is the date range of BBTI records?
BBTI aims to include biographical and trade details of all those
who worked in the English and Welsh book trades up to 1851.
there so few Scottish records in BBTI?
There is a
Book Trade Index on the website of the National
Library of Scotland. The only Scottish records in BBTI
refer to people who have traded in England or Wales as well as
are personal names and titles recorded in BBTI?
For the time being, personal titles (Mrs, Rev, Dr, etc.) may
be found in the Forenames field, in the form ‘Mary, Mrs’.
are family (or master/apprentice) relationships recorded in
BBTI records frequently omit 'of' in terms indicating relationships,
such as 'son', 'wid[ow]', 'app[rentice]' etc. - e.g. the term
'son John' means that the person whose record you are viewing
was the son of John.
do some records show different trading and biographical dates?
An individual’s biographical and trading dates may appear inconsistent,
depending on the sources used and the practice of individual
contributors. It is puzzling to find some records showing longer
trading dates than biographical dates. One explanation is that
an individual may have commissioned the printing of a book shortly
before he/she died, so that the book's imprint may show a later
publication date than the originator’s year of death. In some
cases, there may be confusion between an individual and his/her
business, which may have outlived its founder. Normal BBTI practice
is to list known businesses separately from the founder as an
individual, but there is some inconsistency here which will
forms of place names does BBTI use?
We have edited town and county names to comply with the two
standard works used by BBTI: J.G. Bartholomew, The Survey
Gazetteer of the British Isles, (London, 1904), and A
Gazetteer of Welsh Place-Names, (Rhestr O Enwau Lleoedd),
located in their historic (pre-1974) counties. Several towns
have been ‘moved’ to the correct county, and incorrect spellings
have been changed. If you notice any remaining errors, please
let us know.
needed when searching for London records. Although London is
listed as a separate ‘county’, several areas of present-day
Greater London are listed under their historic county. The same applies to suburban areas incorporated into Birmingham
and other cities. It is advisable to search under both old and
does BBTI record someone who traded in more than one town?
Where an individual is known to have traded in more than one
town, he/she will have separate entries under each town with
a reference to the other town(s) in the Notes field.
do I find apparently duplicate entries for the same person?
records may appear to be duplicates. Some of these may be cross-references
to variant spellings of names or may result
from the long-established BBTI principle that unless two (or
more) records are known without any doubt to refer
to the same person, they have not been conflated. (The same
principle applies to family relationships and master/apprentice
links.) In some cases the Notes field will indicate that an
individual may be the same person as an individual
in another record. As evidence comes to light to support further
conflation of entries, this will be carried out.
can I find the meaning of the abbreviations in the Notes field?
A List of Abbreviations used in
the Notes field, with codes, is available, but please note
that further editing is to be carried out on the list.
can I find the source of a particular BBTI record?
Each detailed record includes a ‘Click to view Sources’ button,
which may be clicked for a note of the source(s) from which
the record was derived. A complete List
of Sources is also available. In a number of cases we have
so far been unable to work out what the BBTI source-code means.
If you can help with information on unidentified sources, please
let us know.
BBTI help me to assess the scale of book-trade activity in a
Great care is needed if you are trying to establish the scale
of book trade activity in a particular place. Because of duplicate
records (see note above), because of businesses and individuals
being listed separately and especially because of cross-references
appearing as normal records a straightforward
count of records is hardly ever likely to give an accurate indication
of the scale of the trade.
is BBTI updated?
When BBTI was transferred from Newcastle to Birmingham, there
was already a backlog of some 80,000 records and new entries
and amendments continue to be supplied by contributors. During
the first phase of the three-year project, priority has been
given to transferring the existing 80,000 records onto the Web-site.
The input of the backlog of data is currently a priority task.
can I add to or amend BBTI data?
BBTI has always depended largely on data supplied by contributors
working in the field of book trade history. If you are an existing
BBTI contributor and have not been in touch with us recently,
please contact John Hinks
to ensure that we have your current contact details. If you
are interested in taking on the task of adding records from a
book or other resource which has not yet been searched for BBTI,
please refer to our page
forms are now in use for the input of new records and the
amendment of existing ones. To use these forms, please contact
John Hinks for a user-name and password.
question is not listed above please contact