Explanation results STCN-database


Titles are transcribed literally from the typographical title-page. If a typographical title-page is not present, the engraved title-page is used. If both are lacking, the title of the first page is used or when that is not possible, a title will be provided between square brackets. In that case an annotation will give the incipit.
After the title, information on parts, author(s) and translations is provided.


The name of the primary author is transcribed as on the title-page, but U/v and i/j are normalised. Secundary authors are also transcribed as on the title-page, but first names are shortened to initials. If an author is not mentioned on the title-page, but in the book itself, his name is given between round brackets and in the preferred spelling as used in the athority record. Is the name of the author provided from an external source, it is given between square brackets.

Additional title informatie

Information on translation, preface or annotations is copied from the title-page in edited form. If the subject keyword is literature, information on a translator may also be provided if present in the book itself because of the possible substantial contribution to the text..


Information about the edition or impression is copied from the title-page in edited form.


The imprint is copied in edited form from the title-page. Information copied from thecolophon will be indicated as such.
Place names are copied as given on the title-page.
Function in relation to the book is copied in edited form, thus 'printed by' or 'sold by'.
The function after the name is copied in edited form, thus 'bookseller' or 'printer'. If a function in relation to the book is already given, the function after the name is ignored.
Names of printers are transcribed literally; first names are shortened to the standardised initial (Ioan becomes J.). If only an initial is given on the title-page, it will be transcribed literally.
The year is given in 4 digits as on the title-page. Roman numerals are converted. When no year is given in the imprint, but is known from another source, it is given in square brackets. Uncertainty can be indicated by ? (one year) or c. (more than one year). If the uncertainly is greater, a period will be given, for instance mid-18th century; between 1670 and 1692; 2nd half 17th century.


The following formats are distinguished:
1º (Plano)
2º (Folio)
4º (Quarto)
8º (Octavo)
12º (Duodecimo)
16º (16mo)
18º (18mo)
24º (24mo)
32º (32mo)
48º (48mo)
64º (64mo)
Oblong (width greater than height)
Agenda (±3 times higher than wide)
Anders [=different] (if the book has a different format than one listed above, the actual size in specified in an annotation, usually height x width in mm)

Collational formula

The formula are determined on the basis of the gathering signatures in the book itself. Please note: I and J are one character, just as U and V. W is a double U/V a is normally not used separately. An alphabet therefore consists of 23 letters. If both I and J, or more than one character of the U/V/W range is used in the book, it must be noted specifically. For instance: A-U8 V8 X-Z8.
Letters are always represented in roman, numerals in arabic type.
Th collational formula is noted down according to the notation given in Bowers' Principles, but is not the result of a detailed examinitaion of each separate leaf; it must, however, represent the gathering structure faithfully. This means that cancels of folia or gatherings which are not essential to the overall collation are ignored; additions, cancels or omissions that do have an impact (that is: change the collational formula) will ne noted.
Simplified notations are used, for instance: Lll becomes 3L, aa becomes 2a. Alphabetical series are concentrated, such as A, B, C enz. to Y becomes: A-Y. A-Z, Aa-Zz, Aaa-Zzz, Aaaa-Tttt becomes: A-4T.
If the formual according to Bowers' system becomes too complicated, it can be simplified according to R. Laufer, Introduction, page 129.Example: *4 A-2X4 2Y4(-2Y4) 2Z-3D4 3E4(-3E4) 3F-3G4 3H4(-3H3,4) 3I-4M4 5A-5T4 5V4(-5V4) 5X4(-5X4) 5Y4(-5Y4) 5Z-6B4
becomes: *4 A-4M4 5A-6B4 (-2Y4, -3E4, -3H3,4, -5V4, -5X4, -5Y4)..


The fingerprint always starts with an obligatory unit of 6 numbers built up from the year as given on the title-page and the format of the book. A quarto from 1637 will have as the first part of the fingerprint 163704. The year can only be used if given in the imprint on the title-page, if not, it is represented by 4 zeros, for example 000004. After the year/format combination, units of three codes follow. These will only be given if actually present in the book:
1. Indicator: prelims a1 and a2; main text b1 and b2; indexes etc. c1 and c2. Multiple signature series are distinguised with a serial number 1b1 and 1b2 + 2b1 en 2b2, etc.
2. Gathering signature: The signatures are given in simplified form: AAA iij becomes 3A3. If a signature is unusable, the following or preceding one is used. If such an alternative signature is used, a * before the indicator indicates this fact, for example: *b2.
3. Characters: Complete characters that are present straight above the gathering signature. If characters are not completely covered by the signature, they are not used. If, however, no single character is completely covered by the signature, the ones on either side are used.
For more information on the fingerprint and examples, see here.

Typographical characteristics

The following characteristics are distinguished:
engraved title-page
typographical title-page
no title-page
title-page in more colours
printer's device
printed cover
illustration on the title-page
illustrations outside the collation
other illustrations
oeuvrelist of author
publishers' list
booksellers' list
booklist various/ advertisements
typeface roman
typeface black letter
typeface italics
typeface civilite
typeface Greek
typeface Hebrew
typeface Arabic
typeface Armenian
typeface cyrillic
typeface other
music notation
list of subscribers/proposal for printing
price indication
list of booksellers in imprint


Field for additional information regarding the title in which for instance information about adaptations, part/container or part/incorporates constructions, issues and reissues, or other information relevant to the description.


Subject and geographical keywords are given as a hyperlink. Where applicable geographical keywords also show the year the title is pertaining to. This is normally the case for state publications. An ordinance valid for Rotterdam and issued in 1680 will show Rotterdam (1680) in the keyword section, regardless of when the document was printed.

Uniform title

The uniform title will provide the original title in case of translations. The uniform title is given as a hyperlink in order to be able to provide a set of all entries with that title. Please note, however, that not all records have yet received a uniform title, so sets may not be complete.


At the end of each title, a list of copies is given. Please note that it is possible that shelfmarks have been changed by the library concerned since the data was intereded into the STCN and may therefore not reflect the current shelfmark. Use the local library catalogue to get the most up-to-date information on shelfmarks.

Record number

A record is identified with a unique 9-digit ID. The first 8 positions must be numbers, the last position may be a number or the letter X. If you want to refer to a particular record, please use its record number.