The British Museum Library and the development of the international exchange of official documents
Ilse Sternberg (notes)
In 1867 the United States Congress empowered the Smithsonian Institution to negotiate complete reciprocal exchanges of official publications with foreign governments. The impetus to such international exchanges was eventually embodied in two Brussels Conventions of 1886, although the United Kingdom was not a signatory. This article traces how, despite this, the British Museum Library gradually developed a major programme of exchanges and charts the role they played in augmenting the Library's collections until their eventual decline in the 1990s.