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octogenarian scholar, Dr. Furnivall. The many works published by these societies, primarily interesting to the student of English literature, are also, in most cases, of value for historical scholars. The Roxburghe Club, a small and select body of wealthy amateurs and scholars, founded in 1813, has published in 128 volumes, which have given their name to a peculiar style of binding, many works of great historical value, such as the Chartulary of Colchester, the Glastonbury Survey, Herd's "Historia," the "Liber Regalis," the Diary of the first Earl Cowper, the Letters of Sir Henry Wotton, and a collection of Household Books throwing light on the domestic economy of the Middle Ages. The Caxton Society, while mainly concerned with the origins of English printing, has followed the example of its famous name-giver by publishing many historical works, such as the Chronicle of Peterborough, the Chronicles of Gaimar, Geoffrey le Baker, and others. Of a somewhat similar nature to these two last bodies was the Philobiblon Society, now extinct, which, between 1854 and 1860, published 21 beautifully printed volumes, containing much miscellaneous historical and biographical matter, such as the account by Lord Herbert of Cherbury of the Expedition to the Isle of Rhé (1627); letters of Mme. de Lafayette to Washington; documents bearing on the captivity of John, King of France, in England, etc. Wales possesses two societies which deserve mention under this head-the Society for the Publication of Welsh MSS. and the Cymmrodorion Society. Many publications of the former have historical value; while the Transactions of the latter contain, along with purely literary matter, records and documents bearing on the history of the Principality.

A descriptive catalogue of this kind can not, I fear, fail to be somewhat dull; but I trust that it will now be recognized that the old country is not backward or lethargic in its efforts to promote the science which those here present are united to honor. Let me summarize the remarks I have made in what, so far as I am aware, is the first attempt to form a conspectus, however imperfect, of the objects and work of historical societies in Great Britain. I have briefly described some 30 societies devoted to the study of the history and archaeology of Great Britain, of which 26 are flourishing at this moment-not to mention some 9 or 10 others in the "mixed" class. To these 26 we must add at least 24 other local societies-say 50 societies in all, at present in existence. These societies have a total membership of, at the lowest esimate, 17,000 members. They have published a somewhat appalling thought—at least 2,775 volumes. One is struck, on the one hand, by the multitude of persons interested in historical study and the bulk of their literary output; on the other

1 Since this address was delivered, Dr. Furnivall has died. 73885°-11-16

hand by the total absence of Government support and the lack of
any common organization. The predominance, or, in many depart-
ments of mental and other activity, the exclusive existence, of volun-
tary effort is of course characteristic of Great Britain. It has, un-
doubtedly, its advantages; and perhaps the balance, on the whole, is
in its favor; but in this respect England is sharply differentiated
from most European countries. The other feature, the want of
organization, is also characteristic; each society pursues its own ob-
jects independently of the rest. In the local societies this is natural,
and in general harmless; but, in regard to those of a more general
nature, more combination, more sense of community in difference,
appear to me desirable. It may perhaps be hoped that the English
Historical Association may ultimately grow into something like the
body whose members I have the honor of addressing, may enlarge its
scope so as to include the promotion of historical science and re-
search, as well as of historical education, and may, in combination
with the Royal Historical Society, attain a position and a prestige
which will enable it, in some degree, to direct, or at least to influence
and correlate the efforts of the various societies which, in their differ-
ent ways,
aim at the advancement of our common study.

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Secretary of the Commission of Advice of the Netherlands for National Historical Publications.



Before entering upon my subject, permit me to say a few words as to myself and my presence on this platform. As secretary of the Commission of Advice for National Historical Publications at the Hague, I had the pleasure a few years ago of receiving the visit of your distinguished member, Dr. J. Franklin Jameson, who showed a keen interest in our work, of which he spoke at length in an article in the American Historical Review, "Gaps in the Published Records of United States History."1 Dr. Jameson condescended, after having given an account of the establishment and preliminary activities of our commission, to recommend it to the attention of American historical men as an instance of what might be done by State support for the publication of historical materials on a scale exceeding the means of private enterprise. Last summer my good luck procured me the acquaintance of two other members of your association, Misses Ruth Putnam and Lucy M. Salmon, of whose visit to Holland I bear the most pleasant remembrance, and who also showed themselves much interested in our work. I suppose that I am not far wrong in ascribing to the benevolent intervention of these ladies and of Dr. Jameson the honor of your invitation, and that I can answer it best by telling you something of the work our commission has undertaken, the experience we have thus far gained, and the present state of our achievements. I would only ask you to be indulgent to a man who is obliged to address a meeting, the sympathy of which he is most eager to win, in a language not his own. If I venture to speak to you in a doubtful English it is because I feel sure that you will forgive something to a lecturer treating of the interests of Dutch history, a subject never alien to the countrymen of John Lothrop Motley and, I may add, of such authors as Dr. Jameson and Miss Ruth Putnam themselves.

As a Dutchman, I feel proud to be admitted into the company of leading American historical people. You are much in our thoughts; you were never more so than a few months ago, when we sent you the

1 American Historical Review, XI, 217 ff.

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