AB – Bibliographies and Catalogs

Einführung in die Bibliographie [Introduction to Bibliography]. Ed. Friedrich Nestler. Rev. and expanded ed. Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 2005. xi, 231 p. 25 cm. (Bibliothek des Buchwesens, 16). ISBN 3-7772-0509-5: EUR 68 [06-1-002]

In 1999 Friedrich Nestler undertook the surprising but critically well received project of publishing a completely new edition of Georg Schneider’s Handbuch der Bibliographie [Handbook of Bibliography] (see RREA 7:2 for a review of the 6th edition). First appearing in 1924, Schneider’s original work and subsequent editions included an extensive theoretical-historical section, but because of harsh critical attacks, the author withdrew it from the 1930 fourth edition and published it separately in 1936 under the title Einführung in die Bibliographie [Introduction to Bibliography] after a thorough revision. Nestler attempts to make this initially controversial and potentially outdated work relevant for our time by undertaking yet another revision. In addition, he wishes to acknowledge Schneider’s important role in the development of bibliographies in the 20th century, as he does explicitly in his 2004 essay “Georg Schneider als Theoretiker der Bibliographie” (G.S. as Theoretician of the Bibliography] in a Festschrift for the important Italian bibliographer and theoretician Alfredo Serrai.

Nestler omits some chapters of Schneider’s work completely, summarizes others, but retains those parts that still have meaning and relevance today. His radical revision of the work has resulted in a significant contribution to the history of German bibliography. The introductory chapter analyzes the concept of bibliography and its historical roots, offering a concise and useful depiction of the development of bibliography from the 18th century to the present. The two main chapters deal with bibliographic methodology and types of bibliographic citation and information. Following Nestler’s view that bibliographic information is a communicative, social phenomenon, he links different genres of bibliography to contemporary issues. For example, in his discussion of “world bibliography” he raises the question of “universal bibliographic control”—an issue that IFLA[the International Federation of Library Associations] has wrestled with for years. Such examples illustrate Nestler’s attempt to address current concerns by applying historical-theoretical concepts, without necessarily offering a solution. One hopes that Nestler’s work will enrich the dialogue about bibliography, a field in which the theoretical aspect is often ignored in favor of a discussion of technical details about data storage and retrieval. [ss/akb]

Katalog der mittelalterlichen Handschriften der Klöster Muri und Hermetschwil [Catalog of the Medieval Manuscripts of the Monasteries Muri and Hermetschwil]. Charlotte Bretscher-Gisiger and Rudolf Gamper. Dietikon-Zürich: Urs-Graf-Verlag, 2005. 463 p. ill. 31 cm. ISBN 3-85951-244-7: SFr 168, EUR 116 [06-1-003]

This hefty catalog brings together the holdings of two libraries in Switzerland that had originally been a single collection for barely two centuries. After 1082 the Benedictine monastery Muri became a double monastery through the addition of a convent. But in the first half of the 13th century, the nuns moved to Hermetschwil and took part of the books with them. In the following three centuries the holdings of Hermetschwil grew, while Muri experienced losses.

A section of the introduction covers the complicated history of both monasteries since 1798, as they lost their independence and became more exposed to the growing pressure of the government of the canton, through the secularization of 1841, to the attempts to catalog the contents in more recent times. In the main section, 156 manuscripts are described, most from the 14th and 15th centuries. Only six fragments are included from the time of the founding of the monastery in 1032. Except for a few manuscripts from France and Italy, all originated in Switzerland and the South German language area.

Almost half the holdings concern the liturgy; the next largest group are mostly German prayer books for women. There are a considerable number of books of hours and psalters, as well as theological and mystical works. Patrististic literature is noticeably lacking. Numerous additional categories are represented by few or unique copies. The historical works are interesting for research, particularly the Chronicon Murense and the Acta Murensia. Reproductions of miniatures and other decorations are included in the introduction.

Besides catalogs of 1774 and 1790, the appendix contains tables listing the litanies, calendars, and necrologies; an index of the authors, names, places, and subjects; a list of initial lines; an index of verses and proverbs, and a concordance of call numbers. This volume is a welcome continuation of the series of more recent manuscript catalogs of Switzerland. [pb/mjc]

Incunabula Gottingensia: Inkunabelkatalog der Niedersächsischen Staats-und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen [Göttingen Incunabula: Incunabula Catalog of the State and University Library of Göttingen in Lower Saxony]. Ed. Elmar Mittler. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. 25 cm.

