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“Chainlines versus Imposition in Incunabula,” SB, 23 (1970), 141-145 (quotation from p. 143). For a related instance from Bühler's writing, see note 76 above.


The printing could also have been done one page at a time: what might Bühler have said that the printer would have called this procedure?


Some variant impositions are included in Gaskell's very useful section of diagrams in his New Introduction (pp. 87-107), and some of the earlier printers' manuals (such as William Savage's of 1841) contain many others. See also David Foxon, “Some Notes on Agenda Format,” Library, 5th ser., 8 (1953), 163-173; D. F. Cook, “Inverted Imposition,” Library, 5th ser., 12 (1957), 193- 196; Richard J. Wolfe, “Parthenia In-Violata: A Seventeenth- Century Folio-Form [oblong] Quarto” (1961; see note 36 above); D. W. Krummel, “Oblong Format in Early Music Books,” (1971; see note 32 above); Hector Macdonald, “A Book Gathered in Nines,” Bibliotheck, 7.3 (1974), 76-78; Mary Pollard, “Six's, Sixmo, Sexto,” Factotum, 13 (December 1981), 10-11; Brian Hubber, “Eighteenmo in Nines: An Experimental Technique,” Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin, 7 (1983), 183-186; Brian J. McMullin, “An Eighteenmo Gathered in Twelves,” ibid., 10 (1986), 139-140, and “The Imposition of the Nosche/Athias Eighteenmo Bibles,” ibid., 20 (1996), 61-64; Conor Fahy, “Notes on Centrifugal Octavo Imposition in Sixteenth-Century Italian Printing,” Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, 10.4 (1994), 489-504 (commenting on the use of evidence from countermarks and point-holes); Paul Needham, “Res papirea” (1994; see note 4 above), pp. 129-130; and McMullin, “`La Collection des petits formats in-18, édition de Cazin': Some Preliminary Observations” (1999; see note 40 above). For a list that includes additional references to articles on format, see my Introduction to Bibliography: Seminar Syllabus (1996—the latest revision at the time of this writing), pp. 175, 185-187, 192, 195-196.


If we accept the idea that some instances of cutting sheets before printing are the equivalent of folding them after printing, then we must recognize that in such instances any reference to outer-edge conjugacies, which would normally be limited to the edges that were still conjugate after post-printing folding and gathering, does not tell the whole story. As long as the bibliographer reports somewhere whether the sheets placed on the press were cut or uncut (when that fact can be ascertained), readers will know—using that information in conjunction with the format designation and collation formula—just how many outer-edge conjugacies remained after folding. But their precise sequence will not necessarily be known unless it is specifically reported. Thus, for example, a quarto printed on half-sheets will have no outer-edge conjugacies remaining after printing, regardless of the quiring; a quarto printed on whole sheets and gathered in sixes will have in each quire two top-edge conjugacies plus two leaves with no outer-edge conjugacies, but those two leaves could be either the first and last of the quire or the third and fourth. Patterns of outer-edge conjugacies could be concisely reported using the standard notation for sewing-fold conjugacy (the period between leaf numbers), with a label attached—e.g., “top-edge conjugacy: $1.2, 5.6”. Or else one could adopt different punctuation for each kind of conjugacy—such as “$1.2” for top-edge conjugacy, “$5:6” for fore-edge conjugacy, and “$3;4” for bottom-edge conjugacy.


I believe it is more useful to think of “arrangement” in terms of the relationship of pages in the gathering rather than their relationship in the sheet or forme. If one took the latter approach, one would say that the difference between common and inverted octavo imposition is not analogous to the difference between ordinary folio imposition and folio-in-sixes imposition. An inverted octavo forme involves all the same numbered pages as does a common octavo forme; they are just arranged differently. But in the folio example, one could argue that the arrangement of pages is no different in either case, since whether the third page or the eleventh page of a gathering (for example) occupies one half of a forme does not alter the fact that the same position is in each case being occupied by the second page in terms of page-number order within the forme. The shopmen who made up formes, however, had to think in terms of gatherings when deciding which type-pages to place in the same formes; and I think it makes sense to follow their lead and regard differences in quiring or gathering as necessitating, by definition, differences in imposition. Thus differences in imposition do not necessarily lead to different numbers of leaves in gatherings, but differences in the number of leaves per gathering always result from differences of imposition.


Expressions on the pattern of “2 up” and “4 up” should not be employed as format terms. The are sometimes used to state the number of type-pages (and/or blank pages) on the press at one time, a usage that is not fully synonymous with format terms. They are also used in two additional senses in connection with machine-printing: “2 up” can mean that pages for two independent books are placed in the same forme; “4 up” can mean that all the pages for four gatherings are on the press together.


See my “The Treatment of Typesetting and Presswork in Bibliographical Description” (see note 40 above) and “The Bibliographical Description of Paper,” SB, 24 (1971), 27-67 (reprinted in Selected Studies in Bibliography [1979], pp. 203-243). See also David L. Vander Meulen, “The Identification of Paper without Watermarks: The Example of Pope's Dunciad,SB, 37 (1984), 58-81; and Paul Needham, “Allan H. Stevenson and the Bibliographical Uses of Paper,” SB, 47 (1994), 23-64.


See Needham's “Res papirea” (see note 4 above), p. 127; the system is illustrated in use in his “ISTC as a Tool for Analytical Bibliography,” in Bibliography and the Study of 15th-Century Civilisation, ed. Lotte Hellinga and John Goldfinch (1987), pp. 39-54. Let me emphasize that “(½-sh.)” here means that the sheets were cut in half before printing; it does not imply anything about the manner of gathering, which would be made clear by the collation formula. Cf. his “Counting Incunables: The IISTC CD-ROM,” Huntington Library Quarterly, 61 (1999-2000), 456-529 (esp. “Format Field,” pp. 493-495).