STCV. Bibliography of the Hand Press Book

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Short Title Catalogue

Creation and development

The STCV (Short Title Catalogus Vlaanderen, or, Short Title Catalogue Flanders) was founded following the example of the STCN (Short Title Catalogue Netherlands). The STCN described all publications that appeared before 1801 within the current boundaries of the Netherlands, regardless of the language, as well as all publications from the same period that were published in Dutch anywhere in the world.

It is to this last rule that an important exception was made: publications that appeared on within the current boundaries of Belgium were omitted. The STCN assumed that their project would have a Southern counterpart.

With the foundation of STCV, there finally was that 'Southern counterpart', with an equally ambitious goal: to describe all publications that appeared before 1801 within the current boundaries of Flanders (including Brussels). Initially, for pragmatic reasons, only works printed in Dutch between 1601-1700 were considered. Later this became all works of the period 1601-1700 regardless of their language. A bit later still, these limits were dropped altogether, meaning STCV is now in the process of describing all publications that appeared before 1801 within the current boundaries of Flanders (including Brussels). To see which collections (following which criteria) have been processed to date, check out this outline, which is updated monthly.

Between Bibliography and Catalogue

The STCV has characteristics of both a catalogue and a bibliography. One the one hand, it only describes copies present in a collection (characteristic of a catalogue). On the other hand, however, the works are analysed as bibliographical units. STCV describes ideal copies; copy-specific information (binding, provenance, ...) falls outside of the scope of STCV. Extra attention is given to elements such as the collation and the fingerprint (characteristics of a bibliography).

The Descriptions

The STCV-database follows, for pragmatic reasons, the Dutch model. However, since STCV was from the start developed specifically for the internet, no attention is given to printed by-products. In principle, bibliographical descriptions are kept brief/short, which particularly affects the titles. Nevertheless, enough significant elements are retained to be able to distinguish the title from others. The syntactical structure is also maintained and attention is paid so that the title does not offer incorrect of misleading information about the book.