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Reading Early Printed Books

A Guide to the Book as Artifact

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Created by Melinda Hayes, Rare Books Librarian, Special Collections

Genre Terms for Early Printed Books

While subject headings describe what a book is about, genre terms describe what a book is.

A chapbook, titled The most famous history of the learned fryer Bacon ([London]: printed for B. Deacon, between 1682 and 1701)
B765.B24 M678

Genre Terms & Definitions

There are several types of genre terms to describe types of early printed books. Special Collections uses vocabulary from the Rare Books & Manuscripts Section Genre Terms.

Term types include:

Search terms within each type used at USC can be found in the box to the left.