This work offers for the first time a complete list of all books published wholly or partially in the French language before 1601. Based on twelve years of investigations in libraries in France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere, it provides an analytical short-title catalogue of over 52,000 bibliographically distinct items, with reference to surviving copies in over 1,600 libraries worldwide. Many of the items described are editions and even complete texts fully unknown and re-discovered by the project.
French Vernacular Books is an invaluable research tool for all students and scholars interested in the history, culture and literature of France, as well as historians of the early modern book world. For vols. III & IV please go to
French Books III & IV.
Andrew Pettegree, M.A., D. Phil. (Oxford, 1984), is Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of a number of books on the European Reformation and aspects of the European book world.
Malcolm Walsby, Ph. D. (2001) in History, University of Kent at Canterbury, is AHRC Project Manager at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of
The Counts of Laval: Culture, Patronage and Religion in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century France (Ashgate, 2007).
Alexander S. Wilkinson, M. Litt., Ph. D. (2001) in History, University of St Andrews, is Director of the Centre for the History of the Media at University College Dublin, and author of
Mary Queen of Scots and French Public Opinion (Palgrave, 2004).
"Destined to become a standard work of reference." – Des McTernan, Curator, French Language Imprints 1501-1850,
The British Library, in:
French Studies Library Group Annual Review 3 (2006-7) "More than half of the 52,000 bibliographical items in FB survive in fewer than four copies, more than 5,000 items survive in only one copy: these are made of many rare examples of ephemeral regional print, the source of many unexpected and unique discoveries." – Cristina Dondi,
University of Oxford, Secretary of the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL), in:
Journal of Ecclesiastical History 60/4 (2009) "Doubtlessly, this work must be the most complete listing of early French books [...] It’s amazing to me how the farther we move away from the beginning of printing, the more we continue to discover about it." – David Vancil,
Indiana State University Library, in:
Dictionary Society of North America Newsletter 32/2 (Fall 2008) "riche et de bonne qualité [...] une base de travail sans équivalent et de grande valeur." – Rémi Mathis,
Bibliothèque nationale de France, in:
Bulletin des bibliothèques de France 54/1 (2009)
Scholars and researchers interested in the history, culture and literature of sixteenth-century France, as well as librarians and bibliographers in France and in the major research libraries worldwide.