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What do bookdealers really mean by the terms they use? This page grew out of a request from a customer about book terms, a bookman's glossary so to speak. Now I could have just pointed them to the IOBA Book Terminology but I though it would be nice [and make our site more attractive] if we had a page of our own.

Being the somewhat efficient person [read lazy person here], I look around for something I could use for the most part with just some tweaks here and there. At the same time, I didn't want to just copy some other page on the net. First of all, it wouldn't be right, but secondly, I figured I might want to add more than what was there. So what I did was to go to the the way back machine and internet archive to see if I could find something to start with.

I did, it was The international directory of second-hand booksellers ..., printed in 1894 which includes a glossary of terms. It doesn't have all the terms I would like, so I will be adding to the list below as I get particular questions [so if you have a question, contact us and we'll not only try to answer it, we'll add that to the page]. BTW: That being efficient I was talking about. Let me done told you - OCR text can need a lot of correction and boy this one did. I know I missed some mistakes so, if you see some, please write us.

A couple of other things before we get to the glossary itself. Some of the words are not used much anymore but were left in anyway because you may see them around, e.g. Franco meaning post free. Some spelling may be archaic. This has been changed in some places but not everywhere.


  • ABA. See both American Booksellers Association (US) and Antiquarian Booksellers Association (UK)

  • ABPC. American Book-prices Current.

  • A.D. Autograph document.

  • A.D.s. Autograph document, signed.

  • AEG. All Edges Gilt.

  • AL. Autographed Letter.

  • ALs or ALS. Autographed Letter Signed.

  • DJ, DW. Dust Jacket, Dust Wrapper.

  • Ex-lib. Ex-library.

  • Fr. French.

  • Ger. German.

  • Gr. Greek.

  • Lat. Latin.

  • N.B. Nota bene. Mark well.

  • N.Y., NY. For dates, No Year (also ny); for city New York, New York (USA); for state, New York (USA).

  • MS. Manuscript, pl. MSS.


  • Advance Review Copy (ARC). A special pre-publication copy mainly sent to reviewers and others prior to publication date. Typically a softcover Trade book, there may be some differences in the text between the ARC and final publication copy. Also see Proof.

  • Ad libitum. At pleasure.

  • Adage. A wise observation handed down from antiquity.

  • Addendum: pi. addenda. Sometliing added; an appendix.

  • Adressbucln (Ger. ) A Directory.

  • Adversaria (Lat.) Books in which all matters are temporarily entered as they occur; a miscellaneous collection of notes, remarks, or selections; a common- place book.

  • Advertisement, often written advt. or ad. The act of informing, noti- fying, or making known; a paid notice in a Newspaper or other publication.

  • Aldine. The name given to editions (chiefly classics) which proceeded from the press of Aldus Manutius, of Venice, 1494-1597, and known by the sign of the anchor and dolphin. The type used in these editions is Roman in character, with the heavier lines much thickened. The term has been applied in recent years to certain elegant editions of English works.

  • Alma mater (Lat.) A benign mother, often applied by graduates to the college or university at which they graduated.

  • Æsthetics. A word invented by Baumgarten to denote the theory or philosophy of taste; the science of the beautiful in nature and art.

  • Americana. Books relating to America, historical, antiquarian, topo- graphical, &c.

  • American Booksellers Association (ABA in the US). The American Booksellers Association was founded on November 15, 1900, to represent the interests of the retail booksellers of America. ABA held its first convention in 1901 and in the 100-plus years hence has continued to provide its members with education, research, information, and advocacy. From the first edition of the Book Buyer’s Handbook to the birth of IndieBound in 2008, the ABA has always existed to serve its diverse, knowledgeable, and passionate membership.

  • Ana. A sufiix to names of persons or places, used to denote a collection of anecdotes, memorable sayings, literary trifles, items of gossip, notes and scraps of information, &c. Thus "Byroniana "signifies books concerning Lord Byron.

  • Anachronism. A chronological error.

  • Anglice. In English.

  • Anonymous, or Anon. Wanting a name; without the real name of the author: as, an anonymous pamphlet.

  • Ante (Lat.) Before.

  • Antiquarian bookseller; Antiquar (Ger.) A dealer in old and rare books.

  • Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA in the UK). Founded in 1906 and the oldest organisation of its kind in the world, the ABA is the senior trade body in the British Isles for dealers in antiquarian and rare books, manuscripts and allied materials. Its membership also extends to many leading booksellers overseas.

    The Great Britian representative of International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, which see.

  • Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA). The mission of the ABAA is to promote ethical standards and professionalism in the antiquarian book trade, to encourage the collecting and preservation of rare and antiquarian books and related materials,to support educational programs and research into the study of rare books, and to facilitate collegial relations between booksellers, librarians, scholars, and collectors.

    The United States representative of International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, which see.

  • Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Canada (ABAC). The ABA was founded in 1966 with the aim of fostering interest in rare books and manuscripts and maintaining high standards in the antiquarian book trade. To further these objectives the ABAC sponsors antiquarian book fairs and endeavours to stimulate interest in book collecting by private collectors and public institutions.

    The Canadian representative of International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, which see.

  • Antiquariat, Antiquarium (Ger.) Antiquarian bookshop; a stock of old books.

  • Antiquary. One who studies or enquires into the history of ancient things, as statues, coins, medals, paintings, inscriptions, books, and manuscripts; one who makes the manners and customs of past times a special subject of inquiry.

  • Antithesis, pi. antitheses. An opposition of words or sentiments occurring in the same sentence; contrast; as, "When our vices leave its, we flatter oiu'selves we Uave them.

  • Aphorism. A short, pithy sentence; a precept or principle expressed in a few words.

  • Apologue. A story, tale, or fable founded on supposed actions of brutes or inanimate things, ^iisop's fables are good examples of apologues.

  • Appendix, pi. Eng. , Appendixes; Lat., Appendices. Something appended or added; any literary matter added to a book, but not necessarily essential to its completeness, and thus distinguished from supplement, which is intended to supply deficiencies and correct inaccuracies.

  • Apothegm, Apophthegm. A concise, epigrammatic saying; a terse remark conveying some important truth.

  • Aquatint, aquatinta, A method of engraving by the use of aquafortis, by which an effect is produced resembling a drawing in water-colours or Indian ink.

  • Archaism. An ancient and obsolete word, expression, or idiom; antiquity of style or use.

  • Archetype. The original pattern or model of work; the first or original copy of a book ov engraving.

  • Archive, pi. archives. The place in which public records are kept; public records and papers which are preserved as evidence of facts, e.g. registers, wills, chronicles, &c.

  • Association copy. A copy of a book related to the author/illustrator/editor/the book itself/... in a non-trivial way such as signed and inscribed by the author for a personal friend of colleague of the author.

