Other Incunabula Catalogues on the Internet

ISTC (The Incunabula Short-Title Catalogue) The database, which since 1980 has been updated on a regular basis, was developed by the British Library. It contains information on nearly all recorded incunable editions. Each entry describes a single edition and contains references to catalogues and other bibliographies, with a list of the institutions all over the world where copies are held. The existence of each and every copy listed in the catalogue entry has been verified. The database is available on a CD-ROM (status of 1998) with digital images of key pages (Illustrated Incunabula Short-Title Catalogue, IISTC). The open-access online version does not contain images; however, it contains links to digital reproductions of incunables available on the Internet.

In January 2008, the total number of editions recorded in ISTC stood at 29,777, including many prints now redated to the 16th century.

The German branch of the ISTC is the Inkunabel-Census Deutschland, established at the Bavarian State Library, Munich, in 1988. URL: http://www.bsb-muenchen.de/Inkunabel-Census_fuer_Deutschl.789.0.html, including an updated list of the current state of progress.

Inkunabel-Katalog deutscher Bibliotheken (INKA)

This source grants access to a data pool comprised of incunable descriptions from 44 larger and smaller German and Austrian collections, with regular updates and additions. As of December 2010, INKA lists 15,915 editions and 67,178 copies.

INKA also maintains the mailing list INCUNABULA-L ( Registration: http://www.listserv.dfn.de/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=incunabula-l&A=1/, List Archives: http://www.listserv.dfn.de/archives/incunabula-l.html).

Inkunabelkatalog der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek (BSB-Ink)

The database contains descriptions of 9,701 incunable editions in the Bavarian State Library (including 395 postincunabula, listed in Hain’s Repertorium Bibliographicum as incunables but now dated to the 16th century) in 17,529 copies (605 of which are postincunabula). As of now, doublet copies with special locations (2,454 volumes) and uncatalogued fragments are not included.

Inkunabelzensus Österreich

The Austrian census aims to account for all incunable copies located in Austria within a unified database. The starting point was an ISTC-based data pool. Since April 2002, this has been the model for the listing of data concerning the holdings of Austrian libraries, including monastic and private collections. The census now stands at 30,360 copies owned by 149 institutions, covering 9,500 titles. Each catalogue entry provides details of ownership, quantity and condition of copies.

Paul Needham: Index Possessorum Incunabulorum (IPI)

IPI contains some 32,000 entries of personal names, institutional names, monograms, and arms pertaining to the ownership of incunabula. They were extracted by Paul Needham from some 200 published catalogues of incunabula with provenance information, augmented with information from his personal research, and placed in a word file of some 1,267 pages or 500,565 words. The version offered here dates to March 2010. Of course most of these entries are of relevance to provenance research on manuscripts and later printed books as well, as these characters owned and collected books of many periods, not just incunabula.


An occasionally updated list of online resources for incunable research.