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16th Century Astronomy Books and the USTC

Putaendo Patrick

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The Universal Short Title Catalogue (USTC) is a project hosted by the University of St Andrews which is attempting to catalogue all editions of all printed books from the invention of printing up to the year 1600. It can be accessed by author, title, year, place of publication etc, as well as by theme. It also provides links to scanned copies which can be viewed on the Internet, and in many cases downloaded.

Searching under the theme "Astrology and Cosmology" (a valid description in a 16th century context!) turns up some 800 scanned copies which may be of interest:


The scans, most provided by the holding libraries, range from very good to very bad, but most are easily legible. In some cases downloads are only available to subscribing libraries, your local university may have subscriptions, most are freely available.

Be warned, however, most are in Latin. There are quite a few in German, a handful in French, Italian and Spanish etc, but NONE in English. However if you are interested in primary sources for this period and have the language skills, this is really an incredible collection!

Edited by Putaendo Patrick
me grama
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I surprised myself today at how much French I could read. I was always hopeless at languages (including English!) at school and can barely string even the simplist of sentences together in French, but reading text was far easier than I remember. 

This database will be a great resource for people who can read these languages. But I'll have to stick to English for now.

Thanks for sharing the links and information. 


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