My colleagues, Bruce Washburn and Joe Zeeman, just produced a ranked list of the books in the RLG Union Catalog and shared the top five titles. They are:
1. Dante Alighieri. The divine comedy: The inferno, The purgatorio, and The paradiso. New York: New American Library, 2003.
2. Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. Don Quixote. London: Secker & Warburg, 2004.
3. Wagner, Richard. The twilight of the gods. Opera in English. Colchester, Essex, England: Chandos, n.d.
4. Shakespeare, William. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. A Longman cultural edition. New York: Longman, 2004.
5. Church of England. The Book of Common Prayer with musical notes: the first office book of the Reformation. 2d ed., rev. and corr. [London]: Novello, Ewer and co., n.d.
We’ve already begun to speculate about why these turn up as the top five most widely-held – as Joe says it might be a tribute to the power of the Uniform Title concept. Perhaps you’d like to speculate.
Here’s a new year greeting from all of us at RLG.
P.S. In case you want to compare this list with the top five in that other big union catalog – OCLC Top 1000