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Promoting Europe's cultural heritage in print and manuscript

CERL seeks to share resources and expertise between research libraries with a view to improving access to, as well as exploitation and preservation of the European printed heritage in the hand-press period (up to c. 1830). The organisation was formed in 1992 on the initiative of research libraries in many European countries and legally came into being in June 1994. For a good overview of CERL services and activities see, Ingeborg Versprille, Marian Lefferts and Cristina Dondi, 'The Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL): twenty years of promoting Europe's cultural heritage in print and manuscript', in 027.7 Zeitschrift für Bibliothekskultur, 2,1 (2014): Konsortien & Konsorten, pp. 30-40. Online journal of the University of Basel, Switzerland, ISSN 2296-0597. Read more...

Services and Resources

A wooden common press HPB Database
The Heritage of the Printed Book in Europe, c. 1455 - c. 1830. A database of records from major European and North American research libraries.

CERL Thesaurus CERL Thesaurus
Multi-lingual information about names of persons and places found in catalogues of books of the hand-press period.

manuscript page CERL Portal
Cross-searching of catalogues of European manuscript materials, with the option to search selected early-printed books databases.

Material Evidence in Incunabula Material Evidence in Incunabula
MEI is a database designed to record and search the material evidence of 15th century printed books.

CERL Papers VI Publications
Two publications about CERL and MEI:
Francesca Nepori, 'Et amicorum et MEI', in Vedi anche. Notiziario della Sezione Ligure dell'Associazione Italiana Biblioteche, vol. 24 N. 1 (2014) - ISSN 2281-0617. Read more...
Guildhall Library (London) blogs about being the first library to join MEI: 'Incunabula Project', April 2014 Read more...

|diagram Collaboration
Find out about CERL's networks, projects and collaborative working groups.

CERL Seminar, Rome, 2005 Seminars and Workshops
The Consortium holds annual international seminars and regular regional and national workshops.

provenancelyon2.jpg Provenance
Can You Help? for provenance queries. Bibliography of provenance sources. Records for book owners in the CERL Thesaurus.

This site is archived as part of the initiative of the UK Web Archiving Consortium


First Conference of the CERL Security Network
The conference on Library Security: Practices and Strategies will be hosted by the Vatican Library in Rome on Friday 8 May 2015. The programme is available here.

CERL receives Marie-Curie Award
In February 2015 Dott. Laura Carnelos (University of Venice Ca’ Foscari) was awarded a 2-year Marie Curie Individual Fellowship to research at CERL, London office, under the supervision of Cristina Dondi, “PATRIMONiT. From Cheap Print to Rare ephemera: 16th-Century Italian ‘Popular’ Books at the British Library”. Partner organisations are the British Library, London (Dr Stephen Parkin) and ICCU, Rome (Dott. Sara Servello).

Manutius Network 2015
The Manutius Network 2015 is dedicated to the events for the commemoration (conferences, seminars, exhibitions) of the fifth centenary of Aldus’s death. Please contact the CERL Secretariat to have your events posted here.

CERL Annual Seminar, 27 October 2015, Antwerp
The theme of the seminar is Library History: why, what and how? and will be held at the University Library in Antwerp. The programme, biographies of the speakers and abstracts will be available here.

CERL Newsletter December 2014
The latest CERL Newsletter is now available here.

CERL in a Venn diagram
An overview of all CERL activities and services, and their users is available here.

Download CERL Papers I to III for free

Researching print-runs
Over the years, Eric White, Curator of Special Collections, Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, has been gathering data on the edition size, or print-run, of incunabula, a notoriously elusive subject. He has kindly agreed to make the c.280 records available to the wider community via CERL.

PowerPoint presentation on the Heritage of the Printed Book database
Jana Hentschke presented the latest HPB developments and data loads to colleagues during a Workshop on Tools for Provenance and Bibliographical Research, at Glasgow University Library on 24 November last year. Her PowerPoint presentation is now available.

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