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Glossary Page I

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


Glossary of Book and Ephemera Terms and Abbreviations


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I. see [index].


iconophor (from Greek: image bearer). a specific type of [illustration] in which a decorative letter, often an initial capital letter, is illustrated with objects whose names start with that. Term coined by Thora van Male in 2005.


ILAB / LILA. International League of Antiquarian Booksellers / La Ligue Internationale de la Librairie Ancienne. An international umbrella organization made up of many national [antiquarian] bookseller associations.


ilfochrome. see [cibachrome].


ill / illus. 1. [illustrated]. 2. [illustration(s)].


ills. [illustrations].


illum / illuminated. having hand-colored illustrations; usually refers to an [illuminated manuscript].


illuminated manuscript. a hand-written, hand-decorated, and hand-colored document, most commonly produced in the middle ages, often on religious or mystical topics, and often having [gilt] decorations or gilt highlights in the illustrations.


illustrated. containing pictures, diagrams, maps, or similar printed features other than text.


illustration. any design, picture, [plate], plan, photograph, diagram, chart, map, or other non-text printed



imitation. inexpensive, cheap material substituted for the real thing, as in [imitation leather]. Also called fake, false, faux, simulated.


imitation leather. any of a number of fake leather or leather-like bindings, including [Fabrikoid], [leatherette], [Rexine], and [vinyl]. Compare [bonded leather].


impression / imp. synonymous with [printing]. For example, "1st edition, 4th impression" means the fourth [printing] of the [first edition].


Imprimatur (Latin: let it be printed). with [Nihil Obstat], a declaration from a Roman Catholic official that the book is free of doctrinal or moral error.


imprint. 1. the name of a publisher. 2. a division of a publishing company having a distinct name; in other words, a publisher's brand name. 3. place of publication.


in relief. another term for [embossed], as in "title in relief on front."


in text. part of the main content of the book. Usually refers to [illustrations] printed on text pages rather than on [plates].


incunabula (Latin: cradle, infancy). general term for all items printed during the infancy of printing in Europe. The first European book made with movable type is generally said to be the Bible printed by Johann Gutenberg in 1451; incunabula generally includes items from the first fifty years of printing, 1451-1501. Printing with movable type was first invented by Pi Sheng in China in the eleventh century, but in the West is usually credited to Gutenberg.


index (plural: indices or indexes). 1. alphabetical listing of names or topics mentioned in the book, with their page numbers, usually found in the back of [nonfiction] books. For [periodicals], the index is usually published after the [volume] is completed and is usually found in the last issue. 2. The Index: Roman Catholic church's official list of banned books, discontinued in the US in the 1920s. Also called "Index Expurgatorius" or "Index Librorium Prohibitorium."


India paper. extremely thin, yet relatively opaque paper. Usually used to help reduce the bulk of what would otherwise be a book of unwieldy size.


inner dentelle. decoration, usually [gilt] [tooling], on the inside edges of the [boards] of an expensive binding, usually referring to decoration on leather. Sometimes this area is also signed by the binder. See [dentelle].


inscribed. 1. signed by the author to a specific person, usually with a personal message or some brief notation. 2. signed by a previous [owner], or written in by a previous owner when given as a gift. Technically, the term "inscribed" should only be used to refer to the author's inscription, and not as in sense 2.


inscription. refers to a message that has been [inscribed].


insect damage. refers to insect holes or paths, most often seen in older [hardcovers].


integral. sewn and bound into a book during its manufacture. Often refers to a special [leaf].


integral wrappers. see [French covers] (sense 2).


interfoliant (Latin: between pages). general term for any item [laid in] between the pages of a book, not published with the book, such as a bookmark, newspaper [clipping], or dried flower. Also called [biblioscat]. See also [bioephemera].


interior. general term for the inside pages. Refers to the body of the text, or to everything but the [covers] and [endpapers].


interleaved. having blank leaves alternating with the printed leaves. See [leaf].


introduction. statement describing the creation of the book, or in some other manner describing the book, written by someone other than the author and usually printed in front of the main text. Compare [foreword], [preface].


IOBA. Independent Online Booksellers Association. A trade association founded in 1999 for independent new and used booksellers who sell some or all of their stock on the internet.


ISBN. International Standard Book Number. A numbering system created to simplify and standardize new-book ordering worldwide. Often pronounced IZ-bin. The system was created in the UK in 1967, introduced in the US in 1969, and by 1975 was almost universally adopted. ISBNs are issued by R. R. Bowker Company in the US and by similar agencies in other countries. Until 2007, and continuing through a 2-year transition period, ISBNs had ten digits, or nine digits and the letter X. As of 2007, ISBNs were expanded to thirteen characters with the addition of a three-digit prefix. In either case the final digit is arrived at by following a complex logarithmic pattern. For purposes of data sharing and matching, ISBNs are often seen online as an unbroken string of ten characters; when printed on a book they are more correctly shown as four number groups separated by hyphens: the first group identifies the publisher's regional language area (not the language of the text), the next identifies the publisher, the third refers to the item itself, and the last is a mathematical check digit. The same title will have a different ISBN for each format or type of binding in which it is published, and in many cases will have a different ISBN for each country in which is it published. ISBNs are also applied to videos, audio books, software, and mixed media (such as book-and-software) kits.


ISBN-13. 13-digit ISBN. These were implemented on 1 January 2007 and replaced the previous 10-digit system. Each ISBN has an equivalent ISBN-13 where which the prefix 978 is added and the final digit (a mathematical check digit) is modified to conform to the formula. The prefix 978 comes from the [EAN] code for "bookland" meaning the product is a book or a book-related product (spoken-word audio, calendar, etc.).


ISMN. International Standard Music Number. Equivalent to an [ISBN] for a published piece of music. R. R. Bowker Company, administrators of the American ISBN system, states: "The U.S. ISMN Agency is responsible for the assignment of the ISMN Publisher Prefix to publishers of printed music with a residence or office in the U.S. and are publishing titles within the U.S."


ISSN. International Standard Serial Number. A standardized number applied to [periodicals], functioning much the same way as an [ISBN] for books.


issue. 1. in books: see [point of issue]. 2. in periodicals: a [number].


ivoried. very slightly toned from age. See [yellowed].



A ~ B ~ C ~ D ~ E ~ FG ~ H ~ I ~ J ~ K ~ L ~ M


N ~ O ~ PQ ~ R ~ S ~ T ~ U ~ VW ~ XYZ


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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