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The English Catalogue of Books

Brief Description of the ECB

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Due to a number of requests, we have provided a brief guide to what this is and why we refer to it


The English Catalogue of Books has been, and continues to be, a very important tool in researching and preparing the bibliographies you see on this site. We also cross check all entries with major deposit and research libraries such as the British Library and the Bodlean.

The ECB has two major attributes.
First, it states the published price which provides us with a potentially important issue point.
Secondly, the publication date is that supplied by the publisher and is when it was actually released. This can differ from the date printed in the book and also can differ from the British Library which often reflects the date the book was received.

The book is produced every year and refers to the previous years book releases. In theory, this should be every book published, though experience has shown us that there are missing titles, especially during the 1939-1941 period, something acknowledged in the ECB. Given the scale of the task, the ECB does a remarkable job.

We hope that this gives people, who are seeking an answer to the question of what is the English Catalogue of Books, a brief and helpful description.


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