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

Made up volume

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Majuscule

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Manuscript

The original form of a book, story, or poem, as it was created by the author. Manuscripts can take many forms and can have many versions, or drafts. Dealers should be careful to determine the...

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Map

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Marbled paper Marbled paper

Paper decorated with a multi-colored, swirled design or pattern; often used for end papers or for paper covered boards, especially with 3/4 or 1/2 leather bindings.

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Marbled paper Marbled paper

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Margin

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Marginal figures

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Marginalia

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McCue

Baseball reference book Baseball By The Books: A History and Complete Bibliography of Baseball Fiction by Andy McCue that is a reasonably complete listing of fiction titles that feature the game of...

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Metal cut

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Mezzotint

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Mezzotint engraving

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Mimeograph

A pamphlet, book, or broadside, usually ephemeral in nature, made by a mechanical printing or copying process using a stencil. Often seen in amateur printing, or for limited runs of printing, as...

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Miniature

"(1) To miniate (from minium, meaning red lead) meant originally to colour or paint with vermilion, to rubricate or illuminate. But miniatures have come to denote the painted scenes, anecdotes,...

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Miniature book

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Mint

Without faults or defects, unread, in the same immaculate condition in which it was published (Note: very few "new" books qualify for this grade, as many times there will be rubs/scuffs to the...

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Misbound

An illustration, map, or a number of pages that have been incorrectly folded, bound in the wrong place, or bound in upside down.

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Misprint

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Modern First

A first edition of a book published within this century.

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Monograph

A work, generally short, dealing with a single subject.

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Morocco Morocco

One of a number of variants of good quality leather made from goatskin, which is appropriate for dyeing, and generally used in better bindings.

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Mors

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Mount

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Mounted

Damaged leaves, illustrations, maps, and/or photographs that have been strengthened by backing with paper or thin cloth. Also describes an illustration that has been mounted, or tipped, onto a...

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Mull

The cloth which reinforces the hinges and is pasted directly to the body of a book and is hidden by the spine.

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MWEL

Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature (Springfield MA: Merriam-Webster, 1995). An excellent one volume reference, particularly nice for cribbing (and a favorite of contributors to...

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Mylar

Although this is a specific sort of plastic film, in the book trade it is used as a generic term to indicate one of several types of plastic used to protect books and dustjackets. These can come in...

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