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Yale Collection of German Baroque Literature

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German Baroque Literature: Yale Collection

Foreword : German Baroque Literature, Yale Collection

This bibliography serves two important research functions. Conceived initially as an index to the microfilm edition of the Yale University Librarys Collection of German Baroque Literature, it now also provides an alphabetic author-title listing. The arrangement differs from the subject and period groupings of the von Faber du Faur bibliography and is thus an important additional means of locating the material within the collection. A brief review of the history of this remarkable collection will explain this volumes raison dêtre.

Begun in the early 1900s, the collection was acquired by the Yale library and integrated with its own Baroque holdings in 1944. Since then it has been systemically developed and expanded until, by 1958, Yale had in its possession over 1900 literary items published during the German Baroque era, 1575-1740.

It was at this point that the excellent von Faber du Faur bibliography of the collection1 was published, with entries classified by their period, their subject, and finally by author. Work on the collection continued and within a decade enough acquisitions had been made to warrant a supplemental bibliography. Published in 1969, Volume 2 describes an additional 550 items, numerically integrated with those in Volume 1.

To make this important research collection, once confined to a single institution, accessible to any scholarly library, Research Publications, Inc., (now Primary Source Microfilm, an imprint of the Gale Group) - with the generous cooperation of the Yale University Library - undertook the microfilming project. Following the von Faber du Faur bibliography, we photographed each volume page by page in the order established by Dr. du Faur, but integrated the works listed in his two volumes into a single continuous sequence. A small percentage of the items could not be filmed due to the condition of the volumes. However, where Yale holdings could not be used or were incomplete, we sought, and in most cases found, other sources. By 1971, 2363 titles in 3087 volumes had been reproduced on microfilm; the project was complete.

A catalog card was prepared for each item in the German Baroque collection. These indicate, in addition to the standard bibliographic information, the number assigned to each entry in the du Faur bibliography as well as the number of the reel in which the book can be found on film. Once these cards were rearranged alphabetically by author and title we had, integrated into one alphabetic sequence, information heretofore scattered between the two volumes of the du Faur bibliography.

This volume, then, made up from the catalog cards photographically reduced, serves a dual purpose. Primarily it is for use in conjunction with the microfilm. But because it provides an additional means of locating items in the collection it can serve also as a supplement to the two-volume du Faur bibliography. We trust that scholars of the German Baroque will find it a valuable research tool.


1 Curt von Fabur du Faur, German Baroque Literature: A Catalogue of the Collection in the Yale University Library (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1958, 1969).