Vol. 2. Abteilung Critica bis Jus [Fascicle Critica-Jus]. Helmut Kind and Jochen Bornmüller. 2006. 381 p. ill. ISBN 3-447-05165-5: EUR 86 [06-1-004]

The university library in Göttingen has an incunabula collection of about 3,100 items. With the appearance of this second volume, a total of 1,528 incunabula have been cataloged (710 were cataloged in the first volume—see RREA 3:34).

The incunabula are presented in the Latin subject groups used in the library’s 18th- century catalog. This second volume continues the alphabetical series begun in the first volume. However, this highly developed 18th-century classification scheme is an imperfect match for the actual composition of the late medieval book collection to which it has been applied. Many of the subject classifications, e.g., Adagia, Aesthetica, Antiquitates, Archeologia, Ars militaris, etc. have only a few titles assigned to them. Conversely, the very broad categories Historia and Jus containing several hundred incunabula must be divided into subgroups, and the alphabetical arrangement causes thematically related groups such as Geographica and Itineraria to be separated from one another.

Furthermore, the historical classification scheme is not exactly reproduced. Inconsistencies and mistakes in the original classification have been corrected. Some titles have been assigned to subject classifications other than those to which they were originally assigned. Within each subject classification, titles are listed alphabetically according to the modernized form of the author’s name. It would have been better to list all the incunabula in the collection in a single alphabetical sequence by author’s name; the historical arrangement could have been documented in a separate concordance utilizing the original shelf list numbers.

Each volume contains indexes of authors, printers and places of publication. Cumulative indexes, including a provenience index, will be included the last volume.

The incunabula descriptions themselves correspond to the modern standard. They include typographical peculiarities, mention handwritten marginalia and book decoration, and provide information concerning the completeness and condition of the piece. Indications of purchase and ownership are also included; additional information on previous owners will appear in the index of the final volume. Binding descriptions include material and decoration and often avoid an attribution of date.

In spite of its problematic design, this is a precisely detailed catalog of one of the most significant incunabula collections in Germany. [bw/rc]

The Kaldewey Press, New York: erste Retrospektive; Künstlerbücher; eine Ausstellung in der Württembergischen Landesbibliothek Stuttgart […: First Retrospective. Artist Books: An Exhibition in the Württemberg State Library, Stuttgart]. Stuttgart: Württembergische Landesbibliothek, 2002 [06-1-2005]

Book. 64 p ill. 34 cm. (Jahresgabe der Württembergischen Bibliotheksgesellschaft, 2002). ISBN 3-88282-057-8: EUR 24

CD: Drei Vertonungen von Bun-Ching Lam aus Drucken der Kaldewey Press nach Texten von Friedrich Hölderlin, Samuel Beckett und Gunnar A. Kaldewey [Three Musical Settings by Bun-Ching Lam of Texts by Friedrich Hölderlin, Samuel Beckett, und Gunnar A. Kaldewey published by the Kaldewey Press].

After a successful career as an antiquarian bookseller, Gunnar A. Kaldewey began a second major career as a publisher of hand-press books and fine bindings. With over 60 published works and numerous exhibitions worldwide, the Kaldewey Press is numbered among the finest producers of modern artist books. Its complete production was first displayed in 2002 in the Württembergische Landesbibliothek. The catalog of this retrospective exhibition contains an illustrated index of works with additional commentary from Kaldewey, an introduction by Wulf D. von Lucius, a bibliography, and a complete list of previous exhibitions. An audio CD of texts from Hölderlin, Beckett and Kaldewey, set to music by the Chinese composer and bookbinder Bung-Chin Lam, is included. [ab/rc]

Gunnar A. Kaldewey: Artist Books for a Global World. Robert L. Volz. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz, 2006. 96 p. ill. 34 cm. ISBN 978-3-7757-1737-3; ISBN 3-7757-1737-4: EUR 25 [06-1-006]

