Sie sind hier: Prefaces  


by Paul Oskar Kristeller

The first edition of this bibliography appeared in Traditio 6 (1948) and 9 (1953) in two separate parts covering printed catalogues and unpublished inventories, respectively. When the available copies of the first part went out of print, I was invited by Fordham University Press to prepare a revised edition of both parts, and it was decided to publish them together as a separate book.
Since I explained the purpose of this bibliography, and the method followed in compiling it, in the prefaces to the first edition, I shall here only indicate the changes made in preparing this new edition. I did not merely try to bring the bibliography up to date by adding the new catalogues which have appeared since the publication of part I twelve years ago. I have also made an effort to fill up the gaps, and to correct the errors, concerning older published catalogues as well as handwritten inventories. In this effort, I was greatly helped by extensive information sent to me, upon request and even unsolicited, by many librarians and other scholars who had the patience to go through the bibliography with an experinced and critical eye. I also was able to undertake four extensive trips to Europe since the war, and I wish to thank again the foundations and other agencies which, through grants and fellowships, made these trips possible: The American Philosophical Society, The Columbia University Council for Research in Social Sciences, The Fulbright Committee for Italy, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. Thus I could not only examine in Europe many printed catalogues not available to me in the United States, and thus remove from my list most of the double asterisks (and often the titles themselves when the opportunity to examine the books also enabled me to eliminate them as unimportant or irrelevant). Above all, I thus could revisit, with a new purpose, the Italian libraries known to me from pre-war times, and also visit for the first time many libraries previously unfamiliar to me. I visited more than once the more important libraries in Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland and Great Britain. I visited Spain, Portugal and Sweden in 1952, Yugoslavia, Austria, West Germany and again Spain in 1955, and in 1958 I could also visit Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany and Russia. Thus I obtained first-hand information on some of the more interesting collections in various countries, ascertained on the spot their resources in printed and unpublished catalogues, and was initiated into the mysteries concerning shelf marks and 'fondi' that seem to characterize every self-respecting library, - at least into the lesser mysteries that can be revealed even to a hasty visitor. A knowledge of the greater mysteries I can claim only for the Italian libraries with which I have been acquainted for a longer period, and even there, I suspect there is room for further initiation if I may judge from the additional arcana to which I was introduced last year. All these secrets, or at least most of them, I shall disclose to the attentive reader of this rather bony compilation, provided he peruses it with the right spirit that should contain the appropriate doses both of knowledge and of curiosity.
The most important change made in this revised edition is due to the decision to merge the two parts that had been kept separate in the first edition. Or to be more precise, to merge the second part with Section C of the first part. In other words, I have attempted to list together, for each city, and wherever possible, for each library and collection, both the printed catalogues and the unpublished inventories in which their content is described. This involved, on the other hand, an equally important change, at least for what formerly was the first part of the bibliography, namely an attempt to divide the material concerning each city, as far as possible, according to the various libraries located in the city, and even to the distinct collections found in each library. This division had been carried out in the second, but not in the first part of the former edition. It is hoped that this new arrangement will make the distinction between the various libraries and collections apparent even to those readers who have no personal familiarity with the cities and libraries concerned. For each library and collection, the printed catalogues, usually in chronological order, will be listed before the unpublished inventories, indicating as far as possible how the latter supplement the former. Both groups will be preceded by works of a more general nature, but limited in scope to the city or library concerned (works concerning more than one city will appear, as in the first edition of part I, in Sections A and B): that is, works supplying bibliographical or statistical information