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By Simon Eliot, W. R. Owens (editors)

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The discipline of bibliography, in treating books and other printed matter as physical objects, is much less evaluative than most other forms of literary study. In essence, bibliographers are not at all concerned with the contents of a book: the volume before them could be the works of Shakespeare, an atlas, a book of recipes or a collection of the most tedious sermons imaginable. As products of the scribe or printing press, these would all be of equal interest and value to a bibliographer. Most authorities distinguish a number of types of bibliography, as does Greetham.

Greg, The Library, 4th series, XIII (1932–3), 115) To most students, a ‘bibliography’ is probably just a ‘list of books consulted’ which is usually given at the end of a scholarly work. This is certainly the most common meaning of the word, but it is not the only one, nor is it the most important. In many ways, using ‘bibliography’ to mean a selected list of books is a partial contradiction of its other meanings. The discipline of bibliography, in treating books and other printed matter as physical objects, is much less evaluative than most other forms of literary study.

17–44). 915–925). Questions and exercises 1 What is the link between the earliest libraries (particularly the museum and library at Alexandria) and the creation of the canon of Greek writers? How important are libraries in the creation of a canon? 47). Using your research library, find your own examples of each of these systems. 3 What is the ISTC, and what is its present stage of development? 4 Using your local reference library, find a subject bibliography that covers your own locale or, alternatively, an author or a subject in which you are interested.

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