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America’s Architectural History: Key Titles from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

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About this Collection

Introduction: American Architectural Books

Introduction: Americas Architectural History: Key Titles from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Previous title: American Architectural Books)

Based on the bibliographies American Architectural Books, by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and A List of Architectural Books Available Before the Revolution by Helen Park, this collection makes available more than 900 of the most significant titles in architectural history.

The microfilm project has attempted to film, in bibliographic sequence, all of the meaningfully non-duplicatory items in the Hitchcock and Park bibliographies. Other-than-first editions were included where the later edition was a meaningful variant. In including only "meaningfully" non-duplicatory items, the microfilm collection falls short of being an imprints project; but it was felt that the microfilm resource was primarily justified as a tool for scholars in the area of American architectural history and that it was therefore unnecessary to compile a history of architecture imprints down to the last detail of bibliographic variance.

Eight hundred and seventy-nine out of 1431 original entries were declared eligible for inclusion in the Hitchcock collection.1 Of these, 854 were actually filmed, with six items (180, 727, 1170, 1322, 1449 and 1456) only partially available. Within these limits, then, the microfilm project is slightly over 96 percent complete in its Hitchcock segment.

All 87 of the Park main entries were considered eligible for inclusion; and of these all but 3 were available for filming in at least one edition. Owing to Parks inconclusive listing of different editions, it was generally thought advisable to include only one edition for each of her entries. In some cases, this led to the inclusion of editions Park does not list or of non-dated editions. The completion percentage for the Park items was also just over 96 percent. Anyone familiar with the difficulty of assembling a microform collection in a field such as American architecture will appreciate the excellence of the completion percentage for the project as a whole.

The organization of the guide is quite straightforward. Hitchcock items are entered by number with the reel of the collection on which each item occurs indicated after the number. Each Hitchcock number is accounted for whether it appears on the film or not. Where an item does not occur in the film collection, this too is indicated. Other explanatory material also follows the reel number indication for certain entries.

Only the numbers were used to refer to the Hitchcock items because of the general availability of the Bibliography. Owing, however, to the possible limited availability of Parks "List," Park items are entered by Park number, author, short title and imprint date, followed by the appropriate reel number.


This "errata" sheet has been compiled to alert the user to discrepancies between the guide and the original reels of American Architecture film. Since the film was first issued, a number of corrections have been made. Where textual material has been added (in the case of numbers 966, 1013 and A 67) all of reels 74, 77 and Park reel 10 have been reissued. Where the alterations on film involved only changes in target numbers or explanatory cards, we have simply corrected the guide accordingly and noted the change, with the reason for it, below.

Reel Number: 7
Target Number Reads: none
Target Number Should Read: 87 with explanatory card
Comment: Not available for filmingsee [87a].

Reel Number: 7
Target Number Reads: 89
Target Number Should Read: [87a]
Comment: Another, possibly earlier, edition of 87, originally misidentified as Hitchcock no. 89.

Reel Number: 85
Target Number Reads: 1171; 1173
Target Number Should Read: 1173; 1171
Comment: These two items were originally confused. Hitchcock implies that no. 1173 is a variant of no. 1172, but the evidence of the main pagination sequence and the fact that no. 1173 was filmed from Avery Library appear to indicate that 1173 is actually a different edition of 1171 rather than of 1172.

Reel Number: 86
Target Number Reads: 1176
Target Number Should Read: [1175a]
Comment: This item appears to be a variant edition of no. 1175.

Reel Number: 89
Target Number Reads: 1209
Target Number Should Read: [1209a]
Comment: The London edition of no. 1209 was used in pace of 1209, which was not available for filming.

Reel Number: 107
Target Number Reads: 1386
Target Number Should Read: [1387a]
Comment: The item filmed as [1387a] is possibly a truncated edition of Hitchcock no. 1387 containing only the first of three pamphlets ascribed to that volume.

Reel Number: 107
Target Number Reads: 1387
Target Number Should Read: added explanatory card
Comment: This item is presumably a reissue of Hitchcock 1386 bound with two other pamphlets. The half-title for the entire volume and a preface by White dated Oct. 15, 1891 are missing, but can be found in no. [1387a].


1 The figure of 1431 original entries was arrived at as follows: Hitchcocks number sequence goes to 1461. To this figure were added (1) the 9 "a" and "b" entries supplied by Hitchcock on pp. vii-viii of the Bibliography, (2) those 5 entries in Hitchcock without numbers, to which were assigned the Hitchcock-compatible numbers [193a], [682a], [737a], [1007a], and [1169a], and (3) those 12 new entries which were added, viz., [21a], [87a], [199a], [248a], [248b], [658a], [741a], [955a], [1022a], [1209a], [1253a], and [1387a]. (Two of these added entries, [955a] and [1022a], are post-1895 and were added because pre-1895 editions of the works in question were not available for filming.) This yielded a seeming total of 1487 entries. But from this must be subtracted, first, 54 entry numbers which Hitchcock reserved for presumptive editions of various works which have not yet been verified by the existence of copies and which do not actually occur in the number sequence (though they have been supplied in square brackets in the guide) and, second, 2 cross reference number entries which do not cover separate items. Therefore, the actual total of the entries is 1431.



A good portion of the titles in the microfilm collection of American Architectural Books was filmed at the Avery Library of Columbia University. We wish to thank Warren J. Haas, Director of Libraries at Columbia, for his cooperation in making this project possible. Special thanks are also due to Adolf K. Placzek, the librarian at Avery, for the help he and his staff gave us over the entire time that this project was being filmed. Thanks are also in order for the many other libraries who graciously loaned us the additional material that was needed to complete the project.

Finally, a special acknowledgement is due to Roger W. Moss, Jr., the librarian at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. It was he who first suggested the idea to us of doing the American Architectural Books project. Future scholarship, therefore, has him to thank for the bringing together and preservation of this significant body of material.