In addition to the cataloguing the EHB project also researches the origins and development of book collections. However, primary sources are often missing from the archives. Existing catalogues from bygone centuries can perhaps give at least some insight into the development of the library.
The most important information can be found in the books themselves. This includes; inscriptions indicating ownership, which, in as far as they are systematically recorded, can provide information regarding the bestowal of gifts and purchase, the merger and dissolution of libraries.
In addition to the recording of handwritten inscriptions seals and other indications of ownership are collected in a separate database. Thais information should enable deeper insight into the origins of the historic book collections.