5 JUNE 1920, Page 14


[To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."] SIR,—Last year the Committee for the Reconstruction of Serbian Libraries (working under the Entente Committee of the Royal Society of Literature) issued an appeal for gifts of books for the reconstruction of Serbia's ruined libraries. As a consequence of the appeal local committees have been, or are being, formed in University and other towns in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, and about 74 tons of books are already being shipped to Serbia, representing about 6,000 to 7,000 volumes. The Natural History Museum (South Kensing- ton) has, moreover, despatched books to the value of several hundred pounds, and has also promised to send a selection of specimens from the duplicates in store.

Last year we hesitated to appeal for money owing to the more pressing material needs of Serbia, but the time has come when financial help is absolutely necessary in order to buy volumes that have not been given, but without which a library would not be thoroughly representative, and also to pay the heavy cost of freightage, which has already reached 280.

May we again ask for your kind help? It is hardly necessary to recall to the minds of the British public the tragedy and the heroism of the Serbs, but we should like to emphasize the peculiar desirability of fostering that mutual understanding between Great Britain and Jugoslavia, in which books are bound to play so large a part, and of keeping up the interest in this country of those Serbian boys who have been educated here.

Cheques should be sent to the Hon. Treasurer, Lord Charnwood, The Royal Society of Literature, 2 Bloomsbury Square, W.C. 1. The Hon. Organizing Secretary, Miss L. P. Waring, will be glad to revive lists of books offered at the same address.—We are, Sir, &c.,

(Signed) CHARLES OMAN, Chairman.

Casaswoon, Hon. Treasurer.

HENRY NEWBOLT, Hon. Foreign Secretary.