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A New Introduction to Bibliography by Philip…

A New Introduction to Bibliography (1972)

by Philip Gaskell

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419338,085 (4.31)5
  1. 10
    Mechanick exercises on the whole art of printing, 1683-4 by Joseph Moxon (fugitive)
    fugitive: THE classic work on early printing. Don't miss the section on 'The knocking up of the balls.'

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Philip Gaskell's A New Introduction to Bibliography (usually shorthanded as simply "Gaskell") provides a good introduction to the transmission of texts, from the hand-press period through the middle of the twentieth century. Gaskell covers such topics as printing machinery, typography and type production, papermaking, illustration techniques, bindings, imposition and format, publishing, and the book trade, taking care to note chronological and geographical differences and trends.

Gaskell is also a (fairly dense, but incredibly useful) source for the contents and components of bibliographical formulas, very handy if you have find yourself confronted with one. An incredibly valueable volume, and one I find cause to refer to often. I'm glad I recently took the time to finally sit down and read the whole thing through, because there were parts of it I didn't know well enough (and which I'm sure I'll need again). ( )
  JBD1 | May 7, 2010 |
Gaskell (as it is known) was the textbook I used at UCLA for an Analytical Bibliography class which was a prerequisite for a class on Handpress Printing. It's not for wimps (UCLA, the Analytical Bib class, OR this work!). Hint: if you don't know what the term "analytical bibliography" means, do not buy this book (exception: if the book is required for your class in Analytical Bibliography!).

Gaskell is an astonishingly thorough one volume overview of almost everything about the transmission of printed text. It consists of only 438 pages, yet manages to cover book production from 1500 to 1950. Included are sections on printing type, composition, paper, imposition, presswork, warehousing, binding, decoration, the American and English book trades, machinery, etc., ad infinitum (it seems). The "Reference Bibliography" following various appendices thoroughly lists the resources to which one would refer for more indepth analysis (e.g., watermark catalogs, surveys of the book industry during historical periods, Stationer's Records ...).

The final section on "Bibliographical Applications" is probably the most complex, and also my favorite part of this work. It gives a fair overview, with examples, of bibliographic description of the kind one would find in an antiquarian bookseller's catalog.

This book is NOT a standalone resource for all aspects of analytical bibliography, though I can't imagine anyone working in this activity starting anywhere OTHER than with Gaskell. The only improvement would be an expansion to a 10 volume encyclopedia on the subject of analytical bibliography.

(Plagiarizing my own Amazon.com review:) ( )
1 vote fugitive | Jun 15, 2009 |
A classic. ( )
  jon1lambert | Oct 13, 2008 |
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To students of literature and history, bibliography means primarily the study of books as material objects.
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