Definition of term:: Signature

  • "The letters (or, in some modern books, numerals) printed in the tail margin of the first leaf (at least) of each gathering or section of a book, as a guide to the binder in assembling them correctly. (See, for instance, p. 33 or p. 177 of this book.) Signatures normally run from A to Z, omitting, by convention, J and U, which in earlier days were capitalised as I and V, and also W. If the whole alphabet has been run through, they usually proceed to AA, BB, or Aa, Bb, etc. These are commonly indicated in bibliographical descriptions as 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, etc. When, as an alternative, a single-letter alphabet is simply repeated, it is convenient to indicate the subsequent alphabets as 2A, 3A, 2B, 3B, etc." (John Carter)
Danish: Signatur
Dutch: Signatuur
French: Signature
German: Signatur
Italian: Segnatura
Spanish: Signatura
Swedish: Signerat exemplar
Source: John Carter, ABC for Book Collectors. 7th edition. With Corrections, Additions and an Introduction by Nicolas Barker. Oak Knoll Press 1995