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Reading Early Printed Books: Home

A Guide to the Book as Artifact

How Books Are Put Together

Aspects of early printed books are described below and represented in the tabs across the top of this guide. They often represent different trades or individuals who had a hand in creating a book, or in the book's history. Terms from the Thesauri developed by the Bibliographic Standards Committee of ALA's Rare Books & Manuscripts Section help bring these books together. In each of the Tabs you will find a list of the terms associated such books at USC, and linking you to the books you may want to request.

Term types include:

Introduction & Featured Book

There is more to early printed books than the text. This guide with provide you with an introduction to the terminology and aspects of the book as artifact. Finding out about the methods used to create books by hand and for whom will help you understand the history behind the texts that are printed on their pages.

Marcus Tullius Cicero's De philosophia, volume one ((Venice: Paolo Manuzio, 1560) Shown here on the title page is the distinctive Aldine printer's device in use by Aldo Manuzio's son Paolo. For more about the Aldine Press see the Wikipedia article.

Subject Guide

Melinda Hayes's picture
Melinda Hayes
Doheny Library 248