A49

Finotti, Joseph Maria. Bibliographia catholica americana: A List of Works Written by Catholic Authors and Published in the United States. Part I. from 1784 to 1820 Inclusive. New York, The Catholic Publication House, 1872. 318p. LC 1-657. Reprinted: New York, B. Franklin, 1971. LC 74-149232. ISBN 0-8337-1128-8. (No more parts published) (Includes a catalogue of Mathew Carey's works, p. 268-291, 296-299.)
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The first attempt at American Catholic bibliography and a well done, if not complete, one. The list is especially weak in foreign language works printed in the U.S. Finotti himself admitted (preface) to omitting most German titles, and a separate list of French additions was compiled in 1952 (A46). Arranged in alphabetical order by author. Complete bibliographical information is given along with much historical and biographical information. The list is based primarily on Finotti's personal library. Originally he intended to cover the years 1784 to 1875. Sales of the first volume were so poor, however, that he abandoned the project. At his death in 1879 his library was sold. 1,492 items were listed in the catalog. (Catalogue of the Library of the Late Rev. Joseph M Finotti… To be sold at auction… [New York, C. C. Shelley, 1879], iv, 142p. LC 13-5161).

Wilfrid Parsons, whose Early Catholic Americana (A51) supersedes this work, said of it:
Those who have read this book will appreciate both the delightfully whimsical style and the genuinely bibliographical passion which made it something unique in its field… It was a gallant attempt to do, at great odds, the same work for early Catholic Americana that Joseph Sabin was doing at the same time for general Americana. (Early Catholic Americana [New York, Macmillan, 1939], p. v)

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