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What, How and Why: Accessing Incunabula at Senate House Library, University of London

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What, How and Why: Accessing Incunabula at Senate House Library, University of London


This article is based on a project undertaken in 2008 to catalogue the incunabula (fifteenthcentury printed books) at Senate House Library, University of London (previously known as the University of London Library). The project was unusual because it dealt with books which resembled manuscripts, and which have a long history of printed description which sometimes jars with modern online conventions for resource discovery. The article summarizes the desires which Anglo-American scholars have expressed for the content of descriptions of incunabula in the contexts of printed and union catalogues, and assesses the extent to which these are relevant to the online catalogues of specific libraries. It describes the challenges, including the tensions between scholarly printed incunabula literature and library conventions, and the approach taken at Senate House Library to resolve them. It further evaluates the timing for the project and assesses the project’s results, which ranged from institutional to international in scope.

Attar, Karen (2008) What, How and Why: Accessing Incunabula at Senate House Library, University of London.


Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Citation: ALEXANDRIA, 20(2), 2008, pp. 105-20..
Subjects: History
Keywords: University of London, Senate House Library, Incunabula
Divisions: Senate House Library
Collections: Senate House Library Staff Papers
Depositing User:
URI: http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/id/eprint/1791
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