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The items described are predominantly art sale catalogues dating from 1599 to the present day.British Library readers can access this database through any reading room 'Electronic Resources' computer. Foreign catalogues can be found in A J Watson's (Typescript, 1923). Dealers' catalogues to 1800 are also noted in this copy; those from 1801 to 1900 are added as annotations and are also described in more detail in a separate manuscript list. There is also a large collection of dealers' catalogues from the 18th century onwards. There is an extensive collection of British and foreign sale catalogues held by the Department of Manuscripts. Where they are not unique copies, they may contain annotations or provide information additional to that to be found in other copies. Catalogues for 'Sotheby', including predecessors 'Samuel Baker' and 'Baker & Leigh', for 1739 to 22 October 1970. A further annotated copy is kept at the Rare Books Reference Enquiry Desk. Since the late 19th century, selected catalogues from some 2,000 major book dealers in Britain and abroad (plus a few publishers) have been acquired. Two annotated copies of this work can be found on the open shelves in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room at RAX381.45: one contains notes made at the British Museum, but is not now up-to-date; the other reproduces a copy annotated by A N L Munby, and has details of items held in the British Library and elsewhere (the original of this is at Cambridge University Library).

The separate records the companies and individual dealers, and gives a broad indication of the dates for which their catalogues are held. Pre-1801 English catalogues are included in Munby and Coral's giving the pressmarks of all catalogues in the Department of Manuscripts (also containing manuscript numbers of some of the items purchased). All are reserved from reader access for 30 years after publication or production as many departmental annotations are considered commercially sensitive. Smith' or 'John Smith and Son', then the ESTC will probably have catalogued the name as a corporate rather than a personal name. There is a typescript index (1928) of sales 1846-70 at shelfmark: C.131.k.15. When searching for auctioneers and booksellers in the ESTC, it should be noted that a bookseller's name will be catalogued as a personal name if there only appears to be one of them: if the name on the title-page is in the form 'Messrs.

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