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

Facing page

The page opposite the page being referred to.

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Facsimile

A reproduction of a book. Many facsimiles have some designation on them to distinguish them from the book they are replicating.

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Faded, soiled

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Fading Fading

Refers to the condition of a book; describes the loss of color on the pages, dust jacket, or the cover of the book, which is usually caused by time or exposure to sunlight.

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False band

A fake raised band that is attached directly to the spine of the book or the hollow of the cover. This decorative element is designed to make the book look sturdier than it actually is.

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False bands

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Faulty paper

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Faux-titre

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Fawn-coloured

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Figured Cloth

A cloth binding decorated with an embossed pattern.

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Fillet

"The fillet is a binder’s tool: a revolving wheel with one or more raised strips on its circumference for impressing a line or parallel lines on the leather or other binding material. In the...

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Fine binding Fine binding

An elaborately designed book; for example, a book that is bound in leather with blind stamps and gilt edges.

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First appearances

This term can refer to several different concepts:· The first time a specific subject is treated in book form, i.e. the first American book on the subject of dry fly fishing was written by Emlyn...

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First books

The first book appearance by an author (usually refers to a book entirely by the author, not merely a first appearance of a poem or short story in an anthology). Frequently an established, well...

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First edition

All of the copies printed from the first setting of type; can include multiple printings if all are from the same setting of type. Every printed book has a first edition, many never have later...

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First thus

Not a first edition, but something new, revised, having a new introduction by the author or someone else, but the first publication in its new form or by a new publisher.

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Fleuron

"A printer’s typographical ornament, originally flower-shaped, cast as a single piece, but often designed to be used in multiple units." (John Carter). Fleurons are typical for the Rococo...

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Flexible binding Flexible binding

Limp, leather/plastic covers which are flexible.

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Folding

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Folding plates

Plate, map, or chart that is too big to fit into a book, so it has been carefully folded to fit neatly into the book. Be just as careful when you unfold it, or you may end up with twice the number...

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Foliation

"Foliation is the numbering of leaves (see leaf), as opposed to pagination, which is the numbering of pages. It is rare in books printed before 1475, when the majority bore no consecutive...

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Follow the flag

Preferring the edition published in the nation of the author's birth. You couldn't find a more classic American novel than Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but it was actually first...

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Foot

But you probably want to know what the foot of a book is. The very bottom of the spine of either the book or the dustjacket.

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Foot of page

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Fore edge painting Fore edge painting

A painting on gilded fore edge, which can only be seen by fanning pages. Popular in the 15th and 16th centuries, and occasionally still being done today.

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Foreword

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Format

"This term (nowadays pronounced to rhyme with doormat) is defined by SOED as ‘the shape and size of a book’. In bibliographical contexts it is used to indicate the structure of a volume in...

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Forum Antikvarov Bukinistov (FAB)

“This is a real integration of what has been interrupted for a very long time”, said ABAC President Eric Waschke at the Presidents’ Meeting in Vienna 2009, when the Forum Antikvarov...

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Foxed

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Foxing Foxing

Spotting on a book, usually brown spots found on paper, of varying severity, caused by a chemical action wherein impurities in the paper oxidize. This is often exacerbated by an excessively humid...

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Fraying

Refers to the condition of a book; the unraveling of the threads or fibers of an edge of a book cover that is caused by excessive rubbing

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Free endpaper

Front and rear blank pages added by the binder.

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French

Excellent and pretty exhaustive guide to African-Americana poetry: Afro-American Poetry and Drama, 1760-1975: A Guide to Information Sources by William P. French, Michel J. Fabre, Amritjit Singh,...

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French-folded

Referring to a dustjacket, or the wrappers of a softbound book that have been folded over on all edges.

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From English sheets

When the pages used for the American edition of a book that was originally published in England, were imported from England – in effect slapping a new title page and a new binding, with the...

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Front fly

The first moveable leaf of paper in a book, often blank, which is usually attached to the front pastedown. Also called the front free endpaper, the fly leaf, or the fly.

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Frontispiece

An illustration or plate inserted immediately in front of the title page, with the illustration facing the title page, often abbreviated as frontis.

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Full binding Full binding

Volume is entirely encased in leather (calf, sheep, morocco, etc.)

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Full page

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