Biographical Resources > Pre-1800 European Trade Personal

Back to: Authority Control at Yale > Biographical Resources


Resources available at Yale for establishing authoritative forms for the names of pre-1800 European book trade personnel

In establishing names for “non-authors”, AACR2 instructs us to “determine the name by which he or she is commonly known from reference sources issued in his or her language or country of residence or activity”(22.1B). The following resources, specific to the book trade (e.g. printers, publishers, booksellers), and all available at the Yale University Libraries, were chosen and arranged with this in mind. 

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a general listing of resources useful in creating NACO records. Annotations include information on coverage (if not clear from the title), extent of the entries, arrangement of information, presence and type of indexes, and general comments. The works chosen present information in dictionary-style: not as essays or historical studies. Sources with coverage at the national level have been preferred. As need suggests, more city-specific sources to the list may be added. 

Excluded from this list are general biographical resources. For these, see Biographical Resources on the Authority Control at Yale website and Standard Biographical Resources in the Yale Stacks

For additional resources specific to the book trade, some not available at Yale, see Datenbanken und Nachschlagewerke für Drucker und Verleger: a bibliography of online and print resources arranged under country. 

General European:
Austria | Belgium | British Isles | Denmark | England | France | Germany 
Ireland | Italy | Netherlands | Poland | Scotland | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Wales

For those times when it is necessary to identify printers solely from their device before establishing a name, an initial list of resources useful in this preliminary work is provided. 

Printers' Devices


General European

Bibliothèque nationale de France. Répertoire d’imprimeurs/libraires XVIe-XVIIIe siècles: etat en 1995. 3e éd. Paris : Bibliothèque nationale de France, c1997.
Extent of entries varies: include place(s) of activity and flourish dates, and sometimes addresses, signs, description of device, or family information. Arranged alphabetically by surname. Index lists cities alphabetically, then names (alphabetically) with dates of activity in that city. CAUTION: the place index includes the dates of the heirs within the dates of the individual, so you must look up the personal entry for the correct dates.

CERL Thesaurus 
“The CERL Thesaurus file contains forms of imprint places, imprint names, personal names and corporate names as found in material printed before the middle of the nineteenth century - including variant spellings, forms in Latin and other languages, and fictitious names.” 

Clavis typographorum librariorumque saeculi sedecimi = Dictionary of printers and publishers in the sixteenth century. Aureliae Aquensis (i.e. Baden-Baden) : Koerner, 1992. (Index Aureliensis. Catalogus librorum sedecimo saeculo impressorum; 3:3.)
Brief entries for names with flourish dates. Arranged alphabetically by city, then chronologically (by dates of activity) within the city. Includes index for names, and list of Latin place names with modern equivalents.

Lanhart, John M. Introduction to check-lists of names of places where typography was applied, of master printers, printers, workmen, publishers, promoters, etc. St. Louis, Mo.: Catholic Central Union, 1959. 
Covers the years 1445-1520. Brief entries of name, place and dates. Includes lists for e.g. ecclesiastical and monastic personnel, dedicatees, and proof-readers.

 


Austria

See under Germany

 


Belgium

Bergmans, Paul. Les imprimeurs Belges à l’étranger: liste géographique des imprimeurs et libraires Belces [sic] établis a l’étranger depuis les origines de l’imprimerie jusqu’a la fin du XVIIIe siècle. Nouv. éd. [Brussels?]: Société des Bibliophiles et iconophiles de Belgique, 1922.
Belgian printers and booksellers working outside of Belgium in the 15th-18th centuries. Substantial entries, some illustrated with printer’s device. Arranged alphabetically by name of city, then printers listed chronologically within each city. Index for personal names; chronological table.

BioBibData 
A biographical and bibliographical site featuring pre-1801 Belgium imprints. There is an index for persons, some entries including birth/death dates.

