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218 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY time? Is there any evidence to spow that up to the middle of the eighteenth century stage business was conditioned more by tradi tion than , by the innovations of succeeding generations of actors? Though Dr. Sprague shows himself aware of these questions, he avoids a clear answer to either. Perhaps no such clear answer, in the paucity of relevant' documentary source-material, is possible, but it is to be wished that the author, having thus immersed himself so deeply in, this theme, could have hazarded at least some more definite guesses than are given on the last two pages of his introduction. It may be, of course, that he is merely reserving judgment , since valid judgment in such matters would have to be based on more than a study of stage practice from the Restoratio~ onwards, would have to be founded on a comparison between what Dr. Sprague has now given us and equally careful scrutiny of Elizabethan acting methods. While , stage directions in quarto and folio are few, it should be possible, both from a detailed study of Shakespeare's lines considered as an actor's medium and from an examination of the texts of contemporary playwrights, to frame a mental picture of what devices the Elizabethan players used in general for the expression of certain dominant emotions.. Approaches have been made towards such a study, but more work still remains to be done and it would be excellent if Dr. Sprague himself were to undertake the task. There might then be a chance of his determining whether, in the recorded business of some la~e seventeen'th and early eighteenth century performers, we were indeed touching hands with the unrecorded business, interpretative of his meaning, taught by the actor-poet Shakespeare to his fellows. In the meantime, we must be grateful indeed to Dr. Sprague for having assembled so thoroughly, and presented so entertainingly, informationcertain to be of enduring value alike to students of Shakespeare and to future stage interpreters of his roles. RESEARCH LIBRARY OF ' THE FUTURE* W. S. WALLACE In the history of literature, there have been certain technological revolutions that have had far-reaching effects. One of these, for example, was the i~vention of-printing. It is by no means certain that the proposals in this little book (the somewhat academic title of which does less than justice to its importance) may not portend a revolution hardly less important than the invention of movable types. At any rate, they may be said to offer a solution to some of the problems that the invention of printing has brought upon us.' I do not kno'w that anyone h~s attempted to compute the vast number of printed volumes that have flooded the world since 1450; but they *Thc SellO/ar. and the Future of thc Research Library: A Problem and its Solution. By FREMONT RIDER (Librarian, -The Wesleyan University Library). New York: Hadham Press. 1944. Pp. xvi, 236. ($4.00) REVIEWS 219 certainly number scores, and possibly hundreds, of millions. Of these, only a few millions are to be found in even the largest research libraries; and ye~ there is not one of these books that the research student .t,nay ,not want to see. The result is that research libraries have been engaged in a headlong attempt to acquire as large a book-stock as possible. As Mr. Rider shows, American research libraries have during the past century been doubling in size on an average of every sixteen years. If this curve is continued (and he argues cogently that there is no reason why it should not continue), a library like that of Yale University, which has now nearly 3,000,000 volumes, will in one hundredr years lthave approximately 200,000,000 volumes, which will oc~upy over 6,000 miles of shelves" and will «require a cataloguing staff of over six thousand persons." What' university can contemplate even a building programme that would make sud~ a library possible? Various partial solutions of the problem have been suggested-such as storage plants for little-used volumes, or the micro-filming of newspapers and other research material...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 218-220
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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