The Union Catalog of Pre-1600 Books Online: Usage Hints
This page is part of the pre-1600 Books Online collection.
Perusing the Subjects
These books are organized in a subject tree by Library of Congress call
number. So, for example, the "P" category covers Language and
Literature, and it is broken down into a bunch of sub-categories for
different languages. Each single-letter category has its own page on
this site; a summary of the sub-categories is shown at the top of each
category page. You can see the books which are NOT pre-1600 by
clicking on the appropriate link on the category page.
The call numbers come from the various libraries which are digitizing
these books, and so they aren't very consistant. You may find a
similar group of books is filed under a couple of different call
numbers, plus some books with no call number at all. (Books lacking a
call number are in the "_" category.) You may also find that many of
these books have multiple copies scanned, again often filed under
different call numbers.
To find these related books and additional copies, I suggest using the
Search by typing a word or phrase into the search box. By default, if you enter multiple
words, it will return books with titles and authors that contain all the words, but they
don't have to be next to each other.
This means that a search for
will match both "John Smith" and "Smith, John" -- the authors of books will often
have their name in either order.
This also means that a search for the phrase will match a book
with queen in the title and elizabeth in the author. If you want to
search for exactly the phrase "queen elizabeth", put it in double
Searches will return books that are pre-1600, and then books which are
not selected as pre-1600. This is handy for finding books which ought
to be labeled pre-1600, but aren't. (Please see my plea below to find
out how to tell me about books which are improperly labeled.)
Reading the actual books
The books in this collection come in a variety of formats. Some are
plain text or plain HTML. Others are PDF files, which you can read
with your favorite PDF reader, such as Adobe Acrobat. Aout 3/4
of these books are stored as DjView files. DjView is a format
developed specifically for books; it stores the text as
black-and-white, and uses a color image to capture the paper background.
DjView files are typically less than half the size of a PDF.
You can download
a djvu client. You can either view the djvu file in your browser,
or you can download it to view it later.
Many of these books have flaws: missing pages, unreadable pages. For
the books from archive.org, you can report problems on the archive.org
website. In many cases, multiple copies of a book have been scanned,
and you can find the missing page in another copy.
As you can see, not all the books in this collection are selected as
pre-1600 or not selected when they should be. If you let me know about these
problems, I'll fix them. Please cut and paste the title and author into an email,
and send it to
Return to the pre-1600 Books Online collection.
Webbed by Gregory Blount / Greg Lindahl