  • Autograph. A person's own handwriting; an original manuscript or signature. Autographs of eminent writers form a branch of literary trade.

  • Authors edition. Book authorized by author, usually foreign editions, around the turn of the last century when many titles were pirated or "unauthorized".

  • Avis (Fr. ) Notice to the reader (of a book); introduction; preface.

  • Axiom. A proposition the truth of which is so evident at first sight, that it cannot be made plainer by reasoning or demonstration, as "The whole is greater than a part."

  • Back endpaper: Also off endpaper. An endpaper at the back of the book. It may refere to either an attached (pastedown or board paper) or unattached (fly leaf, fly sheet, free fly leaf, or waste sheet) See endpapers

  • Bampton Lectures. Founded by the Rev. John Bampton, Canon of Salisbury, 16S9-1751. He gave his lands and estates to the University of Oxford for the endowment of eight divinity lectures to be delivered at Great St. Mary's, and afterwards printed.

  • Bannatyne Club. A literary club which takes its name from George Bannatyne, the compiler of the celebrated MS., Corpus Poeticum Scotorum, preserved in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. The club was instituted by Sir Walter Scott in 1823, for the publication of rare works illustrative of Scotch history, poetry, and general literature; it was dissolved in 1859.

  • Bas-bleu (Fr. ) Blue Stocking; a literary lady.

  • Baskervllle types. An elegant series of types cast about the middle of the 18th century, by .John Baskerville, of Birmingham, letter-founder and printer (b. 1706, d. 1775) whose books have commanded universal admiration. The typography of Baskerville is eminently beautiful. His letters are in general of a slender and delicate form, uniting the elegance of Plantin with the clearness of the Elzevirs; his italic letter, in particular, being unrivalled for elegance, freedom, and perfect symmetry. In particular, the Baskervllle Bible is recognized as one of the great Bibles along with the Doves Press Bible and the Bruce Rogers Oxford Lectern Bible.

  • Bevelled boards (in bookbinding). The edges of the boards of the cover are slanted or pared down to give the book a more artistic finish.

  • Bible. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, the "Book of Books"

    • Bishops' Bible. The revised edition of Archbishop Parker's version. Pub. 1568.

    • Breeches Bible. So called because Gen. iii., 7, was rendered "The eyes of them bothe were opened .... and they sewed figge-tree leaves together, and made themselves breeches." Pub. 1579.

    • Cranmer's Bible. So called because Archbishop Cranmer wrote the preface. This was Tindal's Bible revised by Miles Coverdale, 1540.

    • Geneva Bible. The English version in use prior to the present one. So called because it was originally printed at Geneva in 1560.

    • King James's Bible. The present version; so called because it was issued by command of James I., 1611.

    • Vinegar Bible. So called because the heading to Luke xx. is given as "The parable of the Vinegar" (instead of Vineyard). Printed at the Clarendon Press, 1717.

    • Wicked Bible. So called because the word uot is omitted in the seventh commandment, making it, "Thou shalt commit adultery." Printed by Barker & Lucas, 1632.

  • Bible Pauperum. The poor man's Bible. A block-book, containing pictures of Bible subjects, used in the Middle Ages when few could read, to teach the leading events of Scripture history.

  • Bibliographer. One who is versed in literary history, having a knowledge of books, their authors, subjects, editions, &c.

  • Bibliography. A history or description of books and manuscripts, with notices of different editions, times when printed, values, and other information tending to illustrate the history of any branch of literature.

  • Bibliolatry. Worship or liomage paid to books.

  • Bibliomania. Book madness; a rage for possessing (not necessarily for reading) rare and curious books.

  • Bibllopegy. The art of binding books.

  • Bibliophile. A lover of books : a book-fancier.

  • Bibliophobia. Dread of, or aversion to, books.

  • Bibliopole, Bibliopolist. A bookseller.

  • Bibliotaph. One who buries books by keeping them under lock and key.

  • Bibliothecaire (Fr.) Bibliothekar (Ger.) A librarian.

  • Bibliotheque (Fr.) Bibliothek (Ger.) Bibliothec. A library.

  • Black Book. A book exposing abuses in Church and State.

  • Black letter. The gothic or German text in which the first English books were printed.

  • Blind-tooled (in bookbinding). When the tools are impressed upon the leather without being gilt, they are said to be blind oi- blank.

  • Block-work. A book printed from engraved blocks of wood, on one side of the leaf only, as the "Biblia Pauperum," which see. Used in the Middle Ages before the invention of printing from movable types.

  • Blue Book. Parliamentary reports. Each volume is in folio and covered with a blue wrapper.

  • Blue Stocking (Fr. Bias bleu). A female pedant. Applied to ladies who frequented Mrs. Montague's evening assemblies, about 1750. Many of those who attended eschewed "full dress," and wore grey or blue worsted instead of the fashionable black silk stockings.

  • Boards (in bookbinding). The pieces of millboard or strawboard used for the covers of books. Oak boards were used by the early bookbinders.

  • Bon mot (Fr.) A good or witty saying; a pun; a clever repartee.

  • Bookbinding, vStyles of, Boards. — A book rather loosely done up, without cutting the edges, and covered with paper or cloth, is said to be;)! hoards. Cloth. — This is the style of binding in which the majority of works are now issued. It admits of great neatness and even beauty, is cheap, and when well executed is very durable. Books in cloth are seldom cut at the edges, unless they are otherwise highly finished. Half-Binding. — Books forwarded in boards, and finished with leather backs and corners, are said to be half-bound. Leather- Binding. — A book is only said to be bound or full-bound when both its backs and sides are wholly covered with leather.

  • Booklet. A tiny book with few pages.

  • Book-plate. A label, usually pasted inside the front cover of a book, bearing the name or crest of the owner, or other device indicating ownership. The label is usually printed from an engraved copper-plate.

  • Bookseller. A vender of books.

  • Bosses. Knobs of metal (usually brasses) formerly attached to the sides of books to preserve them against injury.

  • Bouquiniste (Fr.) A dealer in second-hand books.

  • Bowdlerise. To expurgate; to remove offensive or questionable words from literary work. The word is derived from Dr. Thomas Bowdler, who published in 1818 an expurgated edition of Shakespeare "for family use."

  • Bowed. A condition of the covers or boards of a hard cover book. Bowed covers may turn inward toward the leaves or outward away from the leaves.

