Book Arts Glossary

This glossary is by no means complete. However, by the time I have finished with it, it should cover our topic quite nicely.

Acanthus: A plant, the foliage of which has served as decorative motif in classic design from its use in Greek ornament down to modern times. Its beautiful serrated leaves and graceful growth give acanthus special value to the ornamental designer.
Aldine or Italian: Ornaments of solid face without any shading whatever, such as used by Aldus and other early Italian printers. The ornaments are of Arabic character. A style appropriate for early printed literature.
Alignment: A term used in typography for trueness to marginal, top or bottom lines and applied commonly to the even relation of initial letters or other decorations of the type page.
Anchor: In religious use it is the symbol of hope and is one of the great motifs used in devices.
Arabesque: is a form of artistic decoration consisting of "surface decorations based on rhythmic linear patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage, tendrils" or plain lines, often combined with other elements.
Azured: Ornamentation outlined in gold and crossed with horizontal lines.
Bands: (1) The cord whereon the sheets of a volume are sewn. (2) The ridges on the back caused by the bands raising the leather. Head Band: A knitting of silk or thread worked in at the head and foot of the shelf back of the book.
Boards: A temporary binding with a cover made of boards and paper. Mill Boards: The boards that are attached to the book, giving stiffening to the cover.
Book of Hours: A Christian devotional book popular in the Middle Ages. It is the most common type of surviving medieval illuminated manuscript.
Bosses: Brass or other metal pieces attached to the covers of a book, for ornamentation or protection.
Burnish: The gloss produced by the application of the burnisher to the edges after coloring, marbling or gilding.
Codicology: The related study of physical aspects of manuscript codexes. It is often referred to as 'the archaeology of the book', concerning itself with the materials (parchment, sometimes referred to as membrane or vellum, paper, pigments, inks and so on), and techniques used to make books, including their binding.
Collating: Examining the signatures, after a volume has been folded and gathered, to ascertain if they be in correct sequence.
Dentelle: A style resembling lace work, finished with very finely cut tools.
Derome: This style has ornaments of a leafy character, with a more solid face, though lightly shaded by the graver and is best exemplified in borders. The ornaments are often styled Renaissance, being an entire change from the Gascon. Time, 18th century.
Doublé: When the inside of the cover is lined with leather, it is termed a double.
End Papers or Lining Papers: The papers, plain or fancy, placed at each end of the volume and pasted down upon the boards.
Etymology: is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. By extension, the term "the etymology of [a word]" means the origin of the particular word.
Éve: A framework of various geometrical-shaped compartments linked together by interlaced circles; the centers of the compartments are filled with small floral ornaments, and the irregular spaces surrounding them, with circular scrolls and branches of laurel and palm. An elaborate style used at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century.
Fillet: A cylindrical tool used in finishing, upon which a line or lines are engraved.
Finishing: Comprises tooling, lettering, polishing, etc.
Flexible: A book sewn on raised bands, with the thread passed entirely around each band, allowing the book to open freely.
Fore edge: The front edge of the leaves.
Forwarding: Comprises all the operations between preparing and finishing, including the forming and trimming of the books, and the covering of the boards.
Gaufre Edges:  Impressions made with the linisher's tools on the edges of the book after gilding.
Gloss:  is a brief marginal notation of the meaning of a word or wording in a text. It may be in the language of the text, or in the reader's language if that is different.
Glossary: also known as a vocabulary, or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms. Traditionally, a glossary appears at the end of a book and includes terms within that book that are either newly introduced, uncommon, or specialized.
Gouge: A finishing tool forming the segment of a circle.
Grolier: An interlaced framework of geometrical figures-circles, squares, and diamonds-with scrollwork running through it, the ornaments which are of Moresque character, generally azured in whole or part, sometimes in outline only. Parts of the design are often studded with gold dots. Time, first half of the 16th century.
Guards: Strips of paper inserted in the backs of books, upon which inserts are mounted, intended to prevent the books being uneven in thickness when filled.
Illuminated Manuscript: A manuscript in which the text is supplemented with such decoration as initials, borders (marginalia) and miniature illustrations. In the strictest definition of the term, an illuminated manuscript refers only to manuscripts decorated with gold or silver, but in both common usage and modern scholarship, the term refers to any decorated or illustrated manuscript from Western traditions.
Initial: In a written or published work, an initial or dropcap is a letter at the beginning of a word, a chapter, or a paragraph that is larger than the rest of the text. The word is derived from the Latin initialis, which means standing at the beginning. An initial often is several lines in height and in older books or manuscripts, sometimes ornately decorated. In illuminated manuscripts, initials with images inside them are known as Historiated Initials. They were an invention of the Insular art of the British Isles in the eighth century. Initials containing, typically, plant-form spirals with small figures of animals or humans that do not represent a specific person or scene are known as Inhabited Initials. Certain important initials, such as the B of Beatus vir... at the opening of Psalm 1 at the start of a vulgate Latin psalter, could occupy a whole page of a manuscript. These specific initials, in an illuminated manuscript, also were called Initiums.
