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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Reference/Bibliography: Joseph Sabin; A Dictionary of Books Relating to America.29 volumes; 1868-1936.
Salesman's Dummy or Dummy Editions
A dummy edition is similar to an ARC in that it is designed for advance distribution. However, the dummy edition generally contains only a portion of the book, such as a single chapter. Intended to convince booksellers to carry an upcoming release, a dummy edition may also be referred to as salesman’s edition or publishers dummy.
Screenprinting is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A roller or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil, forcing or pumping ink past the threads of the woven mesh in the open areas. Check here for more information about the process.
Sextodecimo or 16mo
A small book, approximately 4 inches wide and 6 inches tall. To make it, each sheet of paper is folded four times, forming sixteen leaves (32 pages).
The text block or sections/signatures have become loose in its binding; no longer tight, but not detached.
Large sheet of paper printed with several pages, which, when folded, is intended to form four or more leaves in the finished book
Sprinkled edges
Pages edges which have been cut solid and sprinkled, usually with an earth pigment, such as bole, dissolved in a non-spirit solvent. Sprinkled edges are intended to be decorative and to prevent the edges from appearing to be soiled.
Stained edges
The edges of a book that have been stained a uniform color, contrary to gilded, marbled, sprinkled, or stippled edges.
Stippled edges
The edges of a book which have been spotted irregularly with color mainly to keep them from appearing to be soiled.