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Knihopis of Czech and Slovak early printed books and its integration into the electronic portal Knihově

Summary: The article deals with the issues of the national retrospective bibliography, specifically its Czech-language part, the Knihopis of Czech and Slovak Early Printed Books from the Earliest Period until the End of the 18th Century, which contains records of early printed books from 1501–1800. It presents the results of its user access within the new KPS-Knihopis database. The second part of the article discusses the benefits of the integration of the Knihopis into the Knihově electronic portal, whose aim it is to create the virtual environment and professional background for research into the history of Czech book culture until 1800. This may bring new interactive services and possibilities for scientific research into historical book collections while making it possible for the Knihopis to overcome barriers to its development.

Keywords: book science, early printed books, national retrospective bibliography, Knihopis of Czech and Slovak Early Printed Books, KPS-Knihopis database, Bibliography of Foreign-Language Printed Bohemica 1501–1800 (BFPB), Knihově project, information portals and resources

Mgr. David Mach / National Library of the Czech Republic, Klementinum 190, 110 00 Praha, Czech Republic


Knihopis českých a slovenských tisků [Knihopis of Czech and Slovak Early Printed Books] (hereinafter only as Knihopis) is a national retrospective bibliography recording Czech-language early printed items published in the Czech lands or abroad in 1501–1800. It was already created in 1923. For a long time, it was the focus of bibliological research and professional events in the field of historical book collections. Several generations of experienced researchers were involved in its creation. The most significant figures included, besides its actual founder, Zdeněk Václav Tobolka (1874–1951, its editor-in-chief until 1949), in particular František Horák (1911–1983, the editor-in-chief of the Knihopis in 1949–1983), Petr Voit (the editor-in chief of the Knihopis in 1983–1986, then until 1992 the head of the Manuscripts and Early Printed Books Department of the present-day National Library of the CR, whose professional focus continued to involve the Knihopis) and Bedřiška Wižďálková (1926–2006, responsible for the preparation and publication of the Knihopis in the mentioned department after 1992). After it was created, the Knihopis became the symbol and flagship of the then promisingly developing young discipline of book science (formerly known as bibliology), dealing with the form, structure and history of books. In its conception, however, the Knihopis built on earlier models, specifically the work Historie literatury české [A History of Czech Literature] by the linguist of the Czech National Revival Josef Jungmann (1773–1847)[2] and his methodological conception only focusing on Czech-language works of literature. The Knihopis had actually been planned as another, updated and more modern edition of this title. This was also the reason why it was called Nový Jungmann [New Jungmann].[3] Nevertheless, this article is not going to describe its history of more than ninety years in detail as it has already been mapped elsewhere.[4]

This paper focuses on how the Knihopis reacts to new trends in bibliography associated with the development of the electronic-digital environment in the area of historical book collections, including online public access catalogues (OPAC), subject portals, digitisation processes or research trends shifting narrowly from conceived book science to a complex view of both manuscript and printed book production, which is currently preferred in the interdisciplinary research into the history of book culture.[5] In order to be able to meet new challenges and offer its users the fullest possible breadth of relevant data for their scientific work, the Knihopis has entered the processes of integration and project cooperation with similarly focused sources (specifically with Bibliografie cizojazyčných bohemikálních tisků 1501–1800 [The Bibliography of Foreign-Language Printed Bohemica 1501–1800, further abbreviated as the ‘BFPB’]; the Czech National Authority Database; the Union Catalogue of the Czech Republic) or projects (Knihově The text below will try to consider the practical as well as theoretical advantages of this step and its methodological contribution to the study of early modern book production.

The Subdivision of the Knihopis

Because of its long-term development as well as the selected working procedures, the Knihopis is now factually divided into three parts, namely the so-called basic series, numerical Supplements and alphabetical Supplements. The basic series comprises 17,631 detailed bibliographical records. It was published in book form between 1939 and 1967.[6] The numerical Supplements include corrections and additions to the records in the basic series. They were published in 1994–2010.[7] The alphabetical Supplements have yet to be completed; these are records of printed books recorded neither in the basic series nor in the numerical Supplements. Unlike these two parts of the Knihopis, the alphabetical Supplements do not exist in a full printed version. They are deposited in the form of handwritten catalogue cards in a local card cabinet of the National Library of the Czech Republic (hereinafter only as the ‘NL CR’). The editors of the Knihopis have been intensively working on their conversion into the electronic format and import into the respective database (see below) since 2011.[8]

The Knihopis-Digital Database (2003–2015)

While the NL CR was publishing in the 1990s printed numerical Supplements, continuing Tobolka’s and Horák’s original plans through this traditional procedure, the Knihopis began to be intensively studied by the Centre for Classical Studies at the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (hereinafter only as the ‘Centre’). The Centre initiated the project Clavis monumentorum litterarum (CML), the essential part of which the Knihopis became. Within the CML, the basic series of the Knihopis was manually converted into an electronic form with the exception of typological-typographic descriptions. These had not been planned to be transcribed from the printed original of the Knihopis. In the electronic version, they appear only selectively if they were randomly added later. In 2003, the electronic Knihopis was made freely accessible on the internet through the Knihopis-Digital database, offering its users new possibilities of working with data from the Knihopis, such as selective search by author, title, printer, or alphabetical scrolling in diverse indices.[9] In the next years, the staff of the Centre primarily focused on the creation of the unified forms of the names of book makers (e.g. authors, translators, printers), subject characteristics (e.g. of the topics and genres of the printed books) or the taking of photographs of the title pages and important parts of the printed books described. Data from printed numerical Supplements were originally transcribed into the Knihopis-Digital selectively (with merely library shelf marks or parallel and variant editions being chosen) and only later in their entirety, although not completely adequately in the selected manner.[10] In addition, the records of particular bibliographical and selection data were adjusted to the needs of the Centre; in some cases, they differed from the bibliographic and library standards applicable at the time.[11]

In 2011, an agreement on mutual cooperation was signed between the Centre and the NL CR with the aim of eliminating the inconsistent professional administration of the Knihopis, caused by the existence of its printed and electronic versions. Based on the agreement, the Centre was to ensure the complete transcription of numerical Supplements into an electronic form while the editors of the Knihopis at the NL CR were to edit the alphabetical Supplements and import them into the Knihopis-Digital database. The cooperation between the two institutions lasted until the end of 2014, when the Centre had fulfilled its contractual obligations and completed all the activities associated with the Knihopis.[12]

The KPS-Knihopis Database – A New Electronic Version of the Knihopis (2015– )

In 2015, the Centre handed the contents of the Knihopis-Digital database over to the editorial board of the Knihopis. The NL CR thus became the sole administrator as well as professional guarantor of the electronic version of the Knihopis. All existing records of the Knihopis with name and subject selection data and the digital photographs of title pages attached to them were imported into the Aleph library system and the database labelled as KPS-Knihopis.[13] Its technical operation and bulk editing of data from the Knihopis are newly ensured by the Library System Department of the NL CR. For the sake of a smoother transition and with respect to the user, the two databases were ran in parallel for most of the year 2015 and at the beginning of the next year.[14] At the end of April 2016, the KPS-Knihopis database replaced the no longer developed Knihopis-Digital for good. Along with the contents of the earlier Knihopis database, also one of two internet domains from which the Knihopis-Digital had originally been accessible came into the ownership of the NL CR.[15]

