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Glossary Page H

Page history last edited by Gwen Foss 15 years, 3 months ago


Glossary of Book and Ephemera Terms and Abbreviations


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hagiography. a book on the lives of saints.


half bound. refers to a book having a cloth [spine] and paper-covered [boards], the cloth extending perhaps one or two inches across the boards. Called [quarter bound] if leather is present rather than cloth.


half calf. see [half leather].


half cloth. more or less identical to [half bound]; that is, having paper-covered [boards] with the [spine] bound in cloth, but with the cloth extending about halfway across the boards.


half leather. having a leather [spine] and cloth or paper over the [boards]. In [antiquarian] books the term is [quarter bound].


half title. page carrying nothing but the title of the book. The half title usually precedes the [title page]. Some books place a half title between the [table of contents] and the first page of text; some books have both. (Does not refer to a half-sized piece of paper.) In former times, before books were routinely bound by the publisher, the half title was the front or outermost page and was expected to be removed when the book was bound. Sometimes called fly or fly title. Compare [bastard title].


half wrapper. another term for [wrap-around band].


halftone. 1. a type of black and white photograph printed with countless tiny dots, the density of which makes the photo appear as different shades of gray. Halftones are the most common type of photos found in modern newspapers. Compare [duotone]. 2. the engraved plate used to print a halftone.


hamster damage. not a standard term, it was spotted in a description for a used book that presumably had been nibbled around the edges.


handbill. another name for [flyer].


handout. another name for [flyer].


handsoil. marks or smudges left by grubby fingers. See also [smamped].


hardback. another name for [hardbound].


hardbound. a book bound with stiff [boards], the opposite of [softbound]. Also called hardback, hardcover, casebound, clothbound, cloth. Abbreviated hb, hc, hd, hdcv.


hardcover. another name for [hardbound].


HB / hb. [hardbound].


HC / hc. hardcover. See [hardbound].


hdcv. hardcover. See [hardbound].


head. top edge of the [text block]. 2. another name for [crown].


headband. narrow cloth band, sometimes decoratively colored or multi-colored, appearing inside the [backstrip] at the top of the [spine] of a book. An equivalent band at the heel is a [tailband].


headline. phrase or sentence, usually the title of the book or a chapter title, printed across the top of the page above the text. Compare [running head].


headword. entry in a dictionary or other reference.


hectograph. a relatively inexpensive copy-making process, involving a stencil and a tray of hand-mixed powdered gel. Copies were printed in a purplish color, with the quality of each copy tending to grow worse; after about 35 copies were made they became unreadable. Hectographs were in use in the first part of the 1900s until they were supplanted by the [mimeograph].


heel. lower end of the [spine]. Sometimes called the foot or tail.


heliogravure. 1. a precursor to the [photogravure] in which an image is produced by projecting light between minute granules of resin directly onto a plate. 2. another name for [photogravure].


Hell notes. Chinese play money: pieces of small, flimsy paper printed to resemble currency, used as [joss].


herbarium. a book with blank leaves used to preserve and describe mounted plant specimens. This was a popular activity in the 1800s and early 1900s.


hexapla. a multilingual book printed in six languages, or with six versions of the text, usually printed side by side for comparison. The term usually describes a Bible or a printing of Biblical parts. The first and perhaps most famous hexapla was an edition of the Bible produced by Origen in the third century. See also [octapla].


highlighting. a defect, commonly found in [textbooks], in which parts of the text have been colored by the [owner] with pale, transparent ink, as an aid to study. Compare [underlining.]


hinge. 1. in books: the [joint], either outer or inner, of the binding of a book; the part that bends when the book is opened. Hinge usually refers to the inner part when joint refers to the outer. 2. in stamps: a tiny adhesive slip attaching a stamp to a page in a stamp album.


HMP / hmp. handmade paper, usually of a higher quality than machine-made paper.


HMSO. Her/His Majesty's Stationery Office. Government publishing house of the UK.


hole ghost. artifact on a [photocopy] that shows where the original had been hole-punched. The presence of a hole ghost indicates that the item in hand is a photocopy, not an original. Term invented by bookdealer Steve Harter, who said: "It is important when selling a script to look for . . . hole ghosts . . . The photocopy process makes an image of the hole, or a partial image, because of the shadow created by the hole edges. When holes are punched in these photocopies, the new holes don't exactly match the locations of the images, and so you can see partial hole images on the copies: hole ghosts."


holograph. refers to material written by hand by the author; more commonly called [autograph].


holy card. a type of [ephemera], usually about the size of a playing card, depicting prayers, saints, or similar devotional material, and distributed by religious organizations.


horn book. student [primer] or basic learning tool consisting of a flat wooden board with a handle, showing the alphabet and other simple information, sometimes covered with a transparent sheet of horn. (A horn book, by itself, is not actually a horn or a book.) Hornbooks were in use from the middle ages to about 1750; few authentic examples survive.


hors texte, versos blank (French: outside the text, reverse unprinted). usually refers to [unpaginated] [plates] printed only on one side. In some cases the plates are [tipped in] on paper of a different stock from that of the text. Abbreviated htvb.


household edition. publisher's term used for books of a [set] or [series] of uniform, inexpensive reprints of popular literature. Also called people's edition.


housename. pen name used by a number of different writers while working for a specific publishing house. Under one pseudonym, dozens of authors might contribute to a [series] of popular books, all using essentially the same style. Examples include Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew books), Victor Appleton (Tom Swift books), Kenneth Robeson (Doc Savage books), Julius Alvin (Gross Jokes books).


HTF. hard to find.


HTP / htp. half title page. See [half title].


HTVB / htvb. see [hors texte, versos blank].


hurt. (n.) a damaged new book sold at a reduced price. Usually the damage is external and superficial. Hurts and [remainders] exist in a kind of gray area: while they are technically new in terms of ownership, they are not in [As New] condition and should therefore not be described as "new" but as exactly what they are: hurts (or remainders) with defects as listed.


hypermodern. published within last ten years or so. Usually refers to [first editions] of [fiction] published before the book or author has gained a reputation for being collectible.



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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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