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Rare Books

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
609-258-3184
Acting Associate University Librarian for Rare Books and Special Collections
609-258-3165

Information about such notabilia can be difficult to come by, but not to be overlooked are the indexes for such in David Foxon's English Verse or in the Hunt Botanical collection catalogue prepared by Allan Stevenson or in the Pforzheimer catalogue prepared by William Jackson. Also see Roger Stoddard's Marks in Books (Cambridge, 1985) for such notabilia in Harvard collections.

At Princeton, such information is scattered and to find it one must look in a number of sources such as the Special Card File on the Book Arts in the reference area of the 1st floor rooms of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, in the card files for book illustrators both in Graphic Arts and in the RBSC reference room, and in the folder headed "Bibliographical Notabilia at Princeton" in the Collections File. It is also important to use the keyword searching capability of the online catalogue to find such notabilia. As a sampling, see the following:

Examples of incomplete processing, which provides evidence of the various steps in printing, such as books still in sheets, ballads "two-up", preliminary pages in the last quire, etc.

Examples of books in sheets:

 

1.Lukas Voch. Etwas von Bauzierathen (Augsburg, 1783) [GAX]; in [GA], a copy of the Baskerville printing of Paradise Regained (Gaskell number 7) which is in folded sheets.

2. (Ex) BT645.F72f (a 17th century book still in sheets titled Actus and dated 1691).

3. (Ex) 10822.956.066 A Versification of President Washington's Excellent Farewell Address (Portsmouth, NH, 1798), which is uncut and unstitched and has the format sixmo (sic).

4.(Ex) Oversize Broadside 123 : The Jesuits justification and A prophesie: two broadside ballads printed on the two halves of a single double-folio sheet, in different types and obviously meant to be severed for sale but left intact. See also (RHT) 17th-756 for the individual copy of The Jesuits justification.

5. (Ex) 3979.2.1791 for a book which still has its preliminary leaves still in the last signature.

6. (Ex) DA396.A3 H64 1692 for evidence of front matter being printed with the back matter.

 

Examples with directions to the binder

 

1.(WIT) 1536.933.13 History of the Revolution in Portugal.

2. (EXTRAN) 3828.1.1775 Works of George Lillo which has directions "Take the half sheet ...(*H3) and place it...".

3. See (Ex) PQ1795.T5.1784 Fenelon Adventures of Telemachus which has unusual directions to the binder.

 

Examples with title-slips [label titles, longitudinal titles, perpendicular half-titles, vertical half-titles, vertical titles]

 

1. (Ex) 8110.563: Ramus, Petrus, 1515-1572. Petri Rami Arithmeticae libri dvo: geometriae septem et viginti. A Lazaro Schonero recogniti & aucti. 1599. [image]

2. (Ex) 7893.238: Care, Henry, 1646-1688. English liberties, or, The free-born subject's inheritance ... 1691. [image]

3. (Ex) 1443.955.73: Pope, Walter, d. 1714. Life of the Right Reverend father in God Seth [Ward], Lord Bishop of Salisbury ... : With a brief account of Bishop Wilkins, Mr. Lawrence Rooke, Dr. Isaac Barrow, Dr. Turbervile, and others. 1697. [image]

4. Example of title label, "Mr Boyles History of Particular Qualities", printed longitudinally on verso of leaf H8. (Ex) 8013.205.02: Boyle, Robert, 1627-1691. Tracts. Oxford: Printed by W.H. for R. Davis, 1671.

5. Example of title label, "Mr Boyle's Continuation of Experiments of the Air", printed longitudinally on recto of leaf Ee2. (ExW) 8013.205.06: Boyle, Robert, 1627-1691. A Continuation of New Experiments ... The I. Part. Oxford: Printed by Henry Hall ... for Richard Davis, 1669.

6. Example of title label, "Cambridge Phrases", printed longitudinally on recto of leaf Ssss4. (Ex) 2531.777: Robertson, William, d.1686. Phraseologia Generalis...A Full, Large, and General Phrase Book...for the more speedy and Prosperous Progress of Students, in their Humanity Studies. Cambridge, Printed by John Hayes, printer to the University, 1681, and are to be sold by George Sawbridge, at the Bible, on Ludgate Hill, London. [image]

 

Examples showing cancellation

 

1. (Ex) 3288.682 copy 2 Rousseau's Remarks translated by Fuseli (London, 1767) which has both the cancel leaf G7 and the uncancelled leaf G7 and copy 1 of this same book has the cancel leaf G7 mounted in reverse page order.

2. (Ex) PR3409.xD2 1668 which is John Denham's Poems (London, 1668) which has been slitted at the foot of leaf I6 (pp. 123-4) to indicate that this is the leaf to be cancelled.

3. (EXTRAN) 1446.999 volume 24 Humble Petition of the Free Thinkers for an example of cancelled imprint. In this copy the 18th century London imprint for Corbett is a slip pasted over the original imprint for Owen.

 

Examples of bookseller's pasted-on tickets, circulating library tickets, etc

 

1. (Ex) 3594.895 vol 1 for pasted-on ticket of the 18th century English bookseller John March with details of his mix of stock.

2. (Ex) PR1101.N48 1768s for the ticket of Webb's Circulating Library, Bedford.

3. (Ex) 3925.3895 for the ticket of C. Rice's Circulating Library, Berkeley Square.

4. (Ex) 3792.95.3455 1771 vol. 3 for the ticket of Beatniffe's Circulating Library, Norwich (18th cent.)

 

Miscellaneous examples: In the folder headed "Bibliographical Notabilia at Princeton" in the Collections File can be found notes about the following examples: End-of-year forward dating; Prompt book(s); printer's proof copies; subscription books; civilité type; books with volvelles; books perfected with penwork; books with odd collations; and so on.