ANY considerable library has a character all its own, a character usually reflecting the disproportionate influence of a few outstanding men who have shaped its development. The Science Reference Library, which celebrated its 125th anniversary on 5 March 1980, is no exception for, primus inter pares, it is the library of Bennet Woodcroft. Woodcroft was an extraordinary man even by the standards of the mid-Victorians. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he had been a manufacturer, a patentee, and Professor of Machinery at University College, London, before joining the Patent Office in 1852.
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