Inlaying: (1) Extending "extra" illustrations by inserting them in leaves to correspond to the size of a book. (2) A style of Mosaic work made by the insertion of vari-colored leathers or other material on the cover or double.
Jansen: Without line or ornament either in blank or gold. It permits decoration on the inside of the cover, but demands absolute plainness on the outside, with the exception of lettering. It is only appropriate for crushed levant, being dependent for its beauty on the polished surface of the leather. It takes its name from the followers of Jansenius, Bishop of Ypres, who were advocates of plainness in worship. 
Kettle-Stitch: A catch-stitch formed in sewing at the head and foot.
Lacing-In: Lacing the bands on which the hook is sewn through holes in the boards to attach them.
Le Gascon: The distinguishing features of this style is the dotted face of the ornaments instead of the continuous or solid line. In vogue the first half of the 17th century, immediately succeeding the period of Nicholas and Clovis Eve.
Limp: A cover without boards or other stiff materials, allowing the sides to be pliable.
Maioli: A style prior to and contemporary with the early (Italian) examples of the Grolier. Generally composed of a framework of shields or medallions, with a design of scrollwork flowing through it. Portions of the design are usually studded with gold dots. Ornaments are of Moresque character.
Manuscript:  Any document written by hand or typewritten, as opposed to being mechanically printed or reproduced in some automated way. More recently it is understood to be an author's written, typed, or word-processed copy of a work, as distinguished from the print of the same. Before the arrival of printing, all documents and books were manuscripts. Manuscripts are not defined by their contents, which may combine writing with mathematical calculations, maps, explanatory figures or illustrations. Manuscripts may be in book form, scrolls or in codex format. Illuminated manuscripts are enriched with pictures, border decorations, elaborately embossed initial letters or full-page illustrations.
Marbling: A method of coloring the edges or end papers in various patterns, obtained by floating colors on a gum solution.
Marginalia: (or Apostil) are scribbles, comments and illuminations in the margins of a book.
Miniature: derived from the Latin minium, red lead, is a picture in an ancient or medieval illuminated manuscript; the simple decoration of the early codices having been miniated or delineated with that pigment. The generally small scale of the medieval pictures has led secondly to an etymological confusion of the term with minuteness and to its application to small paintings especially portrait miniatures, which did however grow from the same tradition and at least initially use similar techniques.
Mitred: Tooled lines meeting at a right angle without overrunning.
Morocco: A fine kind of grained leather prepared from goatskin. Levant Morocco: The skin of the monarch breed of goat; a large grained Morocco.
Mosaic Book Cover:
A design inlaid with different colors. The cover may be of any shade, but the style is especially effective when the cover is of white vellum in imitation of illuminated manuscripts.
Overcasting: Oversewing the back edges of single leaves of weak sections; also called whip stitching or whipping.
Parchment: is a material made from processed animal skin and used, mainly in the past, for writing on. There are now styles of paper made to look like parchment and are most usually 'acid free.'
Palaeography: The study of historical handwritten scripts.
Pigment: used for coloring paint or ink in illuminated manuscripts. Most pigments used in the visual arts are dry colorants, usually ground into a fine powder. This powder is added to a binder (or vehicle), a relatively neutral or colorless material that suspends the pigment and gives the paint its adhesion. This binder could be water, oil, or eggs in the instances of those paints used by illuminators.
Pointillé: The dotted style of Le Gascon.
Preparing: Comprising all the preliminary operations up to "forwarding," including folding, gathering, collating, and sewing.
Psalter:  a volume containing the Book of Psalms, often with other devotional material bound in as well, such as a liturgical calendar and litany of the Saints.
Register: When the printing on one side of a leaf falls exactly over that on the other it is said to "register."
Roger Payne: The ornaments of this style are easily identified, being free and flowing in stem and flower; whereas before Payne's time they had been stiff and formal. The honeysuckle is a customary ornament. The impressions of the tools are usually studded round with gold dots, whether used in borders, corners, or center pieces.
Rolls: Cylindrical ornamental tools used in finishing book covers.
Sawing-in: When grooves are made in the back with a saw to receive the bands.
Semis: A diaper design made up of the repetition of one or more small tools.
Signature: Each folded sheet or section of a book.
Squares: The portion of the covers projecting beyond the edges of the book.
Tall Copy: So called when the book has not been reduced in size by trimming, with the leaves entirely incut.
Tooling: Impressing the design or pattern in gold leaf, with finishing tools, by hand. Blind Tooling: The impression of finishing tools without gold leaf.
Vellum: is derived from the Latin word "vitulinum" meaning "made from calf", leading to Old French "vélin" ("calfskin"). The term often refers to a parchment made from calf skin, as opposed to that from other animals. It is prepared for writing or printing on, to produce single pages, scrolls, codices or books. The term is sometimes used with a more general meaning referring to finer-quality parchments made from a variety of animal skins. Modern "paper vellum" (vegetable vellum) is a quite different synthetic material, used for a variety of purposes, including plans, technical drawings, and blueprints.
Vernacular: or vernacular language is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, especially as distinguished from a literary, national or standard language, or a lingua franca used in the region or state inhabited by that population.
Vulgate: is a late fourth-century Latin translation of the Bible that became, during the 16th century, the Catholic Church's officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible.

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