4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

Timeline Outline ViewEra: All Eras   |   Theme: Bibliography


Circa 3,100 BCE – 3,050 BCE
The Word Bibliography is Derived from a Greek Word for Papyrus
Circa 2,000 BCEThe Earliest Surviving Literary or Library Catalogues Circa 1,400 BCE
Collection catalogue tablet from the Hattusas Palace Archives. Hattusa, Turkey
The Earliest Surviving Detailed Bibliographical Entries
Circa 200 BCE
A digital recreation of the Library of Alexandria.
The Origins of Bibliography
Circa 53 BCE – 23 CEThe Earliest Bibliographical Classification System Circa 190 CEClaudius Galen Writes the First Auto-Bibliography 392 CE
The First Collection of Bio-Bibliographies
Circa 790"Very Little That Was Recopied in the Crucial Ninth Century Was Subsequently Lost" 833 – 835Inventories of Ninth Century Libraries 988 – 990The Earliest Universal Bibliography Circa 1000The Earliest Use of Catchwords Circa 1110The Codex Ebnerianus and Early Manuscript Scholarship Circa 1270
Humbert de Romans, Dominican scholar who promulgated the notion of arranging books by subject matter.
The Arrangement and Cataloguing of Books
From a late 14th century copy of Richard de Fournival's 'Biblionomia.' A catalog of the section on philosophy, in which books are described by their dimensions. (View Larger)
Foundation of the Library of the Sorbonne, and "Perhaps the Earliest Specific…
1290Organization of the Sorbonne Library, and the Way it Was Physically Arranged Circa 1320Medieval Union Catalogue of Manuscripts 1338The Second Catalogue of the Library of the Sorbonne Circa 1350Henry of Kirkestede Compiles a Medieval Union Catalogue of Manuscripts Naming 694 Authors 1389The High Point of Medieval Library Cataloguing 1389John Whytefeld Compiles an Innovative Medieval Library Catalogue Circa 1452 – 1453
The Sibyllenbuch fragment, the oldest surviving piece of a European book printed with movable type, contains a portion of a German poem about the fate of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Earliest Surviving Remnant of Any European Book Printed by Movable…
1467 – 1472Jerome's "De viris illustribus", the First Work to Stress the Bibliography Rather than the Biography of Eminent Writers June 1469 – September 1470
A portrait of Peter Schoffer.
Peter Schöffer Issues the Earliest Surviving Book List Issued by a Printer
1475The First Catalogue of the Vatican Library 1483The First Printed Bibliography of a Medical Author: Galen 1494Johannes Trithemius Publishes the Earliest Subject Bibliography November 10 – November 20, 1494
Page from Summa de arithmetica geometria, proporzioni et proporzionalita at the Libarary for Humanitities and Social Sciences at the Kobe University. (Click on the image to view the full page opening.)
Pacioli Issues "Summa de arithmetica", the First Great General Work on Mathematics
1495Trithemius Issues the First Printed Bibliography on Secular Subjects 1500A Census of Print Runs for Fifteenth-Century Books December 1500
 The 'Nuremberg Chronicle,' written in Latin by Hartmann Schedel and published in 1493, is represented by c. 1250 surviving copies, more than any other incunabulum.  (View Larger)
Printing Presses are Established in 282 Cities
Portrait of Symphorien Champier.
Symphorien Champier Publishes the First Medical Bibliography of Medical Literature and the First Medical History after Celsus
1522Giovanni Nevizzano Issues the First Legal Bibliography 1542
 Robert Estienne, 16th Century Parisian scholar and printer, issued the first book-form publisher's catalog of which any copies survive in 1542.
