Page: One side of a
Leaf. The front side of a leaf is called the
Obverse and the back side of the leaf is
called the Verso or the
Panel: Specifically refers to the front or back of a book's
covers. Often used instead of the somewhat ambiguous term
Covers to clarify that reference is being
made to only the front and/or back of the cover and does not include the
Spine cover. Panel is also used in the same
manner to refer only to the front and/or back of a
Panelled: Describes a book cover on which
Ruled lines form a rectangular area for
the purpose of creating a frame or border surrounding printed, illlustrative or decorative matter done in
Also known as panel compartments.
Paste Action: Discoloration on a book's
Endpapers caused by the glue used to
attach the Paste-down endpapers to the inside of the covers. The discoloration can range from
a faint tan to a heavy Browning.
All or part of the Paste-down endpapers can be affected, as well as the loose
Endpapers when the paste bleeds into them.
Paste-Down Endpaper: The portion of the endpaper pasted to the
inside of a book's cover. See Figure 5.
Paste-Down Illustration: A paper illustration applied to the front
cover of a book bound in cloth or boards. Books bearing such illustrations are also described as having an
applied pictorial cover. The illustration, almost always in color, was printed on a fairly heavy paper
and then glued to the cover. See Figure 17.
Photolithographic: Refers generally to the printing processes used in
the modern era, which replaced Lithographic
methods, to create book illustrations. Called planographic printing, these processes use printing
plates made from photographic images.
Photoplay Edition: A book illustrated with still photographs
of scenes from a motion picture based on the book, or a book based on the motion picture's script.
The former, which is most often the case, is not a
First Edition. Photoplay editions
can be more valuable than first editions if the movie has inspired more interest than the book upon which
it was based. When this is not true, even as a later edition they have greater value than other later
editions of the book because they are collected in their own right, valued by collectors of the actors
or others responsible for the film, or collectors of the author or things pertaining to the film itself.
Photoplay editions soared in popularity during the 1920s and declined rather rapidly thereafter.
Plates: A full-page illustration in a book whose reverse side
is blank and without text, or contains another full-page illustration. The plates, particularly in older
books, are generally printed on paper of a better quality than the text pages and are
Coated. Many recent books, however, use
coated paper for both, and often have more than one photographic illustration on a page each labeled as a
plate. Where this is the case, descriptions in this catalog give the number of plates so labeled. It is
not uncommon in older books to find plates
"Tipped-in", i.e. glued-in after all the
Gatherings were sewn together as opposed
to being added during the binding process. Many of the plates in older books have a protective thin leaf of
tissue-like paper called Tissue Guards
placed between a plate's pictorial page & the opposing page. Smaller
illustrations printed on the text pages of a book are called Cuts.
Points: Characteristics that enable one to establish the
Priority between the
First Edition of a book and others,
or between the States or
Issues within a first edition. The distinguishing
signs are usually printing or textual errors, but can also include evidence of the use of worn or broken
type, misplaced pagination numerals, misordered signatures, canceled leaves, etc.
Preliminary Pages: The printed pages preceding the main text of
a book, which may include and are often in the following order:
Preface or Forward
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Many books will not have all the preliminary pages listed, and some may have non-printed pages
(e.g. tissue guarded Leaves)
interspersed. Particularly in older books, the preliminary pages are numbered with Roman numerals,
if numbered at all.
Presentation Copy: A copy of a book which, either through
self-evidence or by way of its Provenance,
can be authenticated as one someone was given by the author. An author's inscription is the most common
Press Run: With regard to books, the copies printed by a
press in any period(s) of its continuous operation during the printing of a job, i.e. a specific number
ordered by a publisher. Since a book collector's only interest in a press run is whether it created any
States which could determine
Priority among the books printed
during the run, some hedging needs to be introduced about what is "continuous operation". Book printed
during the handpress period can almost be exempted from this discussion, but those printed after this
period necessarily require that not all occasions on which a press is stopped should count as the end
of a press run since the types of failure that a press could suffer have increased with the steady
evolution toward more sophisticated presses. The temporary stopping of an old steam-powered press to
repair a broken belt or replace a bad gasket in the engine, or the many possible temporary mechanical
and electrical failures of modern presses, are all examples of stoppages which would result in no discernible
differences between what was printed before and after. Thus, stoppages not in anyway affecting the printed
product (not demarcating States) are not counted as relevant. The term is also used to refer to the number
of copies printed in one such continuous operation.
