Often you will be working with a catalog for a specific library when you’re looking for a book. But union catalogs, which list works from multiple institutions, can be a powerful resource. Such catalogs can not only give you an overview of a category of books (usually based on era and/or national borders) but they often provide information about a book’s publication and leads for further research. And many catalogs now include links to digital facsimiles of items.

Below are some major union catalogs that cover the hand-press period: