The Cathedral Libraries Catalogue


Volume 2

Books printed on the Continent of Europe before 1701
in the libraries of
the Anglican Cathedrals of England and Wales

Part I : A – K
Part II : L – Z and Indexes


By David J. Shaw (Editor-in-Chief)

Margaret S.G. McLeod (née Hands)
Karen I. James
Lawrence Le R. Dethan
and others








History of the Catalogue

The Introduction to Volume One outlined the history of the Catalogue from its beginnings in 1943, through the cataloguing work done by Miss Hands in the 1940s and 1950s, the resurrection of the project in the late 1970s and its establishment at the University of Kent in 1981, leading to the publication in late 1984 of Volume One.

Since then, the Catalogue has made somewhat intermittent progress. Volume One had taken longer to produce than anticipated and therefore used more of our British Library grant than we had planned. This meant inevitably that there would not be enough money left to complete Volume Two. There have been a number of hiatuses in our work, as new grants had to be obtained and new workers recruited. We have received additional funding for the project from the British Library, the British Academy, the Bibliographical Society, and the University of Kent, which has also contributed indirectly in the form of computing resources and office space.

Scope of the Catalogue

The chronological coverage from incunables up to and including the year 1700 is exactly as in Volume One. A word should be said about geographical coverage, as this second volume does not simply list all the items which were not included in Volume One. There is an overlap between the two parts of the Catalogue, in that Volume One included books in English printed abroad; these books are also listed in Volume Two, as also are books with false foreign imprints which were in fact printed in England. Given the division of the Catalogue into British and Foreign, we considered that having an overlap between the two halves was preferable to the risk of items being overlooked. In addition to books printed on the continent of Europe, Volume Two also contains a small number of books printed outside Europe, particularly in the Far East.

The information available to us on the catalogue slips we inherited is not always as full as we might wish, particularly in the matter of books without date or without an imprint, or in the case of attribution of anonymous items. We have tried wherever possible to make good this lack from specialist reference sources but this has not always been possible and cannot always be done safely without reference to the original book. As a rule, we have been unable to afford the luxury of checking problems against the originals, as we simply did not have the time or funding to allow this. The Editor-in-Chief’s personal interests have persuaded him to follow up some queries more fully. This accounts for occasional French entries with a greater level of detail than might be expected. In general, however, it will be seen that there are a good number of entries where we have been obliged to leave users of the catalogue scope for further research.

Using Volume Two

We should like to recommend that references to entries in this Catalogue are given in the form CLC B1234.


As the original catalogue slips came from a number of disparate sources, we have had problems establishing a consistent set of headings and also bringing together copies of the same work which have been put under different headings in our source slips. It would be impossible to guarantee that there are no duplicate entries in the catalogue. The slips which were created by Miss Hands seem to have used a system of headings based on her previous experience on the Intercollegiate Catalogue in Oxford, drawing ultimately on Bodleian practice. Durham slips followed local practice in Durham University Library, and Canterbury slips used a simplification of British Library printed catalogue headings.

Shortage of time and money has again prevented us from doing all that we might have wished in the establishment of new headings according to the best modern practice. At the time when the editorial phase started, we did not have available the computer-based tools which now exist for downloading standardised forms of well-researched headings. We established our own computer-based authority file, using data downloaded from the Canterbury Cathedral pre-1801 catalogue. Work on this was done by Audrey Green funded by a grant from the British Academy. As a result, the headings in this catalogue derive essentially from the British Library for personal names and to a large extent for institutional names, modified in both cases where these forms diverged from modern scholarly practice (e.g. Molière and not Poquelin de Molière).

We have often been faced by the need to choose between a vernacular and a Latin form of name, preferring whichever form is in general use and keeping Latin forms for writers who were Renaissance humanists who consistently used a Latinised name or where we have been unable to establish a secure vernacular form.

uniform titles

Uniform titles are given for the original title of translations, for categories such as Works, or genres such as Letters, or Bible commentaries for some authors such as Calvin. For complex entries we have endeavoured to get the computer to file the entries by a system similar to that used in the British Library printed catalogue. This can be seen in particular in our most complex headings, Bible, Liturgies, and Roman Catholic Church.

title transcriptions

This catalogue is genuinely a ‘short-title catalogue’. Miss Hands’s entries were generally not as full as one might give today. The Canterbury, Durham and York entries typically give much fuller title transcriptions. We have felt it necessary to reduce these longer transcriptions since it was not possible to expand the shorter ones. However, the fuller entries for the more recently catalogued collections have helped with matching records within the catalogue.

It is our intention that the catalogue entries should offer a reliable title (and imprint) transcription in terms of orthography and punctuation. Again, the multiple sources of the entries have meant an inevitable divergence of criteria, some of which may still be reflected in the forms actually printed. Some of these problem areas are: treatment of consonantal and vocalic u/v and i/j; treatment of consonantal (and vocalic) capital V in titles in uppercase; treatment of Greek (Miss Hands typically omitted Greek parallel titles but retained individual Greek words in Latin titles); treatment of abbreviations and contractions (retained by Miss Hands, and by Salisbury and York, but only partly by Canterbury and Durham).

