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Early Printed Books (Europe 1450 to 1800)

This guide offers bibliographic tools for understanding the national output of printed works in early modern Europe .

The History and Purpose of National Bibliographies

The National Bibliography is a post early modern phenomenon. Most European countries decided to create a cultural heritage bibliography in the 19th to 20th century. These national bibliographies usually start gathering data from the year of founding forwards. Once current national bibliographies were established, library agencies turned to cataloging the earlier output back to 1450. National bibliography and retrospective national bibliography are distinct enterprises, and are usually offered in separate databases.

Current National Bibliographies in Europe

For current national bibliographies, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has created a registry that gives quick factual information about when a country started with a concerted contemporary effort to identify publish and yearly lists of publication. The registry is not complete, but allows a quick overview for selected European countries