British Library Treasures in full: Renaissance festival books
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Principal collections of festival books  1  2  3  4  5

4. How the books are catalogued

Our aim was to build a resource that can be searched not only by author or title, but using a series of keywords, available in the thesaurus, to provide access to proper names, types of festival entertainment and festival architecture, iconography, chronology and geography.

Each festival book on the website is described on three different levels:

  • On one level, the electronic resource functions as a traditional library catalogue, providing detailed bibliographical descriptions of each book, along with information about the specific copy in the British Library
  • We also provide, as an introduction to each book, a brief description of the festival it recounts, the names of those involved and any relevant historical background
  • Finally, our page-level description, using a thesaurus of indexing terms, allows the specific textual and visual content of each book to be searched using both keywords and our thesaurus. In this way, the electronic format allows the books to be searched and interrogated in specific ways.

Over the course of two years the British Library digitally captured each page to a very high resolution. In total 14,318 images were created.

Tell me more:


1. The British Library collection of festival books
2. Collections of festival books elsewhere
3. About this project
4. How the books are catalogued
5. Project team