POLAIN, M.-LOUIS. Papers, 1893-1933
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Marie-Louis Polain Papers, 1893-1933

OCLC no.
122573234 (formerly: RLIN NYGG02-A58)

Main Entry
Polain, M.-Louis, 1866-1933.

Marie-Louise Polain Papers, 1893-1933.

Physical Description
29 boxes (30 linear ft. and ca. 50,000 items)

Organization and Arrangement
Organized into three series: I. Typographic samples and notes; II. Photographic negatives. Typographic samples; arranged alphabetically by author; III. Diaries and notebooks.

Historical/Biographical Note
Marie-Louis Polain was a native in Liège in Belgium, where he studied law and the literature and history of the east and of Ethiopia. His subsequent work for the bookselling firm of Otto Harrassowitz at Leipzig introduced him to the profession of bibliography. He moved to France in 1892. After working with several collections, he assisted Marie Pellechet on her Catalogue général des incunables des bibliothèques publiques de France.Pellechet died shortly after the first volume was published, so Polain continued the work through the years of World War I, although it was not published in full until mid-century (microfilm, 1950; photoreproduction, 1970). In 1920 the Société des bibliophiles et des iconophiles de Belgique asked Polain to compile a catalogue of the incunabula in Belgian libraries. The Catalogue des livres imprimés au quinzième siècle des bibliothèques de Belgique was published in 1932.

Scope and Contents Note
Manuscript notes, typographic samples, and photographic negatives for Polain’s Catalogue des livres imprimés au quinzième siècle des bibliothèques de Belgique . The notes include author/title, detailed collations, location of copies in Belgian libraries, and reference to other bibliographies of incunabula that list the work.  Journal material includes diaries, or ‘agenda books,’ and research notebooks.  Diaries date 1893 to 1909 (with some gaps) and record Polain’s daily expenditures, activities and weather, and meals, with many notes, tickets and receipts laid in.  The research notebooks concern Hain numbers 7349-16299 and Campbell numbers 1-1794.

General Note
Negatives are damaged.

Processing Note
Original title of this collection was 'Catalogue des livres imprimés au quinzième siècle des bibliothèques de Belgique: manuscripts and photographic negatives, 1920-1933.' It was renamed in 2018 to reflect recent accruals of journals to the collection. Note that Boxes 1-27 will retain labels with the previous name until relabeling is completed. This finding aid was revised by Kendra Meyer using Microsoft Word in January 2019.

Ownership and Custodial History
Acquired by Eugenie Droz at Polain’s death along with his materials for the catalog of the incunabula in public libraries in France. In 1946 she sold Polain's papers to antiquarian bookseller H. P. Kraus, who donated the French library material to the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. He retained Polain’s manuscript notes and photographic negatives for the Belgian incunabula catalog until 1979, when he donated them to the Grolier Club, a New York bibliophile society of which he was a member.  Another gift of material (boxes 22 and 23) was made by Kraus to the Grolier Club in September 2001. A gift of Polain’s journals (boxes 28 and 29) was made in November 2018 by Mary Ann and Roland Folter, from Kraus’s estate.

Pellechet, M. (Marie Leontine Catherine), 1840-1900. Catalogue générale des incunables des bibliothèques publiques de France.
Polain, M.-Louis, 1866-1933

Incunabula. Bibliography.
Catalogs, Union. Belgium.

Negatives. Belgium. 20th century.
Catalog cards. Belgium. 20th century.
Diaries. Paris. 19th century.
Diaries. Paris. 20th century.
Notebooks. 19th century.
Notebooks. 20th century.

Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Bibliographers. Belgium. 19th century.
Bibliographers. Belgium. 20th century.

Added Entries
Droz, Eugenie, d. 1977, former owner.
Kraus, Hans Peter, 1907-, former owner.
Folter, Roland, former owner.
Folter, Mary Ann, former owner.

Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.


