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Author(s): Names of authors are given as they are on the title-pages. If they are derived from within the book or from another source, they are given in square brackets. As the ways in which they are rendered often vary from book to book, it will be most effective in searching for all but the commonest names to use only the surname in the first instance. The names of authors of anonymous or pseudonymous works, if the authorship is known, are provided in square brackets; they too can be found by seeking the surname alone. Surnames such as McLeod (sometimes given as M'Leod) are normalized as McLeod and alphabetized as MacLeod. The additions Jr., Jun., and Junr., Sr., Sen., and Senr. are normalized as Jr. and Sr. respectively.
Title: The punctuation of titles has been preserved, but the lineation has not. Long titles are generally abbreviated, unless the abbreviation would obscure their meaning. Where the name of the author is presented as part of the title it is usually replaced by points of ellipsis. Capitalization of titles has been normalized: substantives, adjectives, non-copula verbs, and adverbs, are routinely capitalized, while articles, conjunctions, prepositions, and copula verbs are not unless they appear at the beginning of a sentence or following a colon. When a book has an engraved title-page as well as a printed one, information is derived from the printed one.
Editor(s) or Translator(s): The names of editors are given as they appear on the title-pages, or, if they are derived from within the book or from another source, they are presented in square brackets. The names of translators are treated in the same way, but are preceded by the abbreviation "Trans." The term editor has been used to identify anyone (the writer of a preface or introduction or preliminary memoir, or a member of a supervising committee) who may be thought to have presided over the publication.
Place(s) of publication: Place-names are accompanied by names of states or of counties if there is more than one place of the same name. In the cases of London, New York, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Oxford, Cambridge (England), and Philadelphia, the place-names are allowed to stand alone. In the cases of Boston and Baltimore, it may be assumed that the American cities are meant; their namesakes are identified as Boston (Lincs.) and Baltimore (Cork). When there is more than one place of publication, the places are divided by slash marks (e.g. London/ Oxford/ Cambridge). If no place of publication is given, the notation [no place] appears.
Publisher(s): There are few more vexed questions in the publishing history of this period than the identification of the publisher, since the wording on title-pages varies and may be misleading. "Printed by" designates the printer and "sold by" the bookseller; in the absence of a person or firm whom the book was explicitly "printed for", I have generally described the work as having "no publisher" or as having been printed "for the author." Names are given as they appear on the title-pages, with the same normalizations of names like McLeod and additions like Jr. and Sr. as indicated above under "Author(s)." It will be safest to search for publishers by surname only, and to allow for legitimate variant spellings such as "Kearsley" and "Kearsly." If there is more than one place of publication, the publishers from each will be divided from one another by slash marks (e.g. Longman/ Vincent/ Deighton) and presented in the same order as the places of publication they accompany.
Dates of publication: The dates are given as they appear on the title-pages. If the date is known but does not appear on the title-page it is presented here in square brackets. Library catalogues routinely provide speculative dates in square brackets, and in this bibliography these speculations are gratefully and silently adopted. The danger of this practice is not merely that mistakes are bound to be made, but that when cataloguers speculate about dates they have a tendency to choose round numbers (1800 rather than 1801, and even 1805); the effect of this understandable practice is to increase greatly the number of books given dates that are divisible by ten or five. Users who are interested in developing chronological statistics of publication are advised to treat square-bracketed dates with caution.
Editions: Editions are so described (as 2nd edn., 3rd edn., new edn., etc., and, rarely, 1st edn.) only if the information is derived from the books in question. Library catalogues sometimes rely on inference, but that practice is avoided here. Some single author bibliographies usefully distinguish between books that claim to be one edition but are actually another; if this information could have been provided for the publications of every author it would have been worth having here too, but having it only for a few works seemed to be potentially misleading.
Format (page size): The traditional designations (8vo, 4to., 12mo., etc.) have been avoided; instead the dimensions of the title-pages are given (10 x 17 cm., etc.). The page size is recorded in centimetres, the top edge being given first, followed by the right-hand edge. The measurement is rounded up to the nearest half centimetre to allow for the difficulty of making an exact measurement of the top edge. Where either edge is damaged or irregular in shape, the nearest undamaged or regular part is measured instead. Because so many books of the period are made of wove paper that lacks chain lines and wire lines it is not easy to make a quick judgment as to which traditional format they have. The current short-title catalogues of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries have been bedevilled by the appearance of variant editions termed by one library octavo and by another duodecimo, that are in fact identical. Using measurements does not entirely do away with this difficulty (the size depending on the way in which the pages have been cropped), but it does at least give an unambiguous measurement of the copy being recorded.
Pagination or volume(s): When a book is made up of more than one volume, the pagination is not recorded, only the number of volumes being given. In some cases, if the volumes have been published in different years or have some other measure of independence of one another, the pagination has been given as if they were single volumes. Pagination is recorded as it appears in the book in question, without much attempt to normalize. If the preliminaries are numbered i-xii, followed by three blank pages, and then by the main text numbered 1-194, the pagination will be recorded as xv + 194. When, as is often the case with American imprints, the numerical sequence of the Roman numeral preliminaries is continued in the Arabic numeral text (for example, i-xii + 13-194), the pagination is recorded as 194. No record has been kept of deficiencies in page numbers at the beginning of preliminaries (that is, if they begin at v instead of i and go on to xii, they are recorded simply as xii), but if the deficiency occurs at the beginning of the numbering of the pages of the text (starting, for example, at 6 rather than 1 and going on to 194) the pagination is recorded as 6-194. When an edition is a subscription edition, the fact is noted after the page numbering, because the presence of a list of subscribers usually adds materially to the number of pages. When a book contains a mixture of prose and verse an indication is usually given of their relative proportions.
Price: When the price is given in the book itself (usually on the title-page or half-title, but sometimes on the spine or front cover) it is recorded without further comment. When it has been learned from another source (a review or a bibliography) the source is provided as part of the Reference (see below). This information has been recorded when it was readily available, but a systematic search for prices has not been undertaken. The result is unsystematic and incomplete, but it is offered as better than nothing. Recourse may be had to The English Catalogue of Books . . . . 1801-1836, for most of the years involved, but its information should be regarded with caution.
Reference: When information about the books has been provided from a source or from sources beyond the books themselves, a reference is provided. The commonest ones are reviews in periodicals, often because they record prices; others such as Halkett and Laing (HL) identify anonymous or pseudonymous authors. The List of Abbreviations expands references. Information from the library catalogues of the libraries where the books are found has been used without specific acknowledgment.
Library: The libraries used are generally recorded in abbreviated form; the List of Abbreviations provides fuller descriptions and also gives some sense of the range of the search. The bibliography is a record of particular copies. The fact that the copy being used is found in one library rather than another is not an indication of its relative rarity, but merely the consequence of the compiler's convenience. It would, perhaps, have been desirable to examine as many copies as possible in the most comprehensive and accessible collections, but for a single compiler that option was impracticable.
Shelfmark: Shelfmarks of books in most libraries appear in slightly variant forms. The advent of on-line catalogues often results in modifications of the shelfmark in the book itself. Books in a fragile condition that are kept in boxes or protective envelopes are sometimes issued to readers with the boxes or envelopes and sometimes not; it is often the case that the rendering of shelfmarks on the box or envelope slightly modifies the shelfmark on the book. These differences are not usually much of a problem, but for what it is worth an attempt has been made in recording them to use the shelfmark on the book. When a work is bound with others in a comprehensive or guard volume, its place in the volume is indicated by a numeral in parentheses following the shelfmark, for example, 992.e.43 (4), indicating that the work being described is the fourth item in the volume with the shelfmark 992.e.43. If one wishes to request the copy at the library in question, the parenthetical number should be omitted.
Comments: This space is used to provide explanatory notes as needed.

Because the examination of copies has not yet been completed, a substantial number of entries do not follow the conventions described here and follow instead the conventions used by the references on which they are based.