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Publications Prior to 1945
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Browse SUB Göttingen's Holdings Prior to 1945

Parts of SUB Göttingen's historical holdings in the Heyne Hall
In the Heyne Hall, parts of SUB Göttingen's historical holdings are stacked. Photo: Almut Breitenbach. CC BY 4.0

Use Our Historical Classified Catalogue Online

Browsing the shelves of a well-curated, well-ordered library can be one of the most exciting and fruitful research experiences. This was the reason why in the 18th century, Göttingen University Library was so famous among scholars in Europe: It offered an excellent, up-to-date collection and user-friendly library regulations.

Historical Catalogues
SUB Göttingen's Historical Catalogues in the Old Prints Reading Room. Photo: Almut Breitenbach CC BY 4.0

Our classified catalogue (“Band-Realkatalog”) mirrors this rich historical research environment, as it documents how the books were ordered according to the classification system of the 18th century. Its electronic version still opens a virtual door to our historical stacks to let you explore the shelves.

As it can be a little confusing to seek out where in the 18th century classification with its Latin terminology one’s subject may hide, our subject-specific search tips lead you down the classification tree to the locations where matter concerning American studies, Australian and New Zealand Studies, Canadian Studies, English, British and Irish Studies is found. A click on “show ... matching books" will lead you to the results in our OPAC (Göttingen University Catalogue, “GUK”), where you can access detailed bibliographic information on single titles or order books in our reading room.

Important note: Do not be discouraged when you expect a class to contain hundreds of books and it says "show 5 matching books" or the like. In this case it will most likely contain more subclasses with the huge amount of books you hoped for, so if such a class is written in blue letters, click on it and you will find them.

Enjoy exploring our historical stacks!

Please note that you can suggest books for digitization if they are published prior to 1900.

Use the "Catalogue of English Books Printed Before 1801"

A Catalogue of English Books Printed Before 1801
"A Catalogue of English Books Printed Before 1801", vol. 1. Photo: Almut Breitenbach CC BY 4.0

Another very useful tool to access earlier prints is our “Catalogue of English Books Printed Before 1801”:

Fabian, Bernhard, ed. A Catalogue of English Books Printed Before 1801 Held by the University Library at Göttingen. Compiled by Graham Jefcoate and Karen Kloth. Hildesheim [et al.]: Olms-Weidmann, 1987- 2017 (4 pts.).

Part one contains prints up to 1701, part two covers the next 100 years. In contrast to the Classified Catalogue the works are arranged in alphabetical order.

By “English Books” is meant:

  • “(1) Books, pamphlets, single sheets and periodical publications in any language in the British Isles, the United States or British colonies (publications from the whole of India are included, whether from territories ruled by Britain in the eighteenth century or not; publications from Sri Lanka are, however, excluded);
  • (2) Books printed in English anywhere, including polyglot works with substantial English text;
  • (3) Books by English-speaking authors or subjects of English-speaking states in any language;
  • (4) Translations of works by English-speaking authors, including translations of unidentified originals and reprints of works orginally [sic!] printed in the British Isles, the United States or British colonies;
  • (5) Books with false imprints purporting to have been printed in an English-speaking country.” (Fabian, Catalogue, pt. 2 vol. 1, p. ix.)

Several indices (part three) allow structured access to the holdings: An index of publication dates, of publication places, of book prospectuses and of book advertisements. Booksellers’ lists are also recorded, however they are not indexed separately. The Catalogue of English Books is so far only available in print but can be found in many German libraries.

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