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Printed catalogues

During its long history, the British Museum Library/British Library has published several catalogues describing its collections of printed books, periodicals and ephemera. Each edition is inclusive, incorporating all material included in previous versions

The following list gives details of these in reverse chronological order, beginning with the last edition to be produced before the introduction of computerisation. Copies of many of the catalogues can be found in larger reference and academic libraries worldwide. For those with a British Library Reader Pass, the location of the most accessible copies at the St Pancras building has been noted. Other sets, some some of which have been annotated, may be available for consultation; the curator on duty at the Reference Enquiry Desk in the Rare Books & Music Reading Room can advise.

BLC to 1975

The British Library General Catalogue of Printed Books to 1975 (360 vols. London, 1979-87); Supplements (6 vols. London, 1987-1988).
Copies in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room (shelfmark: RAC) and the Humanities Reading Room (shelfmarks: HLC017.21 BMC and HUC017.21 BMC).
Although computerised catalogues take the place of published editions from the 1980s, printed volumes continue to be produced by KG Saur of Munich (copies shelved in the Humanities Reading Room at HLC017.21 BLC).

GK 3

British Museum General Catalogue of Printed Books: Photolithographic Edition to 1955 (263 vols. London, 1959-66); Supplements for 1956-75 (London, 1968-79). Popularly known as 'GK3', i.e. 'General Katalogue no.3'.
Copy in Humanities Reading Room (shelfmark: HLL017.21 BMC).
Copy of the Readex Compact Edition (59 vols. Ann Arbor, 1967-69) in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room (shelfmark: RAR Enquiry Desk).

GK 2

The British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books, A - DEZ (51 vols. London, 1931-54). Only volumes for the first part of the alphabet were published. Known as 'GK2'.
Copy in storage at St Pancras (shelfmark: L.23.g.1).

GK 1

Catalogue of Printed Books in the Library of the British Museum (393 parts. London, 1881-1900); Supplement (44 parts. London, 1900-05). Known at 'GK1'.
Copy in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room (shelfmark: RAC).

Catalogue of 1841

Catalogue of Printed Books in the British Museum: Volume 1 (457 pages. London, 1841). Only the volume covering the letter 'A' was published.
Copies in storage at St Pancras (shelfmarks: 1505/81 and 11900.k.11).

Catalogue of 1813-19

Librorum Impressorum qui in Museo Britannico, Adservantur Catalogus (7 vols. Londini, 1813-19).
Copy in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room (shelfmark: RAC).

Catalogue of 1787

Librorum Impressorum qui in Museo Britannico, Adservantur Catalogus (2 vols. Londini, 1787).
Copy in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room (shelfmark: RAC).

Contact

Printed Heritage Collections
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

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

E-mail: rare-books@bl.uk