Introduction by Voet

in The Plantin Press Online

(16,488 words)


This Bibliography tries to give a description of all the works printed and published by the Golden Compasses of Christopher Plantin at Antwerp and by his officina at Leiden, from the beginning till the death of the archprinter on 1 July 1589, with references to his correspondence and archives. Christopher Plantin was one of the most productive printers and publishers of his time. He was responsible for more than 2,000 publications; a tremendous number even when compared to modern standards. A man of humanistic aspirations, he tried to bring onto the market 'to the benefit of the Christian republic' (to quote one of his letters) the best that was available at that time in all the branches of human knowledge - and that exactly at a time of religious, intellectual and scientific upheaval, that was to revolutionize western thought and civilization. Plantin's Golden Compasses was one of the most important publishing houses of 'learned' books of the second half of the 16th century when the Age of Renaissance reached its zenith. Netherlandish, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, English, Scottish, Irish and Polish scholars had their writings circulated by the Plantin Press. They encompass every field of interest of the time. Religious text-editions, service books, and theological treatises are at the top of the list, followed closely by classical authors and neo-Latin humanistic studies, but sciences and humanities are represented in a way rarely matched by any contemporary publisher: medicine, botany, mathematics, history, geography (including very interesting travel-narratives), jurisprudence, dictionaries, grammars; occasionally a French, Dutch or Italian literary work. There were publishing houses in Plantin's time as important as the Golden Compasses, such as the Aides and the Estiennes. But of these houses only the editions themselves and a few scattered documents and letters have been preserved. Plantin's archives, however, have miraculously survived. His correspondence, ledgers, catalogues, and countless other documents make it possible to retrace in detail his activities as printer, publisher and bookseller and to give fascinating information on a large number of the works he printed: cost-accounting notes (including the number of copies printed for more than 300 editions); the prices charged for the publications; dealings (and eventually squabbles) with authors and colleagues; difficulties with religious and political authorities; the making of the illustrations which adorn so many of the editions, etc., etc.

Plantin's publications, however important they may be in their own right, are transcended by the details found in those archives, as they permit us to get a close view of how, in one of the most formative periods of modern society, publishers and printers had their works made and marketed for a European public. A bibliography of Plantin's works with references to his archives offers more than just notices on a number of books: it opens a large window onto the Renaissance world through the medium typography which contributed the most to mould it. Such a bibliography consequently presents a great interest for a wide variety of specialists and amateurs: librarians, antiquarians, scholars interested in the history of typography and learning.

In 1865 C. Ruelens and A. De Backer published their Annales Plantiniennes. Première partie. Christophe Plantin (1555-1589), covering the same subject. Valuable in its time, the publication has become completely outdated. The descriptions are incomplete or reduced to the (not always accurate) transcription of the title-page; only as an exception the place where a given edition can be found is noted; bibliographical annotations and references to the Plantinian archives are missing. Moreover, this author has been able to double the number of entries; to triple even when taking into account the smaller publications. This Bibliography is not just an addendum to the Annales Plantiniennes - it is a full and complete new work.

The Bibliography supposes a certain knowledge of the life and the world of Plantin and the ways in which books were made and marketed in his time. Both Plantin's life and lifetime and the working of his press are detailed in the two volumes of another study of this author: The Golden Compasses. A history and evaluation of the printing and publishing activities of the Officina Plantiniana at Antwerp, Amsterdam - London - New York, 1969-1972 (Vol. I. Christophe Plantin and the Moretuses: their lives and their world. Vol. II. The management of a printing and publishing house in Renaissance and Baroque). The reader may consult them for specific points regarding Plantin's biography and the techniques governing the 16th century printing trade, which are not explicitly treated in the Bibliography or are only referred to in passing.



In this Bibliography the production of the Plantin Press from the beginning of Plantin's career in 1555 till his death on 1 July 1589 is detailed. For some months after he passed away publications still left the press bearing his imprint. These works have in principle been retained. At the end of 1589 the imprint changed into 'Ex Officina Plantiniana apud Viduam' (to become from 1590 until the death of Plantin's widow in 1596 'Ex Officina Plantiniana apud Viduam et Joannem Moretum'). Those works bearing the date of 1589 but clearly produced or finished after the death of the founder of the press have not been listed.

From 1583 till 1585 Plantin had a press at Leiden. In 1586 it was taken over by his son-in-law Frans Raphelengius. The production of the Leiden Press has likewise been described from 1583 till the moment Frans Raphelengius became head of the officina.


Before coming to the technical exposé of how the Bibliography has been conceived, it is not superfluous to explain in some detail the position of Plantin in the printing trade and the ways in which this reflected on the presentation of the works which were marketed under his name - or with the imprint of fellow publishers.

Plantin was at the same time printer, publisher and bookseller. As bookseller he sold not only his own products, but also those of other printers, but, with a few exceptions, when copies of editions bought from other publishers were 'arranged' to look like Plantin's own publications, this aspect of his activity will not be scrutinized.


Plantin was and remained first and foremost a printer-publisher. That is, he himself bore the costs of publishing the greater number of the works he printed. On the title-page of the Latin editions this is generally indicated by the formula 'Ex officina Christophori Plantini'.

When in 1576 the great revolt against Philip II swept the Netherlands, Plantin was often constrained to act as printer-publisher of works that might displease the Spanish authorities and their supporters. To cover himself, he devised a means of distinguishing between books which he freely undertook to produce, or at least found to be not too dangerous, and those that were forced upon him or which he could suppose to have unpleasant consequences. For the latter category, as far as the Latin editions are concerned, he changed the usual formula Ex Officina Christophori Plantini into In Officina …; a subtle modification he explains with much detail in letters to Spanish oriented authorities (cf. no. 64). Sometimes, however, he preferred to publish potentially dangerous works anonymously (e.g. the works of his spiritual and religious mentors Niclaes and Barrefelt) or under the name of one of his sons-in-law; or even of one of his journeymen (cf. Pamphlets).


The quantity of work coming from Plantin's presses would have been beyond the means of businessmen with far greater resources. Consequently, a substantial part of his production was in fact commissioned by third parties, Plantin being merely the printer.

These third parties might be the authors themselves (or relatives or other persons with an interest in the writer), who were prepared to pay out of their pockets to have their brainchildren brought under the eyes of the public at large. Very often this financial contribution is only revealed through Plantin's account-books, but it also happens that it is indicated on the title-page with formulas such as 'Imprimé par Christophle Plantin, pour l'aucteur' and similar statements (see e.g. Garibay, E. Perret, A. Ortelius, L. Waghenaer). The services of the Plantin Press have also been enlisted by ecclesiastical and secular authorities, commissioning works and frequently taking an entire edition, which they paid for and distributed as they chose best. Their share in the production remains more often than not unspecified in the title-page or in the colophon, but sometimes the formula of the imprint can give a clue to what happened (cf. no. 569, Rechten ende Costumen van Antwerpen: 'T'Antwerpen, ghedruckt by Christoffel Plantyn'). Plantin, especially in his earlier years, also worked for other publishers. Usually the title-page shows the imprint of that other publisher, whilst only a discreet colophon reminds the reader of Plantin's part in the production (see e.g. Bruto). It happens, however, that Plantin's contribution is explicitly stated on the title-page. So, for example, most of the albums with engravings published by Philip Galle, but containing a text in letterpress printed by Plantin, have a formula to this effect. In other cases there is no mention at all of Plantin's participation, and it is only the type and woodcut-initials, or entries in his ledgers, which show his contribution.


Plantin was primarily a printer of his own publications, but it happened that he had some of his editions printed by other typographers. Not very frequently as he needed all his financial means to keep his own presses busy. In fact, it was largely in the peak years 1568 - 1575, when Plantin's presses were at full capacity working on the Polyglot Bible and service books for Spain, that he fairly often contracted out urgent work (often paid for by the authors or other publishers) to Antwerp and Louvain printers, the foremost among them being Hendrik Alsens and Joannes Verwithagen at Antwerp and Joannes Masius (Maes) at Louvain. Only Verwithagen and Masius note their names sometimes in a discreet colophon. Masius, moreover, used type supplied by Plantin.


Plantin has thus been, as the occasion presented, publisher-printer, printer or publisher. But the printing trade then as now was far more complicated than these clear-cut cases tend to show. A substantial percentage of Plantin's printings was in fact issued with the partial backing of other parties.

These other parties might again be the authors themselves or secular and ecclesiastical authorities who helped Plantin against possible financial risks in advancing him the necessary cash to pay his compositors and pressmen and buy his paper in anticipation of the return on the capital invested. These sums were usually paid back with a number of copies of the printed work. This kind of sponsorship is not usually stated in the works themselves, but mostly only revealed by scrutinizing Plantin's correspondence and accounts. Financial backing of this kind could also be provided by other publishers. Plantin, especially at the beginning of his career, made time and again arrangements with colleagues in the trade to take from him a more or less important proportion of the copies he printed. Very often the part of the edition ceded to the colleagues received a special title-page bearing the name of the sponsor - the record being held by the Dictionarium Tetraglotton of 1562, of which copies are known with imprints, besides Plantin's own, of no less than four other fellow publishers. In other, more exceptional cases, Plantin's name on the title-page might be coupled with that of the sponsor (e.g. S. Cyrilli catecheses, 1564: 'Excudebat sibi et Materno Cholino, civi Coloniensi, Christophorus Plantinus'). Or Plantin might join forces with other publishers to make possible promising but costly projects. As was the case with the Corpus iuris canonici of 1573, for which Plantin banded together with two other Antwerp firms and even had a common printer's mark cut which was coupled on the title-page with their combined address: 'Antverpiae, apud Christophorum Plantinum, haeredes J. Steelsii, et Philippum Nutium'.

Towards the end of his life Plantin in many a letter lamented that he had become a 'hireling' in the service of more fortunate colleagues - in the first place Michel Sonnius of Paris and Arnold Mylius of Cologne - who advanced him the necessary capitals, but retained his name on the title-pages, in the expectation that his international fame would improve their sales. Plantin seems to have exaggerated his plight. The works in question are most certainly included in the category just described. They were only partially subsidized by Sonnius, Mylius and others, who took but a limited number of copies, the remaining part being marketed by Plantin himself. However, this time Plantin's colleagues do not seem to have insisted on adorning their part of the run with title-pages showing their own imprint. Plantin's affirmation seems to be true for this aspect: that the backers now preferred having Plantin's address on the title-pages to stimulate their own sales.


