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Early Printed Collections: Overview

The British Library holds one of the world's finest collections of early Western printed books, periodicals and ephemera. Holdings date from 1454 to the early 20th century. They include items printed in Britain, Ireland, Continental Europe and many overseas dependencies, including English colonies in North America. These pages document the types of material held and how to gain access to them. You will find information about catalogues, resource discovery guides, digitisation projects, events and exhibitions. There are also links to external websites relevant to the study of rare books.

16th century English binding

Works of Petrarch (Basel, 1554). In a 16th century English gold tooled brown goatskin binding by the 'Morocco Binder'. Shelfmark: C.24.c.14. © The British Library.


Printed Heritage Collections
The British Library
96 Euston Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7564
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7691