The Union Catalogue: A Work in Progress

The 36,000 descriptions of incunabula, distributed over at least 3,900 articles, are at varying stages of scientific analysis. Some have undergone detailed analysis and reflect the current status of research, while others are now out of date. Some consist of nothing more than a title and a few images of manuscript pages.

Obviously, the database is divided into two parts.

The first part covers the letters ‘A’ to ‘H’. Individual editions can be found listed under their GW numbers, with the exception of some editions in ‘H’, which still have intermediate numbers. Additional editions are incorporated into the numerical sequence with ‘slash’ numbers. As a rule, all details correspond with those in the printed version of the catalogue. New findings are continually incorporated into the database.

The second part covers the letters ‘I/J’ to ‘Z’. These editions are recorded under the original pagination of the manuscript of the Union Catalogue of Incunabula. The numerical sequence does not always correspond with the alphabetical sequence. To distinguish them from the GW numbers, these numbers are prefixed with the letter ‘M’ for ‘manuscript’. This part of the database is an ‘as-is’ presentation of a collection of material. Over the years, new research developments and findings have been incorporated into the manuscript — although these have not undergone systematic processing. Instead of detailed texts, you will see digital images of manuscript pages. Please note that editions belonging to a particular group of works are usually sorted alphabetically according to printing location and printers! Editions not yet attributed to a printer can be found at the top of every group of titles.

An initial revision of prepared material is underway. As far as this is possible without vast amounts of research, this procedure is aimed at:

This revision has so far been completed up to and including the letter ‘M’.

Current Processing Status

The database contains all given information pertaining to the relevant sections of the alphabet. Because the material is under constant review, researchers can also expect to find additional information in all sections.

Due to a agreement with the publisher Anton Hiersemann Stuttgart those parts of the Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke that are currently under preparation (presently from ‘Historia septem sapientum’ to ‘Hymni’) are presented without the detailed description of textual contents. Two years after the publication of the relevant printed volume, the full and complete version will be made available to database users. For detailed questions please contact the editorial board.

Bibliographical Notice


Detailed Description (Textual Description)

Bibliographic References

Location References

The holdings of some libraries are recorded completely. In these cases the list of holdings is preceded by the text ‘Der Bestand von … Ausgaben ist vollständig erfasst’, ‘The holdings of … editions of incunabula are recorded completely.’