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Despite a longstanding tradition of scholarship involved with book ownership as well as (sale) catalogues documenting personal collections, public libraries or booksellers’ stocks in early modern France, to this day, a substantial bibliographical survey in the vein of Book Sales Catalogues of The Dutch Republic, 1599-1800 remains a desideratum for French book history. Over the last decades, several projects, such as Françoise Bléchet’s Les ventes publiques de livres en France (1630-1750), Annie Charon’s ESPRIT DES LIVRES, and Catalogues de libraires 1473-1810, compiled by Claire Lesage, Éve Netchine and Véronique Sarrazin, have been undertaken in order to identify and to describe printed catalogues from early modern France.  Those projects are however limited in scope, first and foremost because they focus on material that has been preserved in large, mainly Parisian, libraries.

This paper will discuss a work-in-progress comprehensive bibliography of printed catalogues of private libraries published in France during the hand-press era, that was born as a spin-off project of the ERC-funded MEDIATE project 2017–2022 ( Current findings (size of the corpus, catalogue types, quantity of lots, places of publication, persons involved in  production and distribution, owners, paratexts etc.) will be presented, with comments on the characteristics and the evolution of this genre, and on its relationship to the second-hand book market.

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