About the Catalogue of St. Edmunds
Working method and form of entries

Our aim has been to make the Catalogus Librorum Bibliothecae Benedictinorum Anglorum available, basically in the form in which it was drawn up, for which purpose an accurate transcript or even a facsimile version would have sufficed. At the same time our ambition was to provide a proper bibliographical description for each item in the catalogue so as to enable the user to get a much fuller picture of the actual contents of the library.

These two different purposes inevitably resulted in a number of compromises: when the catalogue gives different versions of authors' names they had to be standardized, defective titles had to be corrected and complemented, and missing dates, places of publication and formats had to be supplied from the standard bibliographical sources.

Below we describe the structure of the entries. Note that 'Weldon' refers both to the librarian and to the catalogue.
1) Shelfmark. The entries are given in the order in which they occur in the manuscript where they are arranged by category, bookcase, bookshelf and order on the shelf. Thus the first book of the category 'Biblia' is 1A1. Sometimes there are gaps in the order of the shelfmarks because entries have been erased or because the cataloguer has made a mistake.
2) Author. The starting point is the name as it occurs in the catalogue. There are many variations of the same name in the catalogue and in the sources, e.g. a vernacular and a latinized version. We have tried to standardize the name and give significant variations in a note. In the case of classical authors we give the familiar short version (e.g. Cicero instead of Marcus Tullius Cicero). The names of authors are sometimes given in their latinized form if the latter was, or is, the current and better-known name. Anonymous works in the catalogue are listed under the name of the author when known, stating 'Anon.' in the note. Weldon frequently catalogues a book under the name of the editor, the translator or under the pseudonym of the author. Where we deviate from Weldon's practice we explain so in a note.
3) Title. We have silently amended Weldon's titles, expanding or abbreviating them when relevant. Following the title proper we mention the editor and/or translator. When a book is written in more than one language this is indicated. Format, edition and number of volumes are given when provided by Weldon and/or by the bibliographical source.
4) The place of publication is given in its English form followed by the year of publication. 'n.p.' and 'n.d.' are used when place and/or year are lacking, but when known from the bibliographies we supply them in the note.
5) Occasionally entries have been crossed out, either by Weldon or by one of the later librarians; we include these items if they are sufficiently legible and indicate in the note that they have been crossed out.
6) We indicate the difference between Weldon and the other librarians by marking the pressmark box of the entries in a non-Weldon hand in a shade of grey.
7) In a number of cases notes are provided giving the relevant information referred to above and other useful background material. Since this is a library acquired and used by an English community we decided to identify the English books by referring to the standard English bibliographical reference works. For Catholic books we give the ARCR, Clancy and BKS numbers, for non-Catholic books we refer to STC and Wing. When we know of the present location of a work from St Edmund's Priory we say so in a note.
8) Bibliographical sources. For the identification of the items all the standard bibliographies and various library catalogues have been used. We felt that it would not be useful to mention them for every title, but to limit explicit references to cases where a particular source had relevant information not incorporated in Weldon's entry. If a book or a particular edition could not be traced in the bibliographical sources consulted we indicate this in the note, mentioning, when appropriate, other editions of the work that are still extant. We assume that users are familiar with most of the abbreviations we employ, but below is a short list of lesser known reference works.
9) Following the catalogue we provide an index of authors and an index of anonymous works. The indexes refer the reader to the pressmarks in the main catalogue. With regard to the La Celle list no pressmarks are available; instead reference is made to the letter under which an item is catalogued: thus 'CA C' means 'La Celle author catalogue under C', while 'LA C' means 'La Celle catalogue of anonymous works under C'. For the brief De Salo list and the Additional Matter the reader is simply referred to 'Salo' (p. 345) and 'add' (p. 355). In the internet version there is also a title index.
10) Select list of abbreviations:
BKS English Catholic Books 1701-1800. A Bibliography (Aldershot, 1996) by F.Blom et al.
NCC Nederlandse Centrale Catalogus (Dutch Union Catalogue; internet)
BSB Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (internet)
Unicat Belgian Union Catalogue (internet)
USTC Collective database of all books published in Europe till 1600 (internet)

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