you start your search – please note:
For the time being, personal titles (Mrs, Rev, Dr, etc.) may
be found in the Forenames field, in the form ‘Mary, Mrs’.
Some 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.
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.
Some terms seem to be used interchangeably, such as the various
names for itinerant traders: ‘chapman’, ‘hawker’, ‘pedlar’,
etc. Care should be taken to search on all possible
terms. A complete List of the Book
Trades and Book Trade Descriptors, showing the number of
occurrences of each term, is available.
Some trades are still shown in the old-style BBTI code. A List
of Abbreviations including those used for Non-book Trades,
with codes, is available.
Each detailed record includes a ‘Click to view Sources’ button,
which will reveal 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.
information on individuals or firms listed on the website
We do not hold any additional material at the BBTI office and
are therefore unable to provide any information other than that
on the website.
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
changed, but 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 new county.
A List of Abbreviations used in
the Notes field, with codes, is available. 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.
the number of traders in a locality
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.
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