The Catalogues of Henry de Kirkestede
Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, Volume 11
Distributed for British Library
In the middle years of the fourteenth century, the monk Henry de Kirkestede, librarian and later prior of Bury St Edmunds abbey, set about compiling a universal bibliography of writers and their works. His sources were extensive. First, the framework was provided by the Franciscan union catalogue compiled in Oxford around 1300 - The Registrum Anglie, volume two in the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues series - which provided the form of entry, works of ninety-nine authors, and a record of copies in different locations. Henry augmented this with a systematic use of ancient bibliographers such as Jerome, and from references to authors and works he found in his own wide reading. His third source was the large library of Bury St Edmunds itself, one of the richest in the country.
Books that Henry used survive there to this day, including his copy of the ancient bibliographers, as well as many books containing his notes reveal which him as an astute librarian with a bibliographical turn of mind.