The Conceptual Limitations of the Knihopis

With the transfer of the Knihopis-Digital into the administration of the NL CR, its new administrator assumed several obligations. First of all, it was necessary to standardise the data in the Knihopis according to applicable library rules and harmonise them with the other databases of the NL CR. In addition to this essential technical basis, the editorial board of the Knihopis considered updating and reworking individual records from the Knihopis, in particular factually and methodologically. This would increase user convenience and satisfy numerous demands for greater topicality and professionalism. In this respect, the editorial board sought inspiration abroad, especially in the retrospective bibliography of German-speaking countries – Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachbereich erschienenen Drucke des 16. Jahrhunderts (VD16), recording prints of the 16th century, and the subsequent Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachraum erschienenen Drucke des 17. Jahrhunderts (VD17), covering prints from 1601–1700.[16] In comparison with the Knihopis, however, these bibliographies have much better preconditions, because bibliographic records in Germany are created by several libraries, which have chronologically divided the examined materials among themselves. Neither do the bibliographies have to take into account the specific situation represented by a large number of added numerical Supplements, like in the case of the Knihopis (see Note 10). In its very core, the KPS-Knihopis bibliographic database is actually the same as VD16 and VD17. It also contains, besides the primary bibliographic description, the unified form of the names of various makers (e.g. authors, translators, printers), subject headings and continuously added digital copies of the printed items. Nevertheless in one aspect, the German bibliography is significantly ahead of the Knihopis. Whereas the Knihopis only records Czech-language titles or foreign-language publications containing at least one Czech word, this artificial barrier is not applied in VD16 and VD17, and the prints are recorded regardless of the language of the document. For the editorial board of the Knihopis, there is only one possible solution in this respect, specifically cooperation with the BFPB (see below for more details). This is the option for the Knihopis to overcome the limitations already created by its founders during the First Republic, and match its German models. Moreover, the joint, coordinated coverage of both language parts of our retrospective bibliography will make the bibliographic treatment easier and more efficient, because the same authors, printers, genres and topics appear in both Czech and foreign-language prints. This will also prevent duplicates and redundant work, which occur in the case of the printed items where it is not entirely certain whether they belong to the Knihopis or the foreign-language part, as a result of which they are included in both bibliographies.

The considerations described above are now joined by questions connected with changes in the developmental trends in the field of book science and historical book collections, when it is no longer sufficient to create traditional bibliographic descriptions, but it is desirable to capture individual features of extant early printed items. In this respect, the research potential of the Knihopis is limited. Likewise this drawback originated at the time of the creation of the Knihopis, when the main focus was on the general knowledge of the printed book production of the 16th–18th centuries, for which it was primarily necessary to make its full inventory. Contemporary science already has this information more or less available, and its attention, besides other aspects, increasingly shifts from a book maker towards its consumer, that is its owner and reader. The research examines provenance marks (e.g. ex libris, super ex libris, stamps and handwritten notes), individually decorated book bindings or other forms of ownership marks, in particular printed books, which then make it possible to monitor the movement of books between historical figures and organisations as well as, to a certain degree, to reconstruct virtually no longer extant book collections. Of course, the records in the Knihopis cannot contain every handwritten note. The only provenance marks included in the Knihopis mostly reveal something about the author or other makers of the book concerned. Nevertheless, the Knihopis can help contemporary researchers or at least direct them to other relevant sources. A possible source of such desirable information on particular features of individual items appears to be the list of the self marks of extant printed items accompanying every record in the Knihopis. This list includes the names of modern, i.e. the last, institutional or personal owners, and sometimes also their predecessors. The structure of the shelf marks recorded in the Knihopis often follows the subdivision of institutional collections into separate historical collections and component sets. This may provide a starting point for research leading to the identification of the first owner of the book. For the list of shelf marks to satisfy research requirements properly in future, however, it urgently needs a comprehensive update, because the locations recorded in the Knihopis in many cases no longer correspond to the places of the current deposition of the printed items described.

These and numerous other impetuses or problems were encountered by the editorial board of the Knihopis in its considerations of how to develop further the KPS-Knihopis database as well as the entire Czech-language national retrospective bibliography. In addition, the editorial board had to cope with this situation with a relatively low number of researchers available and without significant institutional support. It was thus obvious that it had to choose the basic priorities to which to devote systematic work effort. It ranked the other activities among supplementary. The import of data from the Centre and its library system made it necessary already in 2015 to give priority to the library data unification (despite the fact that it was the least attractive and rather uninteresting from the user perspective), because the unification was to ensure the proper and smooth functioning of the KPS-Knihopis database. Evident errors and numerous formal defects were gradually fixed. The missing essential fields of the MARC21 exchange format were added to all the records. The search menu of the OPAC web interface was continuously optimised. At the same time, the decision was made to continue with other activities that had already been started in previous years. These comprised the attachment of hyperlinks to the digital copies of early printed books in the collections of the NL CR created within the cooperation with Google[17] or the completion and import of the transcribed and corrected records of alphabetical Supplements.[18]

Innovations and Upgraded Functions of the KPS-Knihopis Database

In 2015, work on several upgraded functions began in order to make the KPS-Knihopis database more attractive for users and to help at least partly to mitigate its limitations arising from its previous development. The already emphasised obsolescence of the list of shelf marks was removed by the probably most demanding action, consisting in explaining, writing out, unifying and updating the abbreviations of the owners. The abbreviated forms of the names of institutions and individuals from both the printed and electronic versions of the Knihopis were expanded in the KPS-Knihopis into full forms, and, if possible, also complemented by the current names of the organisations owning Czech-language early printed books. This solved the problem of abbreviations that are incomprehensible, obsolete or confusing now. Also the cases when one institution was recorded under several abbreviated forms were removed. Following the model of the national authorities of the NL CR, institutional and personal names were complemented by the location and state (the so-called identifier) in round brackets. An information note was added in the case of non-existent or frequently moved book collections and unclear institutions.

Not even these interventions, however, could reveal all the inaccuracies, duplicates and mistakes that appear in the shelf marks and have been caused by restitutions of monastic libraries after 1989, the restructuring of specific monastic institutions, the closure of some municipal museums, or the death of private collectors.[19] Nevertheless, it can be stated that the initial basis for other possible modifications and operations with these data was prepared. These could be used in integration processes as access points or selection data making it possible to search more databases simultaneously and to display the results. Yet this unifying role would require that also the other databases involved adopt the forms used in the KPS-Knihopis database, which may be problematic in the case of some items. It may be possible to apply cross-references and non-preferred names here. Future steps should further lead towards emphasising the belonging of individual copies of printed books into specific historical collections and component ownership sets within contemporary library, museum and archival institutions. This could be attained through the formal separation of the names of the institution, collection, and the actual shelf mark so that all the three data would be easier to identify, retrieve and, preferably, connect to other electronic sources, in particular databases of book provenances, authority databases or library catalogues. A user would then have access to a bibliographical description as well as more precise data on the given copy and its present and past owners.

The problem with the current accessibility of specific shelf marks captured in the KPS-Knihopis database was partly removed through its interconnection with the electronic Union Catalogue of the CR – CASLIN. Individual records of the Knihopis newly contain one or more hyperlinks. After their activation, a new window opens in the internet browser, displaying a record from the CASLIN. The user then receives a brief overview of accessible copies of the respective printed item in the libraries cooperating with the Union Catalogue. The two databases are interconnected through a six-digit identification number entered in the field 510 in the MARC21 format (this field is verbally referred to as: Citation/ References Note). This has become a suitable and unequivocal connecting point. Numerous domestic specialised libraries owning historical book collections contribute to the Union Catalogue. In the offer, users can thus find a copy deposited near their workplace or residence. The most frequently represented shelf marks are those of the NL CR, the Moravian Library in Brno and the Research Library in Olomouc.

Another upgraded function of the KPS-Knihopis database are detailed records of the incunabula of Czech origin. In the earlier Knihopis-Digital, they were accessible in the form of a hypertext-visual web presentation placed separately from the actual bibliographic database. The Centre used this system for all Czech-language incunabula and mentions of some, now physically unpreserved or uncertain incunabula (so-called Spuria). The editorial board of the Knihopis approached this issue differently. The list of incunabula made by the Centre was, except for the Spuria editions and regardless of the language of the documents, manually transcribed directly into the KPS-Knihopis database. The records were assigned special six-digit identification numbers INC001–INC044. Most of them are based on the list of Emma Urbánková from 1986, but some of them (e.g. the dating of the group of the earliest Pilsen incunabula) rely on later findings of contemporary studies of incunabula.[20] Apart from the basic bibliographic description, the majority of the records contain links to digital copies as well as hyperlinks, directing users to library catalogues and records on individual printed book copies. In addition, they comprise links to international bibliographies of incunabula, specifically ISTC – Incunabula Short Title Catalogue and GW – Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke.[21] In the transcription, only Latin and Czech-language incunabula from Pilsen, Vimperk, Prague and Kutná Hora were taken into account. Moravian incunabula from Brno and Olomouc are going to be processed separately (see below). Nonetheless, the KPS-Knihopis database overcame another of its formal barriers. It crossed the imaginary line of early printed books delimited by the year 1501 and provided electronic access to the printing production of the second half of the 15th century. Moreover, it has spared the users additional search for digital copies and catalogue descriptions, because the KPS-Knihopis database has all these sources concentrated together in one record. Before that, researchers mostly had to rely on earlier printed lists, which, despite their indisputable scientific quality, could not capture current changes in bibliographical data (e.g. redating, the identification of a maker). Since electronic records of the Knihopis can be updated at any time, they offer the ideal space for recording new information.

The last innovation of the KPS-Knihopis database are scanned digital copies of printed volumes of the basic series of the Knihopis and the issues of numerical Supplements. These are accessible within the National Digital Library of the NL CR (hereinafter abbreviated as the ‘NDK’ based on its Czech name Národní digitální knihovna). A direct hyperlink to them can be found in the section Informace o bázi and directly on the homepage of the KPS-Knihopis database. The copies are freely accessible, because copyright protection has been removed from them at the request of the editorial board of the Knihopis.[22] Besides the electronic version of the records, the users can thus also view their printed predecessors and reveal, through their comparison, any factual errors or other deficiencies. The users themselves can even put together the editorial history of a specific bibliographic record from the first occurrence in the printed basic series to any additions of the respective data from the numerical Supplements to changes in the electronic environment of the earlier Knihopis-Digital or the later KPS-Knihopis database. Nevertheless, this optimistic idea is spoilt by the fact that the scanned copies do not accompany the Knihopis records as image attachments but must be manually searched for in the user interface of the NDK, which sometimes represents a relatively lengthy task.

The Name Authority Files of the NL CR in the KPS-Knihopis Database

The establishment of the KPS-Knihopis database significantly affected the area of unified name headings as well, because the Centre had developed, as part of the Knihopis-Digital, its own database of authority records of all persons and organisations appearing in the records from the Knihopis. It primarily built on the forms of the names of the authors given in the printed Knihopis, which it then complemented by various non-preferred variants and information of biographic character, which it excerpted from the relevant professional literature or collected from diverse internet sources. The Centre used the same method in the case of other personal or institutional makers (e.g. translators, editors, dedicatees). Subsequently, it thematically interconnected these authority records from the Knihopis, which resulted in a relatively rich, although somewhere professionally questionable authority database organically joined with the Knihopis records.[23]

Since the authority file in the Knihopis was only used for the internal needs of the Knihopis-Digital, the staff of the Centre never resolved their relation to thematically similar national authority files of the NL CR. The problem was all the more manifested after the Knihopis-Digital was passed to the ownership of this institution. It was considered to be inefficient and conceptually wrong to run two, almost identical and actually even competing, authority databases. The arguments in favour of the national authority files included their widespread use by libraries, elaborated methodology and connection to applicable bibliographic standards. After discussions between the editorial board of the Knihopis, representatives of the Library System Department of the NL CR, the executives of the NL CR and experts from outside the NL CR, it was decided to abandon the authority file from the Knihopis and incorporate the national authority files of the NL CR into the KPS-Knihopis database. The original Knihopis authority file became a mere internal practical tool. The adoption of the national authority files into the KPS-Knihopis database seems to be a promising step towards future integration of the Knihopis and cooperation with other electronic sources and libraries. Most of them also use or even create authority records. An authority heading thus becomes a virtual unified connection point that can be used for search after the integration and interconnection of the databases. A certain hindrance in this respect is the professional level of some authority records, which do not meet the demands of scientific specialists or do not correspond to the current state of research in the field. Nevertheless, this deficiency can be practically solved by sending a proposal for their correction.

