The EDIT16 database describes editions printed between 1501 and 1600 in Italy, in any language, and abroad in the Italian language, including contemporary and later counterfeits. The database currently comprises about 70,000 bibliographic records, many of which include links to digital resources and images of title pages, colophons and other relevant pages.

Despite being defined as a census of editions, EDIT16 describes diverse issues of the same edition through independent records.

EDIT16 not only collects data provided by the participating libraries. The Dept. for the Bibliography, cataloguing and survey of early printed books of the ICCU is responsible for each bibliographic record, through the double-check of all the data available to identify editions, variants, authors, printers, places, devices and any other relevant feature.

Bibliographic description

Though based on the 1984 version of the ISBD(A), at its first stage the Census (Manuale per la compilazione della scheda, 1987) only provided a short description (short title, no indication of the author, etc.). Since 1996 cataloguing habits has been updated to comply with the guidelines of the Guida alla catalogazione in SBN. Libro antico, and from 2016 with the new Guida alla catalogazione in SBN – Materiale antico; existing descriptions are being gradually amendend to comply with the new guidelines.

SBN guidelines are based on the ISBD consolidated edition (2011), with two main differences: 1) no conventional punctuation in Title and statement of responsibility area, and in the Edition area; 2) arrangement of data presentation in the Publication area, where the two half-areas are not meant to record distinct statements for publishers and printers, but are instead related to the actual source of information on the resource: the first half-area registers data appearing on the title page, whereas the second half-area registers data appearing on the colophon (always enclosed in round brackets, even in the absence of data on the title page).

EDIT16 do not follow the multilevel cataloguing described in the SBN Guidelines.

EDIT16 is a relational database. Bibliographic records are linked to authority files for Authors, Printers/PublishersPlaces and Devices . Users can browse seamlessly from one to the others.

The database also includes specific repositories for References, Dedications and Libraries.

Each section can be explored through simple or advanced searches.