  • Bridgewater Treatises. Instituted in 1825, by the Rev. Francis Henry Egerton, (1756-1829) eighth earl of Bridgewater who left the interest of £8,000 to be given to the author of the best treatise on "The power, wisdom, and good- ness of God, as manifested in creation." Eight were published by the following gentlemen : — (1) The Rev. Dr. Chalmers, (2) Dr. John Kidd, (3) Rev. Dr. Whewell, (4) Sir Charles Bell, (5) Dr. Peter M. Roget, (6) Rev. Dr. Buckland, (7) Rev. AV. Kirby, (8) Dr. William Prout.

  • Brittle. Liable to fracture when subjected to stress. Said of binding, covers, pages, etc. For example, opening brittle pages flat or even turning the page may cause the page to crumble or completely separate from their binding.

  • Broadside. Printed matter spread over a whole sheet of paper, and not divided into columns. A folio is when the sheet is folded, in which case a page occupies only half the sheet.

  • Buchhandel (Ger.) Book trade.

  • Buchhandler (Ger.) A bookseller or bookhandler.

  • Buch hand lung (Ger.) A book shop.

  • Cacoethes loquendi. An itch for talking.

  • Cacoethes scribendi. An itch for scribbling.

  • Cacography. Incorrect spelling or writing.

  • Camden Society, named in honour of William Camden, the historian, ^yas instituted in 1838, for the publication of early historic and literary remains.

  • Caption (in printing). The heading of the chapter, section, or page.

  • Cartoon. A design drawn on strong paper, to be afterwards calked through, and transforreil to the fresh plaster of a wall, to be painted in fresco; a design coloured for working in mosaic, tapestry, itc, as the ciuioons of Ratt'aelle at Hampton Court; a bold di-awiug, such as those which are reproduced in " Punch," "Fun," itc, occupying a full page.

  • Catalogue raisonn^ (Fr. ) A catalogue of books arranged according to their subjects.

  • Catchword. The first word of eacli page when printed at the foot of the next preceding page, as was formerly a freijuent practice.

  • Cedilla, (Fr. ) Cedille. A mark placed under the letter c [thus 9] to show that it is to be sounded lite s; as in facade.

  • Chalcography. The art of engraving on copper or brass.

  • Chap-book. A small book or pamphlet formerly carried about for sale by hawkers or chapmen.

  • China paper (Fr. ) papier de Chine. Paper made from rice straw, used in printing high-class engravings for bookwork. Often erroneously called "India" paper.

  • Chipped. Small piece(s) missing from the edge(s). For example a small piece missing from the edge of a dust jacket. Also called an open tear.

  • Chromo-lithography. Lithography adapted to the printing of pictures in oil colours.

  • Chromo-xylograph. A coloured wood engraving.

  • Circa (Lat. ) About, towards (of time) : a prefix to a date or price of a publication.

  • Classic. A work of acknowledged excellence and authority; of the first class or rank; chiefly used of the Greek and Latin authors, but also applied to the best modern auliiors and their works.

  • Collation. John Carter’s ABC For Book Collectors describes collation as “the bibliographical description of the physical composition of a book, expressed in a more or less standardized formula." He also states that it can be the act of comparing the book with another. Thus one may find a 'c. & p." on the endpapers meaning collated and perfect.

  • Collectanea. Passages selected from various authors; miscellany; collections.

  • Colophon. An inscription on the last page of a book, used before title- pages were introduced, and in some cases afterward, containing the title, place or year, or botli, of its publication, the printer's name, &c.

  • Col porteur. An itinerant bookseller; a hawker of books, periodicals, &c.

  • Copy. One of an edition. The whole of one impression. These terms are often misunderstood. It is incorrect to speak of a large-paper edition. An edition covers both small, large, and extra-large (if there be any).

  • Copy (in printing), is the manuscript or printed matter which the Com- positor is to set up in type.

  • Copyright. The legal right which an author or designer has in his own original productions, especially the exclusive right of an author to print, publish, and vend his own literary works, for liis own benefit, during a certain period of time. This right may be had in maps, charts, engravings, and musical composi- tions, as well as in books. For the Copyright Regulations see infra.

  • Corner-pieces. — Brasses protecting corners of books.

  • Corrigenda. Corrections necessary to be made in a printed work.

  • Crackling. A term used in describing, the condition of old books to indicate that the paper is still crisp and crackles when shaken.

  • Croquis(Fr.) Sketch.

  • Cryptogrann. A Cipher; a writing in cipher.

  • Cunabula, or incunabula, from Lat. cunæ, cradle. Copies of books printed in the infancy of the art generally confined to those printed before the year 1500.

  • Curioso. A curious person; a virtuoso; a collector of curious things.

  • Currente calamo. With a running or rapid pen. The reed — ca/anms — being one of the writing in.struments of the Romans.

  • Cut. An engraved Ijlock or plate; an illustration.

  • Darkening - When pages are exposed to light or simply age, the color darkens or becomes more intense. Can also be called Yellowing.

  • Deckle Edges/Deckled edge. The rough, untrimmed edges of a sheet of hand-made paper either natural or artificial.

  • Delphin Classics. .\n edition of the Latin classics prepared under Louis XIV. for the use of the Dauphin.

  • Desideratum, pi. Desiderata. A thing desiderated, wanted, or desired, as books out of print, &c.

  • Devices. Printers' emblems, or vignettes serving in the earlier days of the typographical art as trade-marks.

  • Devil, or Printer's Devil. The errand-ljoy, or junior apprentice of a printing office.

  • Dexter. On the right hand. See Sinister.

  • Dilettante. An amateur of the fine arts but not a proficient; a dabbler in literature or the arts.

  • Dog-Eared. Pages have been folded over in the corners.

  • Domesday Book. Two volumes containing a record of the estates and chattels of all the British Dominions over which William the Conqueror reigned (1086). Kept in the Record Office, London, where also may be seen printed copies of the Domesday Book.

  • Douay Bible. [From Douay or Douai, a town in France]. An English translation of the Scriptures sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church.

  • Dutcli paper. A strong, hand-made paper manufactured in Holland, used chiefly for fine books of which limited editions are printed.

  • Eau-forte (Fr. ) Etching. Aquafortis (Lat.) Strong water.

  • Ecce Homo ! Behold the man ! A name given to representations of the suffering Saviour, because Pilate used those words when Christ came forth wearing the crown of thorns and purple robe. (S. .John, xix., 5.)

  • Editio optima. The best edition.

  • Editio princeps. The first, principal, or original edition.

  • Edition: A particular version of a book which is basically the same over all printings. There may be minor differences between different printings of the book. It is only when the text (and/or illustrations, etc.) have changed significantly that the book is then a second (third, ...) edition. Also see First Edition and Printing

  • Edition de luxe (Fr. ) Sumptuous editions of high-class works.

  • Eikon Basilike (Portraiture of the King). A book attributed to Charles I., but claimed by John Gauden, Bishop of Exeter.

  • Electrotype. A metal plate faced with copper cast from a page of type or a woodcut, and which can be used to print from.

  • Elzevir, Elzevir editions. Books published at Amsterdam and Leyden from 1.583 to 1680 by the Elzevir family, and highly prized for their accuracy and elegance.

  • Endpaper(s). The units of two or more leaves placed in the front (front endpapers) and back (off or back endpaper) of a book between its covers and text block. In unusual circumstances ther may be only a single a single leaf. An endpaper at the front of the book is called a front endpaper, while one at the back is called an off endpaper, or back endpaper. The leaf nearest the cover (after the Waste Sheet, if any, is removed) is called the Pastedown, or board paper, and, along with the recto of the leaf facing it, may be colored, marbled, ornamented; printed with maps, illustrations, scenes from the book, the motif of the library, etc.; or left blank. The leaf or leaves that are not pasted to the board are sometimes referred to as fly leaves, fly sheets, free fly leaves, or waste sheets.

  • En passant. By the way.

  • Enchiridion (Gr. ) A manual; a work to be carried in the hand.

  • Ephemera. Transitory written and printed matter generally not thought of as being intended to be retained or preserved. Also see Miscellanea.

  • Ephemeris, pi. Ephemerides. A journal or account of daily transactions; a diary; an astronomical almanack.

  • Epic, Epic Poetry. Narrative poetry, the subjects being outward objects, as distinguished from lyric poetry, which deals with the inner feelings and emotions of the mind; commonly desisigating an heroic poem, in which real or fictitious events, usually the achievements
  • Epigram. A short poem, treating only of one thing, and ending with some lively, ingenious, and natural thought.

  • Epilogue. A speech or short poem following the conclusion of a play.

  • Epitaph. Lines in memory or in honour of the dead, on a tomb or otherwise

  • Errata, sing. Erratum (Lat.) A list of errors or mistakes contained in a book.

  • Erratum, pi. Errata. An error. Thus errata sheets which are (generally) laid in leaves listing corrections.

  • Etching. An engraving in which the lines of the drawing are eaten into a metal plate by strong acid (aquafortis); the impression taken from an etched plate.

  • Ex-library. Formerly belonging to a public library. Typically with asscencion numbers on spine and/or library stamps and/or spine label and/or perforation on the title page and/or taped down DJ, etc.

  • Ex libris (Lat.) "From the library of," used to designate heraldic or other plates pasted on the inside cover of a book to denote ownership. Typically from a private library.

  • Extra illustrate. To "extra illustrate" a book means that the work in question is taken to pieces and extended by the addition of prints, autograph letters, or other matter bearing on the text, perhaps to many volumes. Sometimes a private individual spends the leisure of a lifetime in bringing together prints to illustrate a single work, and books thus extended are in existence worth many thousands of pounds.

  • Facetiae (Lat.) Witty or humorous writings or sayings; amorous literature.

  • Facsimile. An axact copy or likeness of the original.

  • Fading. The intensity of ink printed on the pages can fade, making the book more difficult to read and resulting in a 'washed out' image.

  • Fecit, fee. (Lat.) He or she did it; done by; usually follows the designer's name at the foot of an engraving.

  • Feuilleton (Fr.) A part of a French or other newspaper (usually the bottom of page) devoted to light literature, criticism, literary gossip, etc.

  • First Edition: Unfortunately, there is no cut and dried definition for First Edition. It depends on who you are talking to, say a collector or a librarian. That is, a person who is mainly interested in the very first appearance of the book or someone who is interested in the technical aspects of a book. When the collector says First Edition (note the capital letters) he means a first edition and a first printing [and (sometimes) a first state]. When the librarian says first edition he means any printing of the book before anything other than minor changes were made to the text. That is a first edition, first printing or the first edition, tenth printing which may be slightly different than the first printing. If the printing matters, it would be indicated, ie. first edition, third printing. It is only when the text (and/or illustrations, etc.) have changed significantly that the book is then a second (third, ...) edition. Some people use the term First Edition (or first edition), incorrectly in my opinion, to also mean the initial printing by a particular publisher after the first publisher has published the book. Also see First Thus, First US (British, English, French, ...)

  • First Thus. Generally a first edition but not a First Edition. Typically special in some way such as an introduction by a well know personality to a later printing or first printing by other than the original publisher.

  • First US (British, English, French, ...). The first printing of the book in that country, language, etc.

  • Fly leaf: An endpaper that is not pasted to the board is sometimes referred to as fly leaves, fly sheets, free fly leaves, or waste sheets. See endpapers

  • Fly sheet: An endpaper that is not pasted to the board is sometimes referred to as fly leaves, fly sheets, free fly leaves, or waste sheets. See endpapers

  • Fount (font) of Type. An assortment of one kind of type, embracing all the letteis of the alphabet, finiiies, points, &c.

  • Foxed or Foxing. Said of paper or books discoloured or stained of a reddish, or fox-colour, and also of spotted engravings. A more general description of unspecific marks could be soiled, stained etc. From Ref (2): "Stains, specks, spots and blotches in paper. The cause or causes of foxing, which usually occurs in machine-made paper of the late 18th and the 19th centuries, are not completely understood, but in all likelihood, it is fungoid in nature. ..." Discolorations can also be caused by dendritic growths [Minute to relatively large discolorations in a sheet of paper due to oxidation of minute particles of metal present in the paper.]

  • Franco (It.) Free from postage; post free.

  • Frontispiece. A frontispiece is an illustration/image facing a book's title page.

    Frontispiece & Title Page of Matthias Klostermayr.

  • Free fly leaf: An endpaper that is not pasted to the board is sometimes referred to as fly leaves, fly sheets, free fly leaves, or waste sheets. See endpapers

  • Front endpaper: An endpaper at the front of the book. It may refere to either an attached (pastedown or board paper) or unattached (fly leaf, fly sheet, free fly leaf, or waste sheet) See endpapers

  • Galley-proof. A printer's proof in one long column, before it is arranged in pages.

  • Gaufre edges Bookbinding). Gilt edges goffered, fluted, or honeycombed.

  • Genre [painting]. Representation of every-day life. French t/mre, man, his customs, habits, and ways of life.

  • Georgic. A rural poem; a poetical composition on the subject of husbandry, land cultivation, etc., as the dcurgivs of Virgil.

  • Glyptography. The art of engraving gems.

  • Gordian knot. An inextricable difficulty. The leather harness of Cortlius, King of Phrygia, was tied into a knot so intricate, that an ovade said whosoever untied it should become master of the world. Alexander cut the knot with his sword.

  • Grangerite One who mutilates books by cutting out the frontispieces, plates, and title-pages, for the purpose of enriching his scrap-album, or to "extra illustrate" another book. This term owes its origin to the idea of the Rev. Joseph Granger, who so enlarged a certain History of England, by adding portraits and autographs of every single person mentioned, that from its previous moderate size and value it swelled to the prodigicjus size of seventeen volumes, which, at his death, was priced at many hundred pounds.

  • Gregorian calendar. The calendar as revised by Pope Gregory XIII. in 15S2, including the method of adjusting the leap-years so as to harmonise the civil year with the solar.

  • Grolier. A style of bookbinding initiated by Jean Grolier, a celebrated French bibliophile of the lOth century. It consists of a brown calf binding, both sides of which are ornamented with designs coraposed of links and floral arabesques.

  • Gutter/Narrow Gutter. The inner margin of a leaf near the spine of a book. A narrow gutter makes it difficult or impossible to scan a book.

  • Half-title, or Bastard-title. A short title preceding the general title or title-page of a work.

  • Head-piece. Ornamental designs printed at the head of chapters or divisions.

  • Heims-Kringia (The). A prose legend of historic foundation found in the Snorra Edda.

  • Heliogravure (Fr. ) An engraving produced by Goupil's French process, the object being photographed on copper and etched.

  • Helluo librorum (Lat.) A devourer of books; a book-worm.

  • Heraldica. Relating to Heraldry or armorial bearings.

  • Hibernica. Bibliotheca Hibernica. Books relating to Ireland.

  • Highlighting. The use of transparent and brightly colored markers to draw attention to particular text.

  • Hinge. The joint of the binding of a book - the part that bends when the book is opened.

  • Holograph Letter A letter entirely in the handwriting of its author. used in contradistinction to an autograph letter, which may be only signed by the author.

  • Hulsean Lectures. Instituted by the Rev. John Hulse, (b. 1708, d. 1790) of Cheshire, in 1777. A series of sermons preached at Cambridge every year by a clergyman designated the Hulsean Lecturer.

  • Ibidem. — In the same place.

  • Id est (i.e.) That is, that is to say.

  • Idem. The same.

  • Idyll. A pastoral poem .

  • Illumination. Initial letters highly ornamented, often in gold and colours, as used in old raamiscripts and early-printed books.

  • Imprimatur. Let it be printed. The term is used to signify the per- mission to print a book given by the censor in countries where the press is muler rigid imperial or papal supervision.

  • Imprimis. In the first place, chiefly, especially.

  • Imprint. The name of the printer or publisher, with the time and place of publication, as on a title-page or at the end of a book.

  • Impromptu. Without study.

  • Incunabula See Cunabula.

  • In extenso. At full length.

  • Index. Eng. jjI. : Indexes; Lat. : Indices. A table of references to the contents of a book or manuscript, usually placed at the end of the work.

  • Index Expurgatorius. A list of books prohibited by the Church of Rome.

  • Infra (Lat.) Below, beneath. Octavo et infra : 8vo. and smaller.

  • IpsJsslma verba. The very words.

  • Item. Also.

  • International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). Founded in 1947, ILAB is a Federation of 22 (at the present time) National Associations Representing the Expertise of Rare Book Dealers Worldwide. The League publishes and upholds a code of ethics based on the wide experience of all its national associations which is binding on all ILAB booksellers.

    An international congress is held every two years in a different country at the invitation of the national association, together with an International Antiquarian Book Fair. Many of the individual member associations hold their own fairs and book shows and have, in fact, been established longer than ILAB itself.

    The ILAB Prize for Bibliography is awarded every fourth year to the author(s) of the most original and outstanding published work in the broad field of bibliography worldwide.

  • Jeremiad. A dolefitl, long-winded story; so called from the "Book of Lamentations," by Jeremiah.

  • Judaica. Relating to Judaism or the Hebrews. Bibliotheca Judaica. Books relating to Jews or Judaism.

  • Julian [&230;ra, year]. So named from Julius Caesar. Julian aera, began 46 years before the Christian æra. Julian year, 365¼ days, corrected by Gregory XIII., 1582.

  • Kelmscott Press. (Wm. Morris) 26, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, w.

  • lacogumption (laco gumption): A condition which exists when your get up and go has got up and went. Generally a non-fatal condition but it can get in the way of accomplishing anything other than sitting around reading, playing games, sitting somewhere where you can watch the women and/or men as your fancy takes you, and other activities which generally lead to no real productive results.

  • Laconism. A short, pithy, sententious saying, after the manner of the Lacedemonians.

  • Lampoon. Literally a drinking song; a personal satire in writing; abuse.

  • Lapsus linguae. A slip of the tongue.

  • Lapsus pennae. A slip of the pen.

  • Large paper copies. Books printed on a larger-sized page than the ordinary copies. These copies have wider margins than the ordinary ones, and are termed "large paper."

  • Latin Cross, thus

  • (Limited) Lettered edition. A limited printing (Limited Edition) which has been limited to a number of copies identified by letters, i.e. generally a statement something like

        Limited to 26 lettered copies. Copy A

    Typically the number is 26 or less. If the copy letter is blank or is a P/C (Publishers Copy) then the copy is likely one of the extras printed (an overrun) in case of spoilage and sometimes refered to as "out of series".
    Also see Limited Edition, (Limited) Numbered edition, Out of series, Overrun.

  • Lex scripta. The written law — i.e. the statute law.

  • Liber Albus. A book containing the laws and customs of the City of London.

  • Libraire (Fr.) A bookseller.

  • Limited Edition. A printing which has been limited to a number of copies considered much smaller than a usual print run although the number can be in the 10's of thousands. Note that strictly speaking all editions are limited. That is, there are only a finite number of copies which can be printed with resources available to us. A Limited edition will typically have a statement in the book to the effect of

        Limited to 3000 copies.

    Generally more than that number are printed (there is an overrun) in case of spoilage.

    Also see (Limited) Lettered edition, (Limited) Numbered edition, Overrun, Out of Series.

  • (Limited) Numbered edition. A limited printing (Limited Edition) which has been limited to a number of copies identified by numbers, i.e. generally a statement something like

        Limited to 360 lettered copies. Copy 297

    is printed in the book, possibly on the title page but more likely on a separate page with possibly a signature of the author(s), illustrator(s), etc. Typically the number is not more than a thousand or so but can be higher. If the copy number is blank or is a P/C (Publishers Copy) then the copy is likely one of the extras printed (an overrun) in case of spoilage and sometimes refered to as "out of series".
    Also see Limited Edition, (Limited) Lettered edition, Overrun, Out of Series.

  • Line engraving. A style of copper and steel plate engraving, in which the effect is produced entirely by combinations of lines.