In the Knihopis, the adoption of national authority files is practically manifested in the transformation of the forms of the names of most of the makers (e.g. authors, translators, editors, printers), which were based on the printed original, into the form used in the national authority files. Some names actually remain the same, because the name of the person concerned is identical in both the Knihopis and the authority database. In other cases, however, the forms of the name are different – preference is then going to be given to the national authority form while the original form from the Knihopis is ideally going to be moved to the position of a non-preferred, yet retrievable version. Consequently, there will be differences between the name headings of the electronic records of the Knihopis and their printed counterparts.[24] Afterwards, the KPS-Knihopis will still contain a group of personal and institutional names appearing only there, but not in the national authority files. Most of them will gradually be processed as proposals of new authority records to be added to their nationwide database. The database will be augmented with new items, which can be used in shared cataloguing among domestic libraries.[25]

The Knihově Project (2016–2020)

In 2016, the editorial board of the Knihopis became involved in the five-year project Knihově Portál k dějinám české knižní kultury do roku 1800 [Knihově A Portal on the History of Czech Book Culture until 1800] (hereinafter referred to as Knihově, which had successfully received funding from the grant programme NAKI II one year earlier. One of its main aims is the interconnection of the Czech and foreign-language Bohemica parts of the national retrospective bibliography into a uniform electronic interface. This will enable parallel search for Czech and foreign-language printed Bohemica from one access point through the vuFind library search engine. Along with other functions and parts of the whole project,[26] a specialised, book-science portal will be created, enabling its users to enter the world of manuscript and printed book culture of the Middle Ages and early Modern Period. In 2016–2020, the work of the editorial board of the Knihopis is thus going to be in close cooperation with the BFPB, administered by the Department of Historical Bibliography of the Library of the Czech Academy of Sciences (referred to as the ‘Department of Historical Bibliography’ below).[27] The two institutions are going to modify their databases, existing independently of each other, depending on the technical parameters of their operators, and coordinate their procedures in order to connect the databases virtually and make them accessible on the website of the Knihově portal. The shared bibliographical data from the KPS-Knihopis database and the BFPB are going to serve as a source for aggregate graphic indicators of the topics and genres of printed books, an electronic biographical dictionary of Czech printers and publishers of the 15th–18th centuries, and for an interactive map of Czech book printing.

The involvement of the Knihopis as well as the BFPB in the Knihově project will provide them with several advantages. Thanks to the interconnection of the bibliographies, it will no longer be necessary to search each of the two independently functioning electronic databases separately, which is impractical. Mutual communication and cooperation between them will help to overcome their artificial language division and hence provide a more comprehensive bibliographic overview of the domestic printing production. This may reveal unexpected connections between contemporary printing workshops and necessitate new research, increasing the professional knowledge of book science. The VuFind search engine will make it possible to sort or narrow the set of matching records by diverse criteria and thus achieve the desired results, which will make it possible to conceive user queries more generally and particularly without fear of the retrieval of too many records. The user will thus be able to move from broadly conceived questions to narrower or even specific topics. Besides the basic bibliographic record, often accompanied by a digital copy of the printed original, the user will also be provided with a large number of further, complementary information, such as a biographical profile of the printer, generated from the above-mentioned biographical dictionary, the geographical location of his printing workshop interactively displayed on a map and linked to search in bibliographic databases, and a thematic-genre and possibly also typological-typographic description of his printed products. The Knihově portal should hence complement or even replace research into monographic or reference bibliological and codicological literature. This will fulfil one of the primary objectives of the project, namely the provision of expertise in the context, which is in compliance with the contemporary multidisciplinary view of the history of book culture. Therefore, the data are being prepared not only by librarians from the institutions involved, but also by the leading experts on manuscripts and early printed books as well as representatives of related scientific disciplines.

The creation of the portal and the preparation of bibliographic records are divided into several working stages. Altogether, the stages will take five years of the planned project and will correspond to chronological periods as well as to the quantitative increase of printed production in 1476–1800.[28] The project was launched already in 2016 by the processing of Czech and foreign-language Bohemica, specifically incunabula and printed books of the 16th century. In the next year (2017), the focus will be on printed books of the 17th century. In both periods studied, the number of the relevant records on the part of the Knihopis should be between two and three thousand bibliographic items.[29] A more significant increase in the number of Czech-language printed products is expected during the preparation of printed books of the 18th century. A rough estimate is even more than thirteen thousand records of the Knihopis. The processing of the printed books from the Baroque and Enlightenment periods will thus be divided into at least two years – 2018 and 2019. In each of the years, more than six thousand Knihopis numbers should be processed. The last year of the project, 2020, should be reserved for fine-tuning and practical tests of the interconnection of the two databases.

After joining the Knihově project, the editorial board has several tasks to perform. The editors must add pre-selected subject headings (see below) into all records from the Knihopis. Furthermore, they will carry out an overall manual revision of the numerical Supplements, more precisely, they will newly enter the data from DOD (referring to Dodatky, the Czech word for Supplements) system fields created by the Centre directly in the original bibliographic description and will cancel the DOD field for good. They will also modify the unified name headings of primary and secondary makers to match the national authority files of the NL CR. The outcome of their work should hence be a more comprehensive and more clearly organised Knihopis record. In parallel, they will edit the handwritten cards of the alphabetical Supplements and newly import them into the KPS-Knihopis database. In all their activities, they will proceed chronologically. First, they will thus process printed books of the 16th, then the 17th and finally the 18th centuries. In the case of the alphabetical Supplements, this will disrupt the established editorial procedure based on pre-selected letters of the alphabet.[30]

A Subject Description of the Printed Books within the Knihohově Project

In the interconnection of the two bibliographies, increased emphasis will be placed on the content characteristics of the printed items recorded. Therefore, their subject description will be one of the main priorities of both institutions involved. For each Czech or foreign-language title, its topic is planned to be expressed in a subject heading and its genre or form described by means of a form heading. The respective terms will be selected from a special subject heading list, compiled specifically for the needs of the project and including subject and form headings selected and approved in advance. These will be based on relevant patterns (see below). This should prevent excessive subjectivity and undesirable creativity of the staff entering subject characteristics. In the case of subject headings, the content description will reflect the scientific, artistic or practical area of human activity dealt with in the printed books described. This group will include such headings as theology, historiography, poetry, theatre or gastronomy and journalism. Form headings will be represented by the genres and forms most frequently appearing in our earlier literature. This sphere will comprise entries denoting e.g. chronicles, calendars, confessions, prayer books or hymn-books. The complemented subject data will combine the two bibliographic databases and will enable uniform search based on the content of the printed books. Secondarily, they will serve as a basis for graphical outputs and indicators.

Besides these purely technical and presentation functions, the use of these subject characteristics may also have wider research impact. Sophisticated and coordinated subject processing of our printed production of the 15th–18th centuries within the Knihově project will offer the users a reliable tool for research into domestic book printing. It will enable them e.g. to compile a comprehensive thematic–genre profile of the products of particular printing workshops or to estimate the thematic orientation of book production in a certain chronologically defined period or a spatially delimited area. It may also answer other specific user questions based on how the querying user combines subject headings with the other name selection data. For experts, this will reveal previously hidden facts on domestic book printing or at least confirm or disprove their scientific hypotheses and theories. The subject headings may inspire librarians in their selection of suitable terms from the otherwise relatively generally conceived database of subject authorities of the NL CR, focused on modern literature. The use of the same headings in the local electronic catalogues of libraries, in the KPS-Knihopis database and in the BFPB database would help to bring current library cataloguing closer to the project. Its subject heading list could aspire to a national standard applicable in libraries with historical book collections.