Price-Clipped: Said of a
Dustjacket that has had the publisher's
suggested price clipped, which very most often appears in a corner of one of its inner flaps. Most commonly
done by publishers and distributors themselves for various reasons, a much smaller number have been clipped
before given as gifts. This is serious defects for collectors of first edtions who seek copies in the same
complete condition as they were originally issued. Since
Book Club Editions can often be identified by
their dustjackets lacking a price on the corner of an innner flap, the absence of that corner raises the
possibility that it was removed to conceal its more humble origins.
Printing: As a noun, the actual copies printed during any given
Press Run. Any number of printings can be
made of a particular Edition provided the same
plates or typesetting are used for each. Confusion can arise because some publishers in the 19th and earlier
part of the 20th centuries used edition rather than printing to designate what were actually
later printings rather than later editions, e.g. the copyright page would state "Third Edition" with the book
lacking any discernible differences from the prior "editions". Synonymous with Impression.
Priority: The status of a particular book with regard to its
earliness among other Issues or
States, each of which is characterized by a
different set of Points. To say that a copy of a
book in State C (defined by some set of points) has priority over a copy in State B (a different set of points)
means that C was produced earlier than B. If State C and State B are said to have no priority, then there is
no evidence yet available to determine which, if any, is earlier.
Private Press: An expression which once had a fairly clear
reference to a small printer/publisher, or lone craftsperson, who eschewed the commercial book market in
favor of producing small quantities of finely printed, special-interest, or otherwise limited market books.
Today, the term has became so stretched as a marketing image that caution and research are advisable to
determine which, if any, of the original characteristics a publisher may possess. There have been, however,
many private presses over the years which deserve the reputation and respect the term once implied, so there
are pleasant rewards for those willing to expend a little extra effort.
Privately Printed/Self-Published: A book printed at the expense
of an individual or a group which was usually intended either for private circulation rather than public sale,
or for sale to a limited market of interested persons through means other than commercial book market.
Occasionally, some privately printed books are bought by book distributors from the author, but typically it
is the person or the group who market and distribute such publication. Thus, the essential characteristic of a
privately printed book is that the publisher is the author.
Promotional Wrapper: A dustjacket-like wrapper which wraps around
a Dustjacket, the book itself, or a
Slipcase. Such wrappers are generally about
half the size of a dustjacket, and are used to promote the book itself (an auto-promotional wrapper), a related
motion picture, another book by the same publisher, etc. Promotional wrappers are also found on magazines.
Provenance: The history of a particular book's ownership, possession,
or custody. Aside from stolen books, provenance only becomes an issue when a book is represented as being one
owned by somebody sufficiently important in themselves or someone related to the book in an important way. A full
provenance (one providing a continuous account of the successive transfers of ownership, possession and custody
from the book's origins to it's present status) is not necessary to support a book's value if the representation
being made is limited to some lesser period of the book's history. A legitimate provenance must be supported
by documentary rather than anecdotal or hearsay evidence, e.g. internal evidence such as signatures and bookplates,
or external evidence like auction or booksellers' records and estate inventories.
Publisher: In its full sense, a person or business engaged in the
complete production of books from the acquisition and editing of manuscripts through their distribution and
marketing. Although the term brings to mind established publishing companies (often called Publishing Houses),
it can apply to anyone who is responsible for performing or overseeing whatever activities are required to
produce a one or more books. See Private Press and Privately Printed above.