Search Items
Back to Exhibits List


Anthropodermic biblioplegy: The process of binding a book using human skin.

Atelier: A secular workshop devoted to the production of manuscripts or other fine arts.

Blind tooling: The process of creating impressions in leather using heated tools.

Block book: A text printed using xylographic techniques.

Board: The rigid protective cover found around the text block of a codex.

Codex (Codices): A book-like structure featuring a substrate bound between boards or a flexible cover.

Cylinder press: A style of press featuring flat blocks of type on a rotating cylinder.

Girdle book: Book bound with a loose length of leather that could be knotted and tucked into a belt as an accessory.  Worn by medeival monks, scholars, and aristocrats.

Gold tooling: The process of applying gold leaf to a leather book cover using heated tools.

Ideogram: A symbol representing an item or idea without providing indication of pronunciation of the term describing that item or idea.

Illuminated manuscript: A handwritten text illustrated with drops caps or miniatures, generally involving the use of silver or gold.

Incunable (Incunabula): A book printed before 1501.

Initial (Drop cap): A decorative letter appearing at the beginning of a text, chapter, verse, or paragraph.

Intaglio: A design carved or etched below the surface of a material, thereby creating an impression.

Linotype: A machine capable of producing unique blocks of type from input by an operator.

Lithography: The process of producing an image on paper using a smooth, inked surface.

Marbled paper: Paper to which a unique dying process has been applied giving it a swirled or "marbled" appearance.

Men's adventure fiction: A genre of literature characterized by sex, violence, and outlandish plots marketed toward adult males.  Popular in the United States from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Miniature: A decorative illustration in an illuminated manuscript.

Moveable type: Individually-cast type that can be arranged according to the typesetter’s design.

Muckraker: A journalist focused on exposing criminal or immoral activities and conduct in the public sphere.

Paperback: A book with a flexible paper cover.

Parchment: A pre-cursor to paper made from treated animal skin.

Phototypesetting: The process of projecting light through a film negative onto photopaper for use in offset printing.

Printing press: A machine used to transfer ink to a substrate to form a desired pattern.

Pugillares membranei: Latin term for a style of folded parchment notebook popular among Romans during the 1st century CE.

Pulp fiction (Pulp magazine): Low-quality literature written for entertainment value only and marketed to a popular audience. Typically printed using inexpensive materials.

Pulp paper: Inexpensive paper created from pulp fibrous matter, typically wood.

Rag paper: Paper produced from processed rag cloth.

Scriptorium: A monastic workshop devoted to the reproduction of manuscript texts.

Slug: A block of type produced by a linotype machine.

Substrate: A printing term used to refer to the base material upon which an image will be printed.

Text block: The bound block of paper found in a codex.

Typeface (Font): The surface of a block of type; the appearance or style of a block of type.

Typography: Printing using moveable type.

Vellum: A high-quality type of parchment typically made from lamb, kid, or calfskin.

Web: A roll of paper used to continually feed a printing press.

Xylography (Block printing): Printing using a block of wood carved with the desired design.

Yellow journalism: Sensationalist journalism popular in the late 19th and 20th centuries.