Interest in the Kaldewey Press continues as demonstrated by the publication of a new bibliographic catalogue raisonnée the occasion of which was an exhibition tour at three libraries on the Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts: the Chapin Library, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Clark Art Institute, and at MassMoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) in nearby East Adams. The 61 items contained in this catalog are given in a single chronological progression, while the Stuttgart exhibition catalog lists 51 printed works in two chronological series: No. 0 (1976)-15 (1999) and No. 1 (1980)-35 (2001). Robert L. Volz, Custodian of the Chapin Library, where the exhibition tour began and which preserves many products of the Kaldewey Press, provides a description of each item in the catalog; however, these are briefer than the descriptions provided by Kaldewey in the Stuttgart catalog. The appendix contains an index (lacking in the Stuttgart volume), a list of exhibitions, and a two-page bibliography. [sh/rc]

Catalogus codicum manu scriptorum Bibliothecae Monacensis [Catalog of Manuscripts in Munich Libraries]. Aquis Mattiacis: Harrassowitz. 25 cm. [06-2-162]

Section 4. Katalog der lateinischen Handschriften der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München: series nova [Catalog of the Latin Manuscripts in the Bavarian Library, München: New Series]

Pt. 2. Die Handschriften aus St. Emmeram in Regensburg [Manuscripts of St. Emmeram in Regensburg]

Vol. 2. Clm 14131-14260. Ingeborg Neske. 2005. xvii, 372 p. ISBN 3-447-05185-X: EUR 79

Ten years after the publication of vol. 1 of the Manuscripts of St. Emmeram in Regensburg (Wiesbaden, 1995), 130 more descriptions have been added to the catalog of this important collection of the Bavarian State Library (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, or BSB), which contains some 940 Latin manuscripts. The two oldest manuscripts described here date to the late 8th century and originated in St. Emmeram, but the preponderance of manuscripts indexed here was produced in the 15th century.

Descriptions conform to the guidelines of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Codicological data are brief and precise; information on authors and texts is occasionally on the thin side. The text samples of the more obscure works are satisfyingly generous. For 9th-century manuscripts reference is made to Bernhard Bischof ’s Katalog der festländischen Handschriften des neunten Jahrhunderts (see RREA 4:2). Manuscripts are indexed by persons, places and subjects as well as initials. Hymns are listed according to the Analecta Hymnica […medii aevi, the standard text of hymns from the Catholic Church, published in Leipzig from 1886 to 1926], but other verses and Biblical prologues are not collocated with standard systems such as Walther Holzmann (WH) numbers, commonly used in scholarly references to medieval verse.

One hopes that the cataloging of the manuscripts will continue to advance at the same level. [ch/rb]

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Inkunabelkatalog: ÖNB-Ink [Austrian National Library, Catalog of Incunabula: ÖNB-Ink]. Otto Mazal and Konstanze Mittendorfer. Wiesbaden: Reichert. 25 cm. [06-2-165]

Vol. 1. A-B. 2004 (publ. 2005). lv, 735 p. ISBN 3-89500-386-7: EUR 248

The incunabula (books printed before 1501) collection of the Austrian National Library, with about 8,000 editions, is the fourth largest in the world. It is surpassed only by the collections in Munich, London, and Paris. In number of holdings, it ranks alongside the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, the Württemberg Landesbibliothek, and the Bodleian Library in Oxford, the latter enjoying an excellent access tool in A Catalogue of Books Printed in the Fifteenth Century now in the Bodleian Library (2005—see IFB 06-2-164). Until recently, the collection of the ÖNB in Vienna had no such catalog; this is the task undertaken by the work at hand.

