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Glossary Page D

Page history last edited by Gwen Foss 15 years, 1 month ago


Glossary of Book and Ephemera Terms and Abbreviations


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daguerreotype. an early type of photograph, in vogue 1839-1850s, invented by Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, consisting of a silver image on a polished copper plate. Now a collectible type of [ephemera].


dampstained. same as [waterstained]; stained from contact with water or dampness. Dampstains exist in degrees from very mild (nearly invisible) to very severe.


debossed. indented. The term refers to an intentional indentation rather than a defect; for example, a school seal debossed on the cover of a yearbook. When the image is raised rather than inpressed, the term is [embossed].


dec / decor. [decorated].


dec.cl. [decorated] [cloth].


dec.eps. [decorated] [endpapers].


deckle edges / feathered edges. refers to paper with untrimmed, naturally rough edges, a feature of better-quality handmade paper.


decorated / decor. usually refers to [cloth] having designs [stamped] in color.


dedication copy. copy [inscribed] by the author to the person to whom the book is dedicated.


dedication page. a page, usually following the [copyright page], giving the name of the person, movement, organization, pet, etc., to whom the author has dedicated the book. In more recent books, due to paper conservation, the dedication is often found on the copyright page.


Deeptone (brand name). an [offset] printing process used by R. R. Donnelley & Sons, publishers of

Lakeside Press Classics, from the 1940s through the 1960s.


defect. any kind of flaw or damaged area. Some common defects are: [browned], [bumped], [chipped],

[clipped], [cracked], [dampstained], [edgeworn], [ex-library], [foxing], [remainder mark], [rubbed],

[underlined], [waterstained], [yellowed].


delaminated. the [lamination] layer is peeling off. The term is usually in reference to a [dust jacket] having a thin laminate or [cellophane] coating.


deluxe binding / deluxe edition. marketing term which may refer to any kind of feature such as color [illustrations] or [imitation leather] covers. Not necessarily a valuable book.


Demco (brand name). clear plastic sheath into which a [dust jacket] is inserted to protect it. Sometimes used as a verb; for example, "all jackets Demcoed."


demi jacket. another term for [wrap-around band].


dentelle. 1. fine [scrollwork] or lacy patterns [tooled] into the leather covering of a book. 2. raised band on the [backstrip], usually found on a leather bound book. 3. inner dentelle: decorated fold of leather turned in around the edges of the [boards], usually decorated in [gilt], and often having the binder's name. Compare [gauffered edges].


device. 1. printer's ornament. 2. any insignia or logo, such as the identifying mark of the publisher.


diced. decorated with an even pattern of diamond or lozenge shapes. Usually refers to [blind-stamped]



die-cut. trimmed into a special shape as part of the process of manufacturing the item. Die-cut pages are usually seen in [shape books] and as the specially designed movable parts of [pop-ups].


digest. 1. publication containing an assortment of [abridged] novels or similarly shortened material. 2. small-sized [comic book].


dime novel. a type of cheap [paperback] containing low-brow fiction. Dime novels were first published in 1860 and were later superceded by [pulps]. Now collectible.


dimple. an uncolored, impressed mark on the lower right corner of the rear board of a [hardcover], usually round and very small but occasionally a square or other shape. Such a mark is an indication that the book in hand is a [Book Club Edition]. Note: Many books carry the words "first edition" on the [copyright page] but also have the dimple; if the dimple is present, the book is not a [first edition].


disbound. 1. the [binding] has been removed or has separated from the rest of the book. Also called sprung. Compare [unbound]. 2. refers to a section of a [bound] work that has been removed from its binding and sold separately, such as a single [issue] removed from a [bound periodical]. Compare [clipping].


discography. list of audio recordings, often musical, by the same artist, or related by a theme. Often found as an [appendix].


discolored / discoloration. refers to change or loss of color, usually on the [binding]. Commonly found in connection with being faded, [flaked], or [waterstained].


ditto. another name for [mimeograph].


DJ / dj. [dust jacket].


dog eared. refers to a page corner that is folded over, [creased] or worn. Very heavily worn page corners are sometimes said to be frayed.


dos-a-dos. old name for what is now called a [double].


double. two separate books [bound] together, back to back, with one upside down, each [cover] showing a different title. Invented in the middle ages (when it was called a "dos-a-dos"); this is more recently a popular binding style with [paperback] science fiction novels. Sometimes called a flip-flop book.


double-folded pages. describes pages of a book that was printed on one long sheet of paper, [accordion folded], and [bound] along one edge, so that each page is a double sheet of paper folded along the [fore-edge].


double slipcase. a type of [slipcase] having two separate slots, usually side by side.


doublure. a type of [endpaper] made of silk or leather rather than paper. Usually found only in expensive bindings.


down-style. a type of [headline] or title writing in which the first word is capitalized and all other words,

except proper nouns, are not capitalized. The Library of Congress uses down-style titles. Compare



dressed. treated with preservative oil, usually referring to treatment of leather bound books.


drop box. protective box having a lift-off lid.


drop-spine box. [clamshell box].


drop title / drop-head title. title of a [leaflet] or [pamphlet] that does not have a [title page]; in other words, the [headline] above the first paragraph.


dummy. 1. mock-up of a book, used by salesmen in the late 1800s and early 1900s, often having a [title page], ten or twenty pages of text, then blank pages to fill out the rest of the [binding], to show prospective buyers what the book would look like. Also called a salesman's dummy. 2. mock-up used by printers and binders as a guide to properly produce the finished book.


duodecimo. [12mo].


duograph. another name for [duotone] (sense 1).


duotone. 1. a type of black and white photograph printed from two [halftone] plates, one plate printed in a dark tone, the other in a lighter tone, to produce a two-tone effect. 2. any [illustration] printed in two colors.


dupe / duplicate. identical item.


dust jacket / DJ / dj / jacket / dust wrapper / DW / dw / dust cover / book jacket. a paper wrapper, usually decorative, placed around a [hardcover] book, or sometimes a [softcover], to protect the covers and to advertise the book. Occasionally made of some flexible material other than paper, such as [acetate]. The earliest known example is a book with an unprinted jacket published in 1832. Jackets became more common by the 1880s, but as late as 1954 they were still considered only as throw-away advertising and were expected to be discarded by the purchaser. Now they are generally valuable and [collectible] when accompanying a collectible book.


dust wrapper. [dust jacket].


DW / dw. dust wrapper. See [dust jacket].



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This glossary was written and compiled by Gwen Foss of Alan's Used Books with thanks to the many independent bookdealers of TomFolio.com



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