Messrs. Charles Aken Fairbridge and John Noble compiled a Catalogue of Books Relating to South Africa, which was based on the Fairbridge Collection and the holdings of the S.A. Library. It was printed for the Colonial and Indian exhibition committee by W.A. Richards & Sons, in 1886, – 4 years after Notes upon Books were published by Theal in the Cape Monthly Magazine. Over 600 items are listed, but Travels, Voyages, Parliamentary Papers, Blue Books and pamphlets are excluded. Mr. Fairbridge compiled a separate and exhaustive list of pamphlets – the manuscript exceeds 400 leaves – but his death pre-empted publication thereof, as it did that of a much extended and revised version of the Catalogue with a new title, intended to have included Notices of the Cape and Natal. Catalogue of Books Relating to South Africa is not annotated and lists less than one tenth of the number of items in Mendelssohn’s Bibliography and not more than one third of the number in Theal’s Catalogue. The most noteworthy European contribution at this period was Francis Edwards’ Catalogue of Africana published in 1902. Although intended as a trade catalogue, it included over 3000 items and remains useful for reference purposes. Mendelssohn’s South African Bibliography appeared in 1910, the major sources for which were Fairbridge and Noble’s catalogue and Theal’s histories – i.e. the scattered bibliographical elements among his works. Based on the above, it seems fair to say that Theal’s was the first attempt to provide a comprehensive South African Bibliography. Those laurels have been awarded to Fairbridge and Noble, but nestle not comfortably on their heads. “Theal’s Catalogue … is of greatest interest for its critical annotations, chiefly from the point of view of an archivist-librarian. The Catalogue … has been reprinted … to meet the continual demand for it, and it remains of great interest to Africana collectors.” “His annotations, which are descriptive and often critical, helped to make his work very useful.” “That the volume may be of use to students and librarians is the sole purpose of its publication.”
Reference source. South Africa's Treasury of Theal. (In preparation.)
This reprint by Struik is one of 500 copies printed. There is browning of the margins and foxing - especially on the endpapers. Binding is tight and text good.
- Binding Condition: Very good.
- Overall Condition: Good
- Size: 22 x 14 cm.