On Really Old Journal Articles

Added on by Keegan Osinski.
Today I read an article written by Melvil Dewey for the very first issue of Library Journal back in 1877.

 I'm researching the purpose and value of library cooperatives and consortia for a project regarding the SkyRiver v. OCLC lawsuit, and this Dewey article came up, and I figured that if one of the revered Fathers of the Library wrote something about this, I'd better read it. It ended up being quite an ordeal to even find the thing, which led me to the following resolutions:
  1. If something is in the public domain, it (as in, the actual document) should come up in a Google search. I mean really. I was absolutely shocked that no library Dewey nerd has compiled the works of Dewey into an easily navigable website. I know you're out there, Dewey nerd, and just know--I'm very disappointed in you.
  2. If you are going to cite/reference an article, you should have actually looked at the thing. I found no less than four articles that either cited or referenced a certain 1886 Dewey article (many in curiously similar syntax), and yet said article is nowhere to be found. I'm disappointed in all you lazy, cheating scholars too! I know you didn't read it! You're all just semi-paraphrasing each other without citations because none of you could find the article either!
Seriously, though, if anyone wants to use their searching skillz to find me Melvil Dewey's "Library Co-operation" from volume 11 (issues 5 and 6) of the 1886 Library Journal (pages 106-107)... Let me know.

Besides those two grievances, it was pretty interesting to see that even way back in the nineteenth century, librarians were still dealing with similar issues--ones the solutions to which we are now seeing come to fruition (i.e. WorldCat). Plus, I just love some good nostalgic solidarity.