On a limited number of occasions Plantin varied the practice, in so much that he himself took a large number of copies from a promising edition from another publisher and had the copies re-arranged so as to show his own address on the title-page. In these cases he was, however, so fair as to change the formula of the imprint from 'Ex officina Christophori Plantini' into 'Apud Christophorum Plantinum'. He used the same stratagem for editions printed in the Officina Plantiniana at Leiden, of which copies were sold through his Antwerp bookshop: Lugduni Batavorum, Ex Officina Christophori Plantini - Antverpiae, Apud Christophorum Plantinum. He started with this stratagem as early as 1584 when he was still head of both presses. The practice was continued when his son-in-law Frans Raphelengius took over the Leiden office in 1586 and changed the Leiden imprint into 'Lugduni Batavorum, Ex Officina Plantiniana Francisci Raphelengii': large numbers of copies of Raphelengius's Leiden publications show an Antwerp address 'apud Christophorum Plantinum'. This does not imply that Plantin subsidized the publications of his son-in-law. The Antwerp address was only used as a means of assuring a market in Catholic countries for publications which, coming from the Calvinist bulwark Leiden, would otherwise have been suspect and their sales hampered. Plantin was already doing this in 1584-1585 when Antwerp was still dominated by the Calvinists - but, having a large Catholic minority, was not too suspect in the Catholic world. When in August 1585 Antwerp was brought back under Spanish control, he continued the practice for those publications from his former Leiden press that he more specifically wanted to market in the Southern Netherlands, foremost among them the best-sellers constituted by the numerous publications of his good friend Justus Lipsius, residing at that time at Leiden.

Any way the formula 'Apud Christophorum Plantinum' on a title-page let it be known that, if the publication was marketed by Plantin, it didn't necessarily come from his presses.

A last remark: a few editions have received different title-pages for another reason. Some works printed at Antwerp by Plantin in 1567 also got a title-page with the address of his new Paris branch. The printer must have thought that this could stimulate the sales in France. Very likely the 'trick' did not work as well as anticipated. The practice was in any way soon discontinued.


The works enumerated and described are classified in alphabetical order according to the name of the author or, in the case of anonymous publications, according to the principal noun (e.g. Kort begrip des redenkavelings is classified under Begrip; Evangeliorum dominicalium summaria sanctorum-que historiae is to be sought in the section of the Evangelia; cross-references make it possible to trace the more dubious cases).

The Latinized names of the authors have been preferred when they show in the title-page of at least one of the editions described. So for example Willem Damasz. van der Linden will be found under Lindanus, Guilielmus Damasi, even if one of the editions issued by the Plantin Press gives on the title-page the name of the author as being W. vander Lindt. But G. Le Fevre de la Boderie, alias G. Fabricius Boderianus, has been listed under his real name as the only Plantinian edition of one of his works is a French one showing his French name. Anyway, references are given for the benefit of those readers inclined to look first at the 'normal' name: e.g. Linden, Van der: See Lindanus: Wouters, Cornelis: See Valerius, Cornelis. With the exception, however, of those 'vulgar' names which come very close to the Latinized form. It was judged superfluous to note for example Lips'. See Lipsius; Ortels: See Ortelius.

When two or more authors are involved, the work is normally listed under the first author quoted. Exceptionally, when for example, extracts of works of quite a large number of authors are brought together into one edition, the publication can be listed under a catchword. So e.g. Carmina novem illustrium feminarum, listing the existing fragments of nine female Greek poets (Sappho, Erinna, Myro, Myrtides, Corinna, Telesilla, Praxilla, Nossides, Anyta), to which were added some male colleagues as well (Alemanes, Stesichoros, Alcaeus, Ibycus, Anacreon, Simonides, Bacchylides; Tyrtaeus, Mimnernus; Bio, Moschus). Of course here too references have been given (Sappho: See Carmina novem illustrium feminarum, 1568, no. 917).

It can also happen that a work is formally presented as consisting of two (or more) separate editions, each with their own title-page and pagination. This is very often the case for text-editions of classical authors, accompanied by comments of the editor or other scholars. Even if these editions were considered to form only one publication and were normally sold together, they are listed as two separate entries (but of course in the Notes accompanying each of them, the greater entity to which they belong is duly specified). E.g. Vegetius, Flavius: De re militari libri quatuor, [edited by G. Stewechius] , 1585; Stewechius, Godescalcus: Commentarius ad Flavi Vegeti Renati libros, 1585. When an author has more than one work to show, they are in principle listed in the alphabetical order of the principal noun in the title. However, very often it seemed more to the point to note them in their chronological succession (e.g. reprints sometimes received a slightly different title, which could mean that an edition of let's say 1580 would have to be listed before the editio princeps of 1562) or to group them in another way (e.g. of the Emblemata of Junius and Sambucus separate sections have been made of the Latin editions, the Dutch translations and the French translations).

The entries are thus listed in the alphabetical order of author or noun - but with a few exceptions. Especially, where it seemed indicated, in bringing together in a comprehensive survey closely related editions, which otherwise would have been scattered through the Bibliography if the principle of the alphabetical order should have been adhered to. These sections include: Bible (editions of Bible-texts; paraphrases and comments are Usted under the authors); Calendarium; Charles V (more especially the illustrated album showing the funeral procession of the Emperor at Brussels, of which copies were issued in French, Dutch, German, Italian and Spanish, each with a different title); Corpus iuris canonici; Corpus iuris civilis; Francis, Duke of Anjou (bringing together the anonymous eulogies of the prince); Index librorum prohibitorum; Pamphlets (even if the majority of the works listed are not 'pamphlets' in the strict sense of the word, but bear on topical events regarding the history of the Netherlands in the second half of the 16th century, in Latin, Dutch and French versions and very often related to each other; bringing them together in their chronological order under the by the specialists much used [and abused] heading 'Pamphlets' gives a far better insight into this kind of Plantinian editions than otherwise would have been possible); Plantin Press. Of course here too cross-references have been given, so that finding a given work will not be too difficult.

Finally, it is to be emphasized that ordinances, decrees and assimilated works (e.g. annotations of customary law) are brought together (in chronological order) under the authority or body in the name of which they were issued (at least in theory; the reality could be different: the States-General between 1578 and 1581 issued many violently anti-Spanish decrees but in the name of Philip II - and as such they are classified under the name of the Spanish sovereign). These ordinances and local law-books, as far as printed by Plantin, have to be looked at: Alva; Antonio; Antwerp; Arras; Artois; Brabant; Farnese; Francis, Duke of Anjou; Henry III; Holland; Malines; Mathias; Requesens; States-General; Ypres.


Each author or section (Bible, Breviarium, etc.) is normally preceded by a biography or explanatory note (when possible with bibliographical references).

For each publication, as far as a copy has been preserved, is given: short title, transcription of title-page; collation (format, dimensions, pagination or foliation, eventual errors in pagination or foliation and technical specifications); content; [when present:] illustrations; places where copies can be found; references; notes.


Without place or name of printer-publisher when these are Antwerp and Plantin. For the production from Plantin's Leiden Press the name of the city has been added. An exception has been made for those editions having more than one title-page: in those cases Antwerp and Plantin have been listed to distinguish the variants clearly. The names of the scholars responsible for the edition, the translation or the commentary of a given text are cited within right brackets, preceded by 'ed[ited], 'tr[anslated] ' 'comm [ented]'. E.g. under Terentius: Opera, [edited by T. Pulmannus], 1562; under Amadis de Gaule [tr. Herberay], 1562; under Alciatus: Omnia emblemata, [edited by et comm. Claudius Minos], 1574. Plantin has at times printed for coleagues or, on the contrary, commissioned work from fellow typographers. This is duly noted when reflected in the presentation of the edition (annotation on title-page or in colophon). So for example under Amadis de Gaule: 'Trésor des Gaules. Antwerp, G. Silvius, [pr. Plantin] , 1561' means that this particular edition of the Trésor des Gaules, showing on the title-page the imprint of the Antwerp publisher G. Silvius, was in fact printed by Plantin; whilst under Torrentius: 'Poemata, [pr. A. Masius], 1572', has to be understood that this collection of poems was printed for Plantin by the Louvain typographer A. Masius.


No transcription can compare with a photographic reproduction (in exact dimensions) to give a precise image of the title-page - and for a number of difficult or interesting cases (title-pages with Hebrew or large Greek texts, engraved title-pages, etc.) such a photographic reproduction has indeed been added. For most editions, however, we had to be content, following the current rules of bibliographical description, in making transcriptions giving as many elements as possible to help visualize the title-page. If not fully adequate (more specifically regarding the characters used [in a title-page different characters, varying from very large to very small, of both capitals and lower case, can have been used without showing in the transcription] and the distances between the lines), the indications given allow us nevertheless to get an idea of the book and its content (as far as described in the title-page) and make comparison possible between the prototype described and the other copies of an edition. Have been noted: 1°) The type founts (Roman, Italic, Gothic, Civilité, Greek, Hebrew) in capital or lower case; 2°) The end of a line with the sign ||; 3°) The use of red by underlining the red parts; 4°) The printer's mark or 'vignette' (abbreviated V.: meaning any illustration not filling the whole page and not being the printer's mark; usually described under the illustrations); 5°) The eventual use of a typographical rule (|| - || : means that between the text preceding the first || and the one following the second || stands a typographical horizontal line or rule, large or small).

Printer's marks.

Most of the printer's marks figuring in the editions issued by the Plantin Press are of Plantin himself. They are indicated by the sign ⊕ and a number. These Plantinian printer's marks are reproduced further in this Bibliography; the numbers refer to their order in the series. We followed, in fact, the numeration as given in G. van Havre, Marques typographiques des imprimeurs et libraires anversois, Antwerp-Ghent, 2 vols., 1883-1884; more especially I, pp. 87-193 (a reprint of this section: Les marques typographiques de I'imprimerie plantinienne, Antwerp, 1911). Van Havre reproduces 105 printer's marks of the Plantin Press of which nos. 1-45, shown in this Bibliography, with the same numeration, belong to Plantin's lifetime. Van Havre's survey is so complete that only a few additions and alterations had to be made. On the ordinances issued by the Plantin Press the printer's mark is often replaced by a woodcut showing the coat-of-arms of either the acting sovereign, the duchy of Brabant (also used for the ordinances of the States-General), or the city of Antwerp. They too are reproduced immediately after the printer's marks (nos. 130-133: Philip II; nos. 140-144: Antwerp; 150: Brabant; 160-161: Francis of Anjou).

