STCV. Bibliography of the Hand Press Book

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The collation expresses the material form and scope of the described publication. The publication's 'ideal copy', as it was meant by the publisher, is always the starting point. Deviations from an ideal copy differ from copy to copy and are thus described in the copy-specific information.

The STCN only offers the bibliographical format and the collation formula in their descriptions. The STCV also systematically includes the pagination, foliation or column indication. These details are usually relatively easy to read or deduce from the publication, also by a less specialised public. An additional benefit of including the pagination, foliation or column indication, is that it allows for a simple verification of the actual collation formula.

See also: Checklist Quire Structure and Pagination

Type of Collation: normal or oblong

The standard value of the field 'Type' is 'normal'. We only change this type to 'oblong' when the described publication is wider than it is high.

Pagination, Foliation and Columns

Three possible systems are used in STCV: pagination, foliation and columns. These are usually straightforward, but what to do with unnumbered, blank or missing pages or folios or what if multiple systems are used in one publication?

Main article: Pagination, Foliation and Columns

Bibliographical Format

The bibliographical format is determined according to McKerrow's Introduction and Bowers' Principles. Check the Bibliographical Format overview of the most common bibliographical formats for an indication of watermark positions and chain line directions.

→ Ronald B. McKerrow. An introduction to bibliography for literary students. Winchester, 1994.
→ Fredson Thayer Bowers. Principles of bibliographical description. Winchester, 1994.

Oblong formats are explicitly indicated by 'oblong' in the field 'type' in the collation. To determine the format of an oblong publication, the book needs to be turned 90° to then establish the direction of the chain lines.

Works in checkbook format receive a general note: 'Checkbook format'. Most of these receive the format indication 2° even though they are actually folded lengthwise twice. This is why, in many other reference works, they receive the format indication 4°.

If the format cannot be determined with certainty, the 'format'-field is left blank. The suspected format is then mentioned in the cataloguing remarks. In that case, the format is given as '00' in the year-and-format code of the fingerprint. This is often the case with smaller single-sheet prints since watermarks are often missing and the only indication therefore are chain lines.


Bibliographical format: [left blank]
Fingerprint: 167700 - # b1 A1 f : # b2 2R3 org

Cataloguing remarks: The format presumably is 64°

Quire Structure (Collation Formula)

STCV uses an internationally recognised system of collation formulas. Find out more about the following topics:

  • quire signatures
  • simplified notation
  • number of folios per gathering
  • references (how to refer to a specific leaf or part of a publication)
  • unsigned gatherings and folios
  • addition of signed gatherings and folios
  • removals and losses
  • multiple signatures in one gathering
  • unsigned plates and folding leaves outside collation
  • collections of engravings
  • printed covers

Main article: Collation Formula

Multi-volume Works

There is a specific way of filling out the collation for multi-volume works in the bibliographical description. Via the button 'Extra collation', as many extra collation fields are created as there are volumes in the work. The total number of collation fields is therefore the number of volumes plus one.

  • In the first collation field, the pagination is left blank. The bibliographical format is entered. In the quire structure, only the number of volumes is indicated, e.g. '3 volumes'.
  • In the second and following collation fields, the pagination and quire structure for each part are entered separately. The bibliographical format is left blank. The pagination and quire structure are each time preceded by a specific coded serials number (number# space), indication which volume is described.

Exception: parts of multi-volume works described separately
In some cases, parts of a multi-volume work may be described separately, e.g. not all volumes are present, or, titles of individual volumes differ too much. In those cases, the normal rules for collation of individual works are followed. Then, the collation field is filled in the normal way for each description.
For an example, see STCV 3140135 (1#) and STCV 3140137 (2#).

See also: Bibliographical units

Inputting Collation Data in Brocade

Techincal details for STCV cataloguers regarding the collation fields: type, pagination, bibliographical format and quire structure.

Main article: Inputting Collation Data in Brocade