ABHB is the current international bibliography in the field of book and library history. It records all publications of scholarly value, written from an historical point of view. This may include monographs, articles and reviews, dealing with the history of the printed book, its arts, crafts, techniques and equipment, its economic, social and cultural environment involved in its production, distribution preservation and description. More specifically, ABHB contains information on the history of printing and publishing, papermaking, bookbinding, book illustration, typedesign and typefounding, bibliophily and book collecting, libraries and scholars.
Under the auspices of the Committee on Rare Books and Manuscripts of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) a new volume of ABHB has been issued each year from 1970 on. It contains a main section in which the titles are arranged by subject, an author index and an index of geographical and personal names. In 1987 a cumulative index of geographical and personal names on volumes 1-17 (1970-1986) appeared. Since 1992, starting with the titles for volume 21, publications of 1990, the titles are entered in a cumulative database.
In order to be able to gather the information for ABHB from all over the world, National Committees have been set up in the countries that collaborate on ABHB. The National Committees are responsible for recording relevant material, published in that country each year, by checking a number of periodicals which may contain material to be included in ABHB and recording the monographs that have appeared in the field of book and library history.
The items gathered are described bibliographically and classified according to a uniform set of Standards for bibliographical description. The National Committees constitute the Editorial Board of ABHB. All National Committees receive a free copy of ABHB on publication.
Each year the National Committees send their contributions for ABHB to the General Editor at the National Library of The Netherlands at The Hague. The General Editor is responsible for further editing and for the processing of the entries received from the National Committees, and the coordination of ABHB procedures in general.
At this moment about 30 countries cooperate on ABHB. To broaden the scope of ABHB, the General Editor would very much welcome bibliographers or book historians from other countries to participate in this endeavour and become members of the editorial board. For further information you may contact:
The general secretariat for ABHB, c/o Paul van Capelleveen, Dept. of Special Collections, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, P.O. Box 90407, NL-2509 LK Den Haag, The Netherlands