Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Early English Booktrade Database

The last one hundred years of scholarship in the history of the English book trade have been dominated by catalogues: of books, of watermarks, of printer's ornaments and title-page borders. At the same time considerable effort has gone into the transcription and publication of primary documents such as those found in company archives and government repositories. Little research has been carried out, however, in support of the tools of quantitative analysis developed by historians and social scientists. The paucity of quantitative-based research is due primarily to the lack of hard data upon which to work. As a result, while we know for the most part what books were published and something about the official lives of the men and women who worked in the printing houses and bookshops, we know very little about the measurable physical, economic and material circumstances of the trade itself. The Early English Booktrade Database (EEBD) will be the first networked electronic resource devoted to the organization and dissemination of physical and descriptive bibliographical statistics.

View the EEBD here