Private Libraries in Renaissance England


After accessing the OWNERS screen (by clicking on the OWNERS tab) users can retrieve the names of owners whose book-lists are in the PLRE database. The OWNERS database also includes the names of owners whose book-lists are undergoing editing and have neither been published in the PLRE volumes nor posted on the PLRE.Folger site.

To access the entire list of owners, enter the acronym PLRE in the search box to the right of the Name/Keyword field. When retrieved, owners’ names appear with their PLRE numbers; those undergoing editing appear as PLRE* (with an appended asterisk).

Different Name Forms

If a book-list cannot be found in the BOOKS database when searching with a particular form of an owner’s name, users should enter that name in the OWNERS database; it may be a variant of or an alias for the name used by PLRE. For example, John Bowerman's name has appeared with the following variant spellings: Bomeman, Boreman, Boureman, Bourman, and Bowreman, a search for any of which in the OWNERS database will retrieve the name used by PLRE: John Bowerman. Users can then return to the BOOKS database to retrieve the book-list with the PLRE name, Bowerman.

The OWNERS database does not provide all possible variant forms of any given name, but only those that the editors have found associated with an owner in consulted sources. Accordingly, Edward Probart will be retrieved if a user searches with his alias, Smith, but not with Smythe or Smithe.

Common Names

When two or more owners have the same name, each of those owners' records contains at least one differentiating feature, such as birth and death dates. See, for example, two owners in the OWNERS database with the same name, John Robinson.

Searching for Forthcoming book-lists

Unpublished book-lists that are undergoing editing (PLRE*) can be retrieved as a group by entering * in the search box after scrolling to Forthcoming (*) in the box on the left. Users who seek information about a forthcoming book-list are invited to contact one of the editors.