Searching in the STCN-database

A manual for searching in the database


Authors are indexed as 'last name, initial(s)' or as 'last name,first name' (no space after the comma). Example; Vondel,J* or Vondel,Joost. When a last name is entered without a comma, all names with that last name are returned regardless of their initials or first name. The search field is not case-sensitive. Wildcards can be used; * and ? for truncating: vond? and vond* will both return authors with the last name Vondel. If you want to mask a letter within a name, use #. Bu#ten? will find all variants beginning with Buiten or Buyten, but also Buten.

Title words

Free text, not case sensitive. Wildcards (*, # and ?) possible. Use multiple fields in the search screen to search for more than one title word.


Printer's names are indexed by 'last name, initials' or 'last name, first name' (INCLUDE a space after the comma). The search field is not case-sensitive. Example: blaeu, willem. It is recommended to always use wildcard ? if searching with the last name only -> blaeu?.
Wildcards *, # and ? can be used.
Example: Blaeu, W*, or W#tstein.

Place of publication

The place of publication should be entered in the normalised spelling: Dutch place names in the current Dutch spelling; foreign place names in their current national spelling (Wien rather than Vienna or Wenen); Belgian place names in the Dutch form (Mechelen rather than Malines).

Geographical heading

Used together with subject heading 'State publications' to indicate the area the publications applies to, e.g. an ordinance by the burgomasters of Amsterdam about the waterway between that city and Haarlem will have the geographical headings 'Amsterdam' and 'Haarlem'.
Wildcards *, # and ? can be used.
Example: vlaan* and vla?nderen will both give results for geographical area Vlaanderen. It is possible to restrict this search with 'Year of issue'.

Subject heading

Example: african history, literature. Wildcards *, # and ? can be used. To see a list of all subjects, use 'browse' in search box 1 and 'subject heading' in search box 2. Type the letter a in the search field and the list of headings will be provided. You can guide this methos by entering part of the subject, for instance, 'hist' for a list that starts with 'history africa'.

All words

Use the 'all words' search to find a specific word in any of the indexed fields in the database. It is possible to use wildcards (*, # and ?) or Boolean operators.

Year of publication

Year of publication is always four digits. If it has been impossible to assign a specific year to a publication, the last digit is given as X, e.g. 175X. If the year is even more uncertain the last two digits can be XX, e.g. 17XX. When searching for a range of years use ?, e.g. 175? for 1750-1759.


Available formats:
1 (Plano, 1º)
2 (Folio, 2º)
4 (Quarto, 4º)
8 (Octavo, 8º)
12 (Duodecimo, 12º)
16 (16mo, 16º)
18 (18mo, 18º)
24 (24mo, 24º)
32 (32mo, 32º)
48 (48mo, 48º)
64 (64mo, 64º)
Oblong (more wide than high)
Agenda (±3 x higher than wide)
Other (if the book has a format not listed above, the actual dimensions will be specified in an annotation, usually h x w in mm).


This field allows you to search for a combination of year and format, For exempla 161308. Books that do not have a year of publication in the imprint will have 0000 as the first four digits in this field (regardless of known year of publication. This six-digit code is also used in the fingerprint.


Use "" if searching for a particular fingerprint, for instance "A2 en". See above for the six-digit year/format part of the fingerprint.
See here for more information on the fingerprint and examples.

Typographical features

A search can be made for typographical features such as illustrations, printers' devices or typefaces. Use the 'browse' option in search box 1. Type '1' in the search field to start te list at the beginning or type the required number or letter.
Features that can be distinguished are:
x = typographical title-page
w = engraved title-page
y = no title-page
z = title-page in multiple colours
a = illustrations on title-page
b = illustrations outside collation
c = other illustrations
d = author's oeuvre list
e = publisher's stocklist
f = bookseller's stocklist
g = other stocklist / advertisement
h = printer's device
i = typeface Roman
j = typeface black letter
k = typeface italic
l = typeface Civilite
m = typeface Greek
n = typeface Hebrew
o = typeface Arabic
p = typeface Armenian
r = typeface Cyrillic
s = other typefaces
q = musial notation
v = bedrukte omslag
3 = printed subscribers' list/ proposal for printing
4 = price quote
Note: You may find other numbers or letters in the browse list. These are for internal STCN use and not visible in the title descriptions.


