Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The British Book Trade Index

The BBTI, hosted at the University of Birmingham is a superb tool for dating booktrade and other ephemera. Covering a multiplicity of book-related trades, such as ink maker, gold beater, engraver, lithographer, auctioneer, librarian/owner of circulating library, stationer, and publisher, the resource goes far beyond dating booktrade ephemera and is helpful in dating any ephemera with an imprint. Its scope is England and Wales to 1851. Aseparate Scottish booktrade index is hosted by the National Library of Scotland.

Information given about each tradesman includes (where known) dates of birth and death, addresses with associated dates, apprenticeships, successors, and trades. Sources of information are given and contributions can be made to the database.

As an example, this is the BBTI information for Abel Sweetland of Exeter, enabling us to date the trade card in the John Johnson Collection to 1783-85 and that of his widow Margaret to 1787-96.


JJ Coll Provincial Booktrade 2 (13)

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