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SUB-SERIES Identifier: UAIII 50.15.30

First printed catalog and supplements, 1723-1735

Scope and Contents

This subseries contains a copy of the first printed catalog of the Harvard College library, entitled Catalogus Librorum Bibliothecae Collegij Harvardini quod est Cantabrigiae in Nova Anglia. This catalog, printed in Boston by Bartholomew Green, Jr. and distributed by bookseller Samuel Gerrish, was the first printed library catalog in what is now the United States. It was compiled by Harvard librarian Joshua Gee, who received £20 additional compensation for his efforts. Gee's introductory "advice to the reader" is in Latin, and the catalog lists volumes according to format (folio, quarto, octavo, duodecimo, and sextodecimo) and then alphabetically (by author, title, or other keyword). Entries for each volume include shelf location, title, and place and date of publication. Analysis of the shelf locations makes it apparent that books were, with other books of the same size, arranged by subject.

This subseries also includes two printed supplements to the 1723 catalog. One of these supplements, printed in 1725, lists books which entered the library collection between 1723 and 1725 and was prepared by John Hancock (1702-1744). Another supplement was printed in 1735 and lists books which entered the collection between 1725 and 1735; this supplement was prepared by James Diman and printed by Bartholomew Green, Jr.'s successor and son-in-law, John Draper. Pagination of the catalog and its two supplements is continuous, i.e. the 1723 catalog ends on page 102 and the first supplement begins with page 103. The second supplement continues where the first left off, on page 113.


  • 1723-1735

Researcher Access

The Early Catalogs and Shelflists of the Harvard College Library are open for research.


4.77 cubic feet (1.5 legal document boxes, 5 flat boxes, 16 volumes and 1 microfilm box)

Also cataloged separately

Also cataloged separately with other copies held by a number of Harvard Libraries.

Available online

These volumes have been digitized and are available online. Links accompany individual volume descriptions.


Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

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