EB — Astronomy

Der historische Buchbestand der Universitätssternwarte Wien: ein illustrierter Katalog [Inventory of Historic Books in the University of Vienna Observatory: An Illustrated Catalog]. Frankfurt am Main: Lang. 30 cm. [06-2-384]

Pt. 2. 18. Jahrhundert [18th Century]. Karin Lackner. 2006. 430 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-631-53868-5; ISBN 3-631-53868-5: EUR 58

Part 1, which covers the 15th through the 17th centuries, was reviewed in RREA 11:212. Part 2 concludes the bibliography, covering the imprint years 17001799. The 18-page introduction gives a count of the languages and subjects of these imprints, plus an introductory essay about astronomy and 18th-century book history. As in Part 1, each book is given a full page for bibliographic data, a reproduction of the title page, and often one or two more illustrations, such as a library’s stamp or other mark of possession. The authors—scientists at the University—cataloged the books along the lines of the German RAK cataloging rules. There are more than a tolerable number of errors in the bibliographic data, including errors in transcribing the title from the title page. The bibliographic index sometimes refers the user to another edition not listed in this catalog. In case of doubt, the user is referred to the University of Vienna Library’s on-line catalog.

Astronomical works predominate (160), followed by mathematics and physics books (66 and 27 respectively). The most frequently appearing author is the mathematician Leonhard Euler, with 21 works. Popular as well as scholarly works are included; of special mention is the English bishop John Wilkins’ 1713 defense of Copernicus. Vienna’s astronomers are well represented, as is the unscrupulous pirate-publisher Johann Thomas Trattner (1717-1798).

The 13-page author index lists 397 prints in the briefest of citations. The 80-title difference can be explained by the fact that many are included in a St. Petersburg collected work. Commentaries by 45 persons conclude the volume. [fs/ga]

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Last update: October 2010 [LC]
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