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Reading Early Printed Books

A Guide to the Book as Artifact

Printing Evidence in Early Printed Books

Examining the printing in the pages of early printed books provides clues about how the text is presented as well as how a book was printed. You will see what type of design elements were employed and who was responsible for the creation of the book.

Giovanni Francesco Pico della Mirandola's Concordiaeqve comitis (Strasbourg: Johann Grüninger, 1509)
B785.P53 D45 1509

Printing Terms & Definitions

There are several types of printing terms to describe the evidence of printing in early printed books. Special Collections uses vocabulary from the Rare Books & Manuscripts Printing and Publishing Terms.

Term types include:

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

Printing Evidence search terms at USC

Follow the links to find books using the terms below. Click on the "Examples" link to see visual examples of each term.

Compositor's work

Copyright and licensing

Control of printing

Distribution and sales methods

Editions, issues and states

Fakery, falsification, imitation, and copying

Multiple printers

Pressman's work

Printer identification

Special shapes, sizes and kinds of books