Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Really old books, recently acquired

Incunabula is the term used for books printed before 1501 in Europe. Since printing using a mechanical press only really began in 1455, these are very early examples of printed books. The British Library produces various catalogs of incunabula, primarily the 13-part work:

British Museum, Dept. of Printed Books. Catalogue of books printed in the XVth century in the British Museum, London (Green Z240 .B863 F) and the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue.

We have recently acquired units 65, 66, and 70 of Incunabula [microform]: the printing revolution in Europe, 1455-1500, editor-in-chief, Lotte Hellinga.

These units, Printing in French, include full-text reproductions of 278 incunabula. Printed guides with title lists are in the Media-Microtext Room (or will be soon), and I have Word documents of title lists that I'd be happy to send to you.

We also hold units 26-28, Philosophy: Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance.

Here's the publisher's blurb about the entire set: "Based on the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (ISTC) at the British Library, this microfiche collection reproduces full-text editions of incunabula from libraries around the world. The texts are arranged around subject themes, such as: law, medicine, philosophy, classical texts in translation, romances, geography, cosmography and journeys of discovery, chronicles and historiography; and provide for the study of early book production in the first stages of European printing."

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brought to you by...
Sarah Sussman, curator of French and Italian Collections