International Organizations in Which the United States Participates

By Laurence F. Schmeckebier | Go to book overview

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE OF PUBLICATIONS

The arrangements for the international exchange of publications constitute an international project of a somewhat different character from the others discussed in this volume. While the work is covered by a convention, many of the participating countries have not adhered to the convention, although they take part as fully as the signatory and adhering states. Furthermore, there is no central international bureau acting as a co-ordinating or publishing office. Each state pays its own expenses incident to the work, such expense being a part of the cost of internal administration and not a contribution to any outside agency.

The first attempt to systematize the exchange of publications between governments was apparently made by Alexandre Vattemare, a Frenchman who came to the United States for this purpose in 1839.1 Vattemare endeavored to interest both the state and federal governments in this project and met with a considerable amount of success; and largely as a result of his efforts Congress passed the joint resolution of July 20, 1840 ( 5 Stat. L. 409), authorizing the exchange of duplicate publications in the Library of Congress, and making permanent provision for the printing of 50 additional copies of documents printed by either house for exchange with foreign countries.

An act approved June 26, 1848 ( 9 Stat. L. 240) authorized the Joint Committee on the Library to appoint such agents as it might deem necessary for the purpose of effecting international exchanges. The Com

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1
47 Cong. 1 sess., H. ex. doc. 172.

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