1.2.1: 1460 - 1585 - Introduction


The production of printed books required much stricter organisation than the production of manuscripts, although the level of organisation of large scriptoria should not be underestimated. The production of a book, whatever its size, has always been, and still is, a process highly dependent on communication and that requires co-ordination. Printing brought new requirements for co-operation between the various people involved in the distinct processes of a printing house.

Organising is thinking ahead. Before a book could be taken in production, the printer-publisher had to procure the materials (paper or vellum, cast type, ink) as well as the capital required for financing the enterprise. He had to own one or more printing presses. He had to find and contract compositors and printers who had the necessary skills, and who were prepared to remain employed at least until the job was finished. He himself or his foreman had to ensure that they all worked together well and that they would take account of the interventions of a corrector, if there was one. And above all, the master printer had to ensure that texts were available that would make all this investment and effort worthwhile. Procuring texts was a permanent problem, whether it was from libraries that possessed valuable texts or from authors who had written new texts that were not less valuable.

The transmission and dissemination of texts is one of the main reasons for studying the production methods of early printers. A detailed analysis may lead to understanding the procedures of the printing house that produced a particular result. The preparatory calculation of a text for printer's copy, the work of the compositors, proof correction, the operation of the press and possible stop-press correction during printing, the gathering and storage of sheets and finally the consignment and trade in the finished books can all leave traces in the printed texts that are passed on to us.


author: L. Hellinga
 
 


Introduction



marbled paper

Definition: decorated paper with a marbling effect produced by placing drops of colour on a liquid surface (the marbling size), using a marbling trough.



brocade paper

Definition: kind of decorated paper: hand-made paper, coloured with a brush on one side on which a (imitation) gold leaf decorative pattern or picture is printed.



paper boys

Definition: person who daily delivers a paper in the letterbox of readers with a subscription.



rag paper

Definition: kinds of paper that have been made entirely of rags. As soon as rags are only partly used in a kind of paper, then this is rag-content paper.



marbled paper

Definition: kind of paper used inter alia for bindings: paper on which - by a special process - a decorative pattern, which sometimes resembles marble, is created by applying a thin layer of paint of two or more colours, or paper printed with an imitation resemblingit.



laid paper

Definition: hand-made paper or (mostly) imitation hand-made paper with a fine screen of water lines.



hand-made paper

Definition: hand-made paper, laid or not, made with a mould, usually with watermark and deckle edges.



wood-pulp paper

Definition: paper containing ground wood-pulp with many small impurities, usually easily torn; cheap but not durable.



wood-free paper

Definition: paper that does not contain wood-pulp, but which is made from pure cellulose and/or cotton or linen rags. It has a beautiful colour and is durable.



Lombardy paper

Definition: name for imported paper of Italian origin, common until the end of the 17th century.



bulky paper

Definition: paper which combines great thickness with a relatively light weight (used by publishers to make small books look more voluminous).



paper

Definition: general term for a material produced in the form of reels or sheets, formed by draining a suspension of vegetable fibres (rags, straw, wood, etc.) on a sieve and usually used, after sizing, for writing, drawing or printing; the name 'paper' is used for aweight of up to about 165 g/m2, 'cardboard' or 'board' for a higher weight.



paper finishers

Definition: workmen in a printing office who hang the damp paper up to dry on a line after it has been printed.



paper conservation

Definition: the restoring, stopping or preventing paper decay caused by acidification and wear and tear.



paper mills

Definition: industrial concern in which paper is produced on a large scale.



paper manufacturers

Definition: 1. owner, employer of a papermill. 2. producer of hand-made paper.



paper formats

Definition: dimensions of a sheet of paper.



paper wholesale businesses

Definition: company that resells large quantities of paper, supplied by producers, to printing offices and other businesses.



paper trade

Definition: economic activity of trading paper, i.e. the buying and selling of paper, as intermediary between production and consumption.



paper traders

Definition: someone whose profession is trading paper.



paper industry

Definition: collective name for all branches of industry concerned with the production of paper.



paper machines

Definition: machine with which paper is formed, pressed, dried and smoothed, from cellulose fibres and other paper ingredients. The result is turned into rolls or cut into sheets.



paper mills

Definition: water mills or windmills where the production of handmade rag paper took place. The drive mechanism of the mill was used to move the beaters loosening the rag fibres.



paper research

Definition: 1. testing paper to judge its appropriateness for a certain use. 2. analysis of paper to determine age or origin.



paper production

Definition: 1. the total of paper produced. 2. paper making.



glossy coated paper

Definition: highly-glossed paper.



kinds of paper

Definition: collective name for variants in paper, originating in the use of different raw materials, sizes and production methods.



paper splitting

Definition: in book restoration: the splitting of paper into two layers which are pasted together again after a support layer has been placed in between.



paper treaters

Definition: labourers in a printing office who wet the paper before printing, so that the ink is absorbed better.



permanent paper

Definition: alkaline paper which satisfies international standards as regards composition and physical properties, so that a durability of at least 150 years is guaranteed.



lignin-rich paper

Definition: kind of ligneous paper: lignin is an element of wood. It causes a rapid ageing of paper whose fibrous composition consists partly of lignin.



decorated paper

Definition: collective name for all sorts of decorated paper whose decoration has come into being either during the manufacturing process or by graphic or other final processing of the sheet of paper.



woodblock paper

Definition: kind of decorated paper printed by means of wooden blocks, which are frequentlyderived from cotton print-works, with a decorative pattern in one or more colours; used especially in the 18th and 19th centuries for covers, endpapers and as pasting materialfor the boards of books.



Troy paper

Definition: name for imported paper of French origin, used until the end of the 17th century.



wove paper

Definition: non-laid hand-made paper, sometimes with a watermark in the bottom edge of the paper



machine-made paper

Definition: paper made using a paper machine



acid-free paper

Definition: paper with a neutral pH value (about pH 7), mainly used in conservation and restoration.