The UB’s collection of Printing, Publishing and Bookselling Catalogues, which spans the seventeenth to the twentieth century, contains a number of rare and unique volumes that showcase the development of channels used in the sale of books. Two highlights are the first known catalogue printed in Barcelona, entitled Cathalogo de libros de todas facvltades, qve se hallaràn en casa de Joseph Ferrer librero de Barcelona (1724), and a volume entitled Centro de obras (1864) from the bookshop of Joan Roca, which has a section of books on Catalonia.
Catalogues were a way to expand advertising of the assorted collections and titles available from bookshops and printing houses. Each catalogue was produced by a bookseller, by a firm of booksellers or printers (particularly common in the case of the booksellers of Lyon and Geneva), or as an outgrowth of the projects of booksellers and publishers who needed a sales mechanism for all of their output (as in the case of Remondini).
The types of catalogues in the collection are wide-ranging. They include sales catalogues for private libraries, for auctions and for booksellers, as well as the offerings of publishing houses.
A portion of the catalogues on display once belonged to the old convents of the city of Barcelona which were disentailed in the nineteenth century. Others were closely connected to the interests of librarians, scholars and collectors, who used them as a mechanism to consult the latest titles available for their collections.
Sales catalogues are ephemeral printed materials of poor quality and rarely preserved. As a result, the examples housed in the CRAI Libraries at the UBare of particular interest.