Glossary of Book Terms - Letter
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"C" Grade - A book condition term. A C grade book is in poor condition but intact. Unless it is a
very rare book a book in this condition is a reader's copy.
C. & P. - Collated and perfect
CA or ca. - circa, approximately, related to the date a book is published.
Calf - Leather made from a calf hide or cattle hide, it is the most common type of leather used for
bookbinding. It may be dyed nearly any color. Also see morocco, sheep, and vellum
Calligraphy - Fancy penmanship used in inscriptions, diplomas, manuscripts, legal documents
Cancel - A publisher authorized content correction added after a book has been printed and bound.
May be anywhere from a small inserted piece of paper to an entire new page pasted in. Fairly common in the 17th and 18th centuries due to
numerous printer errors. Also known as tipped-in card covers
Cancel Leaf - A new leaf, often the title page, to which changes have been made, which is glued
onto the narrow stub left by the removed leaf which has been excised.
Caption - An inscription under an illustration.
Case Bound - A book that is hardbound as opposed to a paperback.
CAT or cat - Catalog
CBEL - Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature
Chapbook - A small book or pamphlet, often a collection of poetry or prose. Previous to the
mid-19th century, the term was used to describe small books of popular, sensational, juvenile, moral, or educational content sold by street
merchants, known as "chapmen." More recently some publishers are publishing high quality short stories or illustrated stories and calling them
Chip or chp - Refers to the condition of a book. An edge tear (usually triangular shaped) which has
resulted in the loss of a small portion of the dust jacket. "Lightly chipped" usually refers to a dust jacket with a few chips all smaller than
1/4 inch. "Chipped" usually refers to dust jacket with a couple of chips as large as 3/4 inch and several smaller chips.
Chromolithography - A printing process that is done by printing in colors from a series of
lithographic stones or plates. Noted for its fresh, bright colors, this process was popular during mid and late 19th century bookmaking.
CL or cl - Cloth, A book that is bound and covered in cloth.
Closed Tear - Refers to the condition of a book. A tear in the dust jacket that resulted in no loss
of material. When held closed, the the tear should not be obvious at a glance.
Cloth - A book that is bound and covered in cloth. See also hardcover.
Codex - An ancient volume of manuscript. The most famous
being Leonardo Di Vinci's Codex which is currently owned by Bill Gates of Microsoft fame.
COL or col - Color
Collated - The content of the work, including all pages and illustrations, has been examined and
verified that it is complete and in the proper order.
Collation - Technically, the examination and notation of the physical makeup of a book. By checking
for the presence of every leaf or page originally in the volume when issued, a book may be collated as complete.
Colophon - An identifying inscription or emblem from the printer or publisher appearing at the end
of a book. Also the emblem at the bottom of the spine on both the book and dust-wrapper as well as a logo on the title or copyright page. Early
books often had a colophon instead of a title page imprint and modern private press or other examples of fine printing often use a colophon. A
colophon is generally considered to be a formality by the big publishers and is not often used.
Comb Binding - A book binding similar to a spiral binding but using a round tubular plastic piece
with many teeth which fit through small rectangular holes punched into the binding edge of the book. The plastic piece, if laid flat, would
resemble a comb.
Compartments - Ruled lines forming a square border or frame on a binding, which is done in gilt or
blind. Also known as panneled.
Conjugate Leaf - Leaves which are physically attached, part of the same sheet.
Contemporary - A term used to describe a work that was published within the last decade. Also used
to indicate that all of the components of the book (the binding, the coloring of plates, inscriptions, and side notes) were created at the same
time the book was printed.
Conts - contents
Copy - A document ready to set into type for printing.
Copyright Page - The page is usually located on the verso of the title page, and contains the
publisher's information, copyright notices, disclaimers, and the Library of Congress Information. This page is the very important in determining
edition and printings for collectors of modern first editions.
Corners - The right angles (corners) on the unbound edges of the front and back covers of a
Covers - The binding of the book, most particularly the front and back panels of the book, i.e.
cloth, calf, morocco, boards, wrappers, etc.
Covers Bound-in - The original cloth covers, usually including the spine, bound into the book when
a new binding is made. Normally they are mounted as pages at the end of the book. Also refers to the covers of books originally issued in boards
or paper wraps, in these cases the covers are usually bound in their proper positions.
CPY or cpy - copy
Cracked - Refers to the condition of a book; there is a long narrow opening or break down the spine
or in the inside covers seem near the spine.
Crimped - Refers to the condition of a book; a grooved, indented, or pinched condition of a cover
or page, which is caused by extreme humidity. It can also describe a bookmaking process that bends the hinges of loose-leaf books so that the
pages of a book will easily turnover and lie flat.
Cropped - The margins of the book have been trimmed by the binder, usually too close to the text or
into the text.
Cut - An illustration that is printed on a text page. See also plate.
Cut - Many modern books are smooth-trimmed after binding so that all edges are even, or flush. This
is described as having been "cut."
Cut Edges - The most common type of book edges, the pages are trimmed in an even manner with a
large binders knife prior to finishing the binding process. Also see uncut, unopened, and deckle edges.
CV or cv - Cover, the binding of the book, most particularly the front and back panels of the book,
i.e. cloth, calf, morocco, boards, wrappers, etc.
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