FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY

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Illustrated Glossary
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Commemorating 500 Years of the Complete Works of Saint Augustine

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Incunables - (Latin: Incunabula = ‘things in the cradle’) is the term used to describe books produced in the infancy of printing, before 1501.

Opera omnia – the Latin for Complete Works.

Title pages – 15th century books frequently have no title pages but may begin with a table of contents or simply the first page of text. At some point simple title pages were introduced. Today we would refer to these as half-title pages, and they would come after the main title page. Title pages as we know them came into use in the early 16th century.

 

Colophon - Information placed at the end of early printed books. The colophon contains the name of the printer, date, and place of publication and sometimes the title, author and person sponsoring the edition. This practice enables us to know the exact day that the printer finished.

 

Gloss - Medieval manuscripts especially those with legal and theological content often had commentary written around the main text. This practice was carried over by early printers.

 

Woodcut - Before the art of engraving on metal was invented, pictures were engraved on wooden tablets. Colors could be added by hand later on, but there are also examples of printing in colors.

 

Handpress - The early printing presses were adapted from wine presses. Each page had to be pressed one by one against the type that was coated with ink. Amerbach's edition of St. Augustine (1,200 copies of more than 2,000 folios, i.e. sheets of paper) required more than 4,800,000 pressings!