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Research Guides

19th Century Resources

Why use union catalogues?

A union catalogue combines multiple library catalogues to provide a holdings reference for those libraries. 

Union catalogues are useful because they allow users to search collections they normally don't have access to.

Union Catalogues

Nineteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue ( NSTC ) 

The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) covers monograph and serial letterpress items:

  • Printed before 1801
  • Printed in the British Isles, Colonial America, United States of America (1776-1800), Canada, or territories governed by Britain, in all languages
  • Printed in any other part of the world, wholly or partly in English or other British vernaculars
  • With false imprints claiming publication in London, in any language

Excludes engraved music, maps, and prints, although atlases and texts which are wholly engraved do appear in ESTC. Some other categories of material are excluded, for example trade cards, playbills and playing cards.


  • Users can search the collections of libraries worldwide using WorldCat
  • This union catalogue contains over 258 million bibliographic records
  • If you can't find the material in the UTL catalogue, request it through other libraries via RACER