Glossary of Rare Book Terms

What is a rare book? What is signed versus inscribed? What is a first edition? What does 8vo stand for?
Find some of the common jargon booksellers and book collectors often use.

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Cancels, Cancellation
A cancel is any part of a book substituted for what was originally printed. It may be of any size, from a tiny scrap of paper bearing one or two letters, pasted on over those first printed, to several sheets replacing the original ones. The most common form of cancel is perhaps a single leaf inserted in place of the original leaf.
Small pamphlet of popular, sensational, juvenile, moral or educational character, originally distributed by chapmen or hawkers, not by booksellers.
Part of the protective armour of medieval (and post-medieval) bindings. A clasp, either of metal with a hinge, or with an intervening strip of leather or textile, on one board snapped into a catch on the other. Its object was to keep the book closed, relieving any strain on the joints from casual movement. In England and France the clasp was on the upper board, the catch on the lower; elsewhere in Europe the positions were reversed.

Certificate of Authenticity

A document of ultimate nonsense. "Those who fake signatures also fake Certificates of Authenticity".. Only a few dealers in the world can or are willing to have in place defined and communicated authenticity policies and stand behind their materials' authenticity for life. A minimum expectation you should have.
A term in descriptive bibliography which describes the non-binding portion of the book, verifying the proper sequence and completeness of pages & their gatherings (signatures).
A statement, often placed at the end of a book or manuscript with facts relative to its production. It typically includes the name of the printer, type of paper and typeface used, and may state the number of books printed in this edition. It is also used to describe an identifying mark, emblem, or device used by a printer or a publisher. From the Greek kolophon for summit, finishing touch.
Indicating the attachment of leaves, e.g., the bibliographical notation A 1.8 indicates that the first and eighth leaves of the first gathering are conjugate, i.e., attached.
A relief printing technique, criblé was used to make the earliest metal prints on paper by dotting the plate with a punch. Criblé plates were relief printed like woodcuts. Criblé backgrounds were used to lighten borders which would appear too dark in relation to the text area of a page were they printed solid black.
Crushed Morocco
Morocco leather which has been so thoroughly ironed, pressed or rolled that the grain of the original skin has been almost obliterated. This is done in the piece, not when it is on the boards. The characteristic high polish is given after the volume is bound.
Illustration(s) printed on the same pages as the body of text, they are also simply referred to as illustrations. Illustration(s) on leaves often of a different paper stock and separately printed and inserted into the book at the time of binding are generally referred to as Plates.