Lost Books Printed in French before 1601
- The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society
- Oxford University Press
- Volume 10, Number 2, June 2009
- pp. 188-205
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Research into the history of the book before 1601 has reached an important moment. Within a few years, scholars will have at their disposal short title catalogues covering almost all of the major print domains of Europe. Such significant advances in research infrastructure will fundamentally transform our understanding of the first great age of print. It is therefore timely that we begin to address one of the most inconvenient of truths - the issue of lost books. This article focuses on publishing in French as a case study. This is a particularly fertile avenue of investigation because of the existence of two exceptional sources - short title catalogues of French books published in the 1580s. By mapping the entries in these sources to the most recent short title catalogue of French print published in 2007, we can begin to explore the extent and character of the survival and loss of vernacular print in this period.