Vocabulary Terms for Midterm and Final Exam
Bar: Lever you pull to create an impression.
Bed: The place where type is placed for printing.
Bibliography: The study of books, including their texts (i.e. printed word), materials
(physical book), history, production, and distribution; also, an account, list, or description
of books or words (like a works cited).
Binding: The process or production of folding, gathering, and fastening together the
printed sheets of a book and enclosing them in covers.
Binding Cloth: Cloth used in binding especially since the 1830s, when publishers began
issuing books in prefabricated casings rather than leaving binding to the bookseller/
publisher. The cloth may be embossed with various patterns or designs.
Black Letter Type:Agroup of angular, scriptlike typefaces represented by textum,
rotunda, and bastarda and no longer commonly used.
Boards: The wood, cardboard, or other materials used to stiffen the covers of a binding.
Case: Compartmented trays in which type is kept.
Casting Off: Estimating the space, including number of pages, to be occupied by copy
when it has been set into type.
Catchword: The first word of a page, appearing also on the foot of the preceding page as
a guide to assembling pages in order.
Chase:Aframe in which pages of type are arranged and locked up for printing.
Codex:Abook (as opposed to, say, a papyrus roll); in particular, a manuscript book; a
book that opens and closes (pl. codices).
Common Press: The wooden hand press used during the Hand-Press Period, and
consisted of a wooden frame in which a screw-driven platen pressed the paper onto the
inked type forme.All moveable type was set by hand.
Composing Stick:Ahandheld tray into which the compositor places the type from his
cases according to his copy; set individual lines of type.
Composition: The process of setting type, spaces, rules, headings, etc.
Compositor: The person setting the actual type. Vocabulary Terms for Midterm and Final Exam
Distribution: The act of returning the text back into the case after it was printed.
Format: The design and layout of a book; 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.
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 out first and last when the
sheet is printed and folded correctly; the inner forme is the opposite side; pages are not
Foul Case:Acase of type where the letters aren’t in the right places (e.g. b’s and d’s are
mixed up) → end up with a lot of mistakes.
Frisket:Aframe covered in animal skin/paper in which holes have been cut to expose the
desired areas for printing and cover the areas that are not to be printed.
Furniture: Wood spacing material set around a text block to lock it into a chase.
Gathering:Abook section consisting of a folded sheet; also folded portions of a sheet.
Hand-Press Period: The period from around 1500-1800, characterized by the use of the
common press (made of wood) and hand-set moveable type.
Illumination: The decoration of a manuscript or book done by hand to add initials,
ornaments, and illustrations in silver or gold (and other colours).
Imposition: The arrangement of pages in the chase to print one forme so that when the
sheets are properly folded, the pages run in the correct order.
Leaf:Apiece of paper (or parchment) consisting of one page on its front (recto) and one
on its back (verso); a page is one side of a leaf in a book.
Linotype:Atypesetting machine, introduced in the 1880s, that cast whole lines of type
(not individual pieces of type). Operation of its keyboard assembled matrices in which
molten metal was cast to make the slug.
Machine-Press Period: The period from around 1800-1950, characterized by
innovations in paper production, typesetting, and the movement from wood to steel
presses. Machines, rather than people, began to make paper and type as well as print
Manuscript:Ahandwritten or typewritten document.
Monotype:Atypesetting and casting machine developed in the 1800s, consisting of 2
units: (1) a keyboard to code the typesetting by perforating a strip of paper, and (2) a Vocabulary Terms for Midterm and Final Exam
casting unit to translate the codes into matrices in which the individual type characters
were cast from molten metal.
Page: One side of a leaf of a book.
Parchment: Material made from animal skins, used specifically to refer to the skin of a
sheep or a goat (adult animals).
Platen: The flat plate on a printing press (made from metal or wood) that presses the
paper against the inked type; it creates the impression.
Presswork: The actual printing of the book, excluding the preceding composition and the
Recto: The right side of the page.
Scribe:Acopyist of classical and medieval manuscripts.Ascribe can refer to a public
official (in government), secular copyist (copying literary works), or one of the monastic
Sheet:Arectangular piece of paper (or parchment) used in printing (or manuscript book
production) and then folded to create the leaves of a book.Asheet, not a page, is the most
basic unit of the codex. The folded sheet creates a gathering.
Standing Type: Type that has been set and printed from but not distributed → bad for
business: the longer the type stands, the more you waste resources (the less you can print)
[Could be stored in anticipation of another printing].
Stereotype:Aprinting plate case from a plaster or paper mold of a forme of type
Tympan: The paper or cloth placed between the platen and the paper to be printed; the
place you put the paper to be printed.
Vellum : Material made from the skin of a calf, kid, lamb (baby animals), often whiter,
smoother → you need to kill more animals because they’re smaller (Uterine - finest grade
of vellum made from aborted calf).
Verso : The reverse side of a page. Vocabulary Terms for Midterm and Final Exam
Accidentals: Variants concerned with spelling, punctuation, capitalization, layout (e.g. in
Hand-Press Period, foul case and therefore misspellings).
Substantives: variants concerned with wording ⎯ changes the meaning of text by
adding chapters, adding or deleting sentences.
Analytical Bibliography: The branch of bi