The term Incunabula refers to a document that was printed and not handwritten pre-1501 in Europe. Latin for “swaddling clothes or cradle”, it refers to the beginnings of printed documents and includes some of our rarest books.
We are currently adding our incunabula to the MEI Catalogue (Material Evidence in Incunabula), part of the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL). The aim of this project is to make our incunabula information available to academics, fellow librarians and the public worldwide.
In February 2014, we were the first library to include digitised images within the MEI, bringing the collections to life for remote users, making the offer greater and inviting researchers to transcribe the more challenging annotations and marginalia for us.
It is anticipated that the project will take 12 months to complete with cataloguing carried out book-in-hand and pages selected for digitisation depending on the presence of provenance information.