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- Researching Print Runs
- Printers' Devices
- Provenance Information
- Standards for storing and exchanging bibliographic records
- Digitising Early Printed Books and Manuscripts
- ESTC (English Short-Title Catalogue – books printed up to 1800)
- Heritage of the Printed Book Database (HPB / formerly the Hand Press Book Database)
- ISTC (Incunabula Short-Title Catalogue)
- Karlsruhe Virtual Catalogue (60 millions books and serials in library and book trade catalogs worldwide)
- viaLibri (searching in catalogues of libraries (mainly US) or antiquarian booksellers)
The Deutsches Textarchiv aims establish a cross section corpus of important works in the German language printed between ca. 1600 and 1900, it covers different genres such as fiction, science, technology, medicine, philosophy and law. The Deutsches Textarchiv presents almost exclusively the first editions of the respective works. The project offers digital facsimiles and full-text encoded in XML TEI P5 format. The text files can be downloaded in XML or HTML format. Linguistic search routines are available: serialization of tokens, lemma, phonetic search (with rewrite rules for historic spelling). Currently, 352 texts dating from between 1780 and 1900 are online (November 2010).
European Register of Microform and Digital Masters (EROMM) - free access to CERL members
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Researching Print Runs
Many historians seeking to measure the impact of the ‘printing revolution’ in fifteenth century Europe have taken a quantitiative approach, multiplying the total of all editions by the number of copies in a typical edition. However, whereas the Incunable Short Title Catalogue (ISTC) lists more than 28,000 fifteenth-century editions that are represented by surviving specimens, the number of lost editions will always remain indeterminate. The second factor in the equation – the typical or ‘average’ fifteenth-century print run – is just as indeterminate as the first, if not more so. Inevitably, the ‘editions × copies’ formula has produced estimates of fifteenth-century press production that range anywhere from eight million to more than twenty million pieces of reading material. Such irreconcilable results (in which the margin for error may be larger than the answer itself) only serve to demonstrate that any effort to arrive at a meaningful quantification of fifteenth-century press production will require a much more systematic analysis of the available data on print runs.
Eric White has conducted a study; a census of print runs for fifteenth-century books, which takes a step in that direction by asking a much more basic question: what is the available data?
CERL has undertaken a programme of digitisation of repertories of printers’ and publishers’ devices, to create links to the individual images from the appropriate entries in the ‘‘Imprint Names’’ section of the CERL Thesaurus. To date the CERL Thesaurus contains links to
- English printers' devices up to 1640 from R.B. McKerrow, Printers’ & Publishers’ Devices
- Italian 16th-century printers’ devices held in the EDIT16 database
- 15th and 16th-cnntury Parisian printers' devices from P. Renouard, Les marques typographiques parisiennes des 15e et 16e siècles (Paris, 1926)
- Spanish printers' devices up to 1850 from F. Vindel. Escudas y marcas de impressores y libreros en Espana durante los siglos XV a XIX (1485-1850).
- Printers' devices brought together at the University Library of Barcelona: covering the 16th to the 18th century, geographically from all around Europe but mostly from Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Germany and Low Countries, reflecting the collection’s own personality. The records in the CERL Thesaurus are http://thesaurus.cerl.org/record/cni00045319 to http://thesaurus.cerl.org/record/cni00047557.
Digitisation of further reference works is planned, including Paul Heitz, Elsässische Büchermarken.
Other on-line repertories of printers devices
- Ronald B. McKerrow. Printers’ & Publishers’ Devices in England & Scotland 1485-1640
Standards for storing and exchanging bibliographic records
Digitising Early Printed Books and Manuscripts
- Wasserzeichenkartei Piccard: Digital Publication of the Piccard Collection of Watermarks - The complete “Piccard” watermark collection - including the printed as well as the unpublished items - is available on-line. About 92,000 records are accessible to a wider public. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and is based in the Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart.
The web site has introductions in English and German. There is a full-text search interface in English, French and German, and a thematic browse interface also in English, French and German.
- Watermarks in Incunabula printed in the Low Countries (WILC). The WILC web site gives a description of the project which was intended to provide additional dating evidence for the large number of undated incunables printed in the Netherlands. There is a brief introduction to the creation of watermarks during the paper-making process and a page showing methods of recording watermarks.
The search interface provides a simple search, and advanced search and a thematic browse index.
- Bernstein was an eContentPlus project which started in September 2006 (funding for a total of 30 months). It was a co-operation between nine institutions from Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The objective of project Bernstein was to create an integrated European digital environment for the expertise and history of paper. The project interlinks all existing European databases of paper reproductions, makes their content accessible to specialized image processing tools for the measurement of paper features, and provides an interface to the digital resources of domains related to paper studies or by which the knowledge about papers can be enriched and contextualized. Additionally, a strong dissemination plan included ready to deploy paper expertise software packages to ensure the sustainability of growth and interest in paper studies beyond the project’s lifetime. Link to the Bernstein Project
- Watermarks in English incunabula. The Bibliographical Society has awarded a grant for a project led by Dr Lotte Hellinga which will scan images of watermarks from English Incunables prepared for the English volume of the British Library's catalogue of incunabula BMC. The project will develop a database which will be compatible with the WILC and Bernstein projects.
- Watermarks in Spanish incunabula. The Bibliographical Society has also awarded a grant to Dr Gerard van Thienen to prepare a database of images of watermarks from Spanish incunables which will also be developed in a format compatible with WILC and Bernstein.
- The International Association of Paper Historians (IPH) also maintains a web page of IPH related databases which include watermark information.