British Book Illustration project image types

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This article enumerates the variety of image types which qualify for inclusion in the British Book Illustration (BBI) project.

The following list is based on Early English Books Online's (EEBO) Illustration types and the Thesaurus of Image Types used for the British Book Illustrations 1604-40 listing on the British Printed Images to 1700 website.

As a general principle, we define "illustrations" as images that have representational pictorial content (are "of" something) and excluding images that are purely decorative or of an info-graphic nature.

n.b. Access to EEBO restricted by licensing agreements. For more information on EEBO, see the History of Early English Books Online. EEBO can be accessed on site at the Folger Shakespeare Library. For a full list of these types of resources, please visit our List of digital resources at the Folger.

Type In scope? Definition and comments
Chart No Information displayed in a graphic or tabular form. example 1, example 2.
Coat of arms No A symbolic emblem of heraldic bearings; usually consists of a crest and motto.
Decorative initial No
Device No
Form No Material that has blank spaces to be filled in by hand. Often pertaining to legal or church issues.
Genealogical table Sometimes A graphic depiction of the line of descent of a family. Yes if there is another in-scope illustration within; no if there is only the genealogical table. See examples below.
Illustration Yes Any pictorial representation not specifically excluded in other descriptions
Map Yes A representation, normally to scale and on a flat medium, of a selection of material or abstract features on, or in relation to, the earth's surface or the surface of any other celestial body.
Music No Musical notations (staff, clefs, notes, etc.)
Plan Yes An image showing relative positions on a horizontal plane (e.g. relative positions of parts of a building; a landscape design; a graphic representation of a military maneuver, etc.)
Printer's mark/device No Decorative device or insignia identifying the printer or publisher. (example 1, example 2)
Portrait Yes A picture of a person or group of persons.
Symbols No Scientific and mathematical formulae, astrological symbols. (example 1)
Title pages Sometimes No, if has decorative features only, yes if has illustrative content, e.g. figures, motifs, or objects, usually relating to the subject of the book (example).
Type ornament No Refers broadly to printers' flowers, borders, rules, etc.

n.b.Genealogical tables that contain only text, or text and decoration, are excluded. If they include image types that are within scope (e.g. portraits, maps, illustrations) then they are included by virtue of those other images being on the list:

These genealogical tables would be included:


These would be excluded, since they are only "genealogical tables" and not also portraits, Adam and Eve, Tower of Babel, etc.: