Book-Trade Bibliography

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Book-Trade Bibliography


(book-trade and publishers’ bibliography), a type of bibliography whose basic function is to provide information about printed works that are in stock, recently published, or planned for publication in order to facilitate publication or sale.

In Russia book-trade bibliography emerged in the late 1720’s with the booklists of the Academy of Science’s Book Shop. During the 1770’s and 1780’s the lists (registers) were widely disseminated; N. I. Novikov’s lists were an outstanding example. An important contribution to the history of 19th-century bibliography were the catalogs prepared by P. A. Efremov and V. I. Mezhov for the bookstores of I. I. Glazunov, A. F. Bazunov, and Ia. A. Isakov. At the beginning of the 20th century there was an increase in the number of publishers’ catalogs and book-trade bibliographical journals (the best-known was Izvestiia knizhnykh magazinov t-va M. O. Vol’f, or News of the Bookstores of M. O. Vol’f, Inc., 1897–1917), but on the whole book-trade bibliography during the prerevolutionary years was not systematic.

A system of manuals for Soviet book-trade bibliography took shape in the 1920’s with the appearance of Biulleten’ Gosizdata (Bulletin of Gosizdat). N. V. Zdobnov, the author of works on book-trade bibliography (Compiling Book-trade Catalogs, 1933) and its history (in the book A History of Russian Bibliography Prior to the Beginning of the XX Century, 3rd ed., 1955), was a leader in its development.

Soviet book-trade bibliography, which has in fact merged with publishers’ bibliography, has been transformed into a widely diversified system. Literature intended for publication is listed in Publishing Plans (Thematic Plans), which is sent each year to the book-trade network by all the publishing houses. Changes in publishing plans are communicated in the bulletin Blank dlia zakazov (Order Blank), which has approximately 80 issues annually. It also carries lists of publications in stock at the Central Wholesale Book Base. Information on literature at republic, krai, and oblast book-trade centers is placed in the bulletin Spros ipredlozhenie (Demand and Supply; 24 issues a year). Price-list catalogs are published for the second-hand and rare book trade.

There are advertising prospectuses and catalogs aimed at buyers to create a demand for specific publications. The weekly Knizhnoe obozrenie (Book Review; since 1966) carries “Books of the Week,” a column that acquaints readers with new books.

The bookstores maintain the Calendar of New Items—a list of recent acquisitions, a card file of orders with an enumeration of all the publications ordered by a specific store, and a card file of its books in stock.

The origin of book-trade bibliography abroad is connected with the appearance of the first “fair catalogs” (Frankfurt am Main, 1564). According to 1967 data, 31 countries maintain current book-trade bibliography.


Osipov, V. O. Knigotorgovaia bibliografiia. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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