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Tracing books published in English: Home

A guide to tracing books published in English

Introduction

Tracing books published in English

FindIt@Bham: University Of Birmingham Library Catalogue

This is the most obvious bibliographic source to check. If you only want to see books  Library Catalogue or Physical items from the drop-down menu next to the search screen. Click on the title of the book to see the complete bibliographic record.

For further details, see FindIt@Bham online help

National Retrospective Catalogues

A project led by the British Library to catalogue as far as possible all printed books published in the British Isles and North America from the first printed book in England in 1473 to the end of the nineteenth century has resulted in two major databases:  English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC)  and Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue (NSTC)

The following online collections contain full-text of early printed books.

Other Library Catalogues

Checking the holdings of other major libraries is another useful way of finding out what has been published by a given author, or on a given subject. You can then make arrangements to visit a library or obtain the items on inter-library loan.

Image: Humanities Reading Room, British Library

UK Libraries:

Explore the British Library
https://www.bl.uk/
This is the search tool which searches through the British Library’s catalogue of books, newspapers, journals, maps and musical scores, as well as electronic resources, images, film, datasets and archived websites. It includes the holdings of the BL Document Supply Centre.

SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online)
http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?vid=OXVU1
This service searches the combined online catalogue of libraries in the University of Oxford which includes the 1 million titles originally listed in the Bodleian Library pre-1920 Catalogue of Printed Books.

See also Union Catalogues

International Libraries:

Library of Congress Online Catalog
https://catalog.loc.gov/vwebv/searchBrowse
The Library of Congress Online Catalog contains approximately 14 million records representing books, serials, computer files, manuscripts, cartographic materials, music, sound recordings, and visual materials held in the Library of Congress. There is also a link to individual university library catalogues in the USA.

 

Union Catalogues

COPAC
https://copac.jisc.ac.uk/
This is the union catalogue of over 70 major academic libraries in the UK and Ireland (including the British Library) which are members of CURL (the Consortium of University and Research Libraries).

WorldCat
https://www.worldcat.org/
WorldCat is an ongoing project to provide an online union catalogue of major libraries throughout the world. At present, it includes over 2 billion items from more than 10,000 libraries worldwide.

Using other libraries

If you wish to visit another UK university library, you might be eligible for a SCONUL card. This will allow you reference access to a large number of academic libraries around the UK. For more information on using other libraries please look at Access Schemes