Boxes 1-5
Original wooden caskets containing photographs and negatives

Box 6
Photographs and negatives
Card file: “Caractères” 

Box 7
Card files: “Répertoire typographique, XVe”; “Imprimeurs et libraries, XVe & XVIe”; “Répertoire alphabétique” [beginning]

Box 8
Card file: “Table de Baudrier; Répertoire alphabétique” [continuation]
Numbered green-cloth portfolio boxes containing research notes:
[1.  Paris: J. du Pre, U. Gering, Freiburger, Crantz, Hopyl, Higman; housed in Box 20]
2.  Paris: F. Baligault, P. Bonhomme, Bineaut, Blandin, Lefevre, A. Caillaut
3.  Paris: Kerver, P. Le Caron, P. de Rouge, P. Levet, G. Marchant
4.  Paris: Marnef I
5.  Paris: Marnef II
6.  Paris: Marnef III

Box 9
Numbered green-cloth portfolio boxes containing research notes:
7.  Paris: G. Marchant, G. Mittelhus, Pigouchet, Trepperel
8.  Paris: Gerard, Atelier du Souffle-Vert; Printers’ marks
9.  Paris: Marks, A-L; Facsimiles
10.  Paris: Marks, M-Z
11.  Lyon: N. Philippe, M. Reinhart, J. de Vingle, M. Wenssler; Anonymous presses
12.  Lyon: Pstrong.-B., J. du Pre, J. Fabri, M. Havard, Martin Husz, Mathieu Husz

Box 10
Numbered green-cloth portfolio boxes containing research notes:
13.  Lyon: G. le Roi, J. Maillet, M. Chaussart
14.  Lyon: Anonymous
15.  Besançon, Bretagne, Metz, Toulouse, Valence, Valenciennes
16.  France: Various towns, A-Z
17.  France: Anonymous presses
18.  Incunabula; Checklists of various French libraries

Box 11
Numbered green-cloth portfolio boxes containing research notes:
19.  Books of Hours; Facsimile of Livre de la Deablerie (Paris: Le Noir, n.d.)
20.  Incunabula, collective volumes; Paris, province; Concordances (Polain, Pellechet, Hain); Bibliographical notes, 17th-20th centuries
21.  Alphabets by Claudin, arranged by shape of “M”
22.  Strasbourg
23.  Germany: Cologne, Mainz, Nurnberg
24.  Germany: Various towns, A-Z; Anonymous presses

Box 12
Numbered green-cloth portfolio boxes containing research notes:
25.  Netherlands (Holland and Belgium)
26.  Switzerland, England, Sweden; Vienna, Buda, Prague
27.  Venice, A-P
28.  Venice, Q-Z; Rome
29.  Italy, A-N
30.  Italy, O-Z; Anonymous presses; Spain

Box 13
Numbered green-cloth portfolio boxes containing research notes:
31.  Incunabula types; Indexes of dedications and prefaces in incunabula
32.  Missals; Bibles
33.  Printer of the Sarum Breviary; Renaissance medals; Miscellaneous facsimiles; Various research notes
34.  Notes on incunabula; Miscellaneous research notes
35.  Miscellaneous research notes; Facsimiles and fragments
36.  “Essai sur Vosterman”; Miscellaneous facsimiles

Box 14
Numbered green-cloth portfolio boxes containing research notes:
37.  Initials, A-L
38.  Initials, M-Z; Miscellaneous
39.  Miscellaneous facsimiles
40.  16th century bibliography, A-D
41.  16th century bibliography, E-O; Unsorted
42.  16th century bibliography, P-Z; Slips

Box 15
Numbered green-cloth portfolio boxes containing research notes:
43.  Photographs and personal papers; Incunabula check lists; Miscellaneous facsimiles
Card files (in original red board boxes): [A-C housed in Box 20]; C-Di

Box 16
Card files: Do-M

Box 17
Card files: N-S

Box 18
Card files: S-Z; Varia, I & II

Box 19
Card files: Varia, III-VI

Box 20
Numbered green-cloth bound portfolio boxes:
1. Paris: J. du Pre, U. Gering, Freiburger, Crantz, Hopyl, Higman (from sequence beginning in Box 8)
Card files: A-C (from sequence beginning in Box 15 above)
Card files: “Gravures, bordures & encadrements” (from sequence beginning in Box 6)
Original inventory list (in custom-made green folder)

Box 21
Unprocessed notes and correspondence, from box labeled “Lyon XVe Siecle”

Boxes 22-23
Unprocessed notes and correspondence (9/2001 accession)

Box 24
Marnet family printers notecards, arranged chronologically

Box 25-27
Photographs and negatives, arranged alphabetically

Series III. Diaries and notebooks:
Box 28
Diaries (8) 1893, 1895-1896, 1898-1902.

Box 29
Research notebooks (2), Diaries (6) 1903-1905, 1907-1909.
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