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Art & Architectural History

Guide to resources in art and architectural history.

Finding Books

Finding Books-Tutorial

Rare Books and Manuscripts Resources

The English Short Title Catalogue
The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) lists over 460,000 items published between 1473 and 1800, mainly, but not exclusively, in English, published mainly in the British Isles and North America, from the collections of the British Library and over 2,000 other libraries

The Incunabula Short Title Catalogue 
The Incunabula Short-Title Catalogue (ISTC) developed at the British Library is the most comprehensive international bibliographical database of fifteenth-century printing. In January 2008 it contained detailed records of 29,777 editions printed from moveable type before 1501.

Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL)
CERL’s primary objective is to record all books printed in Europe during the hand-press period, i.e. before c.1830, in a machine-readable catalogue, called the Hand Press Book Database. Two other significant initiatives are the development of the CERL Thesaurus and the CERL Portal. The CERL Thesaurus was developed to address the problem that place name and personal names in Europe varied from country to country in the period of hand press printing. The CERL Thesaurus contains forms of imprint places, imprint names, personal names and corporate names as found in material printed before the middle of the nineteenth century—including variant spellings, forms in Latin and other languages, and fictitious names.

The European Library
“A portal which offers access to the combined resources (books, magazines, journals.…—both digital and non-digital) of the 45 national libraries of Europe. It offers free searching and delivers digital objects—some free, some priced.”

Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog KVK
A metasearch engine for querying the holdings of the major national libraries of the world, academic libraries in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, and various new book sites in single, comprehensive queries.

Directory of Web Resources for the Rare Materials Cataloguer
Prepared by the Bibliographic Standards Committee of the Rare Book and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College Research Libraries, the links concern the following topics:

  • General Cataloguing Sites
  • Rare Book Cataloguing Sites and Resources
  • Library of Congress Lists
  • Reference Sites—General—Language Resources—Biography Sites—Place Names—Calendars and Computus
  • Special Collections Sites
  • History of Books and Printing
  • Special Topics for Rare Books
  • Images of Rare Books
  • Catalogues which are Particularly Useful for Special Collections
  • Medieval Manuscripts

RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage (formerly Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship, RBML) is the Association of College and Research Libraries' journal covering issues pertaining to the world inhabited by special collections libraries and cultural heritage institutions.