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PRELIMINARY NOTE Willard Fiske, the author of the Bibliographical Notices, died at Frankfort on the Main, Germany, on September 17th, 1904. His Icelandic Collection (8500 volumes) and his Petrarch Collection (3500 volumes) he bequeathed to the Cornell University ' Library, of which he had been the first Librarian (1868-1883), and to which, during his lifetime, he had presented his valuable Rhaeto-romanic and Dante Collec- tions. He also bequeathed to Cornell University his residuary estate, amounting to more than lialf a million dollars, stipulating that the income therefrom be expended for the uses and purposes of the Library, with specific provision for the maintenance and increase of these special collections, which are now brought together in one group in the University Library at Ithaca. When Mr. Fiske issued, in May 1890, the fifth number of his Bibliographical Notices he called it a third and final supplement to the years 1578-1844 of the ‘Catalogue of the Books printed in Iceland from A. D. 1578 to 1880 in the Library of the British Museum.’ Mr. Fiske’s Icelandic collection tlien included about 4000 titles, and it seems to have been his intention to issue no more supplements to the British Museum Catalogue, but to revise and print the complete catalogue of his own collection. At that time he announced as in preparation a sixth number of the Bibliographical Notices containing ‘Studies in Icelandic Booklore.’ Concerning the nature of these studies we know little, but from scattered me- moranda found among his papers we gather that he liad in mind the preparation of a list of Icelandic bibliographies with copious annotations, an essay on Icelandic typographical antiquities to be illustrated with fac-similes of early Icelandic types, and an essay on the' popular names of Icelandic books. In tlie summer of 1891, however, his attention was turned from his Icelandic studies to the formation of the interesting collection of Rhaeto-romauic literature which, in December of that year, he. presented to Cornell University Library. In 1892 lie was led almost by accident, as it were, to begin the formation of the famous Dante Collection which he also presented to Cornell University Library, and for the next six years the greater portion of his time and energy was devoted to building up this great collection of more than seven tliousand volumes. In a letter from Upsala, in September, 1896, lie wrote “The Dante collection has talcen both my time and means from the other collections, and I discover tliat no small sum is needed to fill up the lacunae in the recent Icelandic and Petrarch literatures. Much cataloguing, too, which would have been done by myself in tlie Florentine library, mustnow be done by others.” With the completion of the printed Catalogue of the Dante collection, the proof-sheets of which were all submitted to him, and for which he wrote, in June 1899, a most interest- ing and scholarly Introduction, liefelt free to turn liis attention again to his Icelandic studies and his neglected Icelandic and Petrarch collections. He spent the late summer of 1899 in Denmark and Scandinavia, busily engaged in collecting Icelandic books. From Berlin, in November 1899, he wrote “I havejust come down from Copenhagen and am feeling the reaction after a busy and laborious summer. I have added to my Icelandic collection between eight hundred and nine hundred volumes and about three thousand pamphlets. By the help of threeand somctimes four Icelanders these have been all catalogued, making with cross references, etc , about six thousand cards. But the project of copying and re-
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Bibliographical notices I-VI


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