By designing our own output software, we have been able to retain of much of the typographical detail found on the hand-written slips: we are able to print Greek (but not more exotic languages); we can print all of the standard nasal contractions and many of the other late medieval abbreviations. This has sometimes involved some ingenious programming in the PostScript page-description language to provide character build-ups for some of the p and q contractions and the –rum and con– contractions, for example.


As in the case of titles, we have attempted to retain the original orthography and punctuation in imprints, while simplifying them slightly by omitting subsidiary information like addresses (unless given in the absence of a name). Wherever possible, we have tried to take appropriate decisions for unsigned or undated books and to give attributions for false imprints, using square brackets for these purposes.

format and collation

The catalogue slips from all sources give the format in traditional form. We have not been able to verify these and have found that there is often disagreement between slips from different sources or with other reference sources as to the identification of the smaller formats (8°, 12° 16°, etc.). In these cases we have rarely been able to make a personal verification, so the format should be used with due caution. Miss Hands sometimes gave an indication of pagination; Canterbury, Durham and York slips always gave a full pagination statement. Miss Hands rarely gave a signature collation; these were regularly given at York and occasionally by other libraries for specific purposes of identification. We decided to give users of the Catalogue the benefit of whatever pagination or collation information we had, even though this introduces an element of inconsistency into our entries.


In the notes area we try to make a brief statement to account for any information which we have added to the entry from references sources or which is otherwise not to be found in the transcribed areas of the entry.  We have used the abbreviation BM for references to information taken from the British [Museum] Library printed catalogue, and BL for direct citation from a copy of a book in the British Library.

bibliographical references

We give references to a number of standard bibliographical sources: for incunables (where identification is of especial importance), we usually give three references, with the Gesamtkatalog, BMC and Goff as preferred sources; for sixteenth-century books, we give a reference to Adams if appropriate; STC and Wing references are noted; other bibliographical references are given only where specific use is made of the source for reasons of identification.

localisation of copies

The sigla for the cathedrals are unchanged from Volume One. We report information on multiple copies and imperfect copies within the limits of the information available to us. As in Volume One, an asterisk * is used to indicate that we were unsure of the attribution of the copy to that specific edition.  Details of the libraries covered by the Catalogue have been updated with notes of more recent cataloguing work and published catalogues.

Production of Volume Two

The data for Volume Two are stored and manipulated in a local variety of the UKMARC format on a mainframe computer (currently a DEC VAX) using software specially written in BCPL, a now rather elderly system programming language. The printed pages  of the Catalogue are produced letter by letter by software which generates coded keys which can be sorted to give the correct alphabetical / chronological ordering of the entries and cross- references. This file of sort keys is then read by another program which retrieves the information to be printed for each key and generates an intermediate file in a markup notation. The final program (written in Pascal) then takes the markup file and builds the entries, columns and pages for the Catalogue, adding running titles and pagination. Output is in the form of a file in the PostScript page-description language which can be stored or printed on any printer or photo-typsetter with a PostScript capability. The software was written for the project by the Editor-in-Chief and will die with it, though the MARC data will be safely archived for any future needs.


The Introduction to Volume One had a section giving statistical information about the material listed in the Catalogue, including data on the survival of copies and a ‘best-seller’ list for the STC and the Wing books. This section was well-received and so we have attempted to produce similar statistics for the continental books. Once again, it is the fact that the data are stored on computer which makes this sort of analysis possible.

In Volume Two, there are 25,722 entries in the catalogue for continental imprints before 1701 (the total for the English books was 25,854). These editions survive in a total of 38,845 copies (52,905 for the English books), representing an average of 1″5 copies per edition; the corresponding figure for the English books was higher: 1″9 for STC books and 2″1 for Wing books.

There are 523 incunables (2% of the total entries), 10,221 sixteenth-century entries (40%), and 14,757 seventeenth-century entries (58%). Of the sixteenth-century entries, 44% are not in Adams. The best represented period is 1601–1620 with 15% of the total.

Geographically, the largest proportion of books was printed in Germany (30%), followed by France (25%), the Netherlands (13″5%), Switzerland (12%), Italy (8%) and modern Belgium (7%). No other country is represented by as much as 1% of the total, but there are many other countries represented, including Russia, Poland, Ukraine,  Moldavia, Denmark, Portugal, Finland and the Philippines.

There are over 30 languages represented. The catalogue is overwhelmingly in Latin (20,269 entries, or 78″8% of the total). Next come 2,000 books in French (7″8%), 1,000 in Greek (4″0%), Italian (3%), English (2″8%), German (1″2%), Dutch (0″8%), Hebrew (0″7%), and Spanish (0″5%). The only other measurable fraction is 18 books in Syriac ( 0″1%). English books are of course more fully represented in Volume One. Among the languages represented by one or two books each are Anglo-Saxon, Aramaic, Czech, Danish, Frisian and Low German, Gothic, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, and Welsh.

