About the Catalogue of St. Edmunds

Except for a couple of visits to the Bibliothèque Mazarine by Abbot Geoffrey Scott in the last ten years to inspect entries in the 1702 library catalogue, there was little interest shown in developing a major collaborative project from the available Weldon material. Advances in social media and technology and the discovery of more Weldon manuscripts have encouraged the development of an electronic version and the publication of a limited printed edition of the 1702 library catalogue of the English Benedictines of St Edmund's Priory in Paris. The initiative to develop this catalogue project began with discussions between Abbot Geoffrey Scott and three Dutch scholars, Professor Frans Korsten, Dr. Jos Blom and Dr. Frans Blom, who were members of the Department of English at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, now called Radboud University Nijmegen. All four editors owe an immense debt to Drs Pauline Berens for creating the website for the electronic catalogue and taking care of the camera-ready copy of the printed version. The website is at present http:fjmblom.home.xs4all.nl/st-edmund. The intention is that the catalogue will be housed in the Library and Archives section of the Douai Abbey website (www.douaiabbey.org.uk)

The history of the collaboration of the four editors on the Weldon project began in 1989, thanks to the initiative of the late Tom Birrell, who had been Professor of English Literature in Nijmegen. He encouraged the four editors to publish a bibliography of English Catholic books, 1701-1800, to succeed the two valuable bibliographies, the first edited by A. F. Allison and D. M. Rogers, The Contemporary Printed Literature of the English Counter-Reformation between 1558 and 1640 (Aldershot, 1989 and 1994, 2 vols.), and the second edited by Thomas H. Clancy, English Catholic Books 1641-1700. A Bibliography (Chicago, 1974; revised edition Aldershot, 1996). After scouring national library collections and small private libraries, the editorial team published English Catholic Books 1701-1800. A Bibliography (Aldershot, 1996), which provided details of nearly 3000 books. The team's next collaborative project was an edition of The Correspondence of James Peter Coghlan(1731-1800)(Woodbridge, 2007), vol. 80 of the Records Series published by The Catholic Record Society. Coghlan was the most important eighteenth-century English Catholic publisher between 1763 and his death in 1800. This narrative of past collaboration indicates that the team had gained a high level of knowledge and expertise by the time they had arrived at discussing the feasibility of the Weldon project, although this, in turn, was to open up new frontiers in, and different approaches to, English Catholic bibliography and library studies.

After acknowledging the mutual debt the editorial team owe to each other over past years and during the time they have engaged with Weldon's library catalogue, it is important to signal the assistance that has been generously given them by various institutions and individuals. We would therefore like to recognise the contribution of the following to the Weldon project. First of all, we would wish to commemorate those scholars who prepared the ground for the project but who had died before it came to fruition: Antony Allison, Tom Birrell, Maurice Calliet, Tom Clancy, Yves Chaussy, Gregory Freeman, David Lunn, Daniel Rees, Jan Rhodes, David Rogers, and Placid Spearritt. Of institutions, we record our debt to the librarians and staff of Ampleforth Abbey Library; Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris; Bibliothèque de la Cour de Cassation, Paris; Bibliothèque Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Douai; Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris; Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; Bibliothèque Patrimoniale Daniel et Victor Banse, Fécamp; Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris; Bibliothèque de la Sorbonne, Paris; Bibliothèque Stanislas de Nancy; Bibliothèque Universitaire de Toulouse; Bodleian Library, Oxford; British Library; Downside Abbey Library; Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.; Institut Catholique, Paris; Irish Cultural Centre, Paris; Pluscarden Abbey Library; Radboud University Nijmegen; University of Reading Library; and Stonyhurst College Library. We are grateful for help towards funding the project from the Andrew C. Duncan Catholic History Trust, Douai Abbey, and the Michael Williams Research Fund. Among individuals who have offered valuable personal assistance, we wish to include Aidan Bellenger, Stephen Bernard, Caroline Bowden, Edward Corp, Alison Day, Anselm Cramer, Jaime Goodrich, Daniel-Odon Hurel, Mark Hurley, Simon Johnson, Patrick Latour, Carmen Mangion, Alan McClelland, Marielle Mouranche, Elizabeth Patton, William Peaden, Peter Phillips, Michael Questier, Jean Vilbas, Margaret Harcourt Williams.

© Trustees of Douai Abbey, Registered Charity No. 236962.