Bibliotheca Belgica: bibliographie générale des Pays-Bas. Rééd. sous la dir. de Marie-Thérèse Lenger. Bruxelles: Editions Culture et Civilisation, 1979.
T. 6, p. 337-490. "Index des imprimeurs, éditeurs commerciaux et libraires"
Brief entries. Arranged alphabetically by surname. Gives place(s) of activity and dates of publications with references to bibliographic descriptions in the main text. Some entries include typographical information.

Rouzet, Anne. Dictionnaire des imprimeurs, libraires et éditeurs des XVe et XVIe siècles dans les limites géographiques de la Belgique actuelle. Nieuwkoop: B. de Graff, 1975.
Substantial entries. Arranged alphabetically by surname. Indexes for names, cities and addresses. (Errata p. 283.)

 


British Isles

See also under EnglandScotland, and Ireland 

British Book Trade Index 
“The BRITISH BOOK TRADE INDEX (BBTI) is 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. ” Entries vary in extent, including addresses, dates of activity, and biographical information. Extensive bibliographies.

Exeter working papers in British book trade history 
“This website makes available information on the London and provincial book trades which has been gathered intermittently since the 1970s. One major aim is to digitize information previously issued in the publications in the Exeter Working Papers series.” 

Humphries, Charles and William C. Smith. Music publishing in the British Isles, from the earliest times to the middle of the nineteenth century: a dictionary of engravers, printers, publishers, and music sellers. London: Cassell, 1954. 
2nd ed. with supplement. Oxford: Blackwell, 1970.
Extent of entries varies: include addresses, dates of activity, predecessors/ successors. Arranged alphabetically by surname. Includes an “Index of firms in places other than London.”

McKerrow, Ronald B. A dictionary of printers and booksellers in England, Scotland and Ireland, and of foreign printers of English books 1557-1640. London: Bibliographical Society, 1910.
Extent of entries varies. Arranged alphabetically by surname. Indexes for signs, addresses and “Places other than London”.

Morrison, Paul G. Index of printers, publishers and booksellers in A.W. Pollard and G.R. Redgrave A short-title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland & Ireland and of English books printed abroad 1475-1640. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Press for the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 1955.
Brief entries of names with citations to STC. Arranged alphabetically by surname.

Morrison, Paul G. Index of printers, publishers and booksellers in Donald Wing's Short-title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and British America and of English books printed in other countries, 1641 - 1700. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Press for the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 1955.
Brief entries of names with citations to Wing. Arranged alphabetically by surname.

Plomer, Henry R. A dictionary of the booksellers and printers who were at work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1641 to 1667. London: Bibliographical Society, 1907.
Extent of entries varies. Arranged alphabetically by surname.

Plomer, Henry R. A dictionary of the printers and booksellers who were at work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1668 to 1725. [Oxford]: Printed for the Bibliographical Society at the Oxford University Press, 1922.
Extent of entries varies. Arranged alphabetically by surname. Index for “Places other than London”.

Plomer, Henry R.; Bushnell, George H.; Dix, E.R.McC. A dictionary of the printers and booksellers who were at work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1726 to 1775. [Oxford]: Printed for the Bibliographical Society at the Oxford University Press, 1932 (for 1930).
Extent of entries varies. Arranged alphabetically by surname. Indexes for places and circulating libraries.

 


Denmark

Ilsøe, Harald. Bogtrykkerne i København og deres virksomhed ca. 1600-1810: en biobibliografisk håndbog med bidrag til bogproduktionens historie. København : Det Kongelige Bibliotek : Museum Tusculanums Forlag, 1992. (Danish humanist texts and studies; 5)
Extent of entries on Copenhagen printers varies, many with bibliographical references; some reproductions of printers' devices, ornaments, etc. Arranged chonologically. Includes name index. 

 


England

See also under British Isles

Brown, Philip A.H. London publishers and printers, c. 1800-1870. London: British Library, c1982. 
Brief entries, with addresses and dates of activity. Arranged alphabetically by surname. Includes those whose activity began in the 18th century.

