The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79
Commercial Library and Museum
Commercial Library and Museum.
"But the essential requisites for successful research are a Commercial Library and a Commercial Museum, and, owing to lack of funds, the University College is utterly unable to provide these institutes so necessary for its work. Is not this a matter in which we may confidently appeal to the members of this Chamber for their generous aid? The importance of establishing a Commercial Library in connection with this Chamber was dwelt upon by our veteran member, Mr. Samuel Vaile, in an address to the Chamber early this year. I would most strongly endorse all that he has said in this connection. The Law Society and the Medical Association find it to the great advantage of their members to place at their disposal adequate libraries, and surely a library devoted to commercial subjects would be of inestimable value to the members of this Chamber. No great financial outlay would be necessary to obtain the great text books upon Finance, Accountancy, and Political Economy, and Consular and Board of Trade Reports, especially dealing with trade conditions in the countries flanking both sides of the Pacific Ocean, and a good selection of the best current periodicals, journals, and newspapers relating to trade and commerce.
"If a beginning on a small scale were once made, the general appreciation of its value would soon quicken its growth. The great-library to which I have already made reference as being connected with the London School of Economics and Political Science, has grown from small beginnings, and there are now, literally, miles of shelves ladened with books and other publications dealing with every conceivable branch of Economics, Commerce, Finance, and Political Science. Consequently, its reading rooms are thronged with earnest students from every nation in the world eager to ransack its treasures in pursuit of some special piece of research work, mainly relating to industry or commerce.
"Second only in importance to a Commercial Library is the existence of a Commercial Museum attached to the School of Commerce. Someday I hope to see the Chamber in a position to aid the School, by establishing a first-class Museum displaying the principal natural products of the country, and illustrating the various processes of manufacturing the articles wherewith we trade. page 16 To the students of our School of Commerce, such a permanent exhibition would be a constant source of instruction and an inspiration to research.
"A Commercial Laboratory, provided with microscopes and other means for minute examination of structure and tests of quality, would be invaluable for the determination of standards of purity or detection of adulteration in various articles of commerce.
"Now, Gentlemen, this review of its pressing needs should suffice to show how entirely does the future well-being of our School depend upon the kindly sympathy and generosity of the prominent business men of our city.