Authorial Guidelines

An ArchBook entry is a discussion of the historical development and use of a feature of book architecture - the structural features and devices that enable the “book,” understood most broadly, to store, transmit, and aid in the processing of visual semantic content. Its closest analogue is an encyclopedia entry in that it should be concise, be written for a general audience, allow readers to gain a basic understanding of the topic without having to read any other materials and provide a bibliography for further reading on the subject.

An ArchBook entry consists of:

  1. A Definition of the textual feature
  2. An Historical Overview of the development and use of the textual feature including, when possible, images of the textual feature
  3. (optional) One or more "Spotlights" – more detailed discussions of a specific use or instance of the textual feature
  4. A Works Cited of reference material used in the entry
  5. A Bibliography of other texts on the subject that are not included in the Works Cited.
1. Definition (maximum 500 words)

The Definition section contains, as the title suggests, a definition of the feature of book architecture to be discussed. This section should also introduce why the feature is important and provide an abstract for the Historical Development and Spotlights.

2. Historical Overview (1000 - 4000 words)

The Historical Overview section will provide a history of the forms and use of the feature of book architecture up to and including its digital manifestations (if they exist). It is expected that this will contain:

  • historical discussion, including relevant scholarship (the latter will include reference to scholarly articles, books, etc.) and current or potential digital manifestations. The tone of this discussion should be relatively neutral and free from value judgements
  • links to other ArchBook entries (These need only be indicated or suggested. A member of the editorial team will make the links active. Suggested entries/links need not exist already)
  • definitions for all technical terms if they are not already included in the glossary. These definitions will be added to the glossary and users will be able to call them up by clicking on the term.
  • images of the feature being discussed
  • detailed explanation of how the textual feature functions. For example:
    "The first major development in dividing chapters was the use of marginal alphabets. This feature of book architecture began as a purely mental system, known as the Dominican index system, developed by Hugh of Saint-Cher in the mid 13th century as a way of thinking about and referring to chapters divided into units, imagined either as four or seven sections nominated A through D or A through G respectively. By this method a concordance, for example, could reference a particular use of a word by naming an imagined point in a numbered chapter with an added measure of specificity, if the reader was adept at making such mental calculations, and provided the calculations of the creator of the concordance were correspondingly adept." ("Bible Navigation," ArchBook)
3. Spotlight (up to 1000 words each)

An ArchBook entry does not need to have a Spotlight but it can also have multiple Spotlights. Spotlights are detailed discussions of a specific use or instance of the feature of book architecture and are a major difference between an ArchBook entry and an encyclopedia entry. Unlike the neutral tone of the Definition and Historical Development sections, Spotlights are an opportunity for authors to draw upon their interests and expertise to provide personal insights into the importance of specific manifestations of the feature including, but not limited to, why it remains relevant in the digital age.

4. Works Cited

All documents cited must be accompanied by full bibliographic records and, if possible, links to online versions of these sources.

5. Bibliography

Provide as full a list as possible of other resources on the topic, including full bibliographic records and, if possible, links to online versions.

General Formatting
  • The document should be .rtf, .doc or .docx. No PDFs please.
  • The citation format should be in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition, as in the ArchBook Bibliography.
  • All discursive material should be in the main text body; in ArchBook notes are used solely for bibliographic references.
  • Definitions should be provided for all technical terms if they are not already included in the glossary. These definitions will be added to the glossary and users will be able to call them up by clicking on the term.
  • All references to images should contain the image file name.
  • Authors should be aware that ArchBook can accommodate post-publication changes to entries, and a record of any such changes will be visible with the entry, but these changes should be kept to a minimum. Although the digital medium can accommodate infinite change, the purpose of ArchBook is to provide stability, accessibility, and synthesis, so authors are strongly encouraged to put their best efforts into a single published version.
Image Guidelines
  • Images should be submitted in electronic files separate from the text documents. Please do not embed the images in your text documents.
  • Please submit in a lossless, non-propriety format, such as TIFF or PNG. Contact the ArchBook editors should you need assistance transferring large files electronically.
  • Images must be accompanied by full image credits, including, if applicable, holding institution, and confirmation that permission to publish the images online has been obtained. It is the author's responsibility to secure this permission. See the Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition.

Possible Topics

The following is a list of possible topics for ArchBook entries, but authors should feel free to suggest topics not on this list. Please contact the Editor (Yin Liu, with a proposal, before beginning work on an entry, to make sure it is not already being covered.

Desiderata for topics:

  • Is a feature of book design, understanding "book" in the widest possible way.
  • Has some historical continuity. The historical scope of ArchBook reaches from the earliest forms of recorded information in document objects (e.g. cuneiform clay tablets) to those under development today. Ideally, an ArchBook entry will trace the history of a feature from its historical roots to versions or analogues in digital forms today.
  • Allows (although we won’t demand that authors include) discussion of non-European book formats, to counter, if possible, a geographical/cultural bias of conventional book history.

The suggested topics in the list below are, in many cases, fairly broad and more specific entries under each topic may be possible. In many cases the topic is not a physical feature per se but a process, a function, or a class of features. This is deliberate.

Suggested topics:

  • afterwords and appendices
  • bookmarking
  • charts and tables
  • codex
  • colophons (and related features, e.g. printers’ marks)
  • colour (e.g. rubrication)
  • columns and parallel text
  • decoration and ornamentation
  • diagrams (specific types of diagrams also welcome)
  • dimensions (e.g. size of the document, size of the text block)
  • erasure
  • fold-outs
  • foliation, signature numbering, pagination
  • font styles (e.g. italics)
  • forewords, introductions, prefaces
  • full-page images (e.g. frontispieces, plates)
  • glossing
  • ideographs/ideograms (e.g. emojis)
  • indexing
  • line breaks (perhaps including justification)
  • nota marks
  • owner identification (e.g. bookplates, ownership marks)
  • printing (i.e. the transfer of inked text to substrate by pressure)
  • posters (i.e. documents intended to be read by multiple viewers in public spaces)
  • punctuation (entries on specific marks or families of marks preferred)
  • recycling (books or parts of books repurposed for other functions; or other materials repurposed to become a feature of a book)
  • running headers/titles
  • scrolls and rolls
  • space (e.g. spaces within text, margins, blank pages)
  • spine and fore-edge marks
  • substrates/supports (material surfaces for inscription, e.g. clay, papyrus, parchment, paper, etc)
  • text divisions (e.g. paragraphs, chapters)
  • title pages
  • ultraportable formats (e.g. girdle books)
  • watermarks
  • writing instruments