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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bibliography and Historical Research

A guide to finding and using bibliographies for historical research, with an emphasis on using bibliographies to find primary sources.

Corporate Bibliography

Corporate bibliographies are similar to personal bibliographies, except that, instead of compiling documents by, about, or belonging to a specific person, they compile documents produced by an organization, documents about an organization, or documents belonging to an organization (for example, its library).

Like personal bibliographies, corporate bibliographies are usually created for organizations deemed to have been historically significant. And, like personal bibliographies, corporate bibliographies are useful for finding primary sources that otherwise lack adequate bibliographic control, such as unpublished works, and documents published in non-book formats (e.g. unpublished reports, business records, and correspondence).

Some examples of corporate bibliographies:

As with personal bibliographies, a common type of corporate bibliography is a list (or catalog) of books owned, or offered for sale by, an organization--the fact of the books' provenance can often be of interest to to researchers, as in the following:

One interesting example of corporate bibliography is the Index librorum prohibitorum, which has been issued at various times by the Roman Catholic Church. The Index librorum prohibitorum is a bibliography of books that the Church was forbidding people to read. It was first issued in 1557, with new editions issued periodically. The last edition of the Index was published in 1948.