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

Rag book

A children's book printed on and bound with cloth fabric.

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Rag paper

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Raised bands

On a cord-bound book, the horizontal raised bands on the spine, usually of a leather binding. Not often used in books published today, except for quality leather-bound editions.

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Rare, scarce

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Re-issue

A term encompassing all types of a reprinting of a work; it can be a later printing of a book, which is substantially unchanged, or an entirely new edition, such as a cloth edition re-issued as a...

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Re-sized

Usually means that all of the pages in the book have been "washed" and sizing material, such as gelatin or glue, has been re-applied. The washing may have been done to remove stains, writing, or...

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Reading Copy

A copy which is not a collectible copy, either because it is a reprint edition, or because the condition is so far gone that the cataloger, faced with the prospect of the term "about fair," decides...

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Rebacked

The spine or backstrip has been replaced with new material, in some cases the original worn backstrip is saved and glued over the new material.

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Rebound Rebound

When the boards of the book have been detached or lost from the text of the book, and the binding has been replaced. Sometimes books are rebound simply because a collector appreciates the look more...

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Recased

A repair, where a book is taken apart and put back together using original pages, cloth, and endpapers. Usually done to tighten the sewing or to wash the pages, etc.

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Recased (in an old binding)

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Recommendation

A (usually positive) small review or comment by an important author or commentator that has been printed on the dustwrapper to stimulate interest in the book. Recommendations can be...

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Recto

The "front" of a page in a book, or the page that is on the right-hand side of a book when it is opened. Also called the obverse.

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Reference Library

What every legitimate bookseller should have, and what many take great pride in. The Internet is a great tool, but it is a poor substitute for a comprehensive library of bibliographic reference...

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Regesta (documents)

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Réglé (exemplaire réglé)

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Reinforced corners

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Reissue under a new title

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Rejointed

A book which has been repaired preserving the original covers & spine.

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Remainder Remainder

A new book returned to the publisher as unsold, then re-marketed at a much lower price.

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Remainder mark Remainder mark

A mark (rubber stamp, felt marker stroke, or spray, often on a book's bottom edge) signifying that the book was returned to publisher as unsold, and then sold at a much lower price.

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Remarque

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Remboîtage

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Repaired, restored

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Repertorium

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Reprint

Later printings of a book, or something you usually don't want if you are a first edition collector. You can read them though. There are two common exceptions among collectors: 1) textually or...

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Reprinting (early methods)

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Residue (Stickerghost) Residue (Stickerghost)

As in "sticker residue" or "tape residue" - once upon a time long ago, the book in question had a sticker or tape on it, someone removed the latter, but some of the adhesive or some evidence of it...

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Retouched

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Review slip

A small printed piece of paper either laid into or affixed to a regular trade edition of a book, sent to reviewers, in order or the publisher to stimulate interest in the book. Usually sent out...

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Ribbed back

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Rice paper

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Roan

A soft, flexible, sheepskin binding. This durable, yet cheap, leather material came in to use around 1790 as a replacement for the more expensive morocco leather, and is not known for its elegance.

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Rocaille

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Role-stamp

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Roma

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Roman Type

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Roth 101

Andrew Roth's The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century, which has been a convenient guide to photography collectors.

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Rough

Unpolished suede-like leather, which was primarily used for binding of reference books, music scores, working manuals, and similar books, since the 18th century. Also known as reversed calf.

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Rubbing

Wear, often to the edges, caused to a book or dustjacket that is the result of friction, often from being removed and replaced upon a shelf with other books.

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Rubricated

"A rubric is a heading to a chapter or section written or printed in red (with a specialised meaning in liturgical books). Rubricated, as used in descriptions of MSS. or early printed books,...

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