As explained above when detailing Plantin's position as publisher-printer-bookseller and how this reflected in the publications of his press, some editions show on the title-page the printer's mark of other publishers. When they are Antwerp colleagues of Plantin, these printer's marks can likewise be found in Van Havre, Marques typographiques des imprimeurs et libraires anversois. In the transcription they are introduced by the sign for printer's mark, the letters VH (Van Havre), the name of the publisher and a number. A mention as e.g. VH, Silvius no. 2, means: printer's mark of G. Silvius, reproduced in the section of Van Havre's work dealing with Silvius, and figuring there as number 2.

Decorated title-pages.

The larger part of Plantin's title-pages are 'plain' ones, showing only the title (short or with long digressions and explanations), a printer's mark (or vignette), and the imprint. Exceptionally they received a more elaborate decoration specified in the transcription by a short entry following the short title and before the text-transcription proper, within right brackets ([ ]). This decoration was sometimes rather simple, consisting exclusively of typographical elements: the text-part could be surrounded by one or two typographical rules or lines ([Within a single line:]; [Within two lines:]), or be put in a frame or border of fleuron type-ornaments ([Within border [or frame] of fleuron-ornaments:]).

Sometimes wood-blocks were used to this effect. The text-part could be contained within a frame or border of several wood-blocks (mostly four blocks: one above, one under, one to each side). This is specified as: [Within woodcut-frame:]. A more elaborate variant consisted of a woodcut-border in one piece or woodcut-compartment. This is specified as: [Within wood-cut-compartment:] .

These ornamental blocks generally have a more or less large cut-out center part and two smaller cut-out slots, one above, and one under the central cut-out part, which received the typographically printed texts. In the tran scription this is indicated by: † (= meaning that the following line or lines figure in the upper-slot above), □ (= meaning that the following lines are found in the central cut-out part), ‡ (= meaning that the following line or lines are in the under-slot).

Engraved title-pages.

Important editions sometimes had a title-page in intaglio (burin engraving or engraving). This is indicated by the mention: [Engraved title-page:]. When no further details are given, it is understood that the transcribed text is also engraved on the plate. In this connexion it has to be remembered that the engraver had far more possibilities than the compositor working with lead type to model fantasy letters and ornamentation - not always making it easy to state with any accuracy if a given type is to be considered a Roman or Italic, a Gothic or Civilite', or to make sense out of the punctuation. Also very often, as is the case with the woodcut-compartments, parts of the plate were cut-out to permit the printing of typographical type. In this case it is specified: [Engraved title-page; printed typographically within cut-out centerpart:] [… within cut-out medallions:].

It also happens that beneath the plate an additional text was printed in letterpress type. This too is dutifully specified.


The broadsides don't have a title-page, but start usually with some lines in a (generally larger) body, giving (or suggesting) a title. Occasionally, but very rarely, a work in book form (or part of such a work) begins in the same way. This is indicated with: [Heading:]. The transcription immediately following gives the headlines (if not otherwise specified).


II. 4. C. 1°. Format.

The formats most used in the Plantin Press are:

Broadside (or broadsheet): printed on one sheet, on one side.

In Folio: in folio.

In 4°: in quarto.

In 8°: in octavo.

In 12mo: in duodecimo.

In 16mo: in sextodecimo.

In 24mo: in vigesimoquarto.

In 32mo: in trigesimosecundo.

In 64mo: in sexagesimoquarto.

The books are normally longer than wide. Exceptionally they can be broader than high and are then specified to be 'in oblong'.

On the formats as used in the Plantin Press: L. Voet, The Golden Compasses, II, pp. 160-162.

The format determines in a large measure the dimensions of a given edition: an in 4° suggests a larger volume than an in 8°, etc. However, as much also depends on the size of the paper used, it can happen that a given edition is somewhat smaller than one in a normally smaller format, or larger than one in a normally larger format. So e.g. is the distinction between an in 12mo, 16mo, and 24mo not always easy to make when taking into consideration only the dimensions of a copy.

The indications as given by the quires are useful to determine a given format - but only to a certain point: they are identical for an in 8°, 16mo, and 32mo; and again for an in 12mo and 24mo.

Another possibility exists to verify a particular format - or at least a number of them. The paper in Plantin's time was laid from scoops, their bottom consisting of a network of minuscule iron or brass bars. The larger number of these bars were very small, pressed against each other; a few were somewhat wider and placed vertically so as to sustain the mass of the smaller ones. As the paper pulp was less thickly spread on these bars both series of bars show in the paper as somewhat brighter lines, the larger and more spaced 'chain lines' always vertical to the compact mass of the smaller 'form lines'. In folio the chain lines normally show in the pages of the edition vertically, the form lines horizontally. In 4° their position is inverted: the chain lines are horizontal, the form lines vertical. And so on for the in 8° (chain lines vertical, form lines horizontal), in 16mo (chain lines horizontal, form lines vertical), in 32mo (chain lines vertical, form lines horizontal). The system, however, does not work as well with the in 12mo and its diminutive, the in 24mo. Both those formats can be prepared and the quires cut in two ways, giving either a relatively long or a relatively broad copy. In the relatively long version both the in 12mo and in 24mo show vertical chain lines and horizontal form lines, and the relatively broad version horizontal chain lines and vertical chain lines.

However, even when taking into consideration all these technical aspects, in some cases doubts still linger. To play a safe card we first of all checked what the Plantinian catalogues had to say about the format of a given edition, and in principle adopted their version (when it does not conflict with the indications found in the publications themselves: in the catalogues errors regarding the format are not frequent but they happen anyway from time to time). When the catalogues keep silence on this peculiar characteristic, the intern criteria had to be exclusively used.

II. 4. C. 2°. Dimensions and type-area.

After the indication of the format some numbers follow between brackets, e.g.: (110 x 80 [76]). Those numbers represent measurements in millimeters (mm.). The first two are the dimensions of a given copy, length x breadth, in principle the dimensions of the first copy of the edition in question as noted somewhat further in the description under the topic 'Copies'. When e.g. the first copy noted under 'Copies' is Museum Plantin-Moretus, A 414, the measurements refer to the length and breadth of that particular copy.

These dimensions have of course a very relative value. Most of the prototypes measured were bound copies, their real size substantially trimmed more or less by the bookbinders. Their dimensions can differ rather considerably from other copies of the same edition. Anyway, the dimensions of one copy, even if truncated, can give a reasonable idea of the average dimensions of the original edition.

An additional element for judging the dimensions of a given work has been added within right brackets. Where in the example quoted above (110 x 80 [74]), the first measurements stand for the length (110 mm) and the breadth (80 mm) of a particular copy, [74] represents the length (in millimeters) of the type-area, identical in all the copies of a given edition. As in a given work the type-area often varies slightly from one page to another, the measurement has in principle been made on the second page of the text proper. The type-area considered goes from the first line of the text on the page (thus with the exclusion of the running title) to the last line of the text (thus with the exclusion of signatures and catch words), more especially from the upperside of a letter without upstroke in the first line till the underside of a letter without downstroke in the last line.

II. 4. C. 3°. Quires (gatherings).

a. Sheets and quires.

In Plantin's time books were printed in sheets. That is a number of pages, varying according to the format, were printed on the recto side of a sheet of paper, and the same number on the verso side. For an in 4 : 4 pages on the recto side, 4 pages on the verso side; for an in 8°: 8 pages on the recto side, 8 pages on the verso side, etc. At the end of the printing process the sheets had to be brought together and folded into the right order (an operation which supposed for some formats the cutting of the sheets in a peculiar order).

The collator or bookbinder could have followed the numeration of the pages, but doing it this way was time consuming and asking for countless errors. To make the task of collating easier a simpler way of operating was devised. Each sheet or, when they had to be cut, each part of a sheet was given (always printed at the underside of the pages) a letter or sign (e.g. *, †), which made it easy to bring them together in their correct order.

Those letters are accompanied by a number (A 1 or simply A: for pages 1 and 2 [= printed on the verso side of 1], A2: for pages 3 and 4, etc.), allowing quick folding of each sheet or part of a sheet in their correct order. Each of these numbered units (A, B ... ) is called a quire or gathering.

This is the basic principle, but it had to be adapted to the different techniques of cutting and folding used for the different formats, even including different methods for some formats (especially for the in 12mo and in 24mo). On the sometimes very complicated systems evolved for imposition, cutting and folding, cf. L. Voet, The Golden Compasses, II, pp. 526-561.

The different techniques used may have asked much skill and insight from the collators and bookbinders working on the job, in the books themselves the system was applied in a fairly simple and uniform way.

In Folio: Each sheet forms in fact a quire, but for practical reasons, more especially regarding the bookbinding, several sheets were normally brought together and accordingly numbered. They can vary from 4 to 6 and occasionally 8 sheets.

In 4°: Each quire consists of one sheet. The folios are numbered Al, A2, A3. The last folio (which should have shown the indication A 4) is in fact never numbered. The reason is obvious: when Al, A2 and A3 are correctly folded, [A4] fells automatically into its place.

In 8°: Each quire consists of one sheet. The folios are numbered Al, A2, A3, A4, A5. There are no indications on [A6], [A7], [A8], as they too come automatically in the right place when Al, A2, A3, A4, and A5 are folded correctly.

In 16mo: The sheet is cut into two halves, forming the two quires A and B. The folios of each quire are numbered as in the in 8° (Al, A2, A3, A4, A5; the last three folios are not numbered).

In 32mo: The sheet is cut into four parts, forming the four quires A, B, C, D. Same system of numbering as in the in 8° and in 16mo.

In 12mo: Each quire consists of one sheet. The folios are numbered Al, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7. The last five folios are not numbered.

In 24mo: The sheet is divided into the two quires A and B. Same system of numbering as in the in 12mo.

b. The succession of the quires.

In the Plantin Press the order followed was that of the Latin alphabet. Quires at the beginning or at the end could eventually receive a special sign, when necessary repeated (*, ** . . . †, ††), but normally a letter of the Latin alphabet was used. When in the larger works the alphabet was running out of letters, variants were used: after A-Z can come e.g. a-z, and then eventually Aa-Zz or a similar combination.

The Latin alphabet used in the Plantinian editions consists always of 23 letters. Three letters have been systematically excluded: J, U, W. For practical reasons: J could be confused with I, U with V, whilst the letter W was normally lacking in the Roman and Italic alphabets.

c. The annotation of the quires in the Bibliography.

