In October 2009 Cambridge University Library launched a cataloguing project which will make records for its collection of 4,650 incunables available and searchable online for the first time. The incunabula collection, part of which goes back to the late 15th century, is internationally renowned and includes some 134 unique items. The scope of the project is to create specialist records for all the incunables in the Library’s online catalogue, Newton, with special emphasis on copy-specific information such as anomalies, rubrication, decoration and illumination, annotations, binding, marks of ownership, and provenance, enhancing and bringing up to date the short-title catalogue published by J.C.T. Oates in 1954, and including the 256 items acquired by the Library since.
The descriptions will comply with international standards for the bibliographical description of rare material. Their inclusion in the Library’s online catalogue will ensure that the records will be quality-controlled, maintained and upgraded if necessary, and freely available worldwide. The records will also be sent to both COPAC (the merged online catalogues of many major University, Specialist, and National Libraries in the UK and Ireland) and WorldCat (the OCLC catalog of books and other materials in libraries worldwide). The project has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for five years.
The project cataloguer is Dott. Laura Nuvoloni, Research Associate. For further information on the Incunabula Cataloguing Project, please contact William Hale, Rare Books Department, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR.