University of Virginia Library


That is, of course, when a full sheet is used. See Alfred W. Pollard and W. W. Greg, “Some Points in Bibliographical Descriptions,” Transaction of the Bibliographical Society, 9 (1906-8), 31-52 (see “Broadsides and Folio Sheets,” pp. 39-40); reprinted in Alfred William Pollard: A Selection of His Essay, ed. Fred W. Roper (1976), pp. 116-129 (pp. 123- 124). Cf. McKerrow's Introduction, p. 30, n. 1.


W. W. Greg, in the “Provisional Memoranda” prefaced to the first volume (1939) of his Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration, specified “`1°' to indicate unfolded sheets” (p. xvi). Later, in the full introduction placed in the fourth volume (1959), he reaffirmed his use of “1° for a book consisting of unfolded sheets, for which there is no recognized term” (p. lv).


Yet tradition dies hard: J. D. Cowley's Bibliographical Description and Cataloguing (1949) recognized that the usage was “quite illogical” (p. 94) but nevertheless recommended “S.s.” (standing for “Single sheet”) to refer to “half a sheet with letterpress parallel with shorter sides” (p. 208).


The creation of bifolia by pasting one printed item to the turned- over edge of another should be distinguished from the pasting together of two pieces of paper before printing: in the former instance, format is determined by the portion of a full sheet occupied by each of the disjunct leaves; in the latter, format is based on the full sheets created by the pasting (see the discussion to which note 38 above is attached). On the use of a full set of sewn stubs, to which all leaves are attached, see note 62 below. But if all the disjunct leaves to be held together are given folds near the gutter edge, a collection of disjunct leaves can be secured by sewing through those folds without the need of pasting; and the format would of course be the same as if the leaves had been pasted to turned-over edges or stabbed through. (The insertion of cancels in incunables by turned-over edges is discussed by Martin Boghardt in “Blattersetzung und Neusatz in frühen Inkunabeln,” Bibliothek und Wissenschaft, 29 (1996), 24-58 [see especially the diagrams in section 3, pp. 28-39].)


Another large category of disjunct-leaf books consists of most twentieth-century paperbacks. Unlike many disjunct-leaf books made up of engraved or lithographed plates, however, their leaves were not printed individually. The collation formulas for such books offer no more problems than do those of any other disjunct-leaf books; but the format designations pose all the difficulties associated with other machine-printed books. If the techniques suggested earlier for determining format for these books, such as the identification of offset-slur, do not prove conclusive, one is forced to leave out any format designation. (Sometimes one finds such revealing errors as the one I found in a copy of the second 1972 printing of the Penguin edition of Great Expectations, where pages 321 through 368 are missing—this gap suggesting gatherings of twenty-four leaves. But of course even this information does not in itself tell one the number of pages in a forme, and the same could be said of a section of leaves on different paper.)


One could use these terms even if a book also contained some gatherings of conjugate leaves, as long as the bulk of the book consisted of disjunct leaves—just as the presence of a few tipped-in engraved plates in a book otherwise made up of folded letterpress gatherings does not affect what one calls the book as a whole.


Not necessarily type-pages, since disjunct-leaf books are more likely to have been printed from engraved or lithographic surfaces.


In Colin H. Roberts and T. C. Skeat's The Birth of the Codex (1983), the codex form is defined as “a collection of sheets of any material, folded double and fastened together at the back or spine, and usually protected by covers” (p. 1). But they state, in discussing ancient waxed writing tablets, “The correct designation in Latin for a plurality of tablets or for multi-leaved tablets was codex” (p. 12).


One could of course make a rule that the absence of superscript figures means that the leaves are disjunct. But such a practice would not avoid ambiguity in the signature-notation system as a whole, since a signature letter (or number) would then refer sometimes to a gathering and sometimes to a single leaf.


Such as books that consist of a combination of letterpress and engraved leaves. If the letterpress consists primarily of disjunct unsigned or unnumbered leaves, one could follow Stevenson's suggestions for what he called “lambda books” (pp. clx-clxi) and combine the Greek letter lambda with a plate number to designate the leaf of letterpress that is associated with a given plate. In the case of plate-books where the plates are interspersed within folded letterpress gatherings, one may follow Stevenson's principle of recording the letterpress and the disjunct plates separately (p. clxix) and my more detailed suggestion for implementing this idea by employing two linked collations, each of which can be preceded by its own format designation (see pp. 39-40 of “The Description of Non-Letterpress Material in Books,” SB, 35 [1982], 1-42). (The linking consists of placing in the plate formula parenthetical page references—using signature notation keyed to the other formula—that indicate which page is faced by each plate.) Another situation that may be treated in analogous fashion occurs in the kind of book in which the plates are attached to gathered and sewn conjugate stubs (in effect, a book in which all leaves are cancels): one collation formula would record the structure of the gathered stubs, another the sequence of the plates. (The links from the latter formula to the former would consist of parenthetical leaf references preceded by “±”.) On the sewing of disjunct leaves through folds created by turned-over edges, see note 56 above; this situation would not be reflected in the formula (just as stabbing or the spine-gluing of so-called “perfect bindings”—or the manner of securing cancels, for that matter—would not be), but the means of fastening should be described in words.