The number of quires and the folios in each quire have in principle been noted as specified in the copies described (e.g. †-††8, A-Z8, a-b8). The succession of the quires is normally indicated in Roman letters; occasionally Italic and in vernacular publications Gothic or Civilité are used. In our descriptions they have been uniformly rendered into Roman letters. The numerals in a given quire are generally in Arabic (A1, A2 . . . ), exceptionally in Roman (AI, AII. . . ). In our description they have been uniformly rendered into Arabic numerals. Very occasionally other systems are used (in some Greek editions: the Greek alphabet; in Hebrew editions: Roman numerals [I, II . . .[). These exceptional methods are detailed in each of the editions concerned.

A formula as e.g. *8, A-Z8, a-c8, d4, means thus 27 gatherings of 8 folios each (numbered: *, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, V, X, Y, Z, a, b, c) and one half quire of 4 folios (d). From this formula it is easy to calculate the corresponding number of pages. E.g. *8, A-Z8, a-c8, d4 = pp. 16 (*8) + 368 (A-Z8: 23 x 16) + 48 (a-c8: 3 x 16) + 8 (d4) = 440. When it is said *8, A-Z8, a-c8, d4, this means that each quire contains 8 folios, but it has to be remembered that in each quire the folios are only num bered from 1 to 5 (Al, A2, A3, A4, A5; the last three are without number) and in the half quire from 1 to 3 (d1, d2, d3; the last folio is not numbered). It can happen that in a given copy the last quire seems to lack a folio (or even two folios); that e.g. only Al, A2, A3, A4, A5, [A6] and [A7] can be accounted for. Formally speaking this should mean that the quire has to be noted down as A7. This is in fact technically impossible: a quire cannot be printed in 7 folios. What happened in those cases is that the last folio was blank and had been cut away by the bookbinder. It means that whenever we came across a quire which seems to lack a folio we felt legimate to make a 'complete' quire with a missing folio, which to all probability had been blank (thus noted down as A8 and not as A7).

A last remark on the subject. When, as will be detailed immediately below, errors in pagination or foliation are frequent, even to the point of utter confusion, errors regarding the order of the quires and their internal numeration are quite exceptional.

II. 4. C. 4°. Foliation and pagination.

Numbering the pages of an edition was standard practice long before Plantin started printing. At first the foliation was used; that is only the recto sides of the folios received a number. It was applied in the first publications issued by Plantin. This is rendered e.g. as fols. lro-98vo (meaning thus 98 x 2 = 196 pages; with only the recto-sides numbered and no indications on the verso- sides). However, already in the early 60's Plantin went over to the system which has remained the standard practice in the printing trade ever since: the pagination, in which both sides of the folios are numbered in a continuous succession. Noted as e.g.: pp. 1-98.

Exceptionally, and only used in large monumental publications (mostly works on Roman or canonic law), in which two columns are printed on a page, these columns are numbered. Noted as e.g.: cols. 1-1198.

The numeration of folios or pages is generally done in Arabic numerals (e.g. pp. 1-20); exceptionally Roman numerals are used (e.g. pp. I-XX).

It could happen that pages or folios did not receive a number. This was quite exceptional in the Plantin Press for a whole edition (mostly small publications as ordinances and decrees). What far more frequently occurred was that for one reason or another, some quite obvious (= title-pages, blank pages, pages with full page illustrations, introductory parts, indices, etc.), some less conspicious, a number of pages were not numbered - at the beginning, at the end, or in the text itself.

In the Bibliography this has been shown by putting the numbers which the not numbered pages or folios should have received between right brackets. Different possibilities can occur:

  • - pp. [1-8]: means that the complete edition, containing 8 pages, has not been numbered.
  • - pp. [1-8], 1-98: means that there is a not numbered introductory part of 8 pages, followed by a section numbered 1-98.
  • - pp. 1-98, [99-114]: means that the numbered section 1-98 is followed by a not numbered section of 16 pages. We could have noted it, as it is frequently done by fellow bibliographers, as pp. 1-98, [1-16] ,but we preferred to continue the numeration so as to give in one glance the total number of pages of the edition (to which eventually have to be added the not numbered pages of the introductory part: e.g. pp. [1-8], 1-98, [99-114]).

When in an otherwise normally foliated or paginated edition some pages are not numbered, this is not specified in the collation: the mention pp. 1-98 does not exclude the possibility that some pages are in fact not numbered (as for example the title-page, blank pages, etc.). It is, however, noted in the analysis of the content (e.g. [1]: Title-page; [2-3]: Dedicatory; 3-40: Text; [41-42] : Blank; 43-98: Notae': means that 1, 2-3, 4142 are not numbered but for obvious reasons in an otherwise 'normal' copy). When pages are not numbered for less conspicious reasons, this is listed in the 'Errors' (see immediately below).

II. 4. C. 5°. Errors.

Errors in foliation and pagination are frequent. It has been judged worthwhile to list these errors as they make it easier to compare the copies of a given edition - and eventually to sort out variants or to trace slightly different editions.

The possibilities that occur most:

  • a) One number for another. 'Errors: 76 for 67' means that page 67 has received erroneously the number 76.
  • b) A whole series of numbers in disorder. 'Errors: 46-49-48-47-50', means that the first (46) and the last (50) numbers are correct, but that the numbers in between are in a wrong order.
  • c) The pagination (or foliation) jumps with one or more units. 'Errors: 17-18 omitted' means that without reason these numbers are omitted and that the pagination jumps from 16 to 19. In this case the numeration after 16 is too high by two units. If e.g. the work ends at p. 200, this total has in fact to be reduced by two units from 200 to 198.
  • d) The pagination is repeated. 'Errors: 17-18 twice' means that without reason the numbers 17-18 figure twice in succession (. . . 16, 17, 18, 17, 18, 19 . . .). In this case the numeration after the second 18 is too low by two units. If e.g. the work ends at p. 200, this total has in fact to be raised by two units to 202.
  • e) Some pages not numbered. 'Errors: 17-18 not numbered' means that the pages 17-18 didn't receive a number. It is, however, to be remembered that only those omissions have been retained which clearly constitute an error. Those pages which were normally not numbered have not been retained under the errors (e.g. title-page, blank pages, pages with full page illustration) or where the omissions are more or less justified (e.g. introductory parts) (cf. above under 4° Foliation and pagination).

Some specific remarks:

  • a) During the printing process an error can have been corrected - even if this eventuality occurs but very rarely. It means anyway that in some cases copies of the same edition can show different errors.
  • b) The numbers of the pagination or foliation, especially in the smaller formats, are not always clearly printed - anyway not in the collated copy or copies. Where there is obviously an error but without the possibility of verifying what is wrong, a question mark has been placed: e.g. '7 ? for 74' means that, if the 7 of 74 is correct, for the 4 there must stand another cypher which it was impossible to verify.
  • c) In some editions (or at least in the copies we verified) the pagination or foliation is so badly printed that it was practically impossible to look for any errors. In these cases is noted, either 'Errors: difficult to check' or 'Errors: impossible to check'.

II. 4. C. 6°. Technical specifications.

Eventually and when to the point some technical specifications valid for the whole publication, or for the larger part of it, are noted:

  • a) Printed in black and red. Meaning that parts of the text are printed in red.
  • b) Printed from back to front. The writing tradition of the Oriental alphabets asks for writing (and printing) from right to left, implying at the same time that the writing (and printing) starts on what according to Western tradition is the last page and ends on what is for us the first page. This tradition has been followed in the Plantin Press for the publications in Hebrew and Syriac.
  • c) Printed on two (or three . . .) columns. Meaning thus that the type-area is divided into two or more columns. It is only noted in the collation when the larger part of the edition has been printed this way. When only done in a relatively small part (e.g. table or indices), it has not been mentioned in the collation, but referred to in the content: e.g. 14-80: Text;81-82: Table (on two columns); 83-114: Indices (on two and three columns).
  • d) Specific decorations. Some de luxe-editions have their pages decorated in one way or another.

The most common cases:

  • - Printed within a single line or rule (or double lines): meaning that on each page the text has been set within a frame of a typographically printed line (or two lines). Variant: Printed within a single line (or double lines) on two columns, each column separated by a single line (or two lines).
  • - Printed within woodcut-border: when each page is printed within a woodcut-ornamentation consisting of one block.
  • - Printed within woodcut-frame: when each page is printed within a woodcut-ornamentation consisting of separate blocks.


As many details and as much information as possible have been condensed into the description of the content. Especially to allow the reader not having an actual copy at hand to see if the edition can be of some interest for the research he has in mind.

II. 4. D. 1°. Title-pages and titles.

a. Title-page.

The mention: '[1]: Title' refers to the title-page described above in full detail.

b. French title.

Means a short title printed on a separate page generally before the real title-page. Its text has been transcribed bibliographically. The use of French titles in the Plantinian Press was very limited.

c. Title-pages in text.

It happens that text-elements in the middle of a work are introduced with a title showing all the characteristics of a real title-page (including imprint, year and printer's mark). This title is transcribed as accurately as a real title-page but at the place where it is to be found: e.g. [1]: Title; 2-80: Text; [81]: IVSTI LIPSI / annotationes. . .

d. Titles in text.

Sometimes on a separate page the title, with or without a condensed description of the content, is given of what will be reproduced in the following pages. The essential elements of this title are transcribed followed by the mention '(= title)'.

II. 4. D. 2°. Text.

'Text' means the quintessential part of the publication as explained on the title-page.

II. 4. D. 3°. Other text-parts.

The text proper is generally accompanied by other text-elements, varying in number, volume and importance from one publication to another: forewords, notes to the reader, dedicatories to exalted and less important personalities, laudatory poems on the author and/or his work, annotations and comments of the text proper, etc.

Their characteristics are in each case outlined as briefly but as precisely as possible. When thought interesting the titles or headings announcing them have been transcribed, wholly or in part. Otherwise a short explanation in English tries to summarise the meaning of the text in a succinct way. Special care has been taken to note and quote names (with references to the honorary titles of the personalities, transcribed literally), places (the Latin names rendered in their vernacular [where possible English] forms) and dates (converted when necessary from the Roman calendar-system, frequently used in the Plantinian publications, into our actual system). Specifications within brackets indicate that they are found somewhere in the text-part (mostly at the very end).

