The text below is from pages 38-39 of the catalogue. Downloadable versions may be found at the bottom of this page.
The National Library of the R.A.S.C. is maintained for the use of members of the Society although anyone is welcome to examine the books in the Library. Traditionally, the Library has operated on a very small budget and has relied heavily on the generosity of members' donations to enhance the collection. In addition to the books listed here, there are periodicals, films, and a large collection of 35mm slides. The effectiveness of the Library can be improved by your suggestions and criticisms, which we always welcome.
Most of the books listed may be removed from the Library for up to four weeks. Some books, because of their large size, fragile condition, or age, do not circulate. These titles are marked * in this list. Generally, most books published more than 100 years ago, as well as reference books, large atlases and catalogues are in this category.
Since it is inconvenient, if not impossible, for members outside of Toronto to visit the Library in person, a mailing service is available. Mrs. Fidler, our Executive Secretary, attends to these requests, sending the desired books and a post-paid return label. It would be of assistance if the request could indicate whether an alternate choice would be acceptable. Return packages must be tied with string and left unsealed at one end to conform with mailing regulations. Unfortunately, due to customs difficulties, books cannot be mailed out of the country.
USE OF THIS CATALOGUE
In the National Office there are the usual author, title and subjects catalogues for the Library. However, it is not practical to print all these for distribution. It was felt that listing all the books in the Dewey order, i.e., as they appear on the shelves, would be the most useful form that this catalogue could take.
Books on astronomy in general may be found under 520 and 523. Those in the 520 class tend to be comprehensive texts, whereas those in 523 are general lighter, more descriptive volumes. While selecting a book sight unseen is not ideal by any means, the reader will benefit by taking note of the date of publication; there are many books in the Library which are of historical interest only.
The index at the end is not intended to be exhaustive, but does include topics for which several books are available.
The idea of having a printed catalogue of all books in the national Library is one which has no doubt seemed desirable for many years, but it was due to the initiative of the past Librarian, Dr. John R. Percy, that this ambitious project was begun. It was he who sought and got approval of Council for any additional expenses which this catalogue brought about.
Mrs. Hattie Arnott is to be commended for her careful typing of thousands of cards and, of course, our own Mrs. Marie Fidler for her preparation of the manuscript.
R.P. Broughton, September 1970.