Home | Resources | Services | Hosting | Publications | Collaboration | Joining CERL | About CERL |

Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague

Access the Koninklijke Bibliotheek's website in Dutch and English

Access the KB's STCN in the HPB

Access to the KB's Early Printed editions

STCN file

Coverage and history of the file

The STCN (Short-Title Catalogue, Netherlands) covers the period from the first Dutch products of the printing-press to the year 1800. In this period the Netherlands developed into a leading country economically, scientifically, and culturally and became one of the world's most important book-producing countries. Therefore, the Dutch bibliography is of the utmost importance for scholars in the Netherlands as well as the rest of the world. The STCN is the Dutch national bibliography until 1800. Eventually the STCN-database will hold all books published to that date within the present borders of the Netherlands as well as all books printed in Dutch abroad. The STCN is being produced by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of The Netherlands, in Den Haag (The Hague), on the basis of its own collections and the collections of other major and smaller libraries inside and outside the Netherlands. The activities started in 1982. Until 2009 the STCN was produced in a project, since the it is a activity of the KB The collections of all major Research Libraries in the Netherlands have been described. To these are added descriptions of smaller libraries, archives and some collections abroad. A list of libraries is available here.

All books produced in the Northern Netherlands before 1540 had already been described in the Dutch incunable and postincunable bibliographies. Concise descriptions derived from these were added to the STCN, using data from the ISTC (Incunable Short Title Catalogue) as well. For the time being, Dutch books printed in what is now Belgium are not included. These are described in the Short Title Catalogue Vlaanderen (STCV) and will be included in the STCN as well. Newspapers and broadsheets (single leaves printed on one side only) aren’t described either. At the moment the STCN amounts to c. 204.000 descriptions of c 515.000. The estimate is that it will eventually contain some 300,000 titles.

Mode of cataloguing

The STCN sets a high value to bibliographic accuracy and consistency. All books are described according to the principles of modern analytical bibliography, which means that the descriptions are made with the book in hand.

Present/absent fields

The records are provided with a collational formula and a fingerprint (the unique identification of every edition).

Recommendations for searching

Authors can be found both by a standardised name and by the variant name or spelling on the title page.

More information


At the end of the project, the Jaarboek voor Nederlandse Boekgeschiedenis 16 (2009) included 5 contributions on the STCN .

The descriptive model used by the STCN is set down in: Handleiding voor de medewerkers aan de STCN. 2nd rev. ed. 's-Gravenhage, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 1988 (1st ed. 1977). Online: https://www.kb.nl/kbhtml/stcnhandleiding/stcn.html (up-to-date; in Dutch).

The STCN fingerprint is discussed in detail in: P.C.A. Vriesema, `The STCN-fingerprint', in Studies in Bibliography 39 (1986), 93-100.

Early Printed Editions KB


This file contains descriptions of books printed before 1800 from the collections of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. These include books printed in the Netherlands and books printed abroad (France, Germany, UK etc.)

Mode of cataloguing and searching

Recent acquisitions (since 1980s) are described following the ISBD (A) rules; books acquired before that are retro-catalogued from the card catalogues.

The file can be searched on author, title and printing place. Printers are sometimes added.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience from it.
 resources/hpb/content/koninklijke_bibliotheek_the_hague.txt · Last modified: 2022/09/23 13:59 by lefferts



Recent changes RSS feed Valid XHTML 1.0 Driven by DokuWiki