Some examples:

  • - 'Theodori Pulmanni Craneburgi de metris Boethianis, libellus' (= additional part to the edition of a text of Boethius, being a comment on the versification technique of Boethius, by the editor of the text, Theodorus Pulmannus, born at Kranenburg).
  • - 'Theodori Pulmanni Craneburgii Gerarto Falkenburgio Noviomago S.D. (Antwerp, 8 October 1561)' (= dedicatory by the author, or more precisely in this case the editor [of a text of Boethius], Theodorus Pulmannus, to his friend Gerardus Falkenburgius, born at Nijmegen; the heading is transcribed literally; place and date are given at the end of the dedicatory). - 'Ad illustrissimum virum Carolum Cossaeum Franciae marescalum, ac apud Taurionos regis Francorum praefectum, in Iephten tragoediam praefatio (Paris, 28 July 1554)' (= foreword to part of a publication [= Paraphrasis Psalmorum Davidis poetica]; the author of the foreword is not named, but is to be identified with the author of the treatise, Georgius Buchananus; the heading, including the enumeration of the titles of the addressed, has been transcribed literally and completely).
  • - 'Serenissimo principi, augustissimo senatui, et reipublicae Genuensi . . . (s. Petrus Bizarus, Antwerp, 2 January 1579)' (= dedicatory to the magistrate of the city of Genoa; part of the heading has been transcribed literally, whilst those words not necessary to the comprehension of the text have been left aside [=…]; the author of the dedicatory is not named in the heading, but has subscribed his text at the end (= s[igned]), specifying at the same time place and date where and when he wrote it).
  • - 'Latin poems to the author and his work by Hugo Favolius, I. Iesseus, Clemens Trelaeius, Matthias Sasbout' (= series of poems each with its own heading, which, however, were not relevant enough to be reproduced).

II. 4. D. 4°. Additional elements.

Each publication generally includes elements giving additional information on the work itself or its content.

Of these elements exceptionally only the heading or introductory words or lines have been transcribed. As a general rule a technical term has been used specifying their meaning.

a. Table.

Means either a detailed enumeration of the content (with references to the pages) or a more summary specification (without references to the pages).

b. Index (Indices).

Means a list or lists of names of persons, places, or notions, always with references to pages (folios) or chapters and paragraphs. The specific character of the index or indices has not been noted (e.g. if only quoting persons, places, or notions, or if being a combination of the different possibilities), but when in a given edition more than one index is found, the plural 'indices' has been used.

c. Errata.

List of printing or other errors, with the corrected texts, and the references to the pages (folios) where the errors can be found (and have to be corrected).

d. Approbation (approbation).

Each work published in the Netherlands in Plantin's time had, in principle, to be examined on its Catholic orthodoxy by a religious authority (cf. on the system: L. Voet, The Golden Compasses, II, pp. 255 ff.).

Quite a number of terms were used to qualify the final result: censura, licentia imprimendi, etc. To-day it is generally known as imprimatur. We preferred the expression most used in Plantin's editions: approbation, ab breviated to approbation (but Approbationes when in a given work more than one was given).

In Plantin's publications these approbationes are often (but not always) reproduced wholly or in a summarized form. When signed and dated these elements are given within brackets. When the name of a place precedes the name of a person, this implies that in the attestation it is explicitly stated that this was the locality where the approbation has been written. When the name of the place follows the religious authority, this means that the title or other qualifications given to the theologian permit to affirm that he was normally residing in that place - and that consequently the chances are high that he has indeed written his attestation in that locality.

Examples: 'approbation (Antwerp, 13 July 1573, s[igned] Van der Steghen)' let it be understood that Van der Steghen affirms to have written his statement at Antwerp on 13 July 1573. 'approbation (13 July 1573, s[igned] Van der Steghen, Antwerp)' means that Van der Steghen does not specify where he wrote his approbation, but that he is noted to be a cleric at Antwerp.

e. Privilege (Priv.).

Each publication in Plantin's time had also to have permission to be printed by the secular authorities, quite consistently called the privilege (abbreviated: Priv.) (on the system: cf. L. Voet, The Golden Compasses, II, pp. 255 ff). Sometimes in the publications the privileges are not detailed or only referred to in a general way (e.g. on the title-page the laconic mention 'cum privilegio'). However, they too are very often reproduced, or more precisely summarized (and eventually translated from Dutch or French into Latin), with place, date, and signature of the secretary of the administrative body which granted the document.

The larger part of the privileges appearing in Plantin's publications were granted to the archprinter himself. It happened, however, that they were in fact given to a colleague of Plantin (or to Plantin and a colleague) or to an author. This specification has been noted. E.g. 'Priv. (Brussels, 11 September 1564, signed by de la Torre)' means that the document has been granted to Plantin; 'Priv. (to Plantin and A. Tilenius: Brussels, 11 September 1564, signed by de la Torre)' means that this particular privilege has been given jointly to Plantin and his Antwerp colleague, A. Tilenius.

The privileges were obligatory and had to be paid for, but they were not invented by a bureaucracy eager to extract an extra-fee from unwilling publishers. They in fact were demanded by the printing trade to assure each publication a sale's monopoly for a given period. However, this monopoly could solely been enforced in the jurisdiction of the administrative body responsible for the privilege.

As a general rule Plantin was content with applying only for the territory where he lived and worked - and where he was forced by law to do so (and where at the same time his most dangerous competitors were found): the Netherlands.

The overwhelming majority of privileges listed in Plantin's publications are consequently dated Brussels. But at Brussels two bodies could and have granted Plantin the documents he needed: the Council of Brabant, acting for the duchy of Brabant (in which Antwerp was situated), and the Privy Council, acting for the whole of the Netherlands. When in the text reproduced in the publication this is clearly specified, it has been duly noted:

E.g. 'Priv. (Brussels, Council of Brabant, 15 July 1564, signed by Berty)'. Otherwise is only noted, e.g. 'Priv. (Brussels, 15 July 1564, signed by Berty)', meaning that in the text it is not explicitly stated which body was responsible for the document. In fact, the larger number of Plantin's privileges were granted by the Privy Council.

Occasionally Plantin made use of a privilege granted (to him or to another publisher or to an author) by a sovereign or sovereign body outside the Netherlands. In these cases, the place-names make it clear enough who was responsible: e.g. Paris or Fontainebleau for the kings of France; Vienna or Prague for the German emperors, etc.

Each publication was in principle covered by a specific privilege. There are nevertheless exceptions, such as the breviaries, missals and other service books for which Plantin had obtained 'general privileges' which were used time and again (and eventually reproduced).

Plantin had also been able to obtain from Emperor Maximilian for the German Empire a 'privilegium generale', dated Vienna, 21 February 1565, which he regularly reproduced in the books he hoped would sell in reasonable numbers in Germany.

f. Colophon.

They are rather rare. As they often give useful information, their texts have been transcribed literally.

g. Calendar.

In most service books a calendar is reproduced, generally preceded or followed by notes regarding the use of the calendar or explaining specific chronological elements. The calendar proper and the notes are called together 'calendar'.

II. 4. D. 5°. Explanations to the Content.

The different elements of the content are accompanied by technical specifications within brackets.

The kind of type used has been noted, when other than Roman. E.g. 'Text' without any comment means set in Roman. But: Text (It[alic]), Text (Go [thic]), Text (Ci [vilité]), Text (Gr[eek]), Text (roman type and italic type; meaning that Ro and It alternates), Text (words in italic type and greek type; meaning that the text is in roman type but that smaller parts are printed in italic type and greek type), etc.

Also specified: the eventual use of marginals (annotations in the margins) and of music; if the text is printed on two or more columns (if valid for the whole work the fact is noted in the collation); and similar details which

can be helpful in visualizing the printed text.

The privileges and approbationes being practically always printed in Roman and/or Italic, for these elements the kind of type used is only noted when in Gothic or Civilité.

Titles and sub-titles of chapters and other subdivisions are often printed in another kind of type than the text-body. This has not been noted. A reference as 'Text (italic type)' means that the text proper has been set completely and exclusively in Italic, but doesn't exclude the possibility that some titles are, for example, in Roman.

When quoting texts other than title-pages, headings, colophons, and similar elements transcribed literally, some adaptations have been made, more especially regarding the use of particular letters: in Plantin's time the V can stand for an U, or vice-versa the U for a V. These letters have been shown according to to-day's norms.

II 4. E. ILLUSTRATIONS (Illustrations)

If in any given publication illustrations are reproduced, including the vignettes on the title-pages other than printer's marks, they are detailed in the special section 'Illustrations' as fully and completely as possible. The techniques used are specified (woodcut; intaglio prints: copper engraving [burin engraving] , engraving), the dimensions noted (always in millimeters, height x breadth), the names of the designers (draughtsmen) and/or illustrators (woodcutters, engravers) quoted when showing on the blocks or plates.

Illustrations were often used in more than one publication. This has as a general rule been indicated either in the paragraph on the Illustrations or in the Notes. An exception had, however, to be made for the service books (breviaries, missals, horae and officia). Their illustrations were drawn from a common pool, continually renewed and enlarged - and selected for any given edition as seemed fit to the publisher. The same illustrations can appear in breviaries, missals and other service books years apart, whilst they can differ substantially in the editions published in the same year. A large number of these illustrations have been reproduced (and references given) in M. Rooses, De houtsneden uitgevoerd voor den Brevier en voor den Missaal infolio. Les bois gravés pour le Bréviaire et pour le Missel in-folio, Antwerp, 1910, and De houtsneden uitgevoerd voor de brevieren, de missalen en andere kerkelijke boeken. Les bois gravés pour les bréviaires, les missels et autres livres liturgiques, Antwerp, 1911.

For the problem of the illustration in the Plantin Press, including technical remarks and the lists of the draughtsmen and illustrators who worked for Plantin and the Moretuses: L. Voet, The Golden Compasses, II, pp. 194-243.


For each publication the place(s) have been noted where a copy or copies can be found. In principle only public institutions are listed.

The first institution quoted (generally with the indication of the bookshelfmark) is the one from which the copy has been described (and the dimensions, pagination, errors, content, illustrations, etc., noted). When variants in other copies (in other institutions) have been found this has been duly noted. Also noted for each copy elements which can represent some interest (on vellum; on blue paper; with manuscript annotations by the author, etc.). We were eager to locate as many copies as possible, but didn't try to trace them all. Such a research would have taken countless years - and have most likely ended incomplete.