In the selection of individual subject headings and form headings for the subject heading list, it is necessary to proceed from several theoretical assumptions. The predefined group of entries should cover most of the thematic areas and genres of printed books represented in earlier Czech and foreign-language printed Bohemica. It is requisite to select a balanced analytic–synthetic approach that would avoid excessive details or complete superficiality. Individual items of the list should overlap factually as little as possible and their description should be clear so as to prevent doubts in their application. It is also desirable that they be on roughly the same level of hierarchy, without the appearance of terms with narrowly and broadly defined content next to each other. It must further be taken into account that the content of a publication described will only be possible to determine based on its bibliographic record and not the original document (e.g. in the case of non-extant printed books or unique items deposited in libraries abroad and private collections, or in the mere adoption of records into the two bibliographic databases from handwritten card cabinets or library catalogues without their processing using the de visu method, that is with the book in hand). Another non-negligible role is played by chronological and quantitative factors in the complementation of headings into the actual bibliographic record. It is also necessary to avoid the creation of systems similar to those that already exist or have the same focus. In the case of topical headings created in the NAKI II project, it is thus essential to resolve their relation to the national subject authorities of the NL CR.

The subject heading list was already compiled at the beginning of 2016. The inspiration for its design had mainly been sought in the spheres of present-day library science, bibliography and book science. The dictionary entries in the publication Encyklopedie knihy [Encyclopaedia of the Book][31] by Petr Voit and the subject authority files of the NL CR were selected as the initial model. Likewise the relevant department of the NL CR was approached and processed several specific entries as new proposals for the database of the national subject authorities.[32] The final result is hence a subject heading list comprising several levels. The highest one consists of the most broadly conceived terms, which only act as the main web display points. These are followed by more specialised terms directly generated from the respective bibliographic records. These are placed in the field 650 (in the MARC21 format, the field is called ‘Subject Added Entry – Topical Term’) and express the topic of the printed item described. The subject headings on the next level of hierarchy develop entries corresponding to the genre or form of the printed item. These form headings are entered in the field 655 (Index Term – Genre/Form). The lowest ‘level’ is filled by key words entered in the field 653 (Index Term – Uncontrolled). Their use is more or less optional, but it is desirable for factual clarification if some entries appear in the fields 650 and 655.

The two databases being interconnected contain numerous other subject characteristics. In the case of the KPS-Knihopis database, these are mostly subject and form headings that have not been selected into a narrower group of entries for the NAKI II project and that are characterised by various degrees of unification. Their occurrence is not systematic and they do not appear in all relevant bibliographic records. Similar inconsistency is also characteristic of data in the MARC fields 600 (Personal Name), 610 (Corporate Name), 630 (Uniform Title), 648 (Chronological Term) and 651 (Geographic Name). Mass unification and standardisation of these entries are currently not considered. In subject searching, the entries will thus fulfil the role of auxiliary keywords.

Subject characteristics and the overall integration of bibliographic records of the Knihopis and the BFPB within the Knihově portal along with the graphical indicators, biographical dictionary of printers as well as an interactive map of domestic book printing resulting from this combination will create suitable conditions and modern tools for bibliological research into the history of printed book culture of the 15th–18th centuries. The building and interconnection of electronic resources for the related area of manuscripts and codicology will be the focus of the remaining parts of the project (see Note 26). Likewise in their case, however, one can expect thematic overlaps into the sphere of early printed books and book science. The forthcoming internet encyclopaedia, in whose preparation the NL CR and the Department of Historical Bibliography are involved, will contain explanatory entries on the history of medieval and early modern manuscript books. Their texts will be accompanied by numerous pictures. The characteristics of both domestic and foreign book printing in 1501–1800 will be incorporated into the encyclopaedia in a similar manner. The scientific basis for this parallel layer will again be the publication Encyklopedie knihy [Encyclopaedia of the Book] by Petr Voit.[33] The entries about typography from the electronic encyclopaedia will be searched and displayed simultaneously with bibliographic records, with the two blocks thus suitably complementing each other.

The printed original will be drawn upon by the database of the owners of historical book collections as well. Its creator and the third participant in the project, the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences (only referred to as the ‘Masaryk Institute’ below), is planning to convert its four-volume Průvodce po rukopisných fondech v České republice [A Guide to Manuscript Collections in the Czech Republic] into an electronic form and update it.[34] Furthermore, it is going to augment the database with data concerning the institutions currently administering not only manuscript but also printed collections. Individual database records will mainly contain the unified modern name of the respective organisation and its non-preferred, mostly historical forms, brief institutional history and a list of administered book sets or collections of archival nature. The Masaryk Institute will involve its internal databases of manuscripts and modern codicological literature in the Knihově project as well. Contemporary monographic and article studies on book science are recorded in the bibliographic database administered by the Department of Historical Bibliography, which will also become part of the project. It is hence evident that the future users of the Knihově portal will gain access to a broad range of scientific information.


At the moment, the Knihopis continues to be modernised and updated. Methodologically, the work reacts to new challenges based on changes in research into historical book collections and electronic digital access to them, as shown above. Long-term problems of the Knihopis include the complementation of numerical and alphabetical Supplements, both those that have already been processed into handwritten bibliographic card catalogues and those that have yet to be acquired through future research into library collections. Unfortunately, their overall records have not been satisfactorily resolved. The same time-consuming and quantitatively demanding tasks newly include the manual interconnection of name headings with the national authorities of the NL CR.

Successful elimination of these deficiencies will make the Knihopis a reliable specialised information source, but, if the Knihopis had not participated in such projects as Knihově, it would only have remained an isolated electronic database of thematically narrow focus. It is true that such a condition could satisfy practically-oriented librarians or conservatively-based book scientists; nevertheless, it does not help modern researchers, who study printed production in a broader socio-cultural context and expect bibliographical data placed in the context of the information and knowledge of the related scientific disciplines (e.g. codicology or art, literary and cultural history) and presented by means of interactive professional outcomes. Undoubtedly, contemporary users will rather appreciate content analyses, links to encyclopaedic entries and digital copies or the interconnection of bibliographic and catalogue records than mere static bibliographical data. It is clear that an isolated bibliographic database cannot meet these requirements. Therefore, its administrator must seek opportunities for institutional cooperation and enter into the processes of integration, in which the Knihopis will become an important element among numerous other sources. Along with them, it will form the basis for upgraded virtual services. Consequently, the database will partly lose its individuality, emphasised for many years; nevertheless, it will also overcome some of its development and historical barriers.

The editors have not intervened in the method of citation in this article.


[1] This article was written as part of the NAKI II project No. DG16P02H015: Knihově Portál k dějinám knižní kultury do roku 1800 [Knihově A Portal on the History of Book Culture Since 1800].

[2] The title had a total of two editions. The first one already came out during his lifetime in 1825: JUNGMANN, J. Historie literatury české [A History of Czech Literature], 703 p. The second, significantly expanded edition was not published until after Jungmann’s death. Its final editing was performed by Václav Vladivoj Tomek (1818–1905): JUNGMANN, J. Historie literatury české, 771 p. Although the title page of the book gives the year 1849, Tomek’s preface is dated to 1851.