  • Litera scripta manet. The written letter remains; i.e. what is written remains as absolute evidence.

  • Literati. Men who profess literature.

  • Litterateur. A person of literary tastes or culture, one of the literati, a learned or literary man, a man of letters.

  • Livres d'occasion (Fr. ) Books that are seldom called for and are offered at a reduced price; second-hand books.

  • Locus classicus. A classical passage.

  • Lyric. Fitted to be sitng to the lyre; a poem which expresses the emotions of the poet.

  • Magnum opus. A great work; the chief work of a distinguished writer, composer, painter, &c.

  • Mahabharata. One of the two great epic poems of India.

  • Maltese Cross, thus

  • Manuscript (MS.), pl. Manuscripts (MSS.) Any written work, not printed. Literally, written by hand.

  • Marginalia. Notes, drawings, or doodles written in the margins of a page around the text.

  • Mediaeval. Pertaining to the middle ages, from the 8th to the 15th century

  • Memorabilia. Things remarkable and worthy of remembrance or record.

  • Mezzotint, mezzotinto (It.) A particular manner of engraving on copper in imitation of painting in India ink. The drawing is made on a roughened surface, and the roughness then removed by scraping, burnishing, &c., so as to produce the requisite light and shade.

  • Millennium. A thousand years; the period of time referred to in Revela- tions, ch XX., when holiness will reign triumphant throughout the world.

  • Miniatures. Small coloured drawings with which manuscripts are often adorned. They are principally the productions of the Monks of the middle ages, and valuable in proportion to their artistic beauty and good state of preservation.

  • Miriabilia. Wonderful things.

  • Misbound. Pages or signatures sewn together in an improper order.

  • Miscellanea (Lat. ) Miscellanies, jottings, newspaper clippings, &c. Also see Ephemera.

  • Missal. The Roman Catholic Mass book.

  • Multum In parvo. Much in little.

  • Nachfolger ((:!er.) Successor.

  • Naiads (Gr. ) The nymphs of fresh-water lakes, rivers, and fountains (Greek mythology).

  • Ne plus ultra. No more beyond : i.e. perfection.

  • Nemesis. Retribution; the righteous anger of God. A female (ireck deity, whose mother was Night.

  • New Style. The reformed or Gregorian Calendar, adopted in England in September, 1752.

  • Nibelungen Lied. The Nibelung song, a celebrated old German epic.

  • Noblesse oblige (Fr. ) Noble birth imposes the obligation of high- minded principles and noble actions.

  • Nom-de-plume. Pen-name, an assumed or literary title; pseudonym, which see.

  • Nota bene. N.B. Mark well. '

  • Oak boards. The original form in which books were bound. The boards were covered with leather, usually pig-skin, often elaborately blind-tooled, and protected with bosses, corner-pieces, and clasps. Millboards were originally so called in contradistinction to the older form here referred to.

  • Obiter dictum. A thing said by the way; plural, obiter dicta.

  • Occult literature. Appertaining to those imaginary sciences of the middle ages which related to the supposed action or influence of occult iiualities, or supernatural powers, as alchemy, magic, necromancy, astrology.

  • Ode. A short, dignified poem or song, proper to be set to music.

  • Odium Theologicum. The bitter hatred of rival religionists.

  • Œuvres (Fr.) Works (of an Author).

  • Off endpaper: Also a back endpaper. An endpaper at the back of the book. It may refere to either an attached (pastedown or board paper) or unattached (fly leaf, fly sheet, free fly leaf, or waste sheet) See endpapers

  • Old English. Black letter (German text), as IjUiUiatn ffia«-ton.

  • Oleograph. A picture printed in oil colours.

  • Onomatology (Gr. ) Science of proper names.

  • Opera. Works. Opera omnia : Whole works. Opera carmina : Poetical works.

  • Opuscule A small work; essay.

  • ooze leather ( ooze calf )  Originally, a leather produced from calfskin by forcing OOZE through the skin by mechanical means, producing a soft, finely grained finish like velvet or suede on the flesh side. The term is also used incorrectly with reference to sheepskin. Today, ooze leather is a vegetable- or chrome-tanned skin of bovine origin. generally calfskin, with a very soft, glovelike feel and a natural grain, which is sometimes accentuated by Boarding

  • Out of Print  A book is said to be out of print when the publisher has no more copies on hand.

  • Out of series  Refers to a book without the letter (in the case of a Limited Lettered editon) or number (in the case of a Limited Numbered editoin) in a 'normal' place for such. That is the book may have a statement like

        Limited to 350 numbered and 26 lettered copies. Copy ___


        Limited to 350 numbered and 26 lettered copies. Copy P/C

    In such cases, the book is part of the overrun of the extras printed in case of spoilage. If the latter statement is printed in the book it is also know as Publishers Copy. Also see Limited edition, (Limited) Lettered edition, (Limited) Numbered edition, Overrun.

  • Overrun  Additional copies printed in case of spoilage. A Limited Edition will typically have a statement like

        Limited 3000 copies.

    or the equivalent for a Lettered and/or Numbered edition. Typically more than the stated number are printed in case of spoilage.
    Also see Limited edition, (Limited) Lettered edition, (Limited) Numbered edition, Out of Series.

  • Pagination The act of paging a book; the figures or other signs used to indicate the number of pages. Also see Collation

  • Palaeography(Gr.) The science or art of deciphering ancient writings; the study of inscriptions.

  • Palimpsest. From a Greek word meaning scraped or rubbed a second time. There are ancient parchments or manuscripts from which the original writing has been either wholly or partially effaced or rubbed out, and have then been written on again. When new parchments were not readily obtainable, the monks and other scribes were accustomed to wash or rub out the writing on a parchment, in order to use it a second time. Thus many ancient works have been lost, but as the original writing was not always washed out, it has been found possible in some cases to recover the originals by washing out the more recent writing.

  • Pamphlet. A small book consisting of a sheet, or a few sheets stitched together, but not bound.

  • Pasquinade (Fr. ) A lampoon or satirical writing.

  • Passim. Spread or scattered about; here and there; hither and thither.

  • Pastoral (Lat.) A poem descriptive of country life, shepherds, and their occupation

  • Pater noster. Our Father. The first words of the Lord's Prayer.

  • Pegasus. In Greek mythology, the winged horse of the Muses.

  • Philately. Knowledge of postage stamps for collecting purposes.

  • Philippic. An invective; a severe scolding; so called from the orations of Demosthenes against Philip of Macedon.

  • Photogravure (Fr.) An engraving on stone produced by photographic process; an impression of the same.

  • Pinxit, pxt. He or she painted it; put on pictures after the artist's name.