concerning the respective city or library, and catalogues describing more than one collection in a library, or even more than one library in the city. The name of the city will again be followed by cross references to the general works listed in Section B (or more rarely, in Section A). It has not been possible to apply the division of libraries and collections consistently to these cross-references. An attempt to do so threatened to lead to unnecessary complications. However, the libraries covered by each cross reference entry will usually appear in Section B where the corresponding general work is analyzed. If no library is specifically indicated for some towns, it means that there is only one library which has manuscripts, most commonly, the city library.
I hope the practice of combining printed and unpublished catalogues for each library will not cause confusion. The unpublished catalogues are usually recognizable by the absence of some standard bibliographical data such as place and date of publication and number of pages. I shall again use asterisks to indicate that I have not visited a library, or not seen a catalogue. In the case of printed catalogues, I have indicated the library in the United States or in Europe where I saw it, or where it is available, using for American libraries the standard abbreviations of the Union List of Serials1). If no such library location is indicated, it means that I have seen the book in the Columbia University Library, or that I own it myself. In the case of unpublished inventories, it is always understood that I saw it in the respective library. If I did not see it, I use an asterisk and indicate my source of information. If a microfilm of an unpublished inventory is available in the United States, I indicate this fact when it is known to me.
Concerning the criteria of selection followed in this bibliography, I should like to refer once more to the prefaces of the first edition. The chief criterion is relevance, and I resisted the temptation to include courtesy references, or to list unimportant titles because I examined them. I excluded catalogues describing only archival or modern material, or dealing with material in languages other than Latin. I made an exception for Italian manuscripts. Since most libraries are not divided according to languages, the number of titles thus added to the bibliography was not very large. I have again excluded, as a rule, studies dealing with a single manuscript or with manuscripts of a single author; catalogues of exhibitions; lists of collections of microfilms or photostats; studies dealing with the history or organization of libraries, or with the provenance or external appearance of certain manuscripts; finally, old inventories of extant or dispersed collections unless they identify the present locations and shelf marks of the manuscripts. The reason for these exclusions, as well as for the exceptions occasionally made, lies in the basic purpose of this bibliography: it is intended as a working tool for those who want to find certain texts contained in the manuscripts described. This time I have included the catalogues of some famous collections scattered in fairly recent times, such as Ashburnham or Phillipps, because we easily encounter manuscripts from these collections in libraries that have no printed catalogues, and the printed catalogue of the former collection thus gives us the best available description of the manuscript. I have also been more inclined than in the first edition to include smaller collections, provided they contain at least one early manuscript, both in my listings and in the cross references. As a matter of fact, the cross references to the French Catalogue Général and to Mazzatinti are now intended to be complete.
Another change has been to bring the political geography of this list up to date. The first edition largely followed the situation as it prevailed between the wars. This time, I have distinguished between West and East Germany, and have the main entries for former German towns under their present Polish or Russian names, giving merely a cross reference under the German name. Where a place has merely changed its name, I use the formula 'See'. However, where a collection has been transferred to another place, I use the formula 'See under'.
For example, to indicate that Breslau is now called Wrocław, I say: 'Breslau, see Wrocław'. To indicate that the Ossolineum formerly in Lwow is now located in Wroc/law, I say: 'Lwow, see under Wroc/law'. A number of libraries are omitted even though I visited them or corresponded with them, since there is no evidence that they have Latin manuscript books before 1600, or since there is evidence that they have none. When I say: 'no information', this means that I have reason to believe that the library has relevant manuscripts, but that my enquiries were not favored with a reply.

Again it is a pleasant duty to express my thanks and appreciation to the numerous scholars who helped me with advice or information. First of all I should like to thank the librarians and archivists who have patiently answered my questions and letters over the years, often volunteered additional information, supplied me with microfilms and, sometimes, with rare catalogues. A special word of thanks is due to Miss Constance Winchell, Mr. John N. Waddell, Mr. Eugene Sheehy and to the other staff members of the Reference Department of the Columbia University Library who helped me on many a knotty bibliographical problem. I wish to thank Rev. Edwin A. Quain, S. J., of Fordham University Press for the encouragement and support he has given to this undertaking, as well as to the technical help he and his assistants have given to it. To Prof. William Harkins of Columbia University I am indebted for his help in transcribing and transliterating the titles in the Slavic languages with which I am not familiar. For various suggestions and data I am indebted to the following scholars: Mlle Marie-Thérèse d'Alverny (Bibliothèque Nationale), Josip Badalic (Zagreb), Luisa Banti (Florence), Josephine Bennett (Hunter College), Ludwig Bieler (Dublin), Giuseppe Billanovich (Fribourg), Bernhard Bischoff (Munich), Mme. Denise Bloch (Bibliothèque Nationale), Herbert Bloch (Harvard University), Morton Bloomfield (Ohio State University), the late Rev. Philotheus Boehner, O. F. M. (St. Bonaventure University), Dr. Emilie Boer (Berlin), John Bowden (St. John's University, Brooklyn), Vittore Branca (Fondazione Cini, Venice), Giles Constable (Harvard University), Walther Bulst (Heidelberg), Augusto Campana (Vatican Library), Mario E. Cosenza (Dean Emeritus, Brooklyn College), Karl H. Dannenfeldt (Arizona State University), Ruth Dean (Mount Holyoke College), Rev. E. Dekkers (Steenbrugge), Rev. Victorin Doucet, O. F. M. (Quaracchi), R. Elze (Bonn), Vittorio Fanelli (Rome), George B. Fowler (University of Pittsburgh), Ezio Franceschini (Università Cattolica, Milan), A. L. Gabriel (Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame), Prof. M. A. Goukovsky (Leningrad), Dr. Haas (Heidelberg), Dr. Helga Hajdu (Budapest), Elisabeth Feist Hirsch (Trenton), Sir R. W. Hunt (Bodleian Library), William Jackson (Harvard University Library), James John (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Neil R. Ker (Oxford), Guido Kisch (Basel and New York), Ludmilla Krestan (Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna), Stephan Kuttner (Catholic University of America), the late M. L. W. Laistner (Cornell University), Dom J. Leclercq, O. S. B. (Clervaux), Paul Lehmann (Munich), Dean P. Lockwood (Haverford), F. Masai (Bibliothèque Royale, Brussels), Dr. Martin McGuire (Catholic University of America), the late A. P. McKinlay (University of California, Los Angeles), Loren MacKinney (University of Carolina), Dr. Dana Marinkova (Prague), R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford), Dott. Angelo Paredi (Biblioteca Ambrosiana), Bernard M. Peebles (Catholic University of America), the late Mons. Auguste Pelzer (Vatican Library), Rev. C. Piana, O. F. M. (Quaracchi), Robert Pratt (University of Illinois), Reinhold Regensburger (Cambridge), Erla Rosakiewicz (New York), Teresa Rogledi Manni (Milan), Edward Rosen (City College, New York), Dorothy Schullian (National Library of Medicine, Cleveland), Mr. Niels H. Sonne (New York), Josef Soudek (Queens College), Friedrich Stegmuller (Freiburg), Dom Anselm Strittmatter, O. S. B. (Washington), Lynn Thorndike (Columbia University), B. L. Ullman (University of North Carolina), Mlle Jeanne Vielliard (Institute de Recherches et d'Histoire des Textes, Paris), A. Wienberger (Harvard University Library), C. E. Wright (British Museum), Joseph Zambelli (New York), Jerzy Zathey (Cracow).
This bibliography has developed in close connection with two projects in which I have been involved for some years and which are now at last approaching publication: the Catalogus Translationum et Commentariorum, a cooperative project sponsored by the Union Académique Internationale and other learned societies of which the first volume is in press;2) and the Iter Italicum, a list of uncatalogued Renaissance manuscripts, of which the first volume will go to the press in the near future.3) I also hope that it may continue to spur the efforts that have been made in recent years to collect the microfilms of unpublished inventories of manuscripts in the Library of Congress and in various European depositories.4)

New York, Columbia University

July 29, 1959


1) Here are a few additional abbreviations used in this bibliography that did not appear in the first edition:

CoDB: Denver Public Library.

DDO: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, Washington.

DHN: Holy Name College.

DLC: The Library of Congress, Washington.

DSI-M: U. S. National Museum, Washington.

MoSU: St. Louis University.

NNF: Fordham University, New York.

NNJ: Jewish Theological Seminary, New York.

NStC: St. Bonaventure College, St. Bonaventure, N. Y.

ODW: Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio.

OO: Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio.

WU: University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.

2) By now there are 6 volumes of the Catalogus, cf. p. Û .

3) By now Iter Italicum (6 vols.) is finished, cf. p. Û.

4) Cf. Lester K. Born, 'Universal Guide to Catalogs of Manuscripts and inventories of Archival Collections: A Proposal for Cooperative Listing,' College and Research Libraries 17 (1956) 322-329. See also the papers by G. B. Fowler and B. L. Ullman.

Preface to the 3rd edition (1964/87) | Preface to the first edtion, part I (1948)