Published by Primary Source Microfilm
Published in association with The British Library
This edition of the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) on CD-ROM is the most complete edition to date.
In all, 465,000 records with approximately 3,000,000 appended locations are included. That is, 130,000 records and 1,000,000 locations more than the last edition, making the 3rd edition of the ESTC the most comprehensive resource for British and British colonial studies to 1800 ever.
The aims of the ESTC are to provide a comprehensive bibliography of the printed output of the hand-press era, to list the whereabouts of surviving copies, and to note the existence of facsimiles. The holdings of over 2,000 libraries around the world are represented.
Chronologically, the scope of the ESTC extends from the earliest printing in England (ca. 1473) to the end of December 1800.
Geographically, it includes:
- All relevant items printed in the British Isles in any language
- All relevant items printed in Colonial America, the United States (1776-1800) and Canada; in any language
- All relevant items printed wholly or partly in English, or other British vernaculars, in any other part of the world. (R. C. Alston and M. J. Jannetta. Bibliography, Machine Readable Cataloguing and the ESTC, London, the British Library, 1978, p.16)
- Records for items that purport to be within geographical scope, but in fact are not. In particular, there are thousands of foreign language items of continental origin bearing false London imprints. Such imprints may very reasonably be sought within the ESTC, and have thus been included, with notes giving the true places of printing where these can be ascertained
The ESTC is the product of three editorial centers: the American Antiquarian Society, the British Library, and the Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside.