Definition of foreign-language Bohemica

16th–18th century printing production is processed for the BFPB according to the following criteria:

  1. foreign-language publications by printworks in the territory of today’s Czech Republic, regardless of the author’s nationality and the literary genre (only official publications are not described);
  2. foreign editions of works in foreign languages by authors originating from the territory of today’s Czech Republic;
  3. foreign-language writings by foreign authors published abroad which demonstrate a relationship to the Czech, Moravian or Silesian environment (within the borders of what is now the Czech Republic) through their content, place of origin, personal patronage, etc.

Methodology of description

Detailed analytical bibliographical descriptions are created on the basis of accessible Bohemical publications: the text of the title page in full transliterated wording, the imprint in its original form, the format and print range (the exact number of pages or folios, numbered or unnumbered, and the number of appendices), a detailed breakdown of the internal textual parts of the work (prefaces, dedications, introductions, printing privileges and permission to print, the division of chapters, indices, errata, instructions to the bookbinder, appended bibliographies, formal address by the author or printer, etc.) and characterization of the typographical design of the book (conspicuous decoration, unusual typesetting, printer’s and publisher’s emblems, illustrative scheme including the names of engravers, creators of templates, etc.), a reference to specialist literature which either records a particular edition or provided bibliographs with more precise data necessary for the description (the identity of one of the book’s creators – the author, printer, engraver, dating of the book). Supplementing every description is a list of extant copies located in historical book collections in this country or abroad.

Definition of desiderata

From the outset work on the BFPB included the building of a card index of “desiderata”, containing both brief records of Bohemical works already described and records excerpted from specialist literature or from library catalogues for which a description could not be created de visu using an extant copy (either because the desiderata from a given library have not all been described for the bibliography or because a work referred to in the literature has not yet been found in any library collection). This card index of desiderata comprises 22,000 records acquired in this way and is gradually being transferred into the database, even though some records are very limited in terms of data (e.g. the name of the printer is often missing) or may be incorrect (printing errors or other erroneous statements copied from the cited literature).