Chapter 498 Especially for Those Learning the Trade: Learn to Call Each Thing By Its Proper Name

Today’s post is especially for any newcomers to book collecting or to the antiquarian bookselling trade. If you are trying to learn the proper way to go about understanding a description of a rare book or are describing rare books yourself, read on.

Over at Past is Present is a great article and instructive diagram of the anatomy of a catalog record. I link to it because most of the information included in a library’s catalog record for a rare book should also be included in a bookseller’s written description of such a book. Although the format a bookseller uses to describe a rare book is likely to look different than a library’s, the information needed for both to be useful to the end-user is similar. If you click on the diagram to enlarge it, you’ll get clear, succinct explanations of each part of a rare book catalog description and the reason it is included.

Happy reading!

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