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Short Title Catalogue (STC) Collection of early English printed books to 1640

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  • Title page to Samuel Daniel, The Collection of the History of England (London 1621)
    Samuel Daniel, The Collection of the History of England (London 1621)

Begun early in the twentieth century and still ongoing, the Short Title Catalogue project, now the English Short Title Catalogue, represents an attempt to gather and describe all English books from the beginning of printing in England (1475), including books printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, the European continent, and the Americas.

The first portion of the Short Title Catalogue, published first in 1926 and revised in 1991, lists books printed between 1475 and 1640. The Penn Libraries hold nearly 1,000 physical copies of these early printed English books. Genres vary widely: from religious materials, to legal texts, to drama.

Collection overview and information for researchers


The collection name "STC Collection (University of Pennsylvania)" in the online catalog (Franklin) represents an effort to pull together and make visible all of the early English books held in multiple rare book collections that are now part of the Kislak Center. At one time, a number (though never all) of the early English books in the rare book collection were catalogued by their Short Title numbers. That is no longer true.

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