[3] The Knihopis was first presented under this title to the professional librarian public by Tobolka himself in the article: TOBOLKA, Z. V. Nový Jungmann [New Jungmann]. Časopis československých knihovníků, pp. 211–219, published on the 150th anniversary of Jungmann’s birth. The same title was used by the creators of the Knihopis in the report on the progress of bibliographical work: DOSTÁL, J. and A. KOLÁŘOVÁ-CÍSAŘOVÁ. Nový Jungmann. Slovanská knihověda, pp. 9–13.

[4] Among specific articles summarising the origin, history and progress of work on the Knihopis, it is necessary to mention first of all: HORÁK, F. Vývoj a úkoly české retrospektivní bibliografie [The Development and Tasks of Czech Retrospective Bibliography]. In Z teorie knihovnictví, pp. 131–168; WIŽĎÁLKOVÁ, B. Knihopis českých a slovenských tisků (nad ukončením základní řady soupisu) [The Knihopis of Czech and Slovak Early Printed Books (On the Completion of the Basic Series of the Knihopis]. In Česká bibliografie. Vol. 10, pp. 307–333; VOIT, P. Na okraj dalšího pokračování Knihopisu českých a slovenských tisků [On the Margin of the Continuation of the Knihopis of Czech and Slovak Early Printed Books]. In Česká bibliografie, pp. 102–117; PUMPRLA, V. Z historie Knihopisu [From the History of the Knihopis]. Listy filologické, pp. 285–293; ANDRLE, J. Česká národní retrospektivní bibliografie jako pomůcka a výzva pro literární historii [Czech National Retrospective Bibliography as an Aid and Challenge for Literary History]. Česká literatura, pp. 903–930.

[5]The modern conception and tasks of the Knihopis were last dealt with in further detail by: ANDRLE, Česká národní … (see Note 4), pp. 912–924. The meaning of the term ‘book culture’ in the Czech context is analysed in: VOIT, P. Nesnadná cesta knihovědy k dějinám knižní kultury [The Difficult Path of Book Science to the History of Book Culture]. Česká literatura, pp. 586–602; conceptual or interdisciplinary approach in this sphere of scientific research is called for in: VOIT, P. Osobní apel ke koncepci, komplexnosti a interdisciplinárnímu charakteru knižní kultury [A Personal Appeal to the Conception, Complexity and Interdisciplinary Nature of Book Culture]. Knihy a dějiny, pp. 95–100. From earlier theoretical articles on the methodology of retrospective bibliography and its relation to the history of book printing, one can mention especially: BOHATCOVÁ, M. Bibliografie a dějiny knihtisku [Bibliography and the History of Book Printing]. Sborník národního muzea v Praze, pp. 205–242. Among foreign sources, the broader social-communication context and a new conception of book science are discussed in the work: McKENZIE, D. F. Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts, 130 p. According to the Anglo-Saxon usage, book science is referred to here as bibliography.

[6] TOBOLKA, Z. V and F. HORÁK (eds.) Knihopis českých a slovenských tisků od doby nejstarší až do konce

XVIII. století. Díl II., Tisky z let 1501–1800. Část I–IX [The Knihopis of Czech and Slovak Early Printed Books from the Earliest Period until the End of the 18th Century. Vol. II, Printed Books from 1501. Parts I–IX], 9 Vols. This extensive series was preceded by a volume devoted to Czech-language incunabula. It was already published in 1925 and accompanied by a special pictorial supplement containing examples of typesetting, typeset alphabets and illustrations of selected incunabula: TOBOLKA, Z. V. (ed.). Knihopis československých tisků od doby nejstarší až do konce XVIII. století. Díl I., Prvotisky (do r. 1500). Text [The Knihopis of Czech and Slovak Early Printed Books from the Earliest Period until the End of the 18th Century. Vol. I, Incunabula (Before 1500). The Text], 47 p. and TOBOLKA, Z. V. (ed.). Knihopis československých tisků od doby nejstarší až do konce XVIII. století. Díl I., Prvotisky (do r. 1500). Tabule [The Knihopis of Czech and Slovak Early Printed Books from the Earliest Period until the End of the 18th Century. Vol. I, Incunabula (Before 1500). Tables], 12 Tab. Professionally inadequate language definitions and new information on Czech incunabula led to a later revision of the first volume of the Knihopis and its new edition: URBÁNKOVÁ, E. Knihopis českých a slovenských tisků od doby nejstarší až do konce XVIII. století, Dodatky. Díl I., Prvotisky (do r. 1500) [The Knihopis of Czech and Slovak Early Printed Books from the Earliest Period until the End of the 18th Century. Supplements. Vol. I. Incunabula (Before 1500)], 147, [1] p.

[7] WIŽĎÁLKOVÁ, B., J. ANDRLE, and V. JARÝ (eds.). Knihopis českých a slovenských tisků od doby nejstarší až do konce XVIII. století. Dodatky. Díl II., Tisky z let 1501–1800. Část I–IX [The Knihopis of Czech and Slovak Early Printed Books from the Earliest Period until the End of the 18th Century. Supplements. Vol. II, Printed Books from 1501–1800. Parts I–IX], 8 Vols.

[8] The wider user inaccessibility of handwritten alphabetical Supplements was temporarily solved by the previous editors of the Knihopis through their publication in the form of brief records, which include only bibliographical data and which are connected to alphabetically corresponding issues of the numerical Supplements. This list is labelled as Abbreviated Titles of New Supplements. Nevertheless, its practical use is problematic. Minimum records rarely make it possible clearly to identify the printed books and, since they do not contain shelf marks, they do not reveal whether the item concerned is included in the records of the alphabetical Supplements. These brief records thus serve as mere guidance, referring the researchers interested to further communication with the editorial board of the Knihopis, which will provide them with more information. Current information on the gradual preparation of the alphabetical Supplements can be found in the author’s articles: MACH, D. Knihopis českých a slovenských tisků stále žije! [The Knihopis of Czech and Slovak Early Printed Books Is Still Alive!]. Ikaros [online]; MACH, D. Aktuální stav redakce Dodatků ke Knihopisu a muzejní knihovny [The Current Editing Situation of the Supplements to the Knihopis and Museum Libraries]. Knihovna, pp. 102–108, or short annual summary reports published in the Annual Reports of the NL CR: MACH, D. Knihopis. In Národní knihovna České republiky: Výroční zpráva 2012 [National Library of the Czech Republic: Annual Report 2012] [online], p. 21; MACH, D. Knihopis. In Národní knihovna České republiky: Výroční zpráva 2013 [National Library of the Czech Republic: Annual Report 2013] [online], p. 24; MACH, D. Knihopis. In Národní knihovna České republiky: Výroční zpráva 2014 [National Library of the Czech Republic: Annual Report 2014] [online], p. 22; MACH, D. Knihopis českých a slovenských tisků (Knihopis) [Knihopis of Czech and Slovak Early Printed Books (Knihopis)]. In Národní knihovna České republiky: Výroční zpráva 2015 [National Library of the Czech Republic: Annual Report 2015] [online], p. 19. On the current state of the alphabetical Supplements, cf. also Note 18.

