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The preparation of these volumes of the ‘Record’ has been, however, the least laborious portion of the work—only one—tenth of the time of the compiler having been occupied upon it—while nine-tenths have been devoted to the Encyclopoedia, which is an analysis of and guide to the contents of the immense collection. To study the history of any particular subject by means of the Record alone would be impossible; therefore, in order to make this great mass of information available for reference, the compiler decided that the mercantile principle of keeping accounts was the true one—to regard his ‘Record’ in the light of a merchant's day-book, then to journalize the contents of the ‘Record,’ and from the journals to redistribute the entries to their appropriate departments, in what a merchant would term his ledger, but which the compiler calls his Encyclopoedia. Each fact or statement in a report, or a letter, or in an editorial, has been separately entered in the journal. This portion of the work requires a journal of eight hundred pages to comprise an epitome of each volume of the ‘Record.’ These journals or waste-books are removed when their entries are systematically transferred to the various departments in the Encyclopoedia. We come now to the most important part of the work. The Encyclopoedia is not an index, but a compilation — a compendium of ‘The Record.’ a statement of each subject, or rather of all statements concerning each subject; so that the manifold and intricate episodes of the war—its origin, progress and results, can be developed instantaneously, and in all their relations, whether the subject refers to military matters, or finance, foreign relations, or individual actions. All are related with impartial completeness from all available sources of information, and will be found to satisfy all inquiry instantaneously. The Encyclopoedia will comprise about twenty-five volumes of 1,300 pages each of manuscript, equal in size to the largest bank ledger—all elegantly bound and lettered.

The key to the whole work is comprised in one volume, which gives ready reference to the statements in the whole collection.

The value of this work has been extensively attested by the most influential newspapers of the country, by scholars, public men and learned societies, and the foresight, skill and perseverance of Mr. Townsend commended in the most appreciative terms.

Of the work Rev. Irenaeus Prime, editor of the New York Observer, writes:

It is beyond dispute the most remarkable compilation of ancient or modern times—having no equal before or since the invention

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Thomas S. Townsend (1)
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