What is the Catholic Bibliographical Index?
St. John the Evangelist ended his Gospel by stating that “many other things which Jesus did . . . if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.” By way of analogy, while guarding the distinction between the divine and the human, one might say that no bibliography in existence can contain all the books written by Catholic authors during the two thousand years of the history of the Church.
For more than a quarter of a century, however, Preserving Christian Publications has been electronically cataloging books by Catholic authors obtained from Catholic institutions and private collections, primarily in the northeast of the United States, but also from the Midwest and Far West of the country, as well as from southeastern Canada and from Puerto Rico. The resulting bibliography of 25,409 Catholic titles is far from a complete listing of books by Catholic authors. Nevertheless we believe it serves as a useful research tool, and as an introduction to the world’s Catholic literature. Although primarily a list of Catholic books published in English, it also contains many Latin titles and books in several other languages as well.
It is not always easy to determine whether or not certain authors are Catholic, either because they are not sufficiently known to us, or because their publishing houses are not Catholic. But we have always tried to verify the Catholic identity of authors before including their works in the bibliography. In a relatively small number of cases we have included some non-Catholic writers when they wrote on Catholic subjects, but we have added “non-Catholic” after their names to distinguish them from the other authors in the list. In some rare cases we may have mistakenly included some non-Catholic authors without identifying them as such, but we are confident that such errors are very minimal. Therefore this Catholic Bibliographical Index represents the fruit of more than three decades of our work in making Catholic books better known and available to readers throughout the world.
- ed: editor
- hb: hardback
- IL: illustrated
- p: pages
- pb: paperback
- tr: translator
- v: volume
- BOW: Burns, Oates & Washbourne
- CUA: Catholic University of America
- RCB: Roman Catholic Books
- S & W: Sheed & Ward