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PREFACE.

N the treatment of so eventful a year as 1898 the difficulty of compression into the | compass of a single volume is very great. Were the volume given up to political affairs alone, it would still be hard to keep within bounds in treating of a year which has seen the downfall of Spain's colonial empire, the British conquest of the Soudan, the threatened clash of two great powers in Africa, the initial steps in the partition of China, the progress of one great railway project for opening up Asia and the development of another for spanning the entire African continent, the evacuation of Crete and of Greece, and the proposal of a peace conference by the very power whose attitude had hitherto seemed the most menacing. Selection is equally difficult in many other departments. The year has been a striking one in almost all lines of activity—in scientific discoveries and inventions, in literature and art, in industrial and commercial progress. In the department of biography the new names requiring notice in connection with important events of the year are very numerous; many persons already well known have added to their records; and the death roll includes such renowned names as Gladstone and Bismarck. A brief survey of the most important events and lines of progress is the object of the present volume. The aim has been to arrange the subject-matter so far as possible in cyclopaedic form, in order that the volume may serve not only as a Year Book, but as a supplement to, or continuation of, the principal cyclopædias. With this in view, the various topics have generally been treated under their own titles rather than grouped under more general heads, and the necessity of an index has been avoided. Single long articles, however, have been included on such subjects as Archaeology, Anthropology, Botany, Philology, Physics, Astronomy. and

Psychology, because in each of these cases the year’s progress could be best exibited

by treating the subject as a whole; but wherever this has been done, care has been taken to supply cross-references from particular topics to the paragraphs of the longer articles in which they are treated. In general, wherever it seemed that the reader would more naturally turn to the particular topic than to the general subject of which it is a part, the article has been included under that title. Thus in the department of Medicine, such subjects as Serum Therapy, Typhoid Fever, Epidemic Influenza, Yellow Fever, Plague, etc., are treated under their own titles, and not as parts of a single long article on Medicine; and in the departments of Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, articles on Bridges, Canals, Automobiles, Electric Railways, Waterworks, Sewage Purification, etc., occur under those titles. .This topical arrangement has also been found the most suitable in the departments of Geology, Mineralogy, Metallurgy, Biology, Zoology, Chemistry, and others, and it

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