Saturday, June 27, 2015

Correcting and Improving all the 15th Century Citations

One of the more interesting new features available in the electronic version of the bibliography is the ability to study items by the years in which they were published. From this we learn that currently there are 76 entries in the bibliography published in print between 1456 and 1500. As I reviewed some of those entries I realized that numerous errors had crept in over the century during which the bibliography evolved, and I decided to review and correct all of the 15th century entries. This process I completed today.

The convenient standard reference work that I used is the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (ISTC) published by the British Library. This provides searchable descriptions of incunabula together with references to more detailed bibliographical studies of each title. My process was to compare the G-M entry with cataloguing provided by the ISTC, and typically to follow the title and author record of the ISTC. However in certain instances, when a digital facsimile was available, I would transliterate the title directly from the facsimile. In other instances, if I learned that there was an earlier edition than the one previously cited in G-M, I cited the earlier edition. Whenever I could locate the edition in the ISTC, and I believe that this was in all except one instance, I added the ISTC entry number to the annotation. Users will notice that many of the 15th century citations in the bibliography are now significantly revised and improved, in both their bibliographical citations and explanatory notes, and the notes often include links to digital facsimiles.

Friday, June 19, 2015 is also

Over twenty years ago I acquired along with, and a few other domain names. When the opportunity to bring "Garrison-Morton" to the Internet occurred it seemed logical use the domain for that purpose.  However, since the "Garrison-Morton" designation is so deeply entrenched in bibliographical citations, after the new site went online I also acquired "" Traditionalists may now reach by going to

Adding Two Very Rare Works in Ophthalmology as a Result of Antiquarian Bookselling Experience

In my over five decades in the antiquarian book trade I have handled many extraordinary and remarkable items, some of which are of bibliographical interest. In June my old friend and colleague Rick Watson of London sent me descriptions of the two extremely rare early sixteenth century works in ophthalmology which we had owned in partnership decades ago. These he had recently repurchased.  I had forgotten all about them, but when I read their description I realized that these belong in the medical bibliography; they are now entries 6932 and 6933.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Revising the Bibliography with Extensive Help from a Colleague and Friend

In the two months since the bibliography went live on the website I believe that I have revised and corrected at least 1000 of the approximately 8800 entries, and I have also added around 100 new entries. The editorial process has been at least as extensive as my process in preparing the 5th edition 25 years ago, but in many respects it has been more thorough. For example, I have checked and double-checked all the author names, adding birth and / or death dates in hundreds of cases. I have also checked the titles, and have read all annotations, and in some cases revised annotations in the process of creating a new subject index. Of course, the process has been greatly speeded up and facilitated by the ability to search for biographical and bibliographical details on the Internet. Another great help is the availability of digital facsimiles of so many of the books on the Internet. In certain cases I have linked to digital facsimiles within the annotations of entries, and I plan to link to many more digital facsimiles in the future. You can see all my major corrections and additions by clicking on the "Additions & Extensive Revisions" subject in the subject index. 

Besides my own work improving and correcting the bibliography, I was greatly helped by my colleague Webb Dordick who sent me a list of around 150-200 corrections and recommended substitutions in June. I incorporated nearly all of Webb's suggestions and corrections in the database, and I hope that he will continue to read the new electronic version critically and forward further revisions and corrections, and recommendations for new additions.