ISBNs, or International Standard Book Numbers, play an integral role in book identification and handling. Publishers, booksellers, software developers, libraries, educational institutions, and all other organizations from the book industry rely on ISBNs in their everyday work. Nowadays ISBNs are used in more than 150 countries worldwide.
We are used to searching by ISBN as the easiest way to find book data. However, ISBN is a relatively new book identification method, widely adopted in the 1970s.
When Johannes Gutenberg produced the first printed book in the fifteenth century, he probably wasn’t too concerned about book identification – his printed books never carried even his name or publishing date. That wasn’t a big deal because the book industry was in its infancy, and few books were published back in the day.