The introduction to the first volume provides a historical overview of the collection, which dates back to the late Middle Ages. Some of the old editions belonged to the emperors Friedrich III, Maximilian I, and other prominent figures over the years. In 1756 the incunabula collection of the Vienna University library became part of what was then the Imperial Collection. The first volume describes 1,439 incunabula editions under letters A and B, arranged alphabetically by author. In general, the format of the catalog follows that of the incunabula catalog of the Bavarian State Library in Munich (BSB-Ink). Included are the catalog number, the library stamp, bibliographic description, literary references, detailed descriptions of the appearance of individual volumes, and references to the history of each item, including previous owners. At the end of the volume are concordances of numbers from the most complete catalogs of incunabula— the Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke [Union Catalog of Incunabula] (Leipzig, 1925- ), Ludwig Hain’s Repertorium Bibliographicum (Stuttgart, 1826-1838), Walter Arthur Copinger’s Supplement to Ludwig Hain’s Repertorium Bibliographicum (London, 1895-1902), and Dietrich Reichling’s Appendices ad Hainii-Copingeri Repertorivm bibliographicvm (München, 1905-1914). According to the introduction, indexes to the volumes will become available only after the entire work is complete. Publication of the next volumes is still pending.

Meanwhile, researchers can use an online resource still being developed, the Inkunabelzensus Österreich [The Incunabula Census of Austria] (see http://aleph.onb.ac.at/F?func=file&file_name=login&local_base=INK), which contains material pertaining to incunabula found not only in Vienna but from all of Austria. The online and print versions are not identical; for example, the online database lacks physical descriptions of the volumes. The Austrian online catalog could be greatly improved by emulating incunabula catalogs such as the BSB-Ink or INKA, an online catalog for some 25 German incunabula collections for which no print catalogs yet exist and which provide an excellent key to the collections. [ch/akb]

Catalogues de libraires 1473-1810 [Booksellers’ Catalogs, 1473-1810]. Ed. Claire Lesage, Eve Netchine, and Véronique Sarrazin. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2006. 632 p. 30 cm. ISBN 978-2-7177-2347-2; ISBN 2-7177-2347-1: EUR 65 [06-2-165a]

An RREA Original Review by Sue Waterman (Johns Hopkins University)

If the now well-known field in France of the history of the book found its initial impetus in the trove of inventaires après décès [inventories of possessions after a death] of the Ancien Régime, the field has by now greatly enlarged the realm of its primary sources. Catalogs of private and public libraries, auction catalogs from public sales of private collections, and specialized bibliographies of books printed in either a particular time period or a specific geographic location have helped fill in the picture of what people might have read and what books were being printed and bought. This volume of booksellers’ catalogs, covering what is sometimes called the Ancien Régime typographique [Typographical Old Regime], roughly the years from the earliest printed books in France up until the Industrial Revolution, provides yet another perspective on the printed output of the period: what books were being sold?

Not subject to the copyright deposit law, these catalogs existed outside of the legal and official records of print, offering a behind-the-scenes view of the intellectual context and the writing and the reading of a period or of a city. Usually, it is the bestsellers, the well known, or the controversial books that survive in history’s record. Booksellers’ catalogs fill in the blanks of printed history and give a glimpse of the total picture of what was available for sale and what might have been read.

Drawing on the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF), this inventory complements an earlier (2003) volume that covered the years 1811-1924. The booksellers’ catalogs in the BNF are distributed across several fonds [collections], including those of sales catalogs, general bibliography, and the general printed collection at the BNF Mitterand site. Both volumes bring together materials that have remained scattered and difficult to find and consult.

The history of this ephemeral and often overlooked material is included in the comprehensive introduction, along with a detailed explanation of the inventory’s organization. Also in the introduction are descriptions of the many formats one encounters in these catalogs, from single pages to pamphlet-sized paperbacks to 400page books. A thorough bibliography follows that lists works, by country, on the history of the book and of printing, as well as standard bibliographical reference works.

The individual entries for the catalogues (3,240 of them in all) are first arranged alphabetically by name of the bookseller or printer/bookseller, then chronologically under each name. The entries include:

In short, one has a thorough, detailed verbal representation of each catalog that includes as much information and content as possible from the catalog itself.

The five indexes (42 pages) that follow the inventory are quite amazing.

This trove would make an interesting and valuable digital archive, searchable from many points of entry and capable of being reconfigured and interrogated from any number of its facets. As it is, the indexes allow for many access points and greatly enhance the content itself. A valuable tool for historical and literary studies, a primary source of an unusual nature, this inventory of booksellers’ catalogs stretching from the beginnings of print to the dawn of its complete mechanization should find many and various uses.

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Last update: October 2010 [LC]
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