1. History of the Bibliography: the word “bibliography” originated in post classical Greek times. It has been derived from the Greek word “biblion” which means books and “graphein” is to write. So etymologically bibliography changed practically. Since 1763 from “writing of books” to “writing about books”.
The term “bibliography” was first used by Louis Jacob de Saint Charles in his Bibliographia parisiana (1645-50) and Konrad Gesner regarded as the father of bibliography, he attempted to list of all scholarly publications in “bibliotheca universities” which appear in 1545.
Great German bibliographer Ebert define bibliography as “the science that deals with literary production”
Copinger define bibliography as “the grammar of literary investigation”
C. W. Claps defined bibliography as “the systematic listing of the records of human communications”.
The bibliography as defined by Louis Shores is a “list of written, printed or otherwise produced record of civilization, which may include books, serials, pictures, films, maps, records, manuscripts and any other media of communication”.
According to Ranganathan the bibliography “is a list of document listed together for some purpose. The purpose is to bring to the attention of the reader an exhaustive or selective lis of document relevant to his pursuit of study or enquire”.
ALA glossary of library and information science defined bibliography as “a list of works, documents or bibliographic items, usually with some relationship between them. E.g by a given author on a given subject or published in a given place and differing from a catalogue in that its contents are not restricted to the holding of a single libraries or group of libraries”.
2. Aims and Functions of Bibliography: Librarianship is a profession in which what is recorded by what so ever of librarianship is bibliographies. Bibliography generally serves the following functions:
a) It is a guide to the literature of a subject: bibliography is actually an index compiled systematically on a subject, so it serves as a guide to the literature of the subject.
b) Finding the existence: A bibliography enables one to find out what has already been written on his subject and allows him to keep himself well informed and up to date. This avoids duplication in research, saving him both time and money.
c) Verification of bibliographic detail: Whenever we are to verify a title or collect information on any subject we are to consult a bibliography (subject bibliography). It also helps us to as certain bibliographical data about an author thus helping in the identification of a document.
d) Location of material: A bibliography helps in locating the material or book in terms of place of publication, location in the library on point of purchase.
e) Book selection: A bibliography by adding a note to each document being listed, indicate the value of the document to a given type of user. So it helps in books selection i. e. which book should be consulted for a given purpose.
f) It preserves documents: bibliography by listing of documents preserve all books, good, bad and indifferent from oblivion.
g) It provides list of prior records of civilization: bibliography provide information about the prior records of communication. Thus it is a vital aid to the study of history.
3. Types of Bibliography: Bibliographies are of the following types
a) Analytical Bibliography: According to Roy B Stokes on analytical bibliography involves “investigation of the physical nature of the book which can be and frequently is sufficiently exhaustive to enable all the circumstances of the book manufacture and history to be revealed”. Analytical or critical bibliography therefore rests to a large extent upon imperfection in the production process and as such it has been defined as the physical examination of books.
There would have been virtually no need of analytical bibliography if every step in the production process was perfectly accomplished and a perfect book produced in every care. But unfortunately such perfection has been a rare thing in the history of book production or has at latest happened in exceptional case.
b) Descriptive Bibliography: Descriptive bibliography is the application of analytical bibliography to the external form of the book i.e it concern itself with the materials forms of books and not with their literary contexts. “its function is primarily that of recording the bibliography details of the book which has been established during the process of analytical bibliography.” In Descriptive bibliography the bibliograph details are kept to minimum because the basic purpose to listing. Descriptive bibliography aims to describe all variation from this ideal form. But due to standardization of books production the importance of descriptive bibliography has decreased greatly.
c) Textual Bibliography: It is an application of analytical bibliography to the contexts of books. It is a bibliography applied to textual studies. The main purpose of such a bibliography is to determine the effect of writing or the printing process on the correctness or completeness of a text. It helps ascertain the variety of authorship edition etc. thus textual variation between a manuscript and the printed books or between various reprints or edition. So the textual bibliography is more interested in the author’s wards and tries to determine the exact words that the author intended should constitute his work. The aim is to prepare definite edition of the original author.
We can say therefore the textual bibliography is an area which seems to be of great importance for literary critics rather than librarians or bibliographies.
d) Historical Bibliography: The study of books “as object of art” may be termed a historical bibliography. It is concerned with art of writing, printing, illumination and binding. The historical bibliography makes an attempt to achieve a broad understanding of the milieu of the book in the context of the world of books, and social and cultural conditions in existence at the time because the significance of books is very great in every phase of civilization and of life.
Historical bibliography has to content itself with the evolution of typefaces from its very early manuscripts origin. Then again the very material of which the book is compared paper as we know it, from its handmade stage to that of machine manufactured.
e) Systematic Bibliography: systematic bibliography is nothing but the listing of books and other reading material according to some useful system of reference scheme. According to Arundell Esdaile “to assemble the resulting entries, simple or elaborate as the case may required into logical and useful arrangement for reference and study” is called systematic bibliography.
