THE great period of expansion in the Department of Printed Books which occurred in the third quarter of the nineteenth century has been described in an earlier article (British Library Journal, x (1984), pp. 114-46). After 1886/7 the purchase grant was cut from the former figure of £10,000 p.a., and it is generally accepted that the intake to the library suffered from that point onwards. In 1935/6 the figure was almost as much as it had been before 1887-it was £9,500.
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