Incunabula and Americana, 1450-1800: A Key to Bibliographical Study

Incunabula and Americana, 1450-1800: A Key to Bibliographical Study

Incunabula and Americana, 1450-1800: A Key to Bibliographical Study

Incunabula and Americana, 1450-1800: A Key to Bibliographical Study

Excerpt

In compiling his Bibliotheca Lusitana in 1741, Barbosa Machado chose as his motto, Nihil sine te lucet. The same golden truth prevails with regard to this key to bibliographical study. Beyond the subject as it is here presented lie two broad fields of investigation, incunabula and Americana. In either of these, the student of booklore may spend years of productive study. If this book, with its discussions and explanations, its tables prepared to aid his early investigations and its lists of selected reference works, shall have fortified him in some measure for his task, it will have served its purpose. In its text and in its Reference Sections, it is intended as an answer to many of the questions that surge through the mind of a beginner in the lore of rare books, and as a guide to the reference books in which the answers to other questions may be found. It is offered, furthermore, as a contribution toward a source book for students of incunabula and Americana, and as a handbook for the librarians and collectors who may find it convenient to have, in compressed form, information of a bibliographical nature relating to the two subjects most commonly found upon the rare-book shelves of America.

To this end, it is divided into three parts. The first relates to incunabula and its study. The second relates to Americana from 1492 to 1700, with notes on later Americana through the Revolutionary periods, chapters on the introduction of printing into the two Americas, and a preliminary chapter on methods of study. The third, the Reference Sections, the result of research in this country and abroad, provides accompanying definitions, foreign bibliographical terms and their equivalents, Latin place-names employed in early books, tables of abbreviations, and lists of selected reference works of bibliographical importance, the latter comprising twelve hundred, or more, numbered titles.

In the section on incunabula (i.e., on the printed books of the fifteenth century, at the time when modern bookmaking methods . . .

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