[9] The development of the electronic version of the Knihopis and the events associated with Knihopis-Digital are reflected in the following articles: BAŽANT, J. Digitalizace písemných památek v rámci projektu Clavis monumentorum litterarum [The Digitisation of Written Documents within the Clavis Monumentorum Litterarum Project]. In Knihovny současnosti '95, pp. 225–231; KROUPA, J. K. Zpracování prvotisků bohemikální provenience v rámci projektu Clavis monumentorum litterarum [The Processing of the Incunabula of Czech Provenance within the Clavis Monumentorum Litterarum Project]. In Problematika historických a vzácných knižních fondů Čech, Moravy a Slezska 1995, pp. 75–80; PUMPRLA, V. Knihopis – jeho počítačová podoba, současnost a budoucnost [Knihopis – Its Electronic Version, the Present and the Future]. In Problematika historických a vzácných knižních fondů Čech, Moravy a Slezska 2002, pp. 99–104; PUMPRLA, V. Databáze autorů digitalizovaného Knihopisu [A Database of the Authors of the Digitised Knihopis]. In Problematika historických a vzácných knižních fondů 2008, pp. 285–291; CIGLEROVÁ, J. Zpracování sekundárních autorů v elektronické verzi Knihopisu [The Processing of Secondary Authors in the Electronic Version of the Knihopis]. Folia historica Bohemica, pp. 509–520.

[10] Corrected or newly discovered bibliographic data provided in the printed numerical Supplements were not added directly into the respective parts of the original records of the Knihopis, but they were filled into independent fields of the UNIMARC exchange format, which were marked by the abbreviation DOD (standing for the Czech word for Supplements – Dodatky) and placed separately at the very end of the entire Knihopis description. A part of the numerical Supplements were imported into Knihopis-Digital automatically, without human intervention, which often led to the creation of duplicates. The records from the Knihopis thus became disorganised and somewhere even incomprehensible.

[11] A typical example of this approach was the entry of the unified form of the names of various corporations, e.g. religious brotherhoods, churches, monasteries, institutional printing houses, into the fields for name and subject headings of the UNIMARC format. A proof of the inconsistency were then the entries of the same data into different fields of this format.

[12] In the agreement signed in 2011, the cooperation between the NL CR and the Centre was planned until June 2016, or until 2019. The Centre handed Knihopis-Digital to the NL CR (see the main text) in the form of an extensive conglomerate of data. Some data could be used without any problems for the further development of an electronic bibliographic database while others needed to be significantly reworked.

[13] The KPS-Knihopis was not established from scratch. Its basis was formed by the continuously updated archival database of Knihopis-Digital, which had been established in the NL CR based on an agreement from 2011.The NL CR had actually received the data from Knihopis-Digital already much earlier. Before 2011, the records from Knihopis-Digital were collectively imported into the Manuscriptorium digital library and are user-accessible even from this source (see Manuscriptorium: Digital Library of Written Cultural Heritage [online], The amount of the records, however, does not correspond to the original Knihopis-Digital, because it was increased according to the number of the copies preserved (if a specific printed item included in the Knihopis has been preserved in e.g. ten copies, the Manuscriptorium contains ten separate records and not only one, like in the case of Knihopis-Digital). This fact considerably complicates work with bibliographic materials. No changes in the Knihopis records are expected to be made and cooperation with the representatives of the Manuscriptorium is not planned.

[14] The parallel existence of two databases could have made them look inauthentic, especially after their appearance began to be noticeably different because of various modifications. Nevertheless, this factual state had already been expected from the signing of the handover agreement and had been considered as temporary by both parties, although it was extended into almost one year of simultaneous co-existence.

[15]Knihopis-Digital was accessed through the domains: and, the first of which has been transferred into the ownership of the NL CR. The other domain has remained privately owned by a representative of the Centre. Its connection with Knihopis-Digital or the KPS-Knihopis database has been cancelled. The domain is currently not active. The website at mainly functions as an information and access point directing the user to the KPS-Knihopis database and to other relevant sources in the field.

[16] VD 16 already has its origin in 1969. Its printed version was published in 1983–2000 and comprises a total of twenty-five volumes. Its electronic version is accessible at: Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachbereich erschienenen Drucke des 16. Jahrhunderts (VD 16) [an online database], and The history of VD 17 is traceable back to 1996. Its electronic database is available on the website: Das Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachraum erschienenen Drucke des 17. Jahrhunderts [an online database], These bibliographies are jointly developed and complemented by several libraries, e.g. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Universitäts- und Forschungsbibliothek Erfurt/Gotha and Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. In the last ten years, their activities have mainly focused on the systematic and overall digitisation of all the printed items included in the two bibliographies. The German bibliography and another national retrospective bibliography are briefly described in: ANDRLE, Česká národní … (see Note 4), pp. 906–912; about specifically VD17, see: FABIAN, C. and C. BUBENIK. Schmelze des barocken Eisbergs?, 226 p.

[17] This linking with the digital copies began already at the end of 2014. In July 2016, KPS-Knihopis contained more than three thousand colour or black-and-white copies of higher or lower quality. Besides Google, also other potential sources of digitised copies of the printed items described in the Knihopis are searched, including e.g. Manuscriptorium, the EOD (eBooks on Demand) online service, offering the digitisation of individual early printed books upon user request, and rarely also electronic catalogues of foreign libraries (e.g. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna).

[18] In the course of 2015, the records of letters N and T–Ž (comprising a total of 420 new library records, specifically numbers K18688–K19108) were imported into the KPS-Knihopis database. The KPS-Knihopis database thus now contains a total of 1,480 records of alphabetical Supplements transcribed into an electronic form from the original handwritten cards in 2011–2015.

[19] A thorough formal review should be conducted for e.g. the shelf marks of the Moravian Library in Brno, whose collections have significantly been affected by church restitutions and the return of deposit collections. In the KPS-Knihopis database, however, this situation is not significantly reflected and the nowadays independent monastic libraries continue to be recorded there as historical sets of the collections of the Moravian Library in Brno. An advantage of the Aleph library system is that in some cases, it is able to find both shelf marks of an independent library and shelf marks in which the library concerned only acts as a part of another institution. The resulting research should thus be reliable and as complete as possible.

[20] In the case of the above-mentioned list, it is specifically: URBÁNKOVÁ, E. Soupis prvotisků českého původu [A List of Incunabula of Czech Origin], xxii, 319 p. New findings and corrections of Urbánková can mainly be found in: BOLDAN, K. Záhada Kroniky trojánské: počátek českého knihtisku [The Mystery of the Trojan Chronicle. The Beginning of Czech Book Printing], 66 p.; BOLDAN, K. Filigranologie a datace nejstarších plzeňských tisků [Filigranology and the Dating of the Earliest Printed Books from Pilsen]. In Minulostí Západočeského kraje, pp. 28–59; VOBR, J. Kutnohorská bible: problém 1. a 2. vydání [The Kutná Hora Bible. The Problems of the First and Second Editions]. In Miscellanea Oddělení rukopisů a starých tisků, pp. 209–220. Cf. also Note 6.

