increased in a corresponding ratio. The damage caused, particularly to new books, placed unbound in the readers' hands, may well be conceived; and the Trustees were compelled, by the necessity of the case, to sanction an expedient of doubtful legality, by allowing a large number of books, which in case of misfortune might be easily replaced at a comparatively small outlay, to be taken out of the Museum to be bound in a house immediately opposite to it, hired by the bookbinder. Your Committee think that such an arrangement, avowedly a temporary one, ought not to continue a moment longer than is unavoidable; and that adequate provision should be made as speedily as possible within the Museum premises for binding all books belonging to the Trust.
Tour Committee will now proceed to consider the questions of the final enlargement and alterations of the present buildings, and of the redistribution of the augmented space for the several purposes above mentioned. In making the following proposals, your Committee have kept in view the principle that it would not be advisable for the Trustees to appropriate specifically to particular objects any particular space. They will, therefore, as much as possible, confine themselves to stating how the augmented space should be generally redistributed among the remaining collections, giving the chief place to the Antiquities and Library; the arrangement of the particular objects or classes of objects should rest on the responsibility of the head of each department, who would in due time submit his views to the Trustees. Tour Committee also wish it to be clearly understood that the structural details herein suggested or implied, must be considered liable to such modifications as the farther development of the scheme may require.
In the building as now arranged, the principal staircase (No. 69 on the plan of the ground floor) is situated on the left in the Entrance Hall (No. 2); opposite to the entrance is the corridor (No. 80) leading to the Reading-Room; east and west of that corridor, between the main building and the new Library, there is an area (No. 70 and 79) about thirty feet wide unoccupied. It has long been suggested that the prin
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cipal staircase should be removed from No. 69, and that two staircases be erected on the area 70 and 79, one on each side of No. 80. The hall entrance (No. 2) would be lighted by the skylight already existing in the roof, and by a corresponding opening to be made in the upper floor. The site of the principal staircase, No. 69, would be occupied by a large room, seventy-five feet by thirty-five, giving an area of two thousand six hundred and twenty-five feet, exactly like the one opposite to it (No. 58) in height as in every other respect, with a floor on a level with the rest of the building.
There are blank windows on the north side of the principal staircase that would have to be cut through to light the new room, and additional light could be admitted if necessary. On the south of the projected new room is a narrow room, ninety-four feet by twenty-four (No. 3), designated as the Roman Gallery, the light of which is very defective, especially on the side of the windows opening under the front colonnade. The Collections of Antiquities contain some large objects, more interesting archseologically than artistically, for which light on each side of them is very desirable. If the wall now separating the staircase from No. 3 were removed, and pilasters or columns substituted (the upper part of that wall in the floor above might likewise be removed if desirable), a room ninety-four feet by sixty, giving an area of five thousand six hundred and forty feet, admirably adapted for antiquities of this kind, would be obtained.
At the western extremity of the Roman Gallery (No. 3), and turning southward, are the Trustees' room (No. 4), two rooms for clerks (No. 5 and 6), and the study of the Principal-Librarian (No. 7). It is proposed to remove all the partition walls inside the space occupied by No. 4, 6, and 5, and by the corridor on the east of No. 4, and to open windows on the west side at the same height, and uniform with those in the gallery No. 17, of which this part of the building would then be a continuation, opening a communication like that on the corresponding side on the east (between No. 56 and 63). The Egyptian Gallery might thus be extended to the total length of four hundred and sixty-five feet.
By removing the corridor and study No. 7, as well as the projection on the north side of the house now occupied by Mr. Carpenter, So far west as the point at which it would intersect a prolongation to the south of the west wall of the first Elgin Room, a plot of unoccupied ground, one hundred feet by seventy-five, might be turned to great advantage. The interior arrangement of this newly acquired space would depend on the purposes to which the Trustees should think fit to apply it: whether, for instance, it might be advisable to throw into it the third GrsecoRoman Saloon (No. 10), which is now by common consent too narrow, or whether the western part of that plot of ground had not better be set out as a continuation of the Elgin Room, which should be carried