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English Short Title Catalogue - introduction

The 'English Short Title Catalogue' (ESTC) is a comprehensive, international union catalogue listing early books, serials, newspapers and selected ephemera printed before 1801. It contains catalogue entries for items issued in Britain, Ireland, overseas territories under British colonial rule, and the United States. Also included is material printed elsewhere which contains significant text in English, Welsh, Irish or Gaelic, as well as any book falsely claiming to have been printed in Britain or its territories.

The database contains over 480,000 entries, and represents the holdings of some 2,000 libraries world-wide.

Access to the ESTC is provided online by the British Library. The file is available free of charge, and is updated daily.

In the past the ESTC was also issued on CD-ROM (3rd ed., Gale-Primary Source Microfilm, 2003) and as a library subscription database provided by RLG/OCLC.


Early Printed Collections
The British Library
96 Euston Road
United Kingdom

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