Language of publication, original language and secondary language can be distinguished. Publications in these languages can be found by entering the three-digit code in the search field.
The most common languages are:
ned = Dutch
lat = Latin
fra = French
eng = English
dui = German
grk = Greek
heb = Hebrew
Use the 'browse' function for a list of all language codes


The country can be found by entering the two-digit code in the search field.
The most common countries are:
nl = Netherlands
be = Belgium
ch = Switzerland
de = Germany
fr = France
gb = England
id = Indonesia
it = Italy
Use the 'browse' function for a list of all language codes

Date of update

Search for day, month and year in which records were entered into the database. Use the order yyyymmdd, e.g. 20000913 for 13 September 2000 or 19940813 for 13 August 1994. Use wildcard *, e.g. 201007* for all records that have been added to the database in July 2010.


Shelfmark as in use by the library where the book can be found. Sequential numbers in composite volumes are given as shelfmark:XX.


Books from a particular library can be found by entering the library code in the search field. Use the 'browse' function for a list of all library codes.


alra Alkmaar Archief
a Amsterdam University Library
abph Amsterdam Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica
aeh Amsterdam Ets Haim
antvg Amsterdam Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde
avu Amsterdam Vrije Universiteit
dtu Delft University Library
dsab Deventer Athenaeumbibliotheek
gou Gouda Streekarchief
g Groningen University Library
h Den Haag Koninklijke Bibliotheek
hga Den Haag Gemeentearchief
hm Den Haag Meermanno
hnmi Den Haag Nederlands Muziekinstuut
hv Den Haag Peace Palace
hlme Haarlem Museum Enschede
hlnbg Haarlem Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap
hlsb Haarlem Stadsbibliotheek
hltm Haarlem Teylers Museum
hlvdg Haarlem Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente
ho Hoorn
legbs Leerdam Gereformeerde Bijbelstichting
lesbm Leerdam Statenbijbelmuseum
l Leiden University Library
ln Leiden Naturalis Biodiversity Center
lw Leeuwarden Tresoar
mzb Middelburg Zeeuwse Bibliotheek
n Nijmegen University Library
r Rotterdam Municipal Library
t Tilburg University Library
u Utrecht University Library
nl- Netherlands various libraries


be- Belgium various libraries
stcv Short Title Catalogue Vlaanderen
d- Germany various libraries
d-w Wolfenbüttel
gb- Great Britain various libraries
gb-c Cambridge University Library
gb-l Britsh Library
gb-ull University of London Library
ir-dtc Dublin, Trinity College
r-pnl Russia, St. Petersburg
usa- USA various libraries
z- Zweden various libraries


mf Microfilm/fiche none-autopsy
aaf Auditorium Academiae Franekerensis none-autopsy
div Various none-autopsy
istc ISTC none-autopsy
nk Nijhoff/Kronenberg none-autopsy

More information on the collections in the database can be found here.

Year of issue

Only available for 'State publications'. Enter four digits for year of issue. Note: this is not necessarily the year of publication, but the year the ordinance was issued.

Record number

A STCN-record can be identified by its 9-digit record number. The first 8 digits consist of numbers, the last can be either a number or the letter X. Please use this record number when referring to a particular STCN record. This record number cannot be found via a search field, but if you move the cursor over the perma-link, the link will show at the end the nine-digit number, e.g. for record number 324405820. If you already know the record number and want to find the description for that number, type 'ppn XXXXXXXXX' (XXXXXXXXX is the record number) in the search field irrespective of what is shown in search boxes 1 and 2.


Searches can be combined in the Advanced search page, but a search result can also be restricted or enlarged by changing the option in search box 1.