Duff, E. Gordon. A century of the English book trade: short notices of all printers, stationers, book-binders, and others connected with it from the issue of the first dated book in 1457 to the incorporation of the Company of stationers in 1557. London : Printed for the Bibliographical Society by Blades, East & Blades, 1905.
Extent of entries varies. Arranged alphabetically by surname. Includes Continental personnel who had any connection to the English book trade. Includes indexes for ‘Christian names’ and ‘ London signs before 1558,’ and a ‘Chronological index of foreign places, printers and stationers.’

Exeter working papers in British book trade history 
“This website makes available information on the London and provincial book trades which has been gathered intermittently since the 1970s. One major aim is to digitize information previously issued in the publications in the Exeter Working Papers series.” 

Maxted, Ian. The London book trades 1775-1800: a preliminary checklist of members. Folkestone, Eng. : Dawson, 1977.
Extent of entries varies, including addresses and dates of activity. Arranged alphabetically by surname. Includes some printing families' genealogies.

Todd. W. A directory of printers and others in allied trades, London and vicinity, 1800-1840. London: Printing Historical Society, c1972.
Brief entries with dates, addresses and work relationships. Arranged alphabetically by surname. Includes those whose activity began in the 18th century. 

 


France

Bibliothèque nationale de France: BN-Opale Plus
Under "Catalogue BN-OPALE PLUS" choose “Recherches avancée” then “Editeur, imprimeur, marque” to search. Authority records are hyperlinked. To search the authority file directly, choose "Autorités” from the Catalogue page.

Lepreux, G. Gallia typographica, ou, Répertoire biographique et chronologique de tous les imprimeurs de France depuis les origines de l’imprimerie jusqu'à la révolution. Paris: H. Champion, 1909-1914. 7 vol.
Substantial entries. Arranged under regions. Index of names in each volume.

Müller, Jean. Dictionnaire abrégé des imprimeurs-éditeurs français du seizième siècle. Baden-Baden : Verlag Librairie Heitz, 1970. (Bibliotheca bibliographica Aureliana; 30)
Brief entries arranged by city, with names listed chronologically by dates of activity under each place. Includes name index.

Renouard. P. Imprimeurs Parisiens, libraries, fondeurs de caractères et correcteurs d'imprimerie, puis l'introduction de l'imprimerie à Paris (1470) jusqu'à la fin du XVIe siècle. Paris: A. Claudin, 1898.
Booktrade personnel active in Paris in the 15th-16th centuries. Entries range from brief to moderate in length, arranged alphabetically by suname. Entries include place and dates of activity, addresses, signs, device description, associates and family relationships. Also included is a list of self-published writers; a table of addresses, arranged by street; a map of the university quarter as it was in the 16th century; a table of signs; a chronological list; and a name index. 

Baudrier, H. Bibliographie Lyonnaise: recherches sur les imprimeurs, libraires, relieurs et fondeurs de lettres de Lyon au XVIe siècle. Lyon, Librairie ancienne d'Auguste Brun, 1895-1921. 12 vol. 
Reprinted: Genève: Slatkine reprints, 1999. 13 vol. in 7. 
Supplement: Supplément provisoire. Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation Nationale, 1967-
Tables: Geneva: E. Droz, 1950-52.
Suppl. to tables: Lyon: Société des Amis de la Bibliothèque, 1963.
Booktrade personnel active in Lyon in the 15th-16th centuries. Extent of entries varies. Vol. 1 is arranged alphabetically by surname, marking with an asterisk the individuals who will be treated in the following volumes. Entries in succeeding volumes have at least flourish date(s) and list known publications; longer entries may include title page transcriptions. Most volumes have an index to the entries; vol. 9 has a cumulative index up to that point. From the tables by Tricou (supplemented by Joly), using table IV ("Liste des imprimeurs, libraires, correcterus d'imprimerie, relieurs et fondeurs de lettres") is the easiest way to locate an entry that is not covered in vol. 1.. Note: these tables are included as vol. 13 of the 1999 reprint. 

 


Germany and German speaking countries

See also under Switzerland 

Benzing, Josef. Die Buchdrucker des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts im deutschen Sprachgebiet. 2. verb. und erg. Aufl. Wiesbaden: O. Harrassowitz, 1982. 
Basic information for those active in German-speaking countries in the 16th-17th centuries. Arranged alphabetically by city, then names listed alphabetically. Includes index of names. 

Dünnhaupt, Gerhard. Personalbibliographien zu den Drucken des Barock. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart : A. Hiersemann, 1990-1993.
T. 6, p. 4624-4670. "Register."
Brief entries with place and dates of activity, arranged alphabetically by surname, for late 16th-18th century. Includes cross-references from alternate name spellings and initialisms.

Paisey, D. Deutsche Buchdrucker, Buchhändler und Verleger 1701-1750. Wiesbaden: O. Harrossowitz, 1988. (Beiträge zum Buch- und Bibliothekswesen; Bd. 26)
Basic information arranged alphabetically by surname, with city and dates of activity; some entries include information about death dates, heirs, etc.

Paisey, D. German printers, booksellers and publishers of the seventeenth century: some amendments and additions to Benzing. Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 1989, p. 165-179.
Basic information arranged alphabetically by surname, with city and dates of activity; some entries include information about death dates, heirs, etc.; index arranged by place of activity.

VD17 
Das Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachraum erschienenen Drucke des 17. Jahrhunderts
This in-process database of 17th century imprints for German-speaking countries has 'authority' records linked to name headings, with basic information on dates, role(s) and place(s) of activity. One can also search these records directly by clicking on Thesauruseintrage.

Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachbereich erschienenen Drucke des XVI. Jahrhunderts: VD 16. Stuttgart : Hiersemann, 1983-. 3. Abt. Register der Druckorte, Drucker, Verleger und Erscheinungsjahre.
An index to VD 16 in 4 sections: (1) 'Repertory of printing places'; (2) 'Index of printers and publishers'; (3) 'Index of publication years'; and an 'Appendix' updating imprint information in VD 16 in light of later research. Section 2 has brief entries arranged alphabetically by surname, with place of activity. Flourish dates can be determined from section 1, arranged alphabetically by city, then by printer within each city, and listing by date works associated with that person, including the VD 16 citations. 
 


Ireland

See also under British Isles

Munter, Robert. A dictionary of the print trade in Ireland, 1550-1775. New York : Fordham University Press, 1988.
Biographical entries of varying depth for booksellers, bookbinders, engravers, papermakers, printers, publishers, and type-founders. Arranged in alphabetical order by surname, with place(s) of activity and flourish dates. Includes those known only by a single publication.

Pollard, M. A dictionary of members of the Dublin book trade, 1550-1800: based on the records of the Guild of St. Luke the Evangelist, Dublin. London : Bibliographical Society, 2000.
Extent of entries varies. Arranged in alphabetical order by surname, with at least place(s) of activity and flourish dates and status in the Guild; many entries include family and apprentice information, legal notices, and bibliographical references.
 


Italy

EDIT 16: Censimento delle edizioni italiane del XVI secolo (This is the link to the English interface.) 
This database for 16th century Italian imprints (including Italian-language works printed outside the country) has its own authority file. Entries include place and dates of activity, addresses, descriptions of printers’ devices (some with illustrations), variant forms, and notes. A link leads from the entry to all the records on which the name appears. 

Antolini, Bianca Maria. Dizionario degli editori musicali italiani, 1750-1930. Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 2000.
Substantial, signed entries. Arranged alphabetically by name (surname or corporate name). Entries include place and dates of activity, biographical information and individual source bibliographies. Includes name index. 

Ascarelli, Fernanda; Menato, Marco. La tipografia del '500 in Italia. Florence: Leo S. Olschki editore, 1989.
Substantial entries for 16th century names. Arranged alphabetically by city, then chronologically within the city. Includes index for names. 

