Glossary of book history terms
The glossary below aims to help both novices and more advanced researchers of the history of the book and its many variants understand some of the common terms employed in the many different disciplines that contribute to this varied field of study. Additions and updates are welcome.
- two conjugate (connected) leaves, prepared as a surface for writing.
- an undivided sheet of paper printed on one side only.
- a word positioned below the final word on a given page which duplicates the first word on the following page, in order to guide the printer or reader.
- lines visible in laid paper, caused by the wire of the paper mould displacing fibers during the paper making process.
- the process of comparing the book in hand to one or multiple other witnesses in order to reveal differences and establish completeness. Collation can also refer to the bibliographical description of the book, given in a formula which articulates its physical composition (format, signatures, and number of leaves).
internal title page
- letters printed in the lower margin of the page as a guide to binding. These typically appear on at least the initial leaf of a gathering; the preliminary leaves may not be signed at all, or may be signed with a symbol such as an asterisk.
- a single material instance of a given text.