Friday, November 25, 2011

Research links you need to know about: USTC

The Universal Short Title Catalogue is now open for searching. This project, hosted at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, combines information from databases of early printing throughout Europe. While VD16/17, ISTC, and GW still provide more thorough bibliographies, copy locations, and links to digital facsimiles for searches limited to German printing or the fifteenth century, the USTC is a major step forward for research in two situations. First, for those authors whose works were printed throughout Europe, the USTC makes a search across national borders much easier that before. Second, the USTC is the first online bibliographic database that covers early printing in the Low Countries after 1500. Although Antwerp was one of the most important early modern printing centers, tracking down editions had previously involved looking through two or three different bibliographies, which was cumbersome even if your library owned copies of these reference works. Fortunately, USTC includes data from Andrew Pettegree and Malcolm Walsby's Netherlandish Books. Hopefully we'll see continued refinements to the interface and inclusion of additional records in USTC over the next several years.

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