Tools for Provenance and Bibliographical Research CERL Workshop, Vienna, ONB Orato­rium Wednesday 20 June 2012, 9:00 – 13.00

Events and Conferences
Workshop hosted jointly by the Sammlung von Handschriften und Alten Drucken der Öster­rei­chi­schen Nationalbibliothek and the Consortium of European Research Libraries:

Heritage of the prin­ted Book Database (HPB)

Over 3,500,000 records of books prin­ted before 1830 extrac­ted from European (and one American) Research libra­ries, inclu­ding Rus­sia, the­ Bal­ti­c Repu­blics, and E­as­tern Europe. Records can be sear­ched irre­spec­tively of the lan­guage of the indi­vi­dual cata­lo­gues thanks to the assis­ted search offe­red by the CERL Thesaurus. How to retrieve pro­venance data from HPB records.

CERL Thesaurus of Places, Printers, Personal Names, Corporate Names, Provenance

A uni­que faci­lity deve­l­o­ped to address the par­ti­cu­larly European issue that place names and per­so­nal names varied from coun­try to coun­try in the period of hand-press prin­ting (1450-c.1830). The ent­ries include vari­ant spel­lings, forms in Latin and other lan­gua­ges, and fic­ti­tious names.

More than 6,000 prin­ting pla­ces; many geo-referenced (and dis­played in Google maps) and lin­ked to records descri­bing prin­ters who were active in that par­ti­cu­lar place.

More than 32,000 prin­ters and other per­sons or cor­po­rate enti­ties invol­ved in the phy­si­cal pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion of books. Links to digi­ti­sed prin­ters devices.

Approximately 700,000 per­sons and 10,000 cor­po­rate bodies that have been invol­ved in the intel­lec­tual pro­duc­tion of books, as aut­hors, trans­la­tors, edi­tors, artists, and of course as book-owners.

Personal and cor­po­rate names are lin­ked to their rela­ti­ves, pre­de­ces­sors, suc­ces­sors, mem­bers, co-workers, etc. whe­re­ver pos­si­ble. Many records con­tain bio­gra­phi­cal and biblio­gra­phi­cal infor­ma­tion, list of works writ­ten or worked on, and links to exter­nal resour­ces, such as exten­sive bio­gra­phies, etc.

CERL Portal

Gives access to descrip­tion of manu­scripts of all periods and early prin­ted mate­rial in collec­tions in Europe, US, and­Aus­tra­lia. It enab­les to search across the con­t­ents of online manu­script data­ba­ses, and across manu­script and biblio­gra­phi­cal data­ba­ses, by this means over­co­m­ing the his­to­ri­cal dif­fe­ren­tia­tion of prin­ted books and manu­scripts in libraries.

The Portal offers free dis­tri­bu­ted access to thir­teen cata­lo­gues of manu­script collec­tions and six selec­ted early-printed books cata­lo­gues which are avail­able for inter­ro­ga­t­ion via the OAI or the Z39.50 protocols

Index Possessorum Incunabulorum (IPI)

IPI con­tains some 32,000 ent­ries rela­ting to the ownership of inc­una­bula, inclu­ding per­so­nal names, insti­tu­tio­nal names, mono­grams, and arms.


Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI)

A new data­base desi­gned to record and search the mate­rial evi­dence (or copy spe­ci­fic, post-production evi­dence, pro­venance infor­ma­tion) of 15th-century prin­ted books: ownership, deco­ra­tion, bin­ding, manu­script anno­ta­ti­ons, stamps, pri­ces, etc.

MEI is lin­ked to the Incunabula Short-Title Catalogue (ISTC), from which it deri­ves the biblio­gra­phi­cal records, and it allows the user to com­bine search of biblio­gra­phi­cal and copy-specific records.

Can You Help? Identifying Provenance Evidence

To find help in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of a book plate, bin­ding stamp, library label, or to read and iden­tify an owner’s inscription.


LocationOratorium der Öster­rei­chi­schen Nationalbibliothek (Entrance: Josefsplatz,

To register, send an email to: by 14 June 2012.


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