Esdale in his “student’s manual of bibliography” has divided bibliography into two categories namely primary and secondary.
a) Primary Bibliography: Primary bibliographies are those which are the original record of the whole or part of their content.
i) General or Universal Bibliography: In general or universal bibliography, it attempts to include books published in every country and age and on all subject. It is a survey of all records of civilization in all fields of knowledge for whatever the time, place, language, subject or author. It does not matter. In fact there is no universal bibliography as such but the publish catalogue of great libraries of the world can be stated to be the nearest approaches to this type of bibliography. Eg. Library of Congress Catalogue of Books., British Museum General Catalogue of printed books.
Also Konard Gesner, the father of bibliography attempts to list all scholarly publication in the world which appears in 1545, under the title “Bibliotheca Universalis”
ii) Incunabula Bibliography: This type of bibliography lists the early printed material upto 15th century. It was considered a cradle period of printing and the systematic order in arranging various parts of the book was not followed. Eg. Proctor Robert An index to the early printed books in the British Museum from the invention of printing to the year 1300 with notes of those in the Bodleian library. Konard Burger’s index, London 1960.
iii) Bibliography of anonymous and pseudonymous works: These types of bibliographies are arranged alphabetically by title with notes of author, details of publication and annotations and notes about authority for the ascription. They are also provided with an index of initials and pseudonyms. Sometimes the titles are arranged alphabetically with names of the authors in square brackets and notes about the authority for the attribution at the end. Eg. Dictionary of anonymous and pseudonymous literature.
iv) Trade bibliographies: These types of bibliographies are brought out by large publishing firms engaged in book production or trade. The books available for sale or purchase are listed therein. Eg. Whitakers cumulative book list, London, Whitaker British Book in print etc.
v) National bibliography: it is a comprehensive, almost complete record of both written and printed output in a given country, furnishing description and supplying verification which cannot found in the less complete bibliographies. So in short a national bibliography list all documents published in a given country.
The national bibliography is compiled on the basis of the materials received by the National Libraries under the copyright act as promulgated in various countries. A national bibliography is considered a national heritage and its purpose is intellectual not commercial (selling). It is useful for the researcher and the posterity. Example: Indian National Bibliography, Kolkata, Central Reference Library, British National Bibliography, London
B) Secondary Bibliography: Secondary bibliographies are “those in which material registered elsewhere is rearranged for the convenience of research”. In these documents already recorded in primary bibliographies are selected, analyzed, and rearranged either by subject, author, period or typography.
i) Subject Bibliography: A subject bibliography is a comprehensive list of all books, periodicals articles, pamphlets and other analytical materials that have appeared on that subject, such a bibliography is international in scope since it covers everything that has been appeared on the subject in different languages and in different countries of the world. Example: Education Abstract, 1949 to date, Paris, UNESCO.
ii) Author Bibliography: An author bibliography is the list of writing by an author together with the works on him by others.
Example: Mahatma Gandhi: A descriptive bibliography, compiled by Dr. J. S. Sharma, Delhi, S. Chand, 1955.
iii) Personal Bibliography: A personal bibliography is a list of writings by others on the different aspects of the life of a great man together with what he himself has written, printed and delivered in the form of oratory. Kindly note that personal bibliography is different from that of author bibliography.
Example: Jawaharlal Nehru: A descriptive bibliography by Jagdish Saran Sharma, Delhi, S. Chand & Co, 1955.
iv) Bibliophilic Bibliography: A bibliography that records old and rare books, first editions of celebrated authors is known as bibliophilic bibliography. These bibliographies are only for those who have a craze for old and rare books, especially for first edition of books of celebrated author. They have fancy for such book for their magnificent look, distinctive physical feature, colorfulness, sumptuous binding, decorative covers, brilliant illustration and pictorial ornamentation, grand illumination and beautiful type face, sometimes on sentimental ground and sometimes for getting original thought of the author.
Example: Johnson, Merie de Vore, “American first editon”, 4th ed, revised N. Y. Bowker, 1942.
v) Selective Bibliography (Elective): This kind of bibliography is concerned with the listing of only selected and the best books. This is useful to those who want to record only the best. This is also serves as a valuable book selection tool to small and medium-sized libraries.
Example: The best books: A readers’ guide, 3rd ed, by W. S. Sonnenschein, London, Routledge, 1910 – 35, 6 Vol.
vi) Unit Bibliography: It is a list of different editions adaptations, abridged forms, translations, dramatization, versification, criticism, etc of a single literary work conveniently arranged in order to give a comprehensive picture of its literary excellence and popularity. Every literary work by every author does not deserve a unit bibliography. It is only in the case of such works which have sound scholars curiosity by dint of their great literary merit, universal appeal and enormous popularity that unit bibliographies are compiled.
Example: The Arabian Hight’s Entertainment with its numerous adaptations and translations.
vii) Bibliography of Bibliographies (Bibliographic Index): As the bibliographies in various subject fields have multiplied now a day the compilation of this kind of bibliography has become imperative. It is a list of bibliographies recorded in a systematic and logical order. It includes all type of bibliographies in various subject fields, separately published. This kind of bibliography is also known as bibliographic index.
Example: Besterman Theodore, “A world bibliography of bibliographies”.