Borsa, Gedeon. Clavis typographorum librariorumque Italiae, 1465-1600. Aureliae Aquensis (i.e. Baden- Baden): Koerner, 1980. (Bibliotheca bibliographica Aureliana; 35)
Brief entries include alternate usage, place(s) of activity, and flourish dates. Arranged alphabetically by name. 

Dizionario dei tipografi e degli editori italiani: il Cinquecento. Marco Menato, Ennio Sandal, Giuseppina Zappella, eds. Milano: Editrice Bibliografica, c1997- (Grandi opere; 9)
Substantial entries for 16th century names. Arranged alphabetically by name. 

Cosenza, M. Biographical and bibliographical dictionary of the Italian printers and of foreign printers in Italy from the introduction of the art of printing into Italy to 1800. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1968. 
Book of photocopies of index cards. Not recommended, except as a last resort. 

Sartori, Claudio. Dizionario degli editori musicali italiani (tipografi, incisori, librae-editori). Florence: Leo S. Olschki editore, 1958.
Covers from the 15th to the first half of the 20th century. Extent of entries varies. Arranged alphabetically by name (personal and corporate). Entries include at least place and dates of activity, and alternate name forms. Includes index. 

 


Netherlands

Gruys, J.A. and C. de Wolf. Thesaurus 1473-1800 : Nederlandse boekdrukkers en boekverkopers : met plaatsen en jaren van werkzaamheid : Dutch printers and booksellers with places and years of activity. Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1989. (Bibliotheca bibliographica Neerlandica; v. 28) 
Brief entries with city and dates of activity, arranged alphabetically by name. List (not an index) in back arranged by city, with chronological list of printers active there. 

Lijst van drukkers bij de Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht = Name list of printers in the Utrecht University Library (This is the link to the English interface.) 
A work in progress, for printers active before 1801, whose publications are available at the Utrecht University Library (not limited to printers active in the Netherlands). Arranged alphabetically by name of printer. Brief entries with place(s) and dates of activity, and some additional notes. 

Kleerkooper, M.M. De Boekhandel te Amsterdam voornamelijk in de 17e eeuw: biographische en Geschiedkundige Aanteekeningen. ‘s-Gravenhage : Martinus Nijhoff, 1914-1916. 2 vols. (Bijdragen tot de geschiedenis van den nederlandschen boekhandel; 10).
Book trade personnel active in Amsterdam between 1600 and 1800. Arranged alphabetically by surname. Biographical entries vary in extext. Includes indexes.

Bibliopolis: Persons, biographical information on the Dutch book trade (This is the link to the English version of the “Personen” section.)
Database includes the Thesaurus 1473-1800 noted above. 

 


Poland

Bandtkie, Jerzy Samuel. Historya drukarn w Krolestwie Polskiem i Wielkiem Xiestwie Litewskiem, jako i w kraiach zagranicznych, w których polskie dziela wychodzily. Kradow: Drukarnia Józefa Mateckiego, 1826.
Covers the former kingdom of Poland, with Lithuania and Polish-language printing in foreign countries. Extent of entries varies, including biographical information and many with bibliographical information. Arranged alphabetically city, then gives names chonologically. Indexes of names in vol. 3.

 


Scotland

See also under British Isles

Scottish Book Trade Index. 
“The Scottish Book Trade Index represents an index of printers, publishers, booksellers, bookbinders, printmakers, stationers and papermakers based in Scotland, from the beginnings of Scottish printing to ca. 1850.” Extent of entries varies, which may include biographical information, addresses for years of activity, and corporate name changes. Includes bibliography of sources. 

 


Spain

Casado, Juan D. Diccionario de impresores españoles, siglos XV-XVII. Madrid: Editorial Arco/Libros, 1996.
Substantial entries. Arranged alphabetically by name. Indexes of names and of cities (with names arranged chronologically under each, by date of activity).

