Discover the rarity of your collection.
Partner with us
How to Join
Joining Preserving the World's Rarest Books allows you to discover your library's rarest holdings. We examine your catalogue by comparing it with the data of the Universal Short Title Catalogue (USTC). We then provide you with a list of your items in order of rarity. We provide this service free of charge, as we are funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In return we add your library's copies to the USTC, ensuring the world's scholarly community is aware of your collection. Complete the form below and discover how many of your books are the world's last surviving copy.
Step 1: Complete the interest form
Please complete the interest form at the bottom of this page. There are no commitments at this stage. You are simply showing interest, so we can send your further details.
Step 2: Formal Agreement
We will send you an agreement form outlining all the details of the project. Once it is signed and returned, you are officially a partner of the project.
Step 3: Timeline Estimate
We can only accommodate a limited number of libraries per year. Each year we have a new group of libraries.
Step 4: Send us your catalogue
In order for us to compare your holdings with the USTC, we require an electronic copy of your catalogue.
Step 5: Analysing your collection
Our team in St Andrews will systematically analyse your collection matching your books to USTC editions and determining how many copies have survived to the present day.
Step 6: Results Returned
After analysing your collection, we will provide you with a list of your holdings in order or rarity. You are free to use this information as you please, such as preserving your items for digitisation, curating an exhibit of your collections unique holdings, or highlighting the importance of your collection on future grant applications.