Historische Drucke

Union Catalogue of Books Printed in the German Speaking Territories in the 17th Century


In the course of the VD 17-project funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), a retrospective national bibliographic database is being compiled for the period 1601 to 1700. The database is accessible to the public and aims at recording any work in German as well as any work printed and published in the German speaking territories of the time, regardless of its language. Printed music and maps are excluded, however.

All cataloguing is done according to the copy-in-hand method. In-depth indexing addresses the special features of hand-printed books. Hence, for instance, the names of literary or artistic contributors, of addressees of presentation copies as well as those of censors are indexed. Moreover, the names of printers and publishers are also entered in a standardized form, the bibliographical description includes the fingerprint formula and wherever possible genre terms are assigned. For more detailed bibliographical information and in order to facilitate the discrimination of editions or issues, selected key pages were scanned and linked to the record. Nowadays, the bibliographical records are linked to complete digital copies.

In the course of the project Preußen 17 digital, also funded by the DFG, the Staatsbibliothek digitized about 14,000 works. Apart from that, the library’s 17th-century pamphlets of songs in German were digitized by the cooperative project VD Lied digital. Since July 2015 the digitization of unique VD17-copies in the possession of the Staatsbibliothek has been undertaken, again with financial support from the DFG.

The VD17-database records about 300,000 works. The bulk of the relevant holdings of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin could be entered by December 2012, when the funding of the DFG ended. Up to now 76,000 imprints of the library’s original estimate of 80,000 have been recorded (as of December 2015).