University of Virginia Library

1. Bibliographical Society Journals

The organs of bibliographical societies naturally constitute the central group of journals for bibliographical study, both because they are scholarly in approach and because they are not usually limited to any one aspect of the book. The Library, the publication of the Bibliographical Society (London), has the most distinguished history of any such journal, for even before it became officially connected with the Bibliographical Society in 1920 it was oriented as much toward physical bibliography as toward librarianship and was publishing the work of Pollard, Plomer, and Greg. Even though it was not a bibliographical society journal from 1889 through 1919, therefore, it deserves a place in this group as a general scholarly journal of bibliography. Because of its importance, it has probably been indexed more times than any other bibliographical journal: its entire run is covered in Library Literature; the Cole and Turner indexes cover it through 1965; the IBZ takes it from 1911 forward; and practically all the other major periodical indexes treat substantial segments of it. Before the Bibliographical Society took over the Library, it published its Transactions (1893-1919) separately, and they, too, are covered both in Library Literature and in Cole.[15] The principal American journal, the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (1904- ), is much less satisfactorily indexed in these guides: although it turns up in a number of indexes, the periods involved are so scattered that, in order to cover the pre-SB years (other than in PBSA's own cumulative indexes),[16] one must consult at least two different indexes (Library Literature for 1904-14 and the Annual Magazine Subject Index for the remaining years through 1949). Studies in Bibliography, the other


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major bibliographical journal in English, has not been extensively indexed in the general indexes,[17] but there is no problem in locating its contents since it is obviously included in the annual lists of scholarship which it publishes.

Of the remaining journals of local bibliographical societies—principally the bibliographical societies of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Wales—the years from 1933 on are taken care of in Turner's forthcoming index, but the earlier years are only haphazardly covered. The Subject Index is the best that one can do for this purpose, since it includes the Glasgow society as of 1912, the Welsh as of 1915, and the Oxford as of 1926. Bibliographical societies such as those of Cambridge, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand, whose publications began after 1948, are of course included in the SB checklist, but the earlier publications of the Bibliographical Society of Ireland are not listed in any of the basic indexes. Finally, a few other general journals, technically not organs of bibliographical societies, belong in this group. The most illustrious early one, Bibliographica (planned from the beginning to last only three years, 1895-97, and full of contributions by Pollard, Plomer, Madan, Proctor, and Redgrave), is completely indexed in Cole; the Bibliographical Register (1905-07), significant if not equally important, does not appear in the lists of any of the standard indexes; the Gutenberg Jahrbuch (1926- ), which over the years has contained many important articles in English on all aspects of bibliography, is not adequately covered in the periodical indexes, not even appearing in IBZ until 1963 (the first fifteen years are indexed in IBBB, but a gap of over twenty years still remains); and the Bibliotheck, containing much valuable Scottish material, only began in 1956 and is recorded in SB. The situation can therefore be summarized in this way: for the pre-SB years, Turner's index takes care of most of the bibliographical society journals back to 1933; but for the years before that, aside from Cole's coverage of the few major English publications, the indexing of these journals—including such important ones as PBSA and Gutenberg Jahrbuch—is either confusingly spread over several indexes or nonexistent.