172R. E. S. Craig to Harrod, 28 January 1930 [a]

Craig, the registrar of Oxford University, communicates that the urgency of the problem of making provision for the normal increase of the Bodleian Library has induced the University to make appeal to the Rockefeller Foundation for funds. The trustees agreed, provided that the problem was previously inquired with open-mindedness. [1] A Commission was thus to be appointed to visit modern university libraries in Europe and in America, and Harrod was asked to act as a member of this commission. [2] The other persons invited were Lord Crawford as Chairman, [3] Sir Frederic Kenyon, Sir Edmund Chambers, and Mr. G. N. Clark. Kenneth Sisam of the University Press was invited to act as a Secretary. [4]

  1. 1. E. L. Woodward confidentially reported on 26 January that Harrod was going to be asked to sit on the Committee of Inquiry into the Bodleian question, and expresses his pleasure that the University could benefit from Harrod's open-mindedness (in HP VI-12).

    2. Harrod's name was put forward by the Hebdomadal Council (Harrod to A. E. Cowley, 21 February 1930, in BLLR c. 578/4). Harrod also seems to have been made a member of the Committee on the Finance of the Bodleian Library Commission, but he resigned at the end of March; he was, nevertheless, prepared to attend meetings of the Committee if they should at any time want to consult a member of the Commission (Craig to Harrod, 28 March 1930, in HP VI-20/2).

    3. On 28 January Craig thanked Harrod for accepting to be a member of the commission, and referred that the chairman would be Henry Miers (in HP VI-14).

    4. The Bodleian Library Commission was officially constituted by Decree of Congregation made on 4 March 1930 "to visit modern University Libraries in Europe and America, to report to the University upon the organization, planning, equipment, and method of administration of such Libraries, and generally to advise the University upon the basis of their investigations as to the best method of securing such library provision at Oxford as shall be abreast of modern requirements" (in Library Provision in Oxford, 1931--henceforth Report, p. 7). The Commission regularly met for about a year, from March 1930 to the publication of the Report in March 1931. It was first decided to gather evidence as to the needs for the Bodleian and the solutions adopted by other libraries in Oxford. This task was accomplished by inviting memoranda from scholars, lectures, representatives of departmental studies, and from the staff of the Oxford libraries (Harrod's copies of these memoranda are filed in HP VI-27 and VI-28 respectively; another copy in LR c.579. The evidence is summarized in the Report, pp. 41-47 and 121-25). The first reports and a statement of facts prepared by G. N. Clark were discussed during a meeting held on 13 March (Sisam to Harrod, in HP VI-26/15, the agenda for the meeting is in HP VI-26/16, Clark's statement is in VI-26/14).

    Harrod seems to have inquired on his own on the inner working of the Bodleian (letters to A. E. Cowley, 21 February 1930, in BLLR c.578/4, and 23 February 1930, in BLLR c.578/3; letter from Woodward enclosing some materials, including some letters concerning the re-organization of the Bodleian library, two pamphlets by Sadler and himself, and some documents relating to some libraries, 24 February 1930, in HP VI-39-49).

    On the visits to foreign libraries see note 1 to letter 174 R. For an overview of Harrod's activities with the Commission see D. Besomi, "Roy Harrod and the Committee of Inquiry into the Bodleian Question, 1930-1931", Bodleian Library Record, vol. XVII, no. 1, April 2000, pp. 36-44.

    1. a. From University Registrary, Oxford # , two pages TLS, in HP VI-13.

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