We are again able to offer statistics on the survival rate for specific numbers of copies. Not surprisingly, by far the largest number of entries in Volume Two are represented by a single copy. Just over 100 entries are represented by 10 or more copies, and a single entry has as many as 18 copies.










































Once again, for the entertainment of the curious, we offer a list of the most popular continental books in the Cathedral Libraries. It will be seen that these are predominantly Parisian books, with Amsterdam next, and are almost entirely seventeenth-century.

       1=  S2007    Joannes Caspar Suicerus. Thesaurus ecclesiasticus. Amsterdam, 1682: 2°. (18 copies)

       2=  C905     Daniel Chamier. Panstratiae Catholicae. Geneva, 1626: 2°. (17 copies)

       2=  E200      Epiphanius of Constantia. Opera omnia. Paris, 1622: 2°. (17 copies)

       2=  E729      Eusebius Pamphili. Ecclesiasticae historiae libri decem. Paris, 1659: 2°. (17 copies)

       2=  G924     Gregory of Nazianzus. Opera. Paris, 1630: 2°. (17 copies)

       2=  S1436    Socrates Scholasticus. Historia ecclesiastica. Paris, 1668: 2°. (17 copies)

       2=  S1194    Sylvester Sgouropoulos. Vera historia unionis non verae inter Graecos et Latinos. The Hague, 1660: 2°. (17 copies)

       8=  C498     Louis Cappel. Commentarii et notae criticae in Vetus Testamentum. Amsterdam, 1689: 2°. (16 copies)

       8=  G903     Gregory of Nyssa. Opera., Paris, 1638: 2°. (16 copies)

       8=  H770     Johann Jacob Hofmann. Lexicon universale. Leiden, 1698: 2°. (16 copies)

       8=  R826     Rome. Eastern Empire. Emperor (Theodosius II). Codex Theodosianus. Lyon, 1665: 2°. (16 copies)

       8=  T326      Theodoret of Cyrus. Historia ecclesiastica. Paris, 1673: 2°. (16 copies)

      13= A1275   Athanasius of Alexandria. Opera. Paris, 1627: 2°. (15 copies)

      13= B2555   Martin Bucer. Scripta Anglicana fere omnia. Basle, 1577: 2°. (15 copies)

      13= C2190   Cyril of Alexandria. Opera. Paris, 1638: 2°. (15 copies)

      13= E208      Simon Episcopius. Opera theologica. Amsterdam, 1650: 2°. (15 copies)

      13= E740      Eusebius Pamphili. De demonstratione Euangelica. Paris, 1628: 2°. (15 copies)

      13= P278      Matthew Parker. De antiquitate Britannicae ecclesiae. Hanau, 1605: 2°. (15 copies)

      13= P869      Photius. Myriobiblon. Rouen, 1653: 2°. (15 copies)

Access to Cathedral Libraries

We should like to stress again the advice given in Volume One. Cathedral Libraries are private institutions which do the scholarly world the courtesy of trying to make their collections available. Most still have no permanent full-time staff. In all cases, prior appointments will need to be made for consultation. The larger libraries with specialist staff include Canterbury, Chichester, Durham, Exeter, Hereford, Lincoln, Salisbury, St Paul’s and York.


Many of the acknowledgements of Volume One need to be renewed for this second volume: the grant awarding bodies mentioned at the start of this Introduction; Officers of the Bibliographical Society, particularly two Hon. Secretaries, Mirjam Foot and her successor David Pearson, and members of the Ecclesiastical Libraries Committee, especially Ian Doyle and Anthony Hobson. At the University of Kent, thanks are due to two University Librarians, Will Simpson and his successor Margaret Coutts, both of whom have offered support and facilities, and to the Editor- in-Chief’s immediate colleagues in French who have allowed him to suffer an eighteen-year distraction from other duties. Over this period, the project has used computing resources at the University of Kent, the University of Oxford and at Birkbeck College, London; help is acknowledged from a number of colleagues in those institutions. A great many specialists in early printing have offered help on individual problems over the years; we should like to thank in particular Dennis Rhodes and David Paisey, formerly of the British Library, and John Goldfinch and many other colleagues currently on the staff there. Dr C.T.R. Hayward (Reader in Theology, University of Durham) gave invaluable help with some of our Hebrew problems. Sheila Hingley (Canterbury Cathedral Library) worked on the incunable entries as well as offering constant help and support as Secretary of the Ecclesiastical Libraries Committee.

Of those who have worked directly on the project, several are acknowledged on the title-page. Karen James bore the first burden of sorting and editing the slips; Jane Henderson continued this work and Lawrence Dethan took over from her and also undertook much of the revising and proof-reading. The project owes an enormous debt to Anthea Poole who untiringly and with great accuracy keyboarded the vast majority of the entries for Volumes One and Two. Finally, I should particularly like to thank Sarah Gray, Assistant Librarian at Canterbury Cathedral, who has acted throughout as the co-ordinator of much of the detailed work of data input and processing and who possesses unfailing skills at keeping the Editor-in-Chief’s attention directed to the completion of the Catalogue.


David Shaw

9 March 1998
lightly revised December 2017