 


Sweden

Bonnier, Isidor A. Anteckningar om svenska bokhandlare. Stockholm: I.A. Bonnier, 1920-1935. 2 vols. 
Swedish book trade from the 15th into the early 20th century. Extent of entries varies. Arranged alphabetically by city, then listing names roughly chronologically. Each vol. has its own name index. 

Mannerheim, Johan. “Svenska boktryckarlängder 1483-1883,” in Svensk boktryckeri-historia 1483-1883. Stockholm: Mannerheim & Mannerheim, 1983. (p. 77-114 at end)
Brief entries with names and flourish dates. Arranged alphabetically by city, then listing names roughly chronologically. 
 


Switzerland

See also under Germany 

Imprimeurs et éditeurs suisses: XVIe-XVIIIe siècles
Website of the Bibliothéque publique et universitaire - Genève. Entries vary in depth, containing at least place and dates of activity, some with the addition of further notes, bibliographical references, publications, printers’ devices. Arranged alphabetically by name. Indexed to search also by city and canton. 

 


Wales

See under British Isles

 


Printers' Devices

General European (Devices) 

Delalain, M.P. Inventaire des marques d'imprimeurs et de libraires de la collection du Cercle de la Libraire. 2. ed. Paris: Cercle de la Librairie, 1892.
Devices for European printers and booksellers from the 15th to the 18th century (with an emphasis on France). Arranged by country, then by city, then alphabetically by surname. Entries include the dates when the devices were used, the address, signs, description of the device, any motto, and some illustrations. Includes index for names.

University of Florida. Dept. of Special and Area Studies Collections. Printers' devices
Last updated Sept. 2000. 

University of Barcelona. Printers' devices (This is the link to the English version.)
"This database displays printers' devices images used by the printers included in the bibliographic catalogue of early books of the University of Barcelona. Every record links to the printers' authority record and retrieves records of the books in the library." 

Belgium (Devices) 

Peeters-Fontainas, Jean. Bibliographie des impressions espagnoles des Pays-Bas méridionaux. Nieuwkoop: B. de Graaf, 1965. Vol. II, p. 729-809 (“Marques typographieques”).
 

British Isles (Devices) 

Davies, Hugh William. Devices of the early printers, 1457-1560: their history and development, with a chapter on portrait figures of printers. London: Grafton, 1935.
 

McKerrow, Ronald B. Printers' & publishers' devices in England & Scotland 1485-1640. London: Bibliographical Society, 1913. 
   •  Online version 

France (Devices) 

Silvestre, L.-C. Marques typographiques, ou, Recueil des monogrammes, chiffres, enseignes, emblèmes, devises, rébus et fleurons des libraires et imprimeurs qui ont excercé en France, depuis l’introduction de l’imprimerie, en 1470, jusqu’à la fin du seiziéme siécle. Paris: P. Jannet, 1853-1867.

Italy (Devices) 

EDIT 16: Censimento delle edizioni italiane del XVI secolo (This is the link to the English interface.) 
As noted above, this database for 16th century Italian imprints includes descriptions of printers’ devices, some with illustrations. 

Marche Tipografiche Editoriali: MAR.T.E. (This is the link to the English version.)
Printers and publishers in 17th century Italy. 

Netherlands (Devices)

Huisstede, P. van and J.P.J. Brandhorst. Dutch printer’s devices 15-17th century: a catalogue with CD-Rom. Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1999. 3 vols. + 1 CD-Rom.
Basic biographical information and illustrations of devices. First two volumes arranged alphabetically by last name of printer. Vol. 3 indexes names, elements within the devices, etc. 

Spain (Devices) 

Vindel, Francisco. Escudos y marcas de impresores y libreros en España durante los siglos XV a XIX (1485-1850): con 818 facsímiles. Barcelona, Editorial Orbis, 1942.
Does not contain biographical information. Includes indexes by place and name


Created by: eileen.smith@yale.edu
Last Revised: 4 February 2008