Annotating Bibliographical Items

This page provides guidance on how to annotate references to books or other written material.

Annotation Format

This is the format we will use:

<note type="editorial" subtype="bibliographical"><bibl><persName><forename>Firstname</forename> <surname>Last name(s)</surname></persName>, <title level="m">Title</title>. <pubPlace>City</pubPlace>: <publisher>Printer</publisher>, <date when="YYYY">Year </date>. <seg type="bibSource">(Source)</seg></bibl></note>

Here is an example of how this might look:

<note type="editorial" subtype="bibliographical"><bibl><persName><forename>Benedicto</forename> <surname>Aria Montano</surname></persName> (<persName><forename>Benito</forename> <surname>Arias Montano</surname></persName>), <title level="m">Phaleg siue De gentium sedibus primis, orbisque terrae situ, liber</title>. <pubPlace>Antuerpiae</pubPlace>: <publisher>excudebat Christophorus Plantinus</publisher>, <date when="1572">1572</date>.<seg type="bibSource"> (<ref target=";idioma=0">Biblioteca Complutense</ref>)</seg></bibl></note> 

We are using <seg type="bibSource"> to indicate the source of our bibliographic information. Typically, the value here will be one of the following:

<seg type="bibSource">Brunet</seg>


<seg type="bibSource">(Palau #####)</seg>

Palau (followed by entry # in parentheses)

<seg type="bibSource">(Sabin #####)</seg>

Sabin (followed by entry # in parentheses)

<seg type="bibSource">(<ref target="URL">Google Books</ref>)</seg>

Google Books (formatted as link to the entry)

<seg type="bibSource">(<ref target="URL">Worldcat</ref>)</seg>

Worldcat (formatted as link to entry)

Identifying Books and Locating Bibliographical Data

We use the tools listed below to identify books and gather correct bibliographical data for those books.

We will reproduce the bibliographical data exactly as we find it in the source, without any modernizations. When this means listing the author in a way that is not standard in Spanish (such as latinized forms), we will put the standard Spanish form in parenthesis after the author's name (as in the Benito Arias Montano example above).

When an author refers to a specific edition (or translation, etc.) of a text, we will try to provide the bibliographic data for that version. When we cannot, or when no particular version is indicated, we will use the bibliographic data for the first edition.

There are three possible approaches to finding the correct information, listed here in order of preference.

  1. Our most preferred approach is to take the bibliographic details directly from a digitized copy of the actual volume (in Google Books, Hathi Trust, Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, or another online repository). This allows us to know that the information is correct (since we've validated it against an actual copy of the book) and also allows us to link to the object itself, both as a way to provide evidence for the accuracy of the data and as a way to provide the reader access to the work in question.
  2. When we cannot do that, the next best option is to cite the bibliographical data from a reliable bibliography. For our purposes, we will consider three collections to fall into this category: Brunet, Sabin, and Palau.
  3. Our least preferred option is to cite the information from an entry on Worldcat, or, failing that, from the catalog of an individual library. In this scenario, we will link to the Worldcat record or catalog entry in question. This is our least preferred option because we have no way of knowing if the information is accurate (option 1 allows us to see the information ourselves in an actual volume, and in option 2 we're taking the information from instruments we know to be authoritative).


Online Repositories

Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes

Google Books

HathiTrust Digital Library

Internet Archive


Brunet, Jacques–Charles. Manuel du libraire et de l’amateur de livres. 8 vols. Paris: Librairie de Firmin Didot Frères, Fils et Cie, 1860-1880. The Thomas G. Carpenter Library has this in its physical holdings.

Palau y Dulcet, Antonio. Manual del librero hispano–americano. 2nd ed., 28 vols. Barcelona: Librería Anticuaria de A. Palau, 1948. UNF does not have this, but there are copies in the SUS System, and we can request individual volumes through UBorrow or, failing that, Interlibrary Loan.

Sabin, Joseph. A Dictionary of Books Relating to America, from Its Discovery to the Present Time. 1868-1936. 29 vols. Amsterdam : N. Israel, 1961-1962. The Thomas G. Carpenter Library has this in its physical holdings.

Other Tools