We intended first of all to locate (and to study personally) at least one copy of any given publication. When, going through libraries and reference-works, we found other copies as well, they were added to the list.

We discovered much information on the subject which could be accepted to be trustworthy, either directly, whilst doing research work in libraries, or indirectly, through correspondence with colleagues or consulting up-to-date reference works, even if not all copies were effectively researched. However, we also felt obliged to include the mentions given by less trustworthy manuals (a case to the point is the Répertoire des ouvrages pédagogiques du XVIe siècle (Bibliothèques de Paris et des départements), Paris, 1886, which gives interesting references regarding French libraries for quite a number of works, but is sometimes marred by very disturbing errors) or older works (such as the Bibliotheca Belgica) from which the indications can eventually be no longer relevant - largely due to the havoc wrought in so many libraries during the Second World War (more especially the German institutions and in Belgium the once so rich University Library of Louvain). We have checked the dubious cases as best as we could (to the point of eliminating systematically all references to the Louvain University Library), but the possibility remains that some incorrect indications have filtered through - we dare hope and believe in very limited number.

On the other hand, as already implicitly stated above, only a few institutions have been searched in an exhaustive way, either directly, or with the help of manuals. They include happily some of the depots most rich in Plantinian editions:

Plantin-Moretus Museum, Antwerp (Museum Plantin-Moretus) (which, as one might expect, can boast to possess the most complete collection of Plantinian publications in the world, and which has been systematically combed out).

Royal Library, Brussels (RL Brussels) (where we received from our col

leagues precious help and information, and could consult moreover a most interesting reference-work for the time of Plantin: E. Cockx-Indestege and G. Glorieux, Bélgica Typographica, 1541-1600. I. Bibliotheca Regia Bruxellensis, Nieuwkoop, 1968).

University of Cambridge (with the exhaustive manual of H.M. Adams, Catalogue of books printed on the continent of Europe, 1501-1600 in Cambridge libraries, 2 vols., Cambridge, 1967, which is referred to whenever in the section 'Copies' is mentioned 'Cambridge').

University Library Ghent (Ghent University Library) (J. Machiels, Catalogus van de boeken gedrukt vóór 1600 aanwezig op de Centrale Bibliotheek van de Rijksuniversiteit Gent, 2 vols., Ghent, 1979).

British Library, London (British Library) (where our personal research-work has been directed by the Short-title catalogue of books printed in the Netherlands and Belgium and of Dutch and Flemish books printed in other countries from 1470 to 1600 now in the British Museum, London, 1965, and from which institution we could moreover use the very rich ensemble of bibliographical descriptions generously put at our disposal by Mr. Colin Clair, of London).

For the Belgian institutions the reference-work of G. Glorieux, Belgica Typographica, 1541-1600, II, Nieuwkoop, 1977-1979 (including most of the libraries and institutions of Belgium outside the Royal Library at Brussels and the university libraries of Ghent and Louvain) was also of great value. Furthermore we did personal and rather exhaustive research work in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris, the Royal Library of San Lorenzo de El Escorial and the Biblioteca Nacional at Madrid, and the Biblioteca Vaticana and Biblioteca Nazionale at Rome. Thanks to Mr. Breugelmans of the University Library of Leiden not many of the Plantinian editions in the important collections of this institution will have escaped us, whilst our colleagues in quite a number of other libraries in the Netherlands, Germany and Lisbon were also most cooperative.

A last remark, regarding more specifically two works in the Archives of the Plantin-Moretus Museum, which are quite often quoted in the section 'Copies': Arch. 1228 and Arch. 1230.

Both are compilations made in Plantin's time with elements of his publications. Arch. 1228 is in fact a new year's gift presented by Jan Moretus to his father-in-law on 1 January 1576, with manuscript title-page (in Latin) and dedicatory (in French) and containing large numbers of pasted up title-pages and illustrations of Plantinian editions arranged more or less according to their content. At the very end have been added in 1956 (and pasted up) a number of title-pages found as loose sheets in the Archives.

Arch. 1230 is similarly a new year's gift presented by Jan Moretus to Plantin, this time on 1 January 1575, with title-page and an introductory part (in eluding even an index, in Latin), but containing not single title-pages but one or more sheets (including always the title-page) of a large number of Plantinian publications.

Both Arch. 1228 and Arch. 1230 are only quoted when in the Plantin-Moretus Museum no complete copy of the given edition is preserved.

II. 4. G. REFERENCES (Ref.).

It was not the intention to list all the works in which a given Plantinian edition has been quoted for one reason or another. Only the important reference-works have been retained, and of course the studies dealing in more or less detail with a particular author or publication.

With important reference-works the manuals are meant giving very explicit information (for example the Bibliotheca Belgica) or in which the editions are situated in their general context (fable-books, emblemata-works, botanical editions, Spanish works published in the Netherlands, Jesuit-authors, etc.). As far as feasible the bibliographical references for each work (or for each author) are given in full length, in order to avoid the time consuming and often frustrating task of looking them up somewhere in the introductory part. Only the most important or in any way the ones recurring time and again are entered in an abbreviated form (of which the full list with the detailed descriptions is given at the end of this introduction).

Special attention has been given to RDB = C. Ruelens and A. De Backer, Annales Plantiniennes. Première partie. Christophe Plantin (1555-1589), 1865. As this was the first attempt to list all Plantin's editions, it was thought interesting not only to note when a given publication figures in RDB, but to underline when it doesn't show up.

It has further to be emphasized that the manuals referred to above under 'Copies' and listing only Plantinian editions as preserved in certain libraries - such as Adams, Bibliotheca Typographica, etc. - have been quoted only in exceptional cases. The same is true for some manuals, interesting in their own way but now fairly outdated, such as Brunet and Paquot, which are only cited when they can be useful in solving a specific problem. Finally, if in M. Rooses, Musée, and L. Voet, The Golden Compasses, many Plantinian editions are mentioned with more or less detail, both works have also been left aside, but for another reason: as in our Notes the sources they used are generally listed and eventually transcribed, it was not thought necessary to invite the reader to look up the works only to get the same picture. They are quoted solely when dwelling at greater length and in more detail on a given edition, or, as sometimes is the case with Rooses, Musée (where exact references to the Plantinian Archives are not given), when the scholar makes an affirmation which could no more been found and checked in the Plantinian Archives.

II. 4. H. NOTES.

For each publication as many details as are available on content and tribulations are given.

To this effect Plantin's correspondence has been checked thoroughly (published by: M. Rooses and J. Denucé, de Plantin, Antwerp, 1883-1920, 9 parts in 8 vols., cited Corr.; M. Van Durme, Supplément à la Correspondance de Plantin, Antwerp, 1955, cited Suppl. Corr.). Plantin's archives in the Plantin-Moretus Museum have also been scrutinized (cited 'Arch.'; cf. J. Denucé, Inventaris op het Plantijnsch Archief. Inventaire des Archives plantiniennes, Antwerp, 1926), as have been the manuscripts preserved in the Museum (cited 'Ms.'; cf. J. Denucé, Musaeum Plantin-Moretus. Catalogue des manuscrits. Catalogus der handschriften, Antwerp, 1927). A lot of work has been done in going through Plantin's archives, as they and they alone can give the answers to many questions. It may be accepted that for the greater number of publications the quintessential elements have been found and extracted. The archives, however, could not be investigated as thoroughly as one would wish, especially regarding the marketing of the publications. It is possible to verify for nearly each publication how many copies were sold and to whom, but this supposes going through the 'journals' and ledgers page by page, which makes it such a time-consuming task that it would be a lifetime-job for a whole team of researchers. For this aspect of the Plantin Press the reader has to be content with a few examples as done for Plantin's music-editions by Stellfeld and for some other editions as well by L. Voet, The Golden Compasses, II.

The documents of the archives have been transcribed as they stood. However, to make them more understandable to the modern reader, accents have regularly been added to the French texts, whilst for the sake of uniformity and comprehension in the specification of the prices the subdivision of the florin has been transcribed 'st.' (stuiver) even when the text itself shows its synonym 'pt.' (patar).

Four documents have been examined with the utmost care as they give invaluable information, not to be found for the production of any other printer-publisher in the time of the Renaissance.

In the period 1563-1567 Plantin was not his sole master but had entered a 'company' with some rich merchants. He had to justify profits and losses - and for the benefit of his partners he noted in a special ledger the costaccounts of all the works produced in those years 1563-1567. They detail the wages paid, the paper used, the other costs involved, the number of copies printed, etc. All the elements as figuring in the cost-accounting notes in Arch. 4 have been included in the Notes of each publication mentioned; they form fascinating reading (cf. also L. Voet, The Golden Compasses, II, passim). Plantin published a number of catalogues of the works he printed, but their value is limited as they only present (very incomplete) 'selections' of the publications issued by the Plantin Press, without specific details (such as year of publication and price). They have not been scrutinized for this Bibliography. But for his own benefit Plantin (or more likely his son-in-law Jan Moretus) compiled a number of manuscript catalogues, more complete and detailed - and, consequently, with the greatest care extracted for this study. They are quoted, after their shelfmarks: Ms. 164, Ms. 296, and Ms. 321.

Ms. 164 is incomplete: it goes only to the letter G and ends about 1585. Ms. 296 gives the whole alphabet and continues till about 1600 - it is the most complete and thus the most valuable of the three catalogues.

Ms. 164 and Ms. 296 are very similar in presentation. At a first look it would seem that Ms. 164 was started first but that the entries were taken over and continued in Ms. 296. However, this does not explain certain aspects of both manuscripts (= the fact that Ms. 164 ends abruptly not at a given year but at the letter G, and that the entries in both catalogues do not always follow each other in the same order). Very likely the scribes must have worked from a common prototype - either another (lost) catalogue or a set of loose sheets or cards; for some reason Ms. 164 was discontinued and Ms. 296 continued. In both catalogues the entries follow each other so regularly and in the same handwriting that it may be assumed that they have been written within a very short time. With this restriction that in Ms. 296 the entries of works issued after the death of Plantin are in a different hand (and in a darker ink).

In both catalogues the works are listed in alphabetical order (according to the norms of the time: most authors are listed under their first name) and under each letter in a more or less chronological order (with, however, rather numerous exceptions, whilst the entries regarding an often reprinted publication are generally lumped together). For each work a short title is given, very often the year of publication and the format, and practically always two other precious specifications: the number of sheets (introduced by: f[euilles]) and the price at which the unbound copies were normally sold. The Latin (and Greek and Hebrew) works are listed separately from the editions in the vernacular.

As far as could be verified both catalogues (but of course more specifically Ms. 296) are fairly complete in their enumeration of Plantin's editions. There are, however, voids, especially regarding smaller publications (pamphlets and the like) and editions which were often reprinted (in those cases some reprints being forgotten).

Ms. 321 is different in as far that it follows a chronological order, year by year, starting as late as 1580 (but continuing till 1655), and that it gives fairly lengthy short titles (copied from the title-pages). It lists also both the number of sheets and the prices. For the period under consideration (15801589) it is more complete than Ms. 296, but some surprising voids have nevertheless to be noted.

In the Notes, as a rule, the references as given in Ms. 296 have been transcribed. The texts of the two other catalogues are only noted when they differ in some important detail (number of sheets, price) from the mentions in Ms. 296. It must be emphasized that the entries in both Ms. 296 and Ms. 164 are nearly always practically similar, whilst the much larger title-description in Ms. 321 closely follow the title-page in the editions.



The names with which the Netherlands or Low Countries, their citizens and their languages were called in Plantin's time and the names with which they are called to-day can be very confusing - even for to-day's citizens of the Low Countries.

The Netherlands in the 16th century encompassed the territory of to-day's Belgium and the Netherlands, extending to the South into to-day's Northern France (in the 16th century: Artesia and the southern parts of Flanders and Hainaut). It was divided into 17 provinces. In the struggle against Philip II the 17 provinces were torn apart. The Southern Netherlands (roughly to-day's Belgium and Northern France) remained under Spanish rule; the Northern Netherlands (roughly to-day's Netherlands) became the Republic of the United Provinces, but were often popularly called Holland after the dominant province in the republic.

When having to specify the 'nationality' of a citizen of the Netherlands we regularly situate him in the province where he was born and raised: Flanders (County of Flanders, largely to-day's Belgian provinces of West- and Oost-Vlaanderen and part of Northern France), Brabant (Duchy of Brabant, including the Margraviate of Antwerp), Holland, Zeeland, Hainaut, etc. However, for the less important provinces or for scholars who moved from one province to another the general word 'Netherlandish' has been retained. Regarding the languages the term 'French' doesn't represent a special difficulty in as far as it was at the time indifferently used for the language spoken and written by the 'real' Frenchmen of France and by the Walloons of the Southern Netherlands (even if sometimes in contemporary texts the expression 'Walloon' is used not only in the sense of French as spoken in Wallony but eventually also referring to French in its broadest meaning).

The Germanic language spoken in the greater part of the Netherlands poses, however, something of a problem. To-day in the Low Countries themselves it is called officially 'Nederlands' (néerlandais, Netherlandish), but commonly the 'Nederlands' spoken in the South (Belgium) is designated 'Vlaams (Hamand, Flemish) and the 'Nederlands' in the North (Netherlands) 'Hollands'. In English the consecrated form to indicate the 'Netherlandish' has become 'Dutch', referring in fact more specifically to the language as spoken in 'Holland', but used for the 'Netherlandish' in its broadest sense. We will adopt this term, which, moreover, under the form of 'Duytsch', was in current use in Plantin's time (together with 'Vlaamsch' [in French: 'Hamand']).

II. 5. B. DATES.

The Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar in the Netherlands in 1582. The difference was at that moment ten days. There were some minimal discrepancies regarding the exact date at which each of the provinces changed the calendar. The States-General, Brabant and Zeeland went over from 14 to 25 December 1584; most of the Southern provinces leaped from 20 or 21 December 1582 to 31 December 1582 or 1 January 1583; in Holland the calendar changed from 1 to 11 January 1583, in Groningen from 10 to 21 February 1583 (the province went again over to the Julian calendar in 1594). In the eastern part of the United Provinces (Gelderland, Utrecht, Overijssel, Drente, Friesland, Groningen) the Julian calendar, however, remained in use until 1700. For dating documents from the Netherlands - including Plantin's editions, archives and correspondence - the change of the calendar does not bear much relevance. It only has to be remembered that for documents emanating from the eastern United Provinces after 1582 there can be a difference of ten days as compared with the western part of the republic and the Southern Netherlands.

More to the point is the fact that in the 16th century the beginning of the year could vary; that different year-styles were in use.

The most confusing is the Easter-style, as it changes the year at a feast each year celebrated at a different day. Yet it became the dominant style in the Middle Ages in the Netherlands, France and other parts of Europe.

In the 16th century the actual system of the New Year (1 January) - style gradually gained momentum, largely due to the influence of the almanacs which traditionally began the year on 1 January. The New Year-style was officially proclaimed in Spain and Portugal in 1556, in France in 1564, in the Netherlands in 1575 (starting on 1 January 1576). In fact, in every day life 1 January was then in the larger part of Europe since time immemorial accepted as the opening day of a new year. Plantin, the businessmen with whom he dealt, the scholars with whom he corresponded, long before 1575 (or 1564 or 1556), all used in their accounts and letters the New Year-style.

In the Netherlands in the 16th century the Easter-style appears in fact only in documents emanating from official bodies with a good entrenched bureaucracy, such as the Privy Council and the Council of Brabant. But the Privy Council and the Council of Brabant were precisely the bodies which granted Plantin most of his privileges - and these privileges were consequently until 1575 dated in Easter-style. They present no problem for dates after Easter, but for dates before Easter it means that the year given is too low by one unit.

In this Bibliography when transcribing dates from documents, which, as the privileges, can be suspected to be in the 'old (Easter) style' this is not explicitly noted. It has been left to the reader to judge if in any case the date makes sense and if another unit has not to be added to the year noted. However, sometimes the scribe found it necessary to underline his use of the Easterstyle with formulas as 'stylo Brabantico', 'avant Pasques', etc. In these cases, where one can be absolutely sure, the date given in the document is followed by the mention 'o[Id] s[tyle] '. E.G. '21 February 1555 old style ' is to be read 21 February 1556.

On the chronology in the Netherlands (including references to other parts of Europe), cf. E.I. Strubbe - L. Voet, De chronologie van de Middeleeuwen en de Moderne Tijden in de Nederlanden, Antwerp-Amsterdam, 1960.


Thanks to the Plantinian archives, the sale's prices can be given for the greater part of the Plantinian editions, and for a large number of them the financial dealings detailed which made their publication possible.

The actual payments by and to Plantin could be and were actually done in a bewildering variety of coins, but to grasp his financial assets and liabilities Plantin had them in his ledgers 'translated' into monies of account.

In the period of the 'company' with the Van Bomberghens, 1563-1567, and in transactions with his paper suppliers the typographer often reckoned in Flemish ponden or livres (divided into 20 schellingen, and the schelling into 12 penningen). However, right from the start of his career his preference was for the Carolus-guilder or florin (abbreviated as fl.), divided into 20 stuivers or patars (pattars) (abbreviated as st.).

The prices quoted in the following pages are thus in fl. and st. When eventually in the texts other monies of account (such as the Flemish pound, worth 6 Carolus-guilders, or eventually French or German ones) are noted, they have been rendered into Carolus-guilders.

On the problem of the currency in Plantin's time (and in his accounts), cf. L. Voet, The Golden Compasses, I, pp. 440-442 (Appendix 6: Notes on the currency and money values in the Netherlands in the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries), and II, pp. 440448.

In The Golden Compasses, I, pp. 440-442, it has also been tried to determine the value of the Carolus-guilder in present-day monetary units. Such conversions are extremely hazardous and the results are always open to challenge. Moreover, galloping inflation is not typical of our period but was in the 16th century as corrosive as to-day.

Having called in the help of some of the most competent specialists in the field, we concluded, with all the necessary reservations, that at that moment, in 1969, a guilder must have had in 1560 approximately the purchasing power of 1,000 Belgian francs - reduced in 1590 to about 500 Belgian francs.

Since 1969 inflation has diminished the purchasing power of the Belgian franc by somewhat less than one half, so that we are inclined to postulate that converted into 1980 Belgian francs the guilder was in 1560 approximately equal to 2,000 BF, in 1590 to 1,000 BF.

To translate it into other currencies (taking into account the current exchange rates):

Approximate value of one Carolus-guilder:

1560 = c. 2,000 BF = c. $ 66 (American dollars) = c. £ 24 (British pounds) = c. 134 fl. (Dutch florins) = c. 124 DM. (Deutsche Marken) = c. 280 FF (francs Français).

1590 = c. 1000 BF = c. $ 33 = c. £ 12 = c. 67 fl. = c. 62 DM. = 140 FF.


Work on this Bibliography started some fifteen years ago. It would have been stopped short without the precious help and advice of countless colleagues and experts from all over the world. During all those years it has been an immense joy for both my wife and myself that this help and advice came so spontaneously and generously, even if doing so required often painstaking and time-consuming research.

It is only fair that as a small token of our esteem and gratitude the friends and colleagues who helped so effectively in making this work possible, will be remembered here. I apologize if by any chance one might have been overlooked, and I hope that those who are listed will excuse the fact that no specific references are given to their titles and qualifications.

First of all we must thank warmly and deeply the Magistrate of the City of Antwerp who has greatly encouraged the project. We are also much en debted to the whole staff of the Plantin-Moretus Museum, old and new, for the precious work they have put into the Bibliography.

Some experts made very valuable and much appreciated contributions. We have to cite first of all Colin Clair of London, author of Christopher Plantin, 1960, who most generously put at our disposal the large ensemble of bibliographical descriptions he had made of Plantinian editions in the British Library and other British institutions, and H.M. Adams, who likewise forwarded his notes on the Plantinian editions at Cambridge before they went to print. Harry Carter of the Oxford University Press, Roger Thibau, professor at the Ghent University, and Dr. Goldstein of The British Library, helped greatly with the Oriental editions. My colleagues at the Royal Library at Brussels - Georges Colin, Elly Cockx-Indestege, Geneviève Glorieux - and R. Breugelmans at the University Library of Leiden have to be thanked for their continuing and very rewarding cooperation.

