a poem or other piece of writing where the first letters of each line form a word, phrase or sentence.
the strokes of the letters b, d, f, h, k and l that project above the x- height. See: Font Ligature Fount Sort Glyph Descenders Type Type Specimen Type-Founder Point Typeface Face x-height
the bound or folded edge of a book or other work made out of folded sheets. See: Binding Edge Back Margins
those margins nearest the back or binding edge. See: Gutter Margin Binding Edge Back
the bound edge of a book. See: Back Back Margins
a catch-all term for Old English, Gothic or Fraktur letter forms.
a sheet of unfolded paper printed on one side. See: Ephemera
a word printed in the lower right of the last page of a section. It is the first word of the next section and is used to assemble the sections in the correct order. Frequently, catchwords will appear on each page, as a means of ensuring, in the proofing stage, that all type pages have been imposed in the correct orientation in the forme. The line on the page in which the catchword appears is called the direction line. See: Collate
the two pages in the middle of a gathering where the verso and recto form a single conjugate leaf and thus can be printed as a single image. Most commonly used as such in magazine printing. Also known as a 'spread.' See: Opening Page Spread
shallow impressions left in handmade paper by the wire mold used to make it. Chainlines are an important feature in identifying book format; since chanlines almost invariably ran vertically along a sheet of paper (when viewed, as is conventional, in 'landscape' orientation), it follows that in a folio volume visible chainlines will run vertically, and with each additional fold the direction of the chainlines will alternate (i.e., horizontal in quarto, vertical again in octavo, horizontal again in sixteenmo, etc.). See: Watermark
any single meaningful mark that occurs in graphological communication; any single letter, punctuation mark, or special mark such as an asterisk, ampersand or question mark is a character, regardless of whether it is written by hand, printed, or manifested on a computer screen. See: Glyph
A textual form made of bound leaves. Commonly known as a book. See: Interleaf
to gather sheets or gatherings so that the pages are in proper sequence. Hence, the collation formula, which is a bibliographic description of the gatherings and the order in which they are gathered. This term is also used in the sense of a close comparison between two similar or ostensibly identical copies with the goal of identifying differences between copies. See: Signature Catchword
a statement at the end of the book giving some details about its creation such as the author, date and/or printer. Largely superseded by the title page.
a book which serves as a collection of (generally) one individual's notes, quotations, Bible verses, and other snippets of information.
the person responsible for arranging the type in the proper order so that it can be printed.
manuscript or typescript that is to be set in type and printed.
A short-form for wood-cut, used frequently in publishers' advertisements, as in the phrase, "adorned with cuts". See: Woodcut
the strokes of the letters g, j, p, q and y that project below the x-height. See: x-height Ascenders
an image or emblem on either the title page or in the colophon that identifies the printer of a book. See: Imprint
large or distinctive typefaces used for emphasis or attracting attention. See: x-height PDF
sometimes also referred to in English as 'twelvemo'; A sheet of paper commonly cut and folded in such a way as to make 12 leaves/24 pages. For diagrams of the various methods used to acheive a duodecimo format, see Gaskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography. See: Format
a paper jacket designed initially to protect the cloth covers during transit but which later became decorated as a means of attracting the attention of potential buyers.
a dash or hyphen approximately the width of an "m" See: Glyph En-dash
a dash or hyphen approximately the width of an "n" See: Glyph Em-dash
note printed at the end of a chapter or book. See: Shoulder-Note Footnote Side-Note
blank leaves, often in heavier paper, added to the front and back of a printed text as part of the binding process in order to attach the cover. See: Flyleaf
broadsides, pamphlets, advertisements and other forms of printing considered more disposable than books. See: Broadside
a list of errors in the publication. Since errors could be found both throughout and after the initial print run, the presence of an errata list, and the number of items on it, can frequently be used to distinguish earlier from later impressions within an edition.
the top surface of a piece of type that makes contact with the paper. Also used as a synonym for 'typeface.' See: Type Typeface Ascenders
a part of a book or other work published separately or bound into another work.
decorative type designs that can be arranged into borders or other patterns.
