English & Scottish Printing Types, 1501-58, 1508-58 - Vol. 2

English & Scottish Printing Types, 1501-58, 1508-58 - Vol. 2

English & Scottish Printing Types, 1501-58, 1508-58 - Vol. 2

English & Scottish Printing Types, 1501-58, 1508-58 - Vol. 2

Excerpt

LT.-COL. ISAAC came to me some three years ago with an introduction from Sir Frederic Kenyon as a volunteer for bibliographical work. After a dash into book-advertisements in 18th-century newspapers in connexion with Mr. H. R. Plomer's 1726-75 Dictionary and transcribing entries in the Stationers' Register of books for which no extant copy can now be traced, he asked what he should do next. In a happy moment I resolved to try him on types, in the hope that he might prove to have an eye for them, as I was held up in the rearrangement of the entries in the Short Title Catalogue in chronological order, as Annals of English Printing, by the increasing inadequacy of my own, never very good. The need for an eye for types arose from the high percentage of undated books in the output of the English presses of the first half of the 16th century, which threatened to interrupt the projected Annals with long batches of undated books attributed with imperfect assurance to this or that quinquennium or decade. For the third of a century into which I asked him to plunge I was able to offer Colonel Isaac a basis in the work done many years ago by Mr. George England and myself in continuation of the second part of Proctor Index. This has remained in manuscript because, despite unstinted pains, it seemed to me too much below the level of Proctor's achievement to be connected with his name, without being checked throughout by some one with a better natural aptitude than mine. This Colonel Isaac undoubtedly has, and while I believe that the work already done has been found useful and time-saving he has immensely improved on it.

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