How to Describe Rare Books, Manuscripts, Autographs, Maps, Prints, Atlases, First Editions, Illustrated Books - Glossary in English

Damaged

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Dampstaining Dampstaining

A stain caused by the presence of water.

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Darkening

When something is darker than it started out, usually caused by soiling, smoke, dirt, sunspots, or improper medication.

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Deckled edge

Natural or sometimes artificial rough edge of page, left uncut (see also cut edges, uncut, and unopened).

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Decorated

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Decorated back, gilt back Decorated back, gilt back

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Dedication copy Dedication copy

A copy of a book inscribed by the author to the person to whom the book is dedicated.

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Definite edition

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Den Danske Antikvarboghandlerforening (ABF) Den Danske Antikvarboghandlerforening (ABF)

The Danish Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association or Den Danske Antikvarboghandlerforening (ABF) is the oldest league of antiquarian booksellers in Scandinavia as well as one of the oldest of its...

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Dentelle Dentelle

"A binder’s term (from the Frenchlace) meaning a border with a lacy pattern on the inner edge, usually gilt. Dentelle decoration was used, especially in France and in the 18th century, on the...

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Desiderata

A listing of books desired

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Device Device

Sometimes called the colophon (which is confusing since this term has an alternate meaning). Referring to the publisher's logo used on the copyright page, especially when it is used to denote a...

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Diacritical mark

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Diazotype

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Dictionary of American Biography (DAB)

Dictionary of American Biography, a useful 20 volume reference, especially when collecting manuscripts and autographs and attempting to learn about the authors.

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Dictionary of National Biography (DNB)

The Dictionary of National Biography, a standard reference of notable figures in British history, originally published in 1885.

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Die cut

A mechanical process for cutting shapes out of paper, allowing publishers to put "windows" into their jackets.

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Dimple

An indentation, such as on a golf ball, on covers or pages.

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Ding Ding

A small bump or dent leaving an impression, sometimes caused by careless handling or storage.

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Disbound

Descriptive term for a book or pamphlet or ephemera which has been removed from its binding.

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Doctered

A book that has been repaired, restored, or even added to. Also known as made-up.

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Dog-eared Dog-eared

Worn or ragged, usually referring to the edges of pages and binding. Corners of pages turned down like a dog's ear.

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Dotted print

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Double page title

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Doublure

"A binder's term, meaning that the paste-down (or inside lining of the covers) is not of paper but of leather, usually decorated. Since doublures have always been much commoner in French bindings...

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Drawing

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Drypoint

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Dummy

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Duodecimo

Often abbreviated as 12mo. This doesn't mean "a dozen more," but in the book world describes a small book (a little smaller than a mass market paperback), whose printed paper sheets were folded in...

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Duotone

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Duplex

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Duplicate

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Dust jacket

The paper, often with illustrations and information about the book, used as a protective covering over the book; sometimes called a book jacket -dj- or a dust wrapper - dw. Collectors of literary...

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