Bibliography - Descriptive Bibliography - Descriptive Bibliographies As Scholarly Product

Descriptive Bibliographies As Scholarly Product

Descriptive bibliographies as a scholarly product usually include information on the following aspect of a given book as a material object:

  • Format and Collation/Pagination Statement - a conventional, symbolic formula that describes the book block in terms of sheets, folds, quires, signatures, and pages
According to Bowers (193), the format of a book is usually abbreviated in the collation formula:
Broadsheet: I° or b.s. or bs.
Folio: 2° or fol.
Quarto: 4° or 4to or Q° or Q
Octavo: 8° or 8vo
Duodecimo: 12° or 12mo
Sexto-decimo: 16° or 16mo
Tricesimo-secundo: 32° or 32mo
Sexagesimo-quarto: 64° or 64mo
The collation, which follows the format, is the statement of the order and size of the gatherings.
For example, a quarto that consists of the signed gatherings:
2 leaves signed A, 4 leaves signed B, 4 leaves signed C, and 2 leaves signed D
would be represented in the collation formula:
4°: A2B-C4D2
  • Binding - a description of the binding techniques (generally for books printed after 1800)
  • Title Page Transcription - a transcription of the title page, including rule lines and ornaments
  • Contents - a listing of the contents (by section) in the book
  • Paper - a description of the physical properties of the paper, including production process, an account of chain-line measurements, and a description of watermarks (if present)
  • Illustrations - a description of the illustrations found in the book, including printing process (e.g. woodblock, intaglio, etc.), measurements, and locations in the text
  • Presswork - miscellaneous details gleaned from the text about its production
  • Copies Examined - an enumeration of the copies examined, including those copies' location (i.e. belonging to which library or collector)

Read more about this topic:  Bibliography, Descriptive Bibliography

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