  • Plantin. A celebrated family of printers of this name at Antwerp and Leyden

  • Play-bills. A printed advertisement of a play, with tlie "cast" or parts assigned to the actor.s.

  • Poeta nascitur, non fit. — Horacij. A poet is born not made.

  • Polemics. Contest or controversy, especially upon religious subjects.

  • Pons Asinorum. The bridge of asses (applied to P^uclid i, '->.)

  • Porcus literarum. A literary glutton; one who devours books without regard to quality.

  • Portfolio. A case in the form of a book cover for the preservation of loose papers, prints, music, &c.

  • Post(Lat.) After.

  • Posthumous works. An autlior's writings not published until after his death.

  • Preface. Preliminary remarks of an author or editor; an introduction to a literary work.

  • Press Proof. The last proof read and corrected previous to printing off.

  • Prima facie. On the first view or appearance; at first sight.

  • Principia. First principles. Newton's great book.

  • Printing: Essentially the books printed from turning on the press the first time for the that particular book until the press is first turned off after that.

  • Prologue. The preface or introduction to a discourse or dramatic performance.

  • Proof. 1. A leaf or leaves of a book purposely left untrimmed by the binder as evidence that the book has not been unduly trimmed. Proof assumes that at least one of the sections of the book is shorter than the others. The practice, which is now virtually obsolete, stems from the time when binders, and even very fine binders, had the reputation of cutting down the leaves of a book as much as possible.

    2. An impression made from type before the printing run is begun, The first proof is corrected by the printer's reader or corrector and returned to the compositor. After the printer is satisfied with the type as set, a proof is sent to the author for correction. This proof is usually on a long sheet of normal width, called a galley proof. After the author has made his corrections the type is made up into pages, page numbers and running heads are added, and a final page proof is sent to the author. In modern practice the author often sees only the galleys.

    3. A preliminary impression taken from an engraved plate or block, or a lithographic stone. Usually called a "trial proof."

    4. An impression taken from a finished plate or block before the regular impression is published and usually before the title or other inscription is added. Also called "proof print" or"proof impression."

       Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
       A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

  • Proof (in Printing). A trial impression from types, woodcuts, engraved plates, &c., taken for preliminary reading or examination. Called also proof-sheet. When the first proof has passed through the hands of the proof-reader, and his corrections (if any) have been made, a revised-proof is printed for final reading. The word press or O.K., written on the final proof signifies that the work may be printed off; formerly the word imprimatur was used, which meant print it.

  • Proofs (of Engravings). REMARQUE PROOFS are the earliest and best impressions from the plate, and usually have a device in the margin, such as a head, which constitutes remarque; formerly a part of the engraving was left unfinished, as a button or salt cellar, &c. The remarque having been completed, a second impression is taken, termed ARTIST'S PROOFS, without engraved title, and some times signed in pencil by both artist and engraver. PROOFS BEFORE LETTERS constitute the third impression, still without title, but with artist's and engraver's names printed close to the bottom of the work. LETTERED PROOFS have the title of the work shortly and lightly engraved in a manner capable of erasure before the title is finally placed on the plate in the print state.

  • Prud'homme (Fr. ) A man of good moral intentions but without either genius or originality. One who affects a love of virtue.

  • Pseudonym. Pen-name; a fictitious name assumed by an author.

  • Publisher's binding. The binding (usually cloth) in which the publisher issues a work.

  • Quidnunc. A prying, inquisitive gossip after news. The literal meaning of quid nunc is "What now?"

  • Quod, scripsi, scripsi. What I have written, I have written. Words used by Pilate when he refused to alter the inscription he had written over the crucifieil Saviour.

  • Quod vide. Which see.

  • Quotation marks (" "). Two inverted commas placed at the beginning and two apostrophes at the end of a quoted phrase. When a quotation occurs within a quoted passage, a single comma and apostrophe is used (' ').

  • Recherche (Fr.) Rare, exquisite, extremely nice.

  • Reclame (Fr.) An advertisement; newspaper notice.

  • Recto. The right-hand page of a book, which is always the odd-numbered page. See Verso.

  • Remainders. The last copies of an edition of a book, placed on the market at a reduced price, either to clear out the work or to prepare the way for a new edition.

  • Renaissance (Fr.) Revival. The revival of the arts and letters in the 15th century. The new birth — begun with Dante and ended with Petrarch. Tlie first intellectual awakening after the sleep of the dark ages was in Italy in what is known as the Renaissance or new birth.

  • Replica. A copy of an original picture done by the hand of the same master.

  • Roxburghe binding. A book bound with a leather back, cloth or paper sides, and without corner pieces. The back has no raised bands, but is smooth and simply lettered, with little or no ornament; the edges are uncut, except the top edge, which is iisually gilt.

  • Roxburglie Club for printing rare works or MSS., the copies being rigidly confined to members of the club. Named after John, Duke of Roxburghe, a celebrated collector of ancient literature, who died 1812. Since the establishment of this club others of a similar character have sprung up, as (1) the Camden, Clietham, Percy, Shakespeare, Surtees, and Wharton in England; (2) the Abbotsford, Bannatyne, Maitland, and Spalding, in Scotland; (3) the Celtic Society of Ireland.

  • Rubricated (in books). Having the headings of chapters, capital letters, etc., printed in red ink; to mark or distinguish with red.

  • Sagas. Scandinavian legends and traditions, chiefly compiled in the twelfth and three following centuries.

  • Sal Atticum. Attic salt — i.e. wit.

  • Salmagundi. A collection of light miscellaneous reading; literally, a mixture of chopped meat and pickled herring, with oil, vinegar, pepper, and onions, the invention of Countess Salmagondi, lady of honour to Marie de Medici.

  • Sartor resartus. The tailor patched; the title of Carlyle's well-known work.

  • Satire. A composition, generally poetical, holding up vice or folly to repi'obation; an invective poem, as the Satires of Juvenal.

  • Satis verborum. Enough of words.

  • Savant. A learned man, a man of science, one of the literati.

  • Sciolist. One who has a smattering of many things.

  • Script. The name of a class of type imitating handwriting.

  • Sculpsit, sc. He (or she) engraved it; applied alike to an engraving or a work of sculpture.

  • Semper idem. Always the same.

  • Semper paratus. Always ready.

  • Seq., sequens. That which follows.

  • Seriatim. In a series; in order.

  • Shaken or Loose Pages. An adjective describing a book whose pages are beginning to come loose from the binding.

  • Shaster, or Shastra. The sacred laws or ordinances of the Hindûs.

  • Sic. Thus ! Used when quoting a mis-spelt or mis-used word, to indicate that it is thus in the authority quoted and not a misquotation.

