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

Half binding Half binding

The spine and corner leather occupy only approx. 1/2 of top edge.

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Half calf

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Half cloth

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Half sheepskin

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Half title Half title

A page which precedes the title page and the text, with the title (often abbreviated) usually centered on the page.

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Half title

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Half vellum

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Half-tone print

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Hand printing

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Hand-gilded

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Hard-boiled

Fiction, usually detective fiction, marked by a gritty, pessimistic, and tough-as-nails world view. Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon would be the cornerstone of any hard-boiled mystery...

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Hardcover

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Head piece

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Head-piece

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Headband

Band of silk or cotton affixed to signatures when bound for strength or, more often, decoration of the spine.

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Heading

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Headline

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Height

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High spot

A term that is used to denote a highly regarded first or important edition of a book.

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Highlighting

The bright pen markings where the previous owner marked the book to highlight words, sentences, and/or passages of text.

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Hinge Hinge

The inside portion of the flexible area where book cover meets the book spine; often used interchangeably with the term joint, which should be used to designate the outside or exterior portion of...

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Holograph

Anything handwritten entirely by the writer; i.e. a letter written entirely in the handwriting of the correspondent is a holograph of that person.

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Homonym

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Horae

Book of Hours. "Manuscript or printed collections of litanies, prayers, etc., for private devotional use at the canonical offices of the Roman Church. Variations of detail between one diocese and...

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Hubin

An excellent and exhaustive reference to detective fiction by Allen J. Hubin, Crime Fiction III: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 1749-1995, available in either book or CD form. A must-have for any...

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