458 History of Wake Forest College
this visit, that you may become acquainted with my intimate friends,
these books, which are destined to be permanently domiciled in Wake
Forest College. They are cherished companions, and I sincerely hope
that you and your successors for all time will esteem them as friends.
It is a great satisfaction to know that this library will be safe-guarded
as a separate unit, so that future generations can have a realistic
example of a comprehensive private library of the first half of the
twentieth century. Should these books be placed on shelves with
thousands of other books, they would lose their identity as an
independent library, and the institution possessing them would lose
the opportunity to preserve a unique evidence of the home life of this
period. A home with a library of personally selected books tells its
own story of culture, or the want of culture.
"In this connection, I venture to add that in appraising a library, its
value does not primarily depend upon the number of volumes but on
the importance and character of its books. The development of a
significant library--one that shows scholarly understanding and
cultural appreciation-demands a careful study of literary and historical
values, and an intelligent discrimination in selecting rare and
worthwhile books.
"It is encouraging to note that in recent years several able and
distinguished citizens of North Carolina have made collections of
books on special subjects and periods, the most important being
Caroliniana and incunabula. Fortunately, some of these collections
have been secured by the college and university libraries of our State.
Probably it was well that the early collectors gathered books of
special North Carolina interest. Certainly the late Dr. Stephen B.
Weeks, my affectionately remembered friend, the able author of many
valuable monographs on the history of our State, deserves the
gratitude of all North Carolinians for his tireless and successful efforts
in gathering from near and far the large and valuable collection of
Caroliniana which our State University was wise enough to purchase.
I happen to know that at this time there are several citizens of our
State who are widening the scope of their collections and creating
libraries of a
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