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Microform Collections in Stauffer Library

EARLY ENGLISH BOOKS, 1475-1640: POLLARD & REDGRAVE COLLECTION

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Description

This collection reflects the combined efforts of Alfred William Pollard (1859-1944), Gilbert Richard Redgrave (1844-1941) and others to compile a short title catalogue of major works in English literature from the 1400s through to 1640.

Pollard was a bibliographer and scholar of English literature but, because a stammer barred him from teaching, he entered the printed books department of the British Museum (now the British Library) and eventually became a recognised authority in antiquarian works. Pollard edited several works by Chaucer, Shakespeare and other authors, and authored some primers on them, as well. He wrote for several journals devoted to bibliography and later joined the Bibliographical Society, becoming an Honorable Secretary. G. R. Redgrave was an architect, engineer, and art historian, in addition to being the Vice President of the Bibliographical Society.

A major undertaking the Society wished to pursue was the formation of a short title catalogue of the antiquarian books housed in the British Museum. Since many of the old titles were long and difficult to look up, the object with the catalogue was to have a manageable reference of the titles in simplified form. The Society could not reach an agreement on how to go about this project until January 21, 1918. During that afternoon, the Society's meeting defaulted to Pollard his paper, as it was the only one produced for the meeting. The paper outlined his proposal for the short title catalogue. Redgrave had done a considerable amount of preliminary work already but the project did not get underway until 1924 when Pollard took charge, with the assistance of Redgrave's funding. In January of 1927 (1926 on the title pages), A Short-title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475-1640 was published. Ironically, the running title of the catalogue was too long and complex for ease of access, such that it became known simply as the Short Title Catalogue. The work has been invaluable to literature scholars and historians ever since.

The microfilm renditions of the works named in the Short Title Catalogue consist of 2,052 reels representing all 26,500 titles listed, ranging from the first book published in English through to the age of Spenser and Shakespeare. In addition to several early editions of works by authors such as Chaucer and Malory, the collection also contains original versions of royal statutes and proclamations, military, legal, and Parliamentary documents, sermons and liturgies, biographies, the Book of Common Prayer and the King James translation of The Bible.   -- Summary prepared with reference to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), the Short-title Catalogue (1926), and the ProQuest products overview of the collection

Microform Location and Call Number   Stauffer Library Compact Shelving at Microfilm designation: STC-1

Index/Guide Location and Call Number   Stauffer Library Reference at:

Z2002 .P77 1976   (Short Title Catalogue)
Z2002 .W72t   (Guide)

Collection Status   Almost complete (2046 of 2052 reels, plus Guides)

Notes

  1. Missing Reels: 270, 301, 344, 650, 757, & 955.
  2. The microfilm reels are marked with "STC-I".
  3. The original edition of A Short-title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475-1640 is available in Stauffer Library Books at Z2002 .P7.
  4. For titles published after 1641 and up to 1700, refer to the Wing Collection.
  5. Queen's Library also has purchased online access to the Pollard-Redgrave Collection via ProQuest's Early English Books Online   (Note:   Access is restricted to Queen's students, faculty and staff)
Last revised: 9 August 2006

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