Robert Estienne Issues the First Surviving Publisher's Catalogue in Book…
1545 – 1555
 In 1545, Swiss zoologist and naturalist Conrad Gessner publishes the first 'universal bibliography,' cataloging about 12,000 titles in an attempt to control the 'labyrinth' of books and information which had arrisen since the invention of printing.  (View Larger)
Conrad Gessner Issues the First Universal Bibliography Since the Invention…
1548 – 1549Conrad Gessner Issues the First General Subject Index 1548John Bale Issues the First National Bibliography, of Writers in England, Wales, and Scotland 1560Florian Trefler Builds upon Gessner's Library Classifcation Scheme 1562Conrad Gessner Issues the First Bio-Bibliography: a Study of Galen's Writings 1564Georg Willer Issues the First Catalogue of the Frankfurt Book Fair 1572Jeremias Martius Issues Possibly the First Printed Catalogue of Any Private Library 1575Hieronymous Wolf, Librarian to Johann Jakob Fugger, Issues the First Printed Catalogue of a Portion of a Public Library 1584François Grudé de la Croix du Maine Issues the First French National Bibliography 1590Pascal Lecoq Issues the First Systematic Medical Bibliography 1591Israel Spach Issues the First Medical Subject Bibliography 1591 – 1600François Viète Issues the Earliest Work on Symbolic Algebra; A Tale of Two Printings 1595Leiden University Library Issues the First Printed Catalogue of any Institutional Library 1595Andrew Maunsell Issues the First "Books in Print" 1598Israel Spach Issues the Model for Subject Bibliographies 1600 – 1700English Book Owners in the 17th Century. A Work in Progress Listing by David Pearson 1606Fray Juan Bautista Issues the First Bibliography Published in the New World 1639Bernhard von Mallinckrodt Coins the Term Incunabula 1650John Dury Writes the First Book on Librarianship in English 1664The Earliest Bibliography of Bibliographies 1666Joachim Johann Maders Issues the First Anthology on Libraries and Library Science 1676The First Bibliography of Rare Books 1687Newton's Principia Mathematica 1688The First Attempt to Collect and Organize the Literature of Early Printing 1688The First Independently Published Bibliography of Mathematics 1693The First Book Catalogue Published in America 1697The First Country-Wide Printed Union Catalogue of Manuscripts 1698A Visionary Library Cataloguing Scheme That Was Not Realized 1699A Universal Bibliography, but Only for "A and B" July – December 1706The Bigot Sale, the First Book Auction Conducted in Paris for Which a Catalogue was Printed 1713White Kennett Issues the First Bibliography of Americana 1713Johann Christian Koch Issues the First History of Library Classification Systems 1714Henrich Gottleib Titz Writes about the Theuerdanck: Probably the First Monograph on a Single Rare Book 1728Johann David Köhler Issues the First Anthology of Library Classification, Organization and Cataloguing Schemes 1737 – 1738Thomas Osborne Issues "The British Librarian", the First Periodical Published in English on Rare Books & Manuscripts 1738Johan Adam Schmid Issues the First "Full-Fledged Antiquarian Bookseller's Catalogue" 1739Bernard de Montfaucon Issues the First Continent-Wide Union Catalogue of Manuscripts 1740Johan Christoph Wolf Issues the First Bibliography of the History of Printing 1751 – 1828Edme-François Gersaint Issues the First Significant Catalogue Raisonné in Western Art History, on Rembrandt's Prints May 5, 1757A Typographic Masterpiece, John Baskerville's First Book & the First Book Printed Partially on Wove Paper 1759Voltaire Issues "Candide, ou l'Optimism" Anonymously and Secretively October 6, 1759 – 1760The First Book Printed Entirely on Wove Paper 1763 – 1782Bookseller Guillaume François de Bure Begins "Modern" Rare Book Cataloguing 1787The First Catalogue of the British Museum Library is Published 1790 – 1802André-Charles Caillot Issues a Bibliographical Guide to Antiquarian Bookselling and Collecting, with a Pioneering Exposition on Rarity 1791François-Xavier Laire Writes the First Catalogue of Incunabula Resembling Modern Bibliographies 1793 – 1794Henri Grégoire Proposes a National Bibliography of France 1795Gottfried Erich Rosenthal Issues the First Comprehensive Bibliography of Technology 1799 – 1827Pierre-Simon Laplace Issues "Traité de méchanique céleste" April 1802 – October 1803The First Catalogue of the Library of Congress is Published 1803Joseph Jérôme de Lalande Compiles the First Major Chronological