a blank leaf at the beginning or ending of a book. See: Endpapers
the numbering of leaves (as distinct from pagination, the numbering of pages, resulting in two numbers per leaf). See: Pagination
a sheet of paper folded in half to make two leaves / four pages. Can also refer to the leaf number of a foliated book. See: Format
a complete set of a typeface in a particular size. Commonly used erroneously as a synonym for typeface. See: Ascenders Fount Sort x-height
the bottom margin of a page. See: Margin Tail
note printed at the bottom of the page. See: Shoulder-Note Endnote Side-Note
the outer edge of an individual leaf, or an entire book, opposite to the binding edge or spine. See: Fore-Edge Painting
any painted decoration on the fore-edge of a book. Frequently fore-edge paintings can only be viewed by bending the text-block so as to fan out the fore-edge. The painter paints the image with the book in this position, after which the fore-edge is gilded to hide the painting when the book is closed, and the illusion is complete. See: Fore-Edge
a bibliographic distinction that includes how one or more sheets is folded and gathered into a quire and how the type-pages are arranged into a forme (also known as the imposition format). For example, the phrase "folio in 6s" describes a book's format in which three sheets are folded in half and the resulting folia are nested to create a gathering of 6 leaves; "inverted octavo", on the other hand, describes a sheet folded three times to acheive 16 pages, with an imposition format that prints pages 9-16 at the outer corners of the sheet rather than placing those pages in the middle of the forme. See: Vicesimo-Quarto Quarto Duodecimo Tricesimo-Secundo Gathering Sextodecimo Folio
the page or pages of type locked into position in a chase and ready for printing. This term can also refer to the printed matter that results from the impression of a single forme, i.e., one side of a printed sheet. See: Stereotype
A synonym for 'font.' See: Font x-height Ascenders
an illustration facing the title-page of a book.
the group of leaves created when a single sheet is folded, or when multiple sheets are nested or 'quired' together (as, for example, in the format "folio in 6s" which is created by quiring three folia). See: Signature Format
a single graphic symbol such as a letter or number. See: Character Ligature Sort x-height Ascenders Guillemet Em-dash En-dash
the act of inserting additional illustrative content to a codex that is not included in the original volume See: Interleaf
an alternate name for sans serif typefaces.
a small letter used in manuscript and early printed books to indicate which letter the illuminator should put in by hand.
a glyph created by a single, or two, angle brackets or arrows. Most commonly used in pairs to indicate quotations in many European languages. e.g. He said, « I love you. » See: Glyph
The inner margins of a page opening (the right margin of the verso page and the left margin of the recto page) and the valley where they meet or are bound together. See: Back Margins
an image reproduction technique where the image is broken up into many small dots.
the top margin of a page. See: Margin
a line of type at the top of the page above the normal text block. See: Running-Title
a manuscript or early printed book where the margins or initial letters are decorated with figures of men or animals. See: Illuminated
any system which allows the connection and navigation of computer documents through links.
a manuscript or early printed book where the margins or initial letters are decorated with flowers or other designs See: Historiated
in manuscript and early book production, the person responsible for decorating the text or drawing in the initial letters.
the name and address of the printer who produced the work. See: Device
books printed before 1500.
the inset of an additional page in a codex See: Marginalia Codex Grangerize
written or printed between the normal lines of text.
adjusting the spacing between letters so that a line of type evenly fills a certain length.
a plan for the appearance of a piece of printed work. See: PDF Paginae
text printed with generous space between lines See: Solid
the space between lines of printing. From the practice of inserting strips of lead between lines of type to increase the space between lines.
the sheet of paper or parchment with one page on its front side (recto) and another on its back (verso). See: Recto Verso Page
two or more letters combined into a single glyph See: Glyph Ascenders x-height
printing plate made from a line-drawing.
method of printing where the printing surface is chemically treated so that ink sticks to the parts to be printed and is repelled from the areas to be left blank.
a mark found typically in the margin of a text, either drawn by hand or printer, in the shape of a hand, or pointing fist. Generally, manicules are used to indicate notable passages. Other names for the manicule is the printer's fist, or mutton fist. See the ArchBook essay Manicules for more details. See: Margin
any text written by hand.
white space surrounding the area taken up by printed matter. See: Back Margins Head Foot Manicule
Anything appearing in the margins of a text, including printed and manuscript notes, and decorations. See: Interleaf
the book containing the service for the celebration of mass throughout the year.
a catch-all term for type designs which have a high contrast between the thick and thin parts of the letters and straight serifs. Common examples include Didot and Bodoni. See: Old-Style Sans-Serif
also Old-Face. A catch-all term for type designs with bracketed serifs and relatively little difference between the thick and thin parts of the letters. Common examples include Garamond and Caslon. See: Modern Sans-Serif
facing pages of a book or other work with bound or folded pages. See: Centre Spread Page Spread
stands for Portable Document Format, an open file format developed by Adobe which is independent of the parent program. There are a range of programs available to open these documents some of which are also open source (JISC Digital Media Glossary). See: Layout Display Type Page
one side of a leaf. See: Recto Leaf Verso PDF Paginae
the two pages in the middle of a gathering where the verso and recto form a single conjugate leaf. Also known as a 'spread.' See: Opening Centre Spread
the conceptual structure of the page; the organization of elements, such as text and images See: Layout Page
the numbering of pages. See: Foliation
a surface for writing or printing made out of pulped cotton, linen or wood. See: Substrate Pop-up
material included in a book or other textual form that is not considered part of the 'main' text; i.e. title pages, tables of contents, prefatory letters, advertisements, indices, etc. See: Preliminary Leaves
the hide of a sheep or goat prepared for being written or printed upon. See: Substrate Vellum
printing on both sides of a sheet See: Register
the surface, usually metal, that carries an image to be printed.
a typographical measure. There are approximately 72 points in an inch. See: x-height Ascenders
term often used to describe a three-dimensional paper construction found in books. Also used as a generic marker for books containing such constructions, i.e., "pop-up books." See: Paper
also known as 'prelims.' Any leaves which precede the main text (i.e. title-pages, tables of contents). See: Paratext
a copy of a text especially prepared as a gift, generally to a patron or civic figure.
a trial print usually used for error-checking.
a sheet of paper folded twice, resulting in 4 leaves/8 pages. See: Format
the page on the front of a leaf. Generally the page on the right of a book opening. See: Leaf Page Verso
to ensure that the printing on the front of a sheet and on the back are in an identical position. Also to ensure that printing done in multiple passes or with multiple colours is accurately lined up. See: Perfecting
a textual form made of a single rolled substrate. Read by unrolling vertically. See: Scroll
a heading or other section of text written or printed in red.
a repetition of the title at the top of every page above the normal text block. Also called 'running-head. See: Headline
a catch-all term for type designs that have no serifs. Common examples include Arial and Helvetica. See: Old-Style Modern Serif
a type or style of handwriting generally identified by time period and/or originating location.
a textual form made of a single rolled substrate. Read by unrolling horizontally See: Roll
a horizontal line finishing the stroke at the top or bottom of a letter See: Sans-Serif x-height
pronounced 'sixteenmo.' A sheet of paper folded three times in order to make 8 leaves / 16 pages See: Format
a whole piece of paper.
note printed in the outer margins at the top of the page See: Endnote Footnote Side-Note
note printed in the outer-margins alongside the text to which it refers See: Footnote Shoulder-Note Endnote
a number or letter printed on the first page of each section to serve as a guide to gather them in the right sequence. Sometimes used in place of 'gathering.' See: Collate Gathering
text printed with minimal space between lines. See: Leaded
an individual glyph in a font. See: Font Glyph x-height Ascenders Type Case
a common method of printing in the 19th century where molds, made from complete formes of type, were used to re-print a work without having to set the type again. See: Forme
the material written or printed upon. See: Paper Parchment Vellum
pronounced 'thirtytwomo.' A sheet of paper folded four times in order to make 16 leaves / 32 pages See: Format
metal letters used in a printing press. See: Face Typeface Type-Founder x-height Ascenders Type Case
a storage container for sorting loose type. Type was organized by sort into small compartments within a wooden tray, and during the hand-press era the orientation of the compartments followed one of two orders, or 'lays'; the single lay arranged capital letters along the top of a single large case, with the lower-case letters in the compartments below. The divided lay employed two smaller cases, in which capital letters occupied one case and lower-case letters and punctuation occupied the other. See: Sort Type
a piece of printing designed to advertise a particular font or a printer's or type-founder's stock See: Type-Founder x-height Ascenders
a producer of type. See: Type Type Specimen x-height Ascenders
a particular design of type. See: Face Type x-height Ascenders
a standard for encoding and rendering of text for computers.
the hide of a calf prepared for being written or printed upon. See: Substrate Parchment
the page on the back of a leaf. Generally the page on the left of a book opening. See: Leaf Recto Page
referred to in English 'twentyfourmo.' A sheet of paper folded five times in order to make 24 leaves / 48 pages. See: Format
consists of one or more layers of parchment or paper discs or other segments fastened to a leaf, allowing for each individual layer to be rotated independently of the other components. See the ArchBook essay Volvelles for more details.
a distinguishing mark, used to identify the paper-maker, impressed into paper while it is being made. See: Chainlines
printing on large rolls of paper instead of sheets. Most frequently used for newspapers.
a printed illustration made from a design cut into a block of wood. See: Cut
the vertical height of a lower-case letter, not including the ascender (where present); The vertical measurement of a lower-case x would be a font's x-height. This measurement is used in a typographical description of a font. See: Ligature Font Serif Fount Sort Glyph Descenders Type Type Specimen Display Type Type-Founder Point Typeface Ascenders