Terms for Bibliography
1. Bar- handle to be pulled
2. Bed-The part of a press on which type is placed for printing.
3. Bibliography-The study of books, including their texts, materials, history, production and
distribution (Also an account, list or description of books or works).
4. Binder’s Ticket-A stamped or printed identification of a book’s binder, generally
appearing (if used) on a paste-down endpaper.
5. Binding-The process or product of folding, gathering and fastening together the printed
sheets of a book and enclosing them in covers.
6. Binding Cloth- Cloth used in binding especially since the 1820s, when publishers began
issuing books in prefabricated casings rather than leaving binding to the bookseller or
purchaser. The cloth may be embossed with a variety of patterns or grains, that in
descriptive bibliography may be designated diaper, rib, ripple, bead, sand, pansy and
7. Black Letter Type- A group of angular, script-like type-faces represented by textura.
Rotunda and bastarda are no longer commonly used, although one bastarda type (Fraktur)
was used in Germany until the mid 1900s. Gothic type is sometimes used as a synonym
but confusingly also refers to recent sans-serif typefaces.
8. Book Plate- a slip, often decorated, pasted to an end paper to show ownership of a book.
9. Boards-The wood, cardboard, or other material used as stiff covers or to stiffen the covers
of a binding. 10. Case-A compartmented tray in which type is kept for composition; a type case. Also, a
cover or binding; used especially to refer to bindings made up separately and
subsequently affixed to books.
11. Casting Off-Estimating the space, including number of pages, to be occupied by copy
when it has been set into type (copy fitting).
12. Catchword- The first word of a page appearing also at the foot of the preceding page as a
guide to assembling the pages in correct order. Catchwords were in common use in
English printed books from the mid 16 century18 century.
13. Chase-A metal frame in which pages of type are arranged and locked up for printing or
for making plates.
14. Codex-A book (as opposed say to a papyrus roll); in particular, a manuscript book. The
plural is codices.
15. Common Press- The wood handpress in use throughout the handpress period (1450-1800)
consisting of a wood frame in which a screw-driven plated impressed the paper onto an
inked form of type.
16. Composing Stick-a handheld tray into which the compositor places the types was fixed so
a compositor would have to have several of various standard lengths. Later composing
sticks had an adjustable end that allowed one stick to serve for setting lines of varying
17. Composition-The process of setting type, spaces rules, headings and the like.
18. Compositor-a person who sets type 19. Deckle Edge-The untrimmed, uneven edge of a sheet of paper as it comes from the mold
in papermaking by hand or form the web in papermaking by machine. The deckle is the
frame around the mold used in making paper by hand; it is a rubber dam or strap in
20. Distribution-The process of removing pieces of type from the chase and returning them to
the type case.
21. Edition Binding-The binding up of books before the publisher supplies them to book-
sellers. The practice became comm. In the early 19 century.
22. Format- In the most general sense, the design and layout of a book. More particularly the
scheme by which type pages have been arranged (imposed) within a forme so that when a
printed sheet is folded, it produces a particular number and sequence of leaves.
“duodecimo” “folio” “octavo” “quarto” and “sixteenmo.” Also, a designation of book
size since the size depends on the number of times the sheet is folded (and the size of the
23. Forme-The assemblage, or imposition of type pages for the printing of one side of a
sheet. The outer forme includes the two pages that will come first and last when the sheet
is printed and folded correctly; The inner forme is the opposite side. Also, especially in
American usage: FORM.
24. Foul Case- A compositor’s case in which some pieces of type have been distributed into
the wrong compartments and wait for the opportunity to create a typographic error.
25. Frisket- A frame covered with parchment or paper in which holes have been cut to
expose the areas to be printed and to mask the areas of the chase that are not to be printed
(the furniture, q.v). 26. Furniture- In printing, wood or metal spacing material placed around type pages within a
27. Gilt/Gilded- Of a book, having gold leaf applied to its edges; sometimes used to refer to
various kinds of stamping on bindings.