I ask my other friends and colleagues to forgive me for continuing the long list in a more formal way. My wife and I, are most grateful and thank very much: in BELGIUM: at Antwerp Jan Van Roey, City Archives; Emiel Willekens, Municipal Library; Wilfried Van Nespen, Oudheidkundige Musea; at Ghent Karel G. Van Acker, A. Derolez and F. Vandenhole, University Library; at Mons Christiane Piérard, University Library; at the Abbey of Postel J. Ruckmans; at St. Truiden (St. Trond)P.A. Houbaert, Franciscan Convent; at Turnhout Harry de Kok, Municipal Library Taxandria. In AUSTRIA: at Vienna Friedrich Rennhofer, Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek. In DENMARK: at Copenhagen Paul Raimund Jörgensen, Royal Library. In FRANCE: at Paris M. Caillet, Inspecteur général des Bibliothèques; E. Brin, Jeanne Veyrin-Forrer, and Basanoff, Bibliothèque Nationale; at Arras Bougard, Bibliothèque Municipale; at Besançon J. Mironneau, Bibliothèque Municipale; at Cambrai M. Bouvy, Bibliothèque Municipale; at Douai Y. Duhamel, Bibliothèque Municipale; at Dijon J.-C. Garreta, Bibliothèque Publique; at Lille O. Crombez, Bibliothèque Municipale; at Lyons Henri-Jean Martin, Bibliothèque de la Ville. In GERMANY: at Augsburg Heinle and Bellot, Staatsund Stadtbibliothek; at Berlin Willy Unger and Karl-Heinz Köhler, Deutsche Staats bibliothek; at Bonn Wedemeier, University Library; at Darmstadt Zimmermann, Hessische Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek; at Düsseldorf Colmi, Landes- und Stadtbibliothek; at Erlangen A. Koizlik, University Library; at Frankfurt am Main Lenz, Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek; at Freiburg im Breisgau Hennig, University Library; at Göttingen Leunet, Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek; at Hamburg Kayser, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek; at Hannover Pritery, Stadtbuchereien; at Heidelberg H. See-liger, University Library; at Karlsruhe Schroer, Badische Landesbibliothek; at Kassel E. Schad, Burhardsche Bibliothek der Stadt Kassel und Landesbibliothek; at Kiel Schmidt-Künsemüller, University Library; at Lübeck Eiclesticht, Bibliothek der Hansestadt; at Munich Schneiders, A. Rissinger, and Pointner, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek; at Munster Gröver, University Library; at Nurenberg Peter Zahn, Stadtbibliothek; at Regensburg G. Urbanek, Staatliche Bibliothek, and Max Piendl, Fürstliche Thum und Taxissches Hofbibliothek; at Stuttgart P. Amelung, Württembergische Landesbibliothek; at Trier Laufner, Stadtbibliothek; at Tübingen W. Gebhardt, University Library; at Wiesbaden F. Götting, Hessische Landesbibliothek; at Wolfenbüttel Butzmann, Herzog August Bibliothek. In GREAT BRITAIN: at London Sir Frank Francis and Anna E. Simoni, British Library (formerly British Museum); at Belfast Frieda Brown, Library of Queen's University; at Cambridge Smitt, H.R. Creswick and D.J. McKitterick, University Library; F.H. Stubbings, Emmanuel College, and P.J. Croft, King's College; at Edinburgh R.J.F. Carnon, University Library; at Glasgow Clifford Dobb and J. Baldwin, University Library, and Stuart Mechie, Trinity College; at Liverpool Pauline E. Round, University Library; at Manchester Roald Hall, John Rylands Library; at Oxford D.S. Neidl and LG. Philip, Bodleian Library, C.C.L. Davies, Wadham College, and K.E. Butler, University Press. In IRELAND: at Dublin M. Pollard, University Library. In ITALY: at Rome J. Ruysschaert, Biblioteca Vaticana; at Bologna Luigia Risoldi, University Library; at Florence E. Levi, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale. In THE NETHERLANDS: at Amsterdam E.F. Aldewereld, and H. de la Fontaine Verwey, A.R.A. Croiset van Uchelen, P.R. Boone, and A.S.H.P. Amse, University Library, and de Swart, Bibliotheek Verenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente; at Groningen B.R. Ubink, University Library; at The Hague C. Reedijk, A.A. de Jonge and R. Damstra, Royal Library; at 's Hertogenbosch Gerlach, Franciscan Convent; at Leiden E. Braches and P.F.J. Obbema, University Library; at Utrecht A.L. van Wesemael, University Library. In POLAND: at Wroclaw Jadwiga Pelczyna and Bartlomiej Kuzak, University Library. In PORTUGAL: at Lisbon L. Silveira, Inspector superior das Bibliotecas e Arquivos, and Manuela Candida Martins, Biblioteca Nacional. In SPAIN: at Madrid Justo Garcia Morales, Biblioteca Nacional; at Royal Library of San Lorenzo de El Escorial Gregorio Andrés Martinez. In SWEDEN: at Göteborg E. Mesterton, University Library; at Norrköping E. Ramsten and B. Wadström, Municipal Library; at Uppsala L. Ramholm, University Library. In SWITZERLAND: at Bern W.H. Achtnich, Schweizerische Landesbibliothek; at Geneva A. Lökkős, Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire. In the UNITED STATES: at Washington D.C. Beverly Shell, Folger Library.




Bibliotheca Belgica. Bibliographie générale des Pays-Bas. Fondée par Ferdinand van der Haeghen. Rééditée sous la direction de Marie- Thérèse Lenger. Brussels, 1964-1975, 7 vols.


Bibliotheca Catholica Neerlandica Impressa 1500-1727. The Hague, 1954.


M. Rooses and J. Denucé, Correspondance de Christophe Plantin. Antwerp, 1883-1920, 9 parts in 8 vols. (Publications of the 'Maatschappij der Antwerpsche Bibliophilen', nos. 12, 15, 26, 29-34).


C. Ruelens and A. De Backer, Annales Plantiniennes. Première partie. Christophe Plantin (1555-1589). Brussels, 1865.

Suppl. Corr.

M. van Durme, Supplément à la Correspondance de Christophe Plantin. Antwerp, 1955.


G. van Havre, Marques typographiques des imprimeurs et libraires anversois. Antwerp-Ghent, 1883-1884, 2 vols. (Publications of the 'Maatschappij der Antwerpsche Bibliophilen', nos. 13-14).



G. van Alphen, Catalogus van de pamfletten in de Rijksuniversiteit te Groningen.

De Backer-Sommervogel

Augustin and Aloys de Backer and Carlos Sommervogel, Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus. Brussels-Paris, 18901932, 11 vols.


J.-Ch. Brunet, Manuel du libraire et de l'amateur des livres. Paris, 1860-1865, 6 vols.; 1878-1880 (Supplément), 2 vols.


J.G.Th. Graesse, Trésor de livres rares et précieux ou nouveau dictionnaire bibliographique. Dresden-Geneva-London-Paris, 1859-1867, 6 vols.


W.P.C. Knuttel, Catalogus van de pamflettenverzameling berustende in de Koninklijke Bibliotheek [= Royal Library at The Hague] (1486-1795). The Hague, 1889-1920, 9 vols.


C. Nissen, Die botanische Buchillustration. Ihre Geschichte und Bibliographie. Stuttgart, 1951, 2 vols.

Palau y Dulcet

A. Palau y Dulcet, Manual del librero hispano-americano. Bibliografía general española e hispano-americana desde la invencion de la imprenta hasta nuestros tiempos con el valor comercial de los impresos descritos. Barcelona-Oxford, 1948-1977,28 vols.


J.N. Paquot, Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire littéraire des Pays- Bas et du Pays de Liège. Louvain, 1763-1770, 18 vols. in 8°.


J. Peeters-Fontainas, Bibliographie des impressions espagnoles des Pays-Bas méridionaux. Mise au point avec la collaboration de Anne-Marie Frédéric. Nieuwkoop, 1965, 2 vols.


L.D. Petit, Bibliotheek van Nederlandsche pamfletten, I, 1500-1648. The Hague, 1882 (Collection Thijs at Leiden University Libraries).


M. Praz, Studies in seventeenth-century imagery. 2nd ed., Rome, 1964 (Sussidi Eruditi no. 16).

Rooses, Musée

M. Rooses, Le Musée Plantin-Moretus. Contenant la vie et l'oeuvre de Christophe Plantin et ses successeurs, les Moretus, ainsi que la description du Musée et des collections qu'il renferme. Antwerp, 1914.


P.A. Tiele, Bibliotheek van Nederlandsche pamfletten. I, 1500-1648. Amsterdam, 1858 (Collection F. Muller at UL Ghent).

L. Voet, The Golden Compasses

L. Voet, The Golden Compasses. A history and evaluation of the printing and publishing activities of the Officina Plantiniana at Antwerp. Amsterdam-London-New York, 1969-1972, 2 vols. (I. Christophe Plantin and the Moretuses: their lives and their world; II. The management of a printing and publishing house in Renaissance and Baroque).

Van der Wulp

J.K. van der Wulp, Catalogus van de tractaten, pamfletten, enz., over de geschiedenis van Nederland. Amsterdam, 1866-1878, 4 vols. (I. 1500-1648, and (IV), Supplement, 1519-1688) (Collection Meulman at Ghent University Library).



Approbation (imprimatur).


Archives of the Plantin-Moretus Museum (cf. J. Denucé, Musaeum Plantin-Moretus. Inventaris op het Plantijnsch Archief. Inventaire des Archives plantiniennes, Antwerp, 1926).


British Library (formerly British Museum), London.


Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris); Biblioteca Nacional (Lisbon and Madrid); Biblioteca Nazionale (Rome).


Civilité-type (cf. H. Carter and H.D.L. Vervliet, civilité types, London, 1964).




Commented by.


Edited by.


Florin (Carolus-guilder).




Gothic type.


Greek type.


Italic type.




Municipal Library.


Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp.


Manuscript(s) belonging to the collection of the Plantin-Moretus Museum (cf. J. Denucé, Musaeum Plantin-Moretus. Catalogue des manuscrits. Catalogus der handschriften, Antwerp, 1927).


Old style (meaning that in the date the Easter style has been used).




Printed by.




Royal Library (Brussels, Copenhagen, The Hague).


Roman type.


Signed by.


Stuiver or patar, 1/20 of fl.


Translated by.


University Library.




Printer's mark.

End of a line (in a title-page).


Horizontal rule between two lines (in a title-page).


Equivalent in editions in the Dutch language of a comma (,) or semi-colon (;) (in a title-page).

Printed within central part of woodcut-compartment.

Printed within upper-slot of woodcut-compartment.

Printed within under-slot of woodcut-compartment.

Text not fully transcribed.

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