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D. F. McKenzie was the motive force behind this whole seven-volume project, and his was the informing mind in mapping out the shape of volume IV. He had seen and commented upon all but four of the chapters in this volume, in some cases proposing substantial revisions, most of which had been completed before his sudden and unexpected death in March 1999. Had he lived to read through the typescript once every chapter had been put together, he would undoubtedly have proposed further changes, corrections, revisions and improvements. He would also have co-operated in the writing of the Introduction. In all these ways this volume is the poorer: nevertheless, this volume stands, like the other projects he was involved with at his death, either on his own or in co-operation with others, as a testimony to the breadth of his vision as a scholar and to his ability to inspire those he taught and those with whom he worked.
Many of the points made in Lotte Hellinga's and J. B. Trapp's Preface to the preceding volume in this history about the scholarly and archival sources available to the book historian apply to this period. The Short-Title Catalogue (STC) and Wing's Catalogue (Wing) together give a degree of bibliographical control unique to printed books in English or manufactured in Britain.
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