STCV. Bibliography of the Hand Press Book

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The imprint or printer's address indicates where, by whom and when a publication was delivered. Sometimes it also mentions the function of the deliverer (for convenience's sake called 'printer'): he could have printed, published or only sold the book.

Not every imprint mentions all of these elements: often, the function-indication is missing, sometimes also the name of the printer, the place and/or the year of publication.

For academic publications, the date or place is sometimes mentioned in the title instead of in the imprint. These details are put in the imprint with the source being 'document' (and therefore in the main form), and will also always be included in the title. So they are not perceived of as being part of the imprint. This date will not be mentioned in the fingerprint.

Some imprints mention different printers, and some publications contain multiple imprints: either next to or underneath each other, or in different locations in the book (e.g. on the title page and in the colophon). When both printers appear together, so when there is just one imprint with multiple printers, we look upon this as a partnership. Such a partnership will get a separate authority record in the printer's index.

When it concerns two clearly separate imprints, we opt for multiple 'imprint' fields. This is also the case for two or more printer's joint together by braces ({}).

In exceptional cases, the imprint will also contain additional information. This could be the source language, the author's name or other elements. Any source language mentioned will be put into the 'edition' field, perhaps with an explanatory general note. However, authors are mentioned in the 'imprint' field, even when it simply says 'printed for the author' or 'sumptibus authoris': in this case, this phrasing is taken up as a reference term and the author will get their own authority record in the printer's index.

Regular and Copy Imprints

There are two types of imprints: the 'regular imprint', which is by far the most common, and the rare 'copy imprint'.

The copy imprint is recognisable by such formula as 'Printed after the copy in [place]', 'Printed after the Latin copy, which is printed in [place]', and 'Copy [...]'. Sometimes just the statement 'Printed after the copy' appears without further information. In the latter case, the statement is neglected.

In a small number of cases, it is hard to distinguish between a normal and a copy imprint. In these doubtful cases, the imprint type 'regular' is selected, and the full imprint can be cited in a note.

Special attention needs to be paid to government publications, which were often reprinted with the original imprint intact even when the original printer was no longer active. The type 'copy imprint' is only selected when there is absolute certainty that it is a copy imprint. In such cases, further information is given in a general note. In all doubtful cases, even when there are strong suspicions, the type 'normal' is kept but the doubt is expressed in a general note.

Possible Imprint Locations

An imprint can be found in different places, and these different places may also contain multiple imprints. The most common location is at the bottom of the typographical title page. When there is an engraved title page, this also often has an imprint, usually also at the bottom but sometimes incorporated into some decorative element of the engraving. With multi-volume works, the imprint sometimes only appears on the collective title page. Finally, the imprint is often found in the colophon on the final page or elsewhere at the back of the work.

Printer information outside the imprint

Information about the printer is also regularly found in the privilege or elsewhere in the work, and sometimes this is the only source for printing information (place, printer, function, year, ...). In those cases, there is no real 'imprint' and the source for this information must be labelled as 'document'. The precise location of this information is then given in a general note.

Example Date derived from approbation (f. E7 verso)

Sometimes information about the printer, place or year of publication can only be found in external sources (e.g. a bibliography). In those cases, the source is mentioned in a bibliographical note. Sometimes we can only estimate a period from the printer's name. This is also mentioned in a general note.

Example Date derived from the printer's period of activity

Even when the imprint is not known because the title page is missing, we can reconstruct an imprint on the basis of other data. A general note then indicates where the information was found:

Example Printer from approbation (f. 2T6 verso)

Source indication for the imprint

The source indication for the imprint information and the way in which additional data is indicated differs, depending on the choice of title page. In the outline below, all possible source indications are given systematically.

When two different imprints appear in the same location, they are both included and they, of course, receive the same source indication.

Engraved title page with typographical title page||doc.||Additional imprints recorded with source 'doc.'/'col.'
Location imprint Source-indication Remarks
Collective title page tp. Divergent imprint information in note
Additional imprints recorded with source 'doc.'/'col.'
Typographical title page tp. Divergent imprint information in note
Additional imprints recorded with source 'doc.'/'col.'
Engraved title page only tp. Additional imprints recorded with source 'doc.'/'col.'
Printed cover only tp. General note: 'Imprint from printed cover'
Additional imprints recorded with source 'doc.'/'col.'
Printed cover with other title page doc. Additional imprints recorded with source 'doc.'/'col.'
Colophon col. Divergent imprint information in note
Additional imprints recorded with source 'doc.'/'col.'
Privilege, approbation, ... doc. General note: 'Date/Printer from [...] (f. x)'
Bibliographical reference ext. Bibliographical note '... mentions the date/printer'
Period of activity ext. General note: 'Date from printer's period of activity"

Multiple Imprint Locations

When imprints occur in multiple places, we need to establish which of these imprints is most important. Title editions are a special case in point.

Main article: Multiple Imprint Locations

Printer: choice and reproduction

The first 'imprint' field contains the printer information of the imprint that is highest in the hierarchy. This is also true for the other elements (function, place, year). Find out how to choose and transcribe main forms and reference terms and what to do with authors mentioned in the imprint.

Main article: Printer

Function: choice and reproduction

When the imprint mentions the function of the printer/publisher, this is noted in the bibliographical description. There are seven options:

  1. ... Boekverkoper [Bookseller]
  2. Te koop bij [Sold by]
  3. Uitgegeven door bij/ [Published by]
  4. ... Boekdrukker [Printer]
  5. Gedrukt bij [Printed by]
  6. Gedrukt voor/op kosten van [Printed for/at the expense of]
  7. Niet gedefinieerd [Undefined]

Specific function-indications that are not literally present in this list, are reduced to one of the first six options. This is valid for languages other than Latin.

En l'imprimerie de ... becomes [Printed by ...]

Non-Latin mentions of function or address such as 'en la casa de ...', 'in de druckerije van ...' or 'en la empremeria de ...' are not retained, unless the construction makes it impossible to isolate the name of the printer as is the case, for example, with 'in de Plantijnsche drukkerye'.

If there are no function-indications in the imprint or if the only mention is 'bij ...', the option 'Niet gedefineerd' [Undefined] is selected, even though you may know from an external source that this specific printer/publisher was only active as a bookseller. It is not possible to give a source for this field.

En casa de ... becomes [Undefined]

For Latin imprints, where the function-indication is included in the printer's reference term, the option 'Niet gedefineerd' [Undefined] is always selected.

If the imprint contains multiple function-indications, then only the function that is relevant for the specific work is mentioned. If there is more than one function-indication in the imprint (e.g. one before and one after the printer's name), only the first function is mentioned in the bibliographical description. All function indications, along with the year in which they are mentioned, are added to the scope note 'beroep' [professions/function] in the printers thesaurus.

Place of Publication: choice and reproduction

Find out how to choose and transcribe main forms and reference terms and what to do with false imprints, fictitious place names and fictitious printers.

Main article: Place of publication

Year of Publication: choice and reproduction

Establishing a year of publication is mostly straightforward but could also present problems. Whether it is dates in Latin or Greek, from different calendars, multiple dates, no dates or faulty dates, find out what to do and, for STCV cataloguers, how to put correctly enter them in Brocade.

Main article: Year of Publication