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CERL Resources

A quick access guide to CERL databases is available here.


The Heritage of the Printed Book Database (HPB)

(previously called the Hand Press Book Database) contains high-level bibliographical records for items of European printing of the hand-press period (c. 1455–c. 1830) held at major European and North American research libraries. The database has multiple search indexes suitable for bibliographical research. CERL member libraries can download MARC records for derived cataloguing.
Further new catalogue records are added each year.

The CERL Thesaurus

contains multi-lingual information on names of persons and places found in catalogues of books of the hand-press period. The Thesaurus was developed to facilitate access to the large quantity of data in the HPB containing titles and catalogue notes in many European languages.
The Thesaurus is both an independent research tool and a database searching aid for the HPB and the CERL Portal.

Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI)

MEI is a database specifically designed to record and search the material evidence (or copy specific, post-production evidence, provenance information) of 15th century printed books: ownership, decoration, binding, manuscript annotations, stamps, prices, etc.


Provenance Information

CERL started to take a strong interest in the recording and interpretation of data about owners of early-printed books following the success of its tenth-anniversary Seminar in 2004. In addition to web pages containing information about publications and web sites on provenance, the CERL Thesaurus can now link personal names of owners of books to web-based catalogues containing books owned by them.
A Provenance Working group has been set up (2007) to take this work further.

Galen. Ars medica. HMD Collection, MS E 78. - Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine. Images from the History of Medicine (IHM), http://ihm.nlm.nih.gov/images/A109089. Also showcased in the book: Hidden Treasure (New York, NY: Blast Books, 2012), p. 22.

Manuscripts and Archives

CERL is keen to use its network and electronic resources to support Manuscripts Librarians and researchers who make use of manuscripts and archival materials in their scholarly careers.
Read more....


Web resources for the History of the Book

CERL tries to maintain web pages with links to information about the History of the Book for both rare-books librarians and scholars.


The CERL Portal

was closed down on 30 April 2020. From 2002 to 2020 the CERL Portal provided cross-searching of catalogues of European manuscript and archival materials. In order to reflect the Consortium's interests in both the European printed heritage and written heritage, the Portal was extended to provide cross-file searching of the HPB Database and the English Short-Title catalogue. The Advanced search interface used the CERL Thesaurus to provide multi-lingual assisted searching of personal names.

Libraries and scholars are invited to contribute material to these projects, either in the form of files of new data for the HPB, the Thesaurus and the Portal, or annotations to existing data in these resources. New links for our pages of web resources are also welcomed.

Please contact the Secretariat.

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 resources/main.txt · Last modified: 2022/04/01 11:03 by lefferts



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