Monday, December 11, 2006

Were these books discarded, lost, or hidden?

That image above isn't that of a book but an old postcard showing the demolished National Library at Stamford Road.

In the early 1990s, I'd read an interesting book (Goldstein, Joshua S., Long Cycles: Prosperity and War in the Modern Age, Yale University Press, 1988, pp384) at the reference section of the National Library and it had a catalog number R338.542GOL. Lately, I've tried to search for this book to read it again, but it isn't there in the new building. Does the National Library Board discard away a good academic book like this?

Again in the early 1990s, I'd used the old catalog index card system and found an interesting title (Moss, William Stanley, Gold is Where You Hide It: What Happened to the Reichbank Treasure, London: Andre Deutsch, 1956) but the book, which had a catalog number 332.41MOS, was nowhere to be found on the bookshelf at that time.

My search using the then newly-installed computerized Octopac system had revealed two catalog numbers, CL-332.41MOS and BM-332.41MOS, available for lending. That would mean that there were two books of the same title, one located at the Central Lending section of the National Library at Stamford Road, and the other at the Bukit Merah branch library. Needless to say, both these books of the same title could not be found, presumably lost, I would guess. Or had anyone been hiding them?

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