  • Signatures (in printing). The letters or figures placed at the bottom of the first page of each sheet of a book, as a direction to the binder in arranging and folding.

  • Silhouette (Fr.) The outlines of an object filled in M'ith a black colour; a profile. Called after the originator of this style of portrait.

  • Sine qua non. An indispensable condition.

  • Sinister (in Heraldry) On the left hand — opposed to dexter, on the right hand.

  • Solecism. Unfitness, absurdity, impropriety. A word or expression not in accordance with established usage.

  • Sonnet. A poem of fourteen lines — two stanzas of four verses each and two of three each, the rhymes being adjusted l)y a particular rule.

  • Stanza (It.) A part of a poem, containing a number of lines or verses regularly adjusted to each other.

  • Stationers' Hall. The London booksellers' exchange, where the copy- riglits of books are registered.

  • Stereotype. A plate cast from a page or column of movable types. The piiniipal newspapers are printed from stereo, plates, which can be multiplied so as to occupy several printing machines at the same time in the production of a large edition.

  • Stet. Let it stand — i. e. remain as it was. Used in marking printers' proofs.

  • Stipple. A mode of engraving in which the effect is produced by dots instead of lines.

  • Strawberry Hill Press, established by Horace Walpole in 1757, at which most of his own works, and those of several other authors were printed, the impressions being limited to a small number of copies disposed of as presents.

  • Subscription books. Books which are sold or "subscribed "in advance of publication. The edition is usually limited in number (see Lettered, Limited, and Numbered copy), and it is customary to raise the price after publication. In some cases the work is supplied to subscribers only, and the subscribers' names and addresses are often printed at the end of the book. There is also a class of Subscription Books issued in parts or divisions, for which orders are solicited by canvassers or agents, and which are not usually supplied to the general book trade.

  • Sufficit. It is enough.

  • Supra. Above.

  • Tail-piece. An ornament printed at the end of a chapter or division, to fill up a short page.

  • Taille douce (Fr.) Copperplates.

  • Théâtre (Fr.) Dramatic Works.

  • Thesaurus. A treasury or storehouse; often applied to a comprehensive volume, as a dictionary or cyclopædia. This is the more rare meaning of the word in the present time. Thesaurus has come to generally mean a book of synonyms, often including related and contrasting words and antonyms.

  • Tipped In. Lightly attached, by gum, paste, or glue, usually at the inner edge of the leave. It can be either original to the book, i.e. plates referred to as tipped in as distinct to firmly attached such as sewn in or glued down or it can be originally alien to the book as an autograph letter.

  • Tissue. A thin, protective sheet laid over an illustration. Can easily become torn or come unglued/unattached.

  • Tight or Tight Binding - The book does not want to remain open to any given page but will generally tend to close itself if left alone. Typical of new books or those wo have not been read or, at best, read carefully.

  • Title-page. The subject or inscription in the beginning of a book, expressing its character; and usually containing the author's or editor's name, imprint of the publisher, and date.

  • Trilogy. A series of three dramas, which, although each of them is in one sense complete, yet bear a mutual relation, and form but parts of one historical and poetical picture, as Shakespeare's "Henry VI."

  • Triplet. A collection or combination of three of a kind, or three united; three lines terminating with the same rhyme.

  • Ubi supra. Where above mentioned.

  • Ubique. Everywhere.

  • Uncut. A book is said to be uncut when its edges have not been trimmed by the binder; the folds of the leaves may or may not have been cut open for reading, and yet be uncut in the technical sense of the term. Also see Unopened.

  • Uncut.
  • Unpaginated. The pages are not numbered.

  • Vade mecum. "Go with me." A book that a person carries with him as a constant companion; a manual.

  • Valorem; ad valorem. A sliding scale of duty on excisable articles, regulated according to their market value.

  • Variae Lectionis. Various Readings.

  • Variorum. A. variorum edition is one containing notes by various commentators.

  • Variorum notae. The notes of various authors.

  • Verbatim et literatim. Word for word and letter for letter.

  • Verso. The pages of a book on the reverse or left-hand side, in contra- distinction to recto; the even-numbered page.s.

  • Vide. See. Vide ut supra : see the preceding statement.

  • Videlicet — viz. To wit; namely.

  • Virtu (Objects of) Antiquities, curiosities, objects of art, &c., such as are found in Museums or private collections.

  • Vignette. The word "vignette" or "little vine" was originally applied to small copperplate engravings used to embellish title pages, it being a fashion of the French engravers to surround such designs with a running border of vine leaves. The work is still specifically applied to the small engraving on a title page, though the vine-leaf border in such a position has long since been discarded. Generally, it includes any kind of engraving or ornament not enclosed in a definite border. This limitation of meaning is not, however, observed in typography. An ornament is none the less a vignette because it takes the form of a shield or a medallion, or any other figure. The word "vignette" should not be applied to diagrams or illustrative designs or initial ornaments — but to a picture introduced solely for decorative purposes. — A. W. Tuer.

  • Virtuoso. A person skilled in the fine arts, in antiquities, curiosities, and the like.

  • Volapûiik. — The new universal language invented by J. M. Schleyer.

  • Vorwort (Ger. ) Fore-word; preface.

  • Vulgo. Generally; commonly.

  • Waste Sheet: An endpaper that is not pasted to the board is sometimes referred to as fly leaves, fly sheets, free fly leaves, or waste sheets. See endpapers

  • Waterstain. Stain on a book leaves from water or other liquids. May cause discoloration and perhaps actual shrinking.

  • Werke (Ger.) Works; the collective works of an author; Sũmmtliche Werke, everything an author has written; Gesammelte Werke, collected works, which may not include all the writings of an author; Ausgnwahlte Werke, select works; Auswahl, selection; Neue Auſlage, new edition, in the sense of a new 'setting up' (which is the literal translation) of type; Neue Ausgrabe, new edition, or more strictly, issue, a mere re-impression, perhaps; Unveranderte Ausgabe, an exact re-impression, as it would be from stereotype plates.

  • Whatman paper. A first-class quality of hand-made paper used chiefly for drawing purposes; occasionally used for the printing of editions de luxe where the numbers are limited. Derives its names from the original maker.

  • Worming. Small holes resulting from bookworms (the larvae of various beetles.)
  • Wörterbuch. (Ger.) Dictionary; lexicon; word-book.

  • Yule (Norse). Christmas.

  • Zeitung (Ger.) Newspaper.

  • Zend Avesta (Pers.) The scriptures of the ancient Persian religion.

  1. ABC For Book Collectors, Eigth Edition by John Carter with corrections, additions and an introduction by Nicolas Barker, Oak Knoll Press & The British Library, 2004.

  2. Conservation Online: Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books; A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

  3. IOBA Book Terminology
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