Research & Instruction
Rare Book Cataloging Resources
ALA-LC Romanization Tables
Transliteration schemes for non-Roman scripts from the Library of Congress.
RBMS Controlled Vocabularies
Vocabulary for binding, provenance, printing, genre, and relator terms.
Dictionaries, Thesauri, and Glossaries
LC Linked Data Service: Authorities and Vocabularies
The Linked Data Service provides access to commonly found standards and vocabularies promulgated by the Library of Congress. This includes data values and the controlled vocabularies that house them.
Bookbinding: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology
Don Etherington’s dictionary of descriptive book terms.
Oxford Companion to the Book (2010) (access to U of I users only)
Covers the book throughout the world from ancient to modern times. It includes traditional subjects such as bibliography, paleography, the history of printing, editorial theory and practice, textual criticism, book collecting, and libraries.
Dictionary of Literary Biography (access to U of I users only)
A sophisticated resource that presents a unique, object-based approach for the identification and characterization of prints and photographs.
“Words” by William Whitaker, Latin-to-English and English-to-Latin translation.
Lexicon Abbreviaturarum (Adriano Cappelli)
An alphabetical guide to help identify paleographic abbreviations.
Search common Latin abbreviations.
Orbis Latinus Online
Latin place names.
Unpuzzling difficult Latin readings in medieval manuscripts.
Online Catalogs & Bibliographies
Universal Short Title Catalogue (USTC)
A collective database of all books published in Europe between the invention of printing and the end of the sixteenth century.
English Short Title Catalogue ESTC)
English titles published between 1473 and 1800.
Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (ISTC)
An international database of 15th-century European printing created by the British Library with contributions from institutions worldwide.
Searches over 70 UK and Irish academic, national, and specialist library catalogs.
EDIT 16 (ICCU)
Catalog of Italian titles published in the 16th century.
Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico (Italy)
Searches the Italian Union Catalog.
Biblioteca Nacional (Spain)
Searches Spain’s national library, including manuscripts and artworks.
Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog (KVK)
Meta search interface for more than 500 million books and serials in library and book trade catalogs worldwide.
Short Title Catalog Netherlands (STCN)
A Dutch retrospective bibliography for the period 1540-1800; also included are concise descriptions of Dutch (post-)incunabula.
VD 16 (Germany)
German titles from the 16th century.
VD 17 (Germany)
Bibliography of books printed in the German-speaking countries from 1601 to 1700.
Bibliography of American Literature (access to U of I user only)
Describes in exhaustive detail the works of America’s most important literary writers from the time of the Revolution to 1930
Provenance Tools and Authority Files
CERL Thesaurus (Consortium of European Research Libraries)
Searches places, printers, authors, corporate bodies, and printer’s devices from the hand-press (1450-c. 1830) period across Europe.
British Book Trade Index
An index of the names and brief biographical details and trade details of people who worked in the book trade in England and Wales and who were trading by 1851.
Penn Provenance Project (Flickr photostream)
This collection of images is useful for identifying bookplates and other records of ownership.
Pratt Institute Ex Libris Collection (Flickr photostream)
The Ex Libris Collection consists of nineteenth- and twentieth-century bookplates from private and institutional libraries.
Clergy of the Church of England Database
Makes available and searchable the principal records of clerical careers from over 50 archives in England and Wales with the aim of providing coverage of as many clerical lives as possible from the Reformation to the mid-nineteenth century.
Guide to Special Collections at the University of Illinois
Names and descriptions of collectors and collections at the University of Illinois.