VD 16

The list published in the German -speaking countries in the 16th century (VD 16 ) is a retrospective national bibliography for the printing works of the 16th century. The project will continue for the next two centuries from VD 17 and VD 18.


The production was funded by the German Research Foundation from 1969 to 1999. The project partners were the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel, since 1990 the state and Gotha Research Library (now the University and Research Library Erfurt / Gotha ) under the leadership of the Bavarian State Library.

It appeared the following parts:

  • The Division I ( author, corporations, Anonyma ) in 22 volumes ( 1983-1995 )
  • The Division II ( register of editors, commentators, translators, literary contributors ) (1997 )

A version of the VD 16 is complete in book form. In addition, the VD is 16 also accessible as an online database. In addition to the 75,000 titles in the printed version of the database contains, in the meantime, more than 25,000 new titles. The VD -16 database is constantly enriched by holding records of domestic and foreign libraries. Also, by new acquisitions of the Bavarian State Library for the collection German prints come constantly add new titles.

From now estimated to have about 120,000 existing German printed editions from the 16th century are thus far about 100,000 recognized in the VD 16. The bibliographers do not count as only the various texts, but the issues. So if the same text in the 16th century has been printed ( in a place within the German-speaking area ) once or more than once created, these revisions received 16 in the VD each new number. From such a print output can turn quite several copies exist in different libraries.

Some inconsistencies in the VD 16 have in recent years result from the fact that the detection rules were subsequently changed. On the one hand has been dealt with differently in the treatment of lost printing in the various libraries. While the Munich State Library has experienced loss copies, this is in the Berlin State Library, which had a particularly large number of casualties, not the case. On the other first were provided ( in the printed edition of this basic VD 16) and stand-alone text within a print edition with a unique number. However, this was criticized because it was thus difficult to determine the actual number of prints. Therefore, get in the additional, only accessible online surveys, however, only " bibliographic units " own number, in which case the might be present in other texts are listed in a note. Since this change is illustrated, but at no point working with the VD 16 is sometimes a bit complicated for the uninitiated. Also, no definition is given of the " German-speaking area ".

In recent years also the further work on VD 16 is progressing very slowly. Updates are done for about a year, from 2003 (the year in which the online version came out ) until 2007 but are only about 1,200 new titles added (last VD -16 number in October 2007: CU 25,900 ).

Perhaps the VD16 records only half of the relevant prints from the 16th century.