[21] The English bibliography of incunabula, ISTC, was established in 1980 and is administered by the British Library in London. The ISTC only exists in an electronic form and contains abbreviated records of most of the known incunabula. It is accessible at: Incunabula Short Title Catalogue [an online database], The German bibliography GW was already created in 1925 and has not been completed to this day. Its printed, alphabetically ordered version consists of eleven volumes, covering letters A–H. Its bibliographic records are much more detailed than those in the ISTC and are based on the typological method of Konrad Haebler (1857–1946). Its electronic version is available at: Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke [an online database], The GW played an important role in the creation of the Knihopis as well. It became, along with Jungmann’s History (see Note 2), the main inspiration for Zdeněk Václav Tobolka. Whereas Jungmann’s work influenced the language conception of the Knihopis, the method of bibliographic description and the structure of the records in the Knihopis were adopted from the GW.

[22] Most of the book titles from between the 1930s and 1990s digitised within the NDK are subject to copyright and their digital copies are only accessible from the internal network of the NL CR.

[23] The creation of the authority database of the book makers included in the Knihopis and their thematic interconnection have been described by: CIGLEROVÁ, Zpracování ..., Note 9, pp. 509–520. Primary authors have been dealt with by Václav Pumprla. He summarised the bibliographic data on them and other personal information adopted from various sources in: PUMPRLA, V. Knihopisný slovník českých, slovenských a cizích autorů 16.–18. století [A Bibliographical Dictionary of Czech, Slovak and Foreign Authors of the 16th–18th Centuries], xii, 1307 p.

[24] For illustration, one can mention e.g. Jan z Chocně in the printed Knihopis, who is given as Chocenský, Jan Berka in the national authority database and thus also in the KPS-Knihopis database; or Táborský z Ahornperka, Jan in the printed Knihopis, appearing in the national authorities as Táborský z Klokotské Hory, Jan. In both cases, the original form from the Knihopis was added to the non-preferred forms of a national authority record; therefore, it is possible to perform search by the earlier Knihopis form in the KPS-Knihopis. The result should offer relevant Knihopis records. The change described should most frequently concern the names of saints, where the system used in the national authorities is significantly different from the printed Knihopis: e.g. Augustinus, Aurelius Sanctus (Knihopis) vs. Augustin, svatý (national authority), Gertruda, Sancta (Knihopis) vs. Gertruda z Helfty, svatá (national authority) etc.

[25] This step is systematically worked on as part of the NAKI II project (see the text). As yet (July 2016), more than ninety national authorities have been edited or newly created.

[26] Besides the interconnection of the bibliographies, the aims of the project include the creation of an electronic encyclopaedia of medieval and early modern book culture in the Czech lands as well as a database of all state or church institutions that own manuscript or printed historical book collections. Likewise databases of modern bibliological and codicological literature will be included in the project (see the text for more details). The Knihově portal will also bring current information on developments in the field and the related scientific disciplines. The results of the project along with the essential information on it will be made accessible at the website

[27] The records in the BFPB include foreign-language printed books published in 1501–1800 in the area of the present-day Czech Republic, foreign editions of works by domestic authors or works by foreign authors thematically related to the Czech lands. The BFPB was established by František Horák in 1955; it built on the Knihopis and was originally entitled Soupis cizojazyčných bohemik z let 1501–1800 [A List of Foreign-Language Bohemica from 1501–1800]. The headquarters of the editorial board were in the Central Library of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, whose director Horák then was. Throughout the existence of the BFPB, however, it was never, unlike the Knihopis, completely published in print form. The bibliography had the form of an internal card catalogue, including handwritten bibliographic cards, with only selected parts (e.g. the writings of Jan Amos Komenský and Bohuslav Balbín) being published. In 1993, card-catalogue records were converted into an electronic format – a specially modified ISIS system. Nevertheless, the resulting database was not freely accessible. A CD-ROM containing scanned catalogue cards and abbreviated textual records of printed books of the 16 and 17th centuries was published in 2003. A new stage in the provision of access to the BFPB was initiated by the conversion of bibliographic records from the database in the ISIS system to the Clavius library system and its subsequent publication on the internet. The first records placed in the Clavius library system concerned printed books published in the 18th century, which, like in the mentioned CD-ROM, combined a scan of a complete catalogue card and an abbreviated textual record. The entire textual records are continuously made accessible. At the same time, various changes and editorial interventions are made, like in the KPS-Knihopis database. On the history of the BFPB, see: BRTOVÁ, B. Soupis cizojazyčných bohemik z let 1501–1800: (Zpráva o práci) [A List of Foreign–Language Bohemica from 1501–1800: (A Research Report)]. Vědecké informace ČSAV, pp. 54–61. Up-to-date information is available on the website of the Department of Historical Bibliography: Cizojazyčná bohemika [Foreign-Language Bohemica] [online],

[28] The chronological periods thus include, apart from early printed books, also the stage of incunabula. These were already processed by the editorial board in 2015 (see the text). Next, the Department of Historical Bibliography is going to transcribe records of incunabula printed in Brno and Olomouc, with the main source being the publication: DOKOUPIL, V. Bibliografie města Brna. Svazek 1, Počátky brněnského knihtisku: prvotisky [A Bibliography of the City of Brno. Vol. 1. The Beginnings of the Brno Book Printing], 125 p., [32] p. of pictorial supplements.

[29] More specific, although not entirely precise numbers include more than 2,200 records for the 16th century and over 3,200 records for the 17th century.

[30] In this new chronological system, mostly the Knihopis records of letters C, K, M and P are going to be processed. The remaining letters contained in the handwritten card catalogue of the alphabetical Supplements were edited before the beginning of the project.

[31] VOIT, P. Encyklopedie knihy [An Encyclopaedia of Books], 1350 p.

[32] The Department of National Subject Authorities and Subject Cataloguing has been presented with three terms suggested for the creation of new subject headings (specifically: personalia, administration and management of the church and territorial administration) and nine terms of new form headings (cosmographies, grammars, postils, superstitional texts, writings for a special occasion, administrative texts, notated compositions, expert compositions and pamphlets). In addition, there was a group of nine entries (liturgical books, prayer books, martyrologies, exempla, catechisms, confessions, prognostics, almanachs and topographical documents), which the national authority files contained in the form of subject entries and which had to be complemented for the project by parallel form headings.

[33] VOIT, Encyklopedie … Note 31, 1350 p.

[34] Průvodce po rukopisných fondech v České Republice. Díl 1.–4. [A Guide to Manuscript Collections in the Czech Republic. Vols. 1–4], 4 vols.

A list of referenced literature and electronic resources

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