7.0386 Renaissance England Private Library Project (1/158)

Mon, 10 Jan 1994 19:36:33 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0386. Monday, 10 Jan 1994.

Date: Sun, 2 Jan 1994 17:25:06 -0500 (EST)
From: fehrenbach robert j <rjfehr@aardvark.cc.wm.edu>
Subject: Private Libraries in Renaissance England PROJECT

As a result of a number of inquiries, the following
description/invitation is being posted on several electronic
conferences/discussions. I apologize to anyone who receives duplicate

R.J. Fehrenbach


A Collection and Catalogue of
Tudor and Early Stuart Book-Lists

Purpose =FE Design =FE Availability =FE Participation


By a statute enacted under Henry VIII in 1521, a deceased
person's property was required to be inventoried and
appraised for probate whether the person died with or
without a will. As a result, thousands of inventories on
decease were compiled during the early-sixteenth century and
the mid-seventeenth century in England, and many of them
itemize books owned by the deceased. In addition, lists of
books belonging to men and women of this period were
recorded in a variety of other documents, including wills,
account books, receipts, and inventories of goods
ENGLAND (PLRE) is to transcribe and to codify such
book-lists still in manuscript, to reconstruct private
library holdings from extant books, to merge both in a
uniform computer database with other published book-lists,
and to make that information readily accessible to scholars.


1. Published Book-Lists
In the published volumes of PLRE, each entry in the
book-lists is reproduced as it appears in the manuscript
source and provided with the following: a reference number
(PLRE number); as identifiable, the title, author and other
contributors (such as editors, translators, and
illustrators); its STC status; publication information such
as place, stationers, and date; its language; cost or
appraised value; and the location of that particular copy if
extant. Additional information is provided in a general
annotation section. Each book-list is prefaced with a brief
bio-bibliographical introduction. Three fully indexed
volumes containing 86 book-lists (dates range from 1507 to
1644) with a total of over 4,000 books have thus far been
published: Volume 1, PLRE 1-4 (1992); Volume 2, PLRE 5-66
(1993); Volume 3, PLRE 67-86 (1993). Volume 4, PLRE 87-112,
is scheduled for publication in 1994 and will add another 1700
books. Book-lists in Volumes 2-4 are all drawn from inventories
taken under the jurisdiction of the Chancellor of Oxford University
and, for the most part, detail the libraries of sixteenth-century
Oxford University scholars.

2. The Electronic Cumulative Catalogue
This database contains all the annotated book-lists
that appear in the published volumes of PLRE as well as
book-lists that have appeared elsewhere in serials, in
monographs, and in books. These previously published
book-lists are regularly entered in the Electronic
Cumulative Catalogue as rights to do so are acquired, and
are identified in the database as APND (Appended) lists.
APND lists are not completely re-edited but are augmented as
necessary (e.g., by the provision of uniform titles, PLRE
reference numbers, subject categories, and the like) so that
they conform to the PLRE format and are subject to retrieval
with other entries.
Here is stored for retrieval all the information
found in the published volumes of PLRE cited above
(with the exception of the bio-bibliographical
introductions) along with additional information for each
entry to include: the dates, profession or vocation, and
social status of the person associated with the book-list
(usually an owner); the purpose of the manuscript containing
the book-list (whether, for example, a will, an inventory or
a receipt); the place and date of the manuscript's
compilation; its current location; and one or more
classifications defining the subject categories of the work.
The APND lists add, thus far, 30 book-lists containing
approximately 900 books to the book-lists appearing in the
published volumes. The PLRE Electronic Cumulative Catalogue
currently consists of 116 Tudor and Stuart book-lists
containing a total of more than 5000 books. Additional
records of books are entered in the database as they are

3. Published Appendices and Concordances
In the last few pages of each published volume of PLRE
(beginning with Volume 2) are several appendices and
concordances, updated with each volume, which provide the
following information: the total number of book-lists edited
and entries catalogued; the names of the owners of
book-lists in the Electronic Cumulative Catalogue arranged
alphabetically and by PLRE number (both lists with each
owner's dates, profession or vocation, social status, and
the date of the manuscript list); a bibliography of the APND
book-lists alphabetized according to the owners' names; and
lists (with PLRE reference numbers) of the types of manu-
scripts and their dates, the Renaissance locations of the
book-lists, and the professions or vocations, social
positions, and dates of the library owners represented.


Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies (Binghamton, NY) and
Adam Matthew Publications (Marlborough, UK) are the
publishers of PLRE. Until a planned CD-ROM of the
Electronic Cumulative Catalogue is issued, information from
the PLRE database may be obtained by contacting either PLRE
editor below.


Any information about published or unpublished book-lists
suitable for the PLRE project will be gratefully received.
Please send such information to one of the PLRE editors
below. Scholars interested in preparing a list for the
project should also contact either of these editors.

Professor R.J. Fehrenbach Dr. Elisabeth S. Leedham-Gree=
Department of English Deputy Keeper of the Archives
College of William and Mary Cambridge University Library
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795 (USA) Cambridge CB3 9DR (UK)
(RJFEHR@aardvark.cc.wm.edu) (EL17@phoenix.cambridge.ac.uk=


PLRE is supported by a grant from
The National Endowment for the Humanities
an independent federal agency

=09R.J. Fehrenbach=09=09=09Tel:=09(804) 221-3920
=09Department of English=09=09Fax:=09(804) 221-1773
=09College of William and Mary=09Email:=09rjfehr@mail.wm.edu
=09Williamsburg VA 23187-8795=09=09rjfehr@aardvark.cc.wm.edu