Catalogs

The main catalogs documenting tarot decks are the three volumes of Stuart R. Kaplan's "The Encyclopedia of Tarot", published in 1978, 1986 and 1990 respectively. A fourth volume has been promised for years but has so far (spring 2005) not appeared. I have used Kaplan's "Encyclopedia..." as a basis, supplementing it and completing it with my own catalogs.

Since Manteia in itself constitutes a catalog of mantic tools (i.e. tarot- and cartomancy decks and the like) emerging in the period 1989-97 and thus became a follow up upon "The Encyclopedia of Tarot", there are still gaps. In my collection I have many tarot decks published before 1989, which can not be found in any of the three volumes of "The Encyclopedia of Tarot", and all decks published after Manteia stopped publication were not documented.

Furthermore, cartomantic decks (apart from tarot), had never been documented towards anything near completeness. To fill this gap, "Ouroboros" published from 1985 to 1989 a three volume catalog, named "The Prophetic Cards", detailing all cartomantic packs in Spilkammeretís collection at that time, a total of 470 decks. When Manteia was published, it came to be a follow-up on "The Prophetic Cards 1-3" in the same way, as it was a follow up upon Kaplanís "The Encyclopedia...".

When publication of Manteia ceased, registration of new decks continued in a limited loose leaf edition called "Catalog of Mantic Tools". The catalog was offered to former Manteia subscribers only. The "Mantic Tools" catalog describe all acquisitions to Spilkammeretís collections of tarot and cartomantic packs after 1997 and it is planned to also include all tarot decks published before 1990, which are not listed in Kaplanís "Encyclopedias"...

These three units: "The Prophetic Tools vol. 1-3", "Manteia, issues 1-16" and "Catalog of Mantic Tools" seen as a whole are, along with Kaplanís "The Encyclopedia Vol. I-III", the best bid on a complete list of 20th century tarot and cartomantic decks. There is, however, a problem: all my catalogs and back issues of Manteia sold out long ago. By and by, I hope to make them accessible on these pages as pdf-files.

Another publication from Spilkammeret is a "Bibliography of Books in Spilkammeret" (1993) and later supplements. The most relevant parts of this bibliography can be seen here.


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