Hand-Press Book Leaf Laboratory, with Leaf Assignments for Fall 2017

Laboratory Instructions: Describe the leaf you are assigned as completely as you can.  Notice what the digital surrogate reveals to you, and notice what you cannot determine from the digital surrogate.  Use the class-meetings devoted to the laboratory to investigate the leaves, themselves, taking great care to subject them to as little stress, moisture, or other contamination, as possible.  Share your evidence with your fellow researchers in person and digitally.  Create a list of questions you need to research in order to improve your bibliographic description and, for each question, a short list or note of resources you will consult to answer the question.

        Note that the leaf numbers given in this table are only temporary, and do not necessarily correspond to the leaves' actual position in the book from which they were disbound.  You should be able to determine relatively easily, in consultation with your colleagues or by examining each other's leaves, what your leaf's correct number originally was.  You also can ask to see leaves that were not assigned to someone.  We have several "extras."  Pay attention to basic page layout.  For instance, is the book paginated or foliated?  That is, in itself, a clue about the era in which it was printed, because pagination is a printed book feature that only begins to become common in the second century of print (mid- to late 1500s).  Also, because books of certain types always were constructed with contents in the same general order, the relative position of a leaf within a known type of book would also give you clues about its contents (e.g., if it were a dictionary, a page from the letter "b" would necessarily come before a leaf from the letters "d" or "z").  You also could learn much from evidence that leaves were consecutive or (even!) conjoint, that is, originally made from one bifolium of parchment that was cut in half when the book was disbound.  Clicking on any "Reduced Image" hyperlinked to this page will take you to a full-sized image for closer inspection.  Finally, it bears repeating: note carefully what you can and cannot detect using the high-quality digital image, and pay attention to those questions which only could be answered by examining the document, itself.  Those are the questions which would require a scholar to request access to the document, itself, even if a collection had digitized the whole book, and archivists will require that kind of reasoning before they allow anyone to handle pieces of the collections they guard.  For research assistance, see the links at the bottom of this page.

Hand-Press Book Leaf Recto Images Hand-Press Book Leaf Verso Images
1r    CC.xxxix.  (239)  Elisa Bickford 1v   Elisa Bickford
2r    CC.xl.  (240)   Katya Castro 2v   Katya Castro
3r    CC.xli.  (241)  Connie D'Agostino 3v   Connie D'Agostino
4r  CC.xlii.  (242)  Julianna Head 4v   Julianna Head
5r  CC.xliii.  (243)   Jessica Jameyson 5v   Jessica Jameyson
6r  CC.xliiii.  (244)   Natalie Kaplan 6v   Natalie Kaplan
7r  CC.xlviii  (248)   Gretchen Kinkel 7v   Gretchen Kinkel
8r  CC.xlix.  (249)   Cat Riveire  8v   Cat Riveire
9r  CC.l.  (250)  Rebecca Siliber 9v   Rebecca Siliber
10r  CC.li.  (251)  Smith  10v   Smith
11r  CC.lii.  (252)  Gregory Strong 11v   Gregory Strong
12r  CC.liii.  (253)   Tess Wilson 12v   Tess Wilson
13r  CC.lvi. (256) AJ Young 13v   AJ Young
14r  CC.lvii.  (257)   14v 
15r  CC.lviii.  (258)  15v 
16r  CC.lix.  (259)  16v
17r  CC.lx.  (260) 17v
18r  CC.lxi.  (261) 18v
19r  CC.lxiii.  (263) 19v

Links and Advice for Doing Descriptive Bibliography: an introduction to the tools available for solving the three main problems presented by an anonymous old text: identifying the text (content, author), identifying the edition, and analyzing the text using the techniques of descriptive bibliography.  The first two stages involve using some familiar kinds of Internet tools in unusual ways.  The third stage guides the user to a page containing extensive links to online images of old books to illustrate bindings, type fonts, paper, and provenance evidence. 

 Dictionary of National Biography: an indispensable tool for researching names found in books printed in England or owned by English readers/collectors.  Getting to know the DNB, and Who's Who, its American counterpart, will acquaint the researcher with the individuals who have inhabited the past in which their texts came to life and through which they passed on their way to our hands.