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The publication of the present annual catalogue has been delayed by two principal causes: 1. The large extent of the additions to the Library which it was deemed important to include in it; and, 2. The adoption of a full and accurate system of collation in describing the works catalogued.
Up to the year 1867, the annual accessions to the Library of Congress were embraced in pamphlet catalogues of 50 to 200 pages, printed in large type, and distributed near the commencement of each session of Congress. The very large additions embraced in the present volume rendered necessary the use of smaller type, and the adoption of a different form for the catalogue. It has been the purpose
of the Librarian to include in it not only all the regular accessions of the past year, but also the chief portion of the books of the Smithsonian Library and of the Force collection, both of which are now incorporated with the Library of Congress. So great is the extent of these collections, (the titles embraced in the Force library alone being estimated at 55,000,) that it has been necessary to reserve for future catalogues the great body of pamphlets in both libraries, together with all the maps, manuscripts, and the larger portion of the incunabula of the Force collection.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, March, 1868.