Bibliography of Any Science 1804 – 1805The First Practical Manual on Antiquarian Bookselling 1810 – 1865Brunet Compiles "Manuel du libraire," "The Best and Last of the General Rare Book Bibliographies" November 1815George Watterson Issues the First Extensive Catalogue of the Library of Congress 1820"The Book of Life: A Bibliographical Melody" 1827The First "Leaf Book" 1829The First Illustrated Antiquarian Bookseller's Catalogue 1832The Earliest Known Printed Dust Jacket (Now Lost) 1837 – 1871Sir Thomas Phillipps, the Greatest Private Collector of Manuscripts in the 19th Century, and Maybe Ever 1841Panizzi's 91 Rules for Standardizing the Cataloguing of Books 1845The First Annotated Bibliography of the History of Economics 1846 – 1849First Installments of the First Government-Sponsored National Union Catalogue of Manuscripts 1847The First Separately Published Bibliography on the History of Science 1852Charles Jewett Proposes a National Union Catalogue 1856Andrea Crestadoro Describes Keyword in Context Indexing 1862 – 1863Bibliographer Henry Bradshaw Rebuts Constantine Simonides' Claim that Simonides had Forged the Codex Sinaiticus April 1870Henry Bradshaw Begins Modern Bibliographical Analysis 1872Charles Babbage's Library: the First Catalogue of a Library on Computing and its History July 25 – November 29, 1872Henry Stevens Calls for a Central Bibliographical Bureau Which Would Also Store Images 1873 – 1886Bigmore & Wyman Issue the First Comprehensive Bibliography of the History of Printing 1876 – 1961The First Truly Comprehensive Subject Index of the Published Literature of Any Science 1876The Last Library Cataloguing Code Written by One Person 1877The First American Bibliography on the History of Printing June 30 – September 1, 1877The Caxton Quadricentennial Celebration: Probably the Largest Exhibition on the History of Printing Ever Held; Collecting its Publications 1879Index Medicus Begins 1881 – 1905The First Complete Catalogue of the British Museum Library Following Panizzi's Rules 1895An Analog Search Engine to Organize All the World's Knowledge 1901The Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature 1906A New Standard for Descriptive Bibliography in the History of Science 1908The First Library of Rare Science Books Formed by an American 1909The Wheeler Gift Catalogue of the History of Electricity and Telegraphy June 11, 1911 – 1913"Die Brucke" and its Goals for a World Information Clearing House 1912 – 1991Origins of the "Garrison-Morton" Bibliography of the History of Medicine 1927The Literature and Culture of Suicide 1930 – June 1949The Contributions of Vannevar Bush to Analog Computing, Information Retrieval, and the Concept of Hypertext May 6 – May 16, 1940
Detail of cover of catalogue for An Exhibition of Printing at the Fitzwilliam Museum.  Please click to view entire cover of catalogue.
The Fitzwilliam Museum Exhibition of Printing: Precursor to "Printing and the Mind of Man"
1942 – 1953Book-Form Publication of the Library of Congress Catalogue Begins: 167 Volumes Plus 42 Volumes of Supplement 1945 – 1949The Hinman Collator 1950Compiling a Bibliography by Electric Punched Card Tabulating 1954Early Library Information Retrieval System 1959 – 1972The Most Voluminous Printed Catalogue of a Single Library 1963Feigenbaum & Feldman Issue "Computers and Thought," the First Anthology on Artificial Intelligence July 16 – July 27, 1963
Detail of cover of Printing and the Mind of Man.  Please click to see entire image.
The Printing and the Mind of Man Exhibition
October 6, 1963Probably the First Book Typeset by Computer 1965 – 1968Henriette Avram Develops the MARC Cataloguing Standard July 5, 1967Frederick G. Kilgour Begins Development of OCLC 1968 – 1981NUC: The Largest Printed Bibliography, Complete in 754 Folio Volumes 1969 – 1984Derek Austin Develops the PRECIS Preserved Context Index System October 1971Medline is Operational June 1976The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) is Conceived 2002
Jeremy Norman
"Origins of Cyberspace"
The OCLC logo
OCLC Serves More than 50,000 Libraries, Contains 56 Million Records
May 1, 2004
John Shaw Billings
The Index-Catalogue Goes Online
March 17, 2006
Karen Calhoun
The Changing Nature of the Catalogue. . . .
April 3, 2006A Critical Review at the Library of Congress July 1, 2006
The OCLC logo
OCLC Merges with RLG
2011The Universal Short Title Catalogue is Founded April 17, 2012Improving the Research Potential of ESTC