Updates to the Incunabula Short Title Catalog from Stanford Special Collections

August 11, 2021
Benjamin L Albritton
Sphaera Mundi Woodcut

While Stanford audiences already know quite a bit about our wonderful rare book holdings through SearchWorks and a growing number of online Spotlight exhibits, an ongoing goal is to celebrate our collections more widely with a global audience. Digitization plays an important role in this strategy, but enhancing the discoverability of our collections provides another opportunity to advertise what we have available. In particular, an effort to make sure that our books are represented in major bibliographic databases has been in the works over the last year.

It is a pleasure to announce the first milestone in this effort: a significant update to our holding records in the Incunabula Short Title Catalog (ISTC), a database maintained by the British Library which endeavors to provide a comprehensive list of books printed in the 15th century. Our last update to this list appears to have been in 1988, or shortly thereafter, and we have now been able to add 63 records, including 13 fully-digitized items, to the database for a total of 242 books (with many thanks to Christian Algar, the British Library's Curator for Printed Heritage Collections, for his work to help upload our records).

Stanford ISTC

Image of Stanford's incunabula listings in the ISTC

As we acquire additional materials in this area, we will submit regular updates so that Stanford researchers, and anyone interested in early printing, will be able to see our holdings in the broader context of Special Collections worldwide. In the meantime, please explore our digitized incunabula or peruse the SearchWorks records for our 15th-century printed books (including some fragments and leaves not represented in ISTC).

Fly 1483

Lurking on the pages of our 1483 Eusebius, this remarkably life-like fly!