The finest collection of architectural books in the world For over 150 years the British Architectural Library has accumulated and preserved a collection of architectural works - currently the largest and most comprehensive resource in Britain for research and information on all aspects of architecture. Now, after twenty-five years and the efforts of several bibliographers, Early Printed Books 1478-1840 describes in detail the Early Imprints section of the Library. A collection of the important, the rare and the unusual This five volume set describes some 4,200 of the world's finest architectural works, many of which were donated or bequeathed by coll...ectors and architects who wished to share their magnificent acquisitions with others. A major reference work Each entry includes a detailed bibliographical description of the contents -- full title-page transcription, pagination statement, collation, detailed description of letterpress and graphic contents, references and notes. The notes compare the collection's copy with those in other libraries, explaining the different editions, the publishing history and importance of the text and illustrative material. Early Printed Books 1478-1840 is a prime source for information not only on architectural history but also on publishing history in the era of handpress printing. The most comprehensive guide to architectural books ever published Early Printed Books 1478-1840 makes available a wealth of information on the architects, artists, printers and publishers associated with these books, throughout Europe and beyond, for nearly four centuries. Individual descriptive records will help librarians, booksellers and collectors to establish the status of copies in their own possession. Furthermore, historians of art and architecture will, often for the first time, be able to use these primary sources with a sound knowledge of their bibliographical contents. Through the written word and printed image, this collection has provided knowledge and inspiration for past and present architects. The collection accommodates almost all the major treatises from the period before 1841, including such rare and important works as: 54 editions and issues of Vitruvius' De architectura and 12 of Alberti's De re aedificatoria -- in-cluding the 15th century first editions of both,53 editions of Palladio's written works, substantial holdings of the treatisesof Serlio, Scamozzi and Vignola and a and a magnificent collection of Piranesi's etchings,John Shute's The first and chief grovndes of architecture -- the first architectural book in English.