Alexander J. (Alexander John) Philip.

The production of the printed catalogue; the preparation, printing, and publication of catalogues of libraries, museums, art galleries, publishers, booksellers and business houses. With a chapter on the monotype machine, and an appendix of type faces online

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Online LibraryAlexander J. (Alexander John) PhilipThe production of the printed catalogue; the preparation, printing, and publication of catalogues of libraries, museums, art galleries, publishers, booksellers and business houses. With a chapter on the monotype machine, and an appendix of type faces → online text (page 4 of 8)
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question whether there is any economy in
quarter measure except under the most
favourable circumstances.

In theory ' copy ' should be always com-
pleted before tenders are obtained for print-
ing ; in practice, however, this is not always
possible. Sometimes six weeks are occupied in
advertising for and opening tenders; occasion-
ally, particularly if there is any disagreement
on the part of the committee entrusted with
the work, these six weeks become eight or
even twelve. Partly on this account, but
also because in most cases time is of the ut-
most importance, it has become the practice
to advertise for tenders while the final sorting


is in progress. Some nicety of judgement
is required in planning the work of proofing
and preparing, so that the printer has always
plenty of copy in hand. It is not sufficient
to give him ' enough to go on with.' Such
a practice is demoralizing to the compositors,
and a printer might justly object to the par-
simonious doling out of copy in small batches.
And, as a rule, proof reading provides plenty
of work in keeping up with the output. It
may be taken as a golden rule, therefore, that
the whole of the copy should be ready for
the printer within a week after his receipt
of the first batch. At about this time the
first galley proofs will be arriving. This
part of the work is dealt with in a later

When sending ' copy,' care should be
taken to tie it up securely in bundles of
moderate and uniform size. This remark
applies more particularly to cards. From
300 to 500 of these form bundles of con-
venient size.



IT is almost impossible for the librarian to
estimate space in catalogue printing, and,
of course, equally difficult or impossible to
estimate cost. This refers to the total cost,
not to cost per page, which is a comparatively
easy matter to estimate. Nevertheless printers
are frequently asked to tender for printing a
complete catalogue. This is neither more
nor less than gambling on a guess. Either
the printer quotes a high price to cover his
risk, in which case the library loses on the
transaction ; or a ridiculously low quotation
is given, resulting in a loss to the printer.
Neither is fair trading. The risks the printer
runs are many and enormous, the most
important, probably, being the uncertainty
in the number of pages ; an additional risk
of less magnitude is that of odd leaves re-
quiring to be ' tipped ' or pasted on. In a
large edition this is a considerable item in the


sum total of cost, the work requiring to be
done by hand. Even where a quotation per
page or sheet of sixteen or thirty-two pages
is given, this latter risk still exists, and should
be provided for. But these items will be
better dealt with in the chapter on tenders
.and specifications.

In catalogues employing one or, at the
outside, two founts, including italics of the
same size, with occasional subject headings,
it is more or less easy to estimate by taking
the number of lines to the page and measur-
ing the copy of say two or three pages. The
technical method of estimating, interesting
as it is, is scarcely of sufficient importance
to librarians or other catalogue makers to
warrant its inclusion here. My object is to
warn the printer against some of the pitfalls
prepared for him by the technical ignorance
of catalogue makers, and to advise the cata-
logue maker against the preparation of these
traps, as inevitably he will fall into the ' pit
he has digged.'

Unless the catalogue maker is so ingenious
that he can devise an entirely new typo-
graphical form of catalogue, his best plan in
estimating roughly the size of his own cata-
logue is to take as a standard a similar cata-
logue already produced. If he is not a ' new
hand,' and such a one is scarcely likely to


be producing a catalogue, he knows the
average number of entries he gives to a
book. This number, it may be two or three
or even four for a dictionary or dictionary-
classified catalogue, should be used to mul-
tiply the number of books to be catalogued.
This total will give the approximate number
of entries. The number of entries per page
should then be counted in the catalogue
chosen as a model, for, say, eight pages, and
an average struck. The division of the
approximate number of entries divided by
the average number of entries per page will
give the probable number of pages in the
projected catalogue. When there are nu-
merous type founts to be used for annotations
of very varying lengths, the number of pages
to be counted for the average number of
entries per page should be increased to
twelve or sixteen, and an allowance made
for long runs of the smaller founts, such as
for magazine contents.

As annotations are a varying quantity, it
is impossible to give the number of lines per
page, where the notes, contents, etc., are in
smaller founts. It is only fair to the printer
that a just sample of ' copy ' should be shown
him. I have known cases where, under a
mistaken idea that the printer would be
' bested,' false impressions of the propor-


tionate quantities of small types have been
given. The fallacy of this idea can be
readily demonstrated. The specification
provides, no doubt, for the insertion of
some small type, viva voce the smart man
described the annotations as ' just a few '
in number. But when the catalogue is
printed it transpires that there are large
quantities of small type on every page. If
the catalogue is sufficiently large, and most
library catalogues usually are, the printer
asks for an extra payment on account of
deviation from the contract. This charge
might be justly, and probably will be, larger
than it would have been if the specification
had been a fair one. It may be refused.
In that case a measurement of the lines of
type founts may have to be made. This
may take weeks of work, according to the
class of catalogue and the skill of the counter.
It was my lot on one occasion to count the
lines of type in a large catalogue, when the
printers were — not in the right. Not having
the necessary gauges, the work was almost
interminable, as the founts were small, and
followed in size without the omission of one
size between each two. If it should be
found, as it will be in the case of the ' faked '
specification, that the proportion of ' smalls '
is excessive, the cost of this counting will


have to be borne in addition to the payment
for the type itself. It is true the contract
may have been so artfully drawn that this
is covered and the printer rendered impotent
so far as his agreement is concerned. But
it would not be a difficult matter to get
such a contract, obviously iniquitous, set
aside. And while the printer or printers'
firm might have nothing to lose, it is other-
wise with the library, where, in municipal
libraries at all events, it is a maxim early
inculcated to avoid the law — even in the
person of the policeman — and, where litiga-
tion is unavoidable, to have a clear case.

Most of this is the result of experience in
business, on both sides of the library walls :
the moral is to play a fair game with the
printer, and if he is a reputable man he will
deal fairly with you.

So far I have dealt with the estimating
of space : cost, although closely allied in
theory to space, is not always so in practice.
Tenders in printing, as in everything else,
are found to vary considerably. But unlike
many other branches of work, there is often
good reason for those variations in price.
Obviously it is impossible to give any prices,
or even ideas of prices, here. Not only
does the cost of production change with
regard to materials — paper, ink, metal,


boards — but the price of labour undergoes
occasional alterations : an increase in the
price of fuel, remote as it may seem at the
first glance, Taa.y effect a change in price.
In all these departments there is room for
considerable differences in purchasing by

Another important factor in fixing prices
is the method of working in the shop ; the
quantity and the quality of the machinery
in use ; rent ; rates, and many other con-
ditions all aid in determining the tendered
prices ; while the amount of work in hand
may also have some effect in determining
the cost.

The introduction of machine setting,
which will be dealt with fully in the chapter
on the Monotype casting machine, has
brought about a great reduction in the cost
of catalogue production. In one case, where
estimates were obtained for the same cata-
logue from several firms for hand-setting
and Monotype setting, the difference was
nearly 50 per cent, in favour of the latter.

Under certain conditions, such as those
described in the account of a cheap cata-
logue in the previous chapter, the rotary
printing press has also a great effect in re-
ducing the price of catalogue printing.

If it is essential, however, to obtain some


idea of the cost of the production of a
catalogue before embarking on the work,
any first-class firm of printers will be,
probably, glad to give provisional estimates
for one or two forms It is necessary to
insist, however, that this estimate should
be regarded as provisional only by both
parties to it.

Obtaining tenders will be dealt with in
a future chapter.

The practice has been resorted to, on
some occasions, of obtaining details regarding
the cost of other catalogues. This may be
useful to some extent where nothing is known
of printing ; but my book will have been
written in vain if it is not evident to the
reader that an intimate knowledge of cata-
logue printing is required to compare costs.


TO THE printer's ADDRESS

THIS chapter is by way of being a short
aside to the printer, a private whisper
for him only.

Undoubtedly, my dear sir, there are some
catalogue makers who try to be ' sharp ' in
their dealings with the printer. But most
of the funny things you see in librarians'
specifications and schedules are due to
ignorance. I have perpetrated them, and
so speak from knowledge. Such ignorance
of technical terms and methods is pardonable
in the non-technical man, when printers I
have met do not know what a type-setting
machine is or does, and are quite ignorant
on all questions relating to binding. And
after all, you know, no doubt, that catalogue
work for public libraries differs very much
from book work, newspaper work, and from
tabular work as well. It is a class of work
apart. What the librarian knows you do


not ; and so vice versa may be said to be
quid 'pro quo in this respect.

When you find something you do not
understand, or even clauses you know to be
impossible of fulfilment in a library speci-
fication, do not revise the specification — ^you
might just as well save the postage. By
the common rules governing the acceptance
of tenders by public bodies, your tender,
submitted on a specification revised by you
in the way you think it should have been
drawn, will not be considered.

Write, and ask for an interpretation of
the terms or clause. You may tentatively
suggest that a new form of specification
might be advisable, but do not press it.
You yourself may not know everything, and
technical terms have been known to difi^er
in different parts of the British Isles.

I once had two tradesmen disputing over
an enormous doormat, as to whether or not
it was prison made. Both agreed that there
were certain signs inherent in prison made
mats, but . From this it may be in-
ferred, as I have actually found it to be,
that even printers cannot agree.

It is not quite safe either to quote, in the
way it is possible to quote, prices, with a
loophole for unauthorized extras. Builders
sometimes estimate on extras, and printers


— of a certain class — estimate to get their
whole profit out of illicit corrections. I am
sure you will find it better to state clearly
your charge for corrections — there may be
a practical printer on the committee of the
library, or on the Local Council !

If yours should be the successful tender,
remember, my dear sir, that the librarian
is like the corn between the upper and
the nether millstones, of which you are the
one and his committee the embodiment of
the other. The specification having been
accepted cannot be varied or deviated from
without raising a dark cloud of local pas-
sions and prejudices, which will effectually
prevent the sun of popular favour from
shining upon the unfortunate official.

This class of work, as you may have
gathered from the book if you have read so
far, is a very large one. Probably more
than fifty thousand pounds are spent an-
nually by public library and museum autho-
rities on catalogue and similar printing ;
how much more is expended by private and
semi-public institutions it is impossible to
say ; while not even the wildest guess can
be made as to the expenditure of booksellers
and publishers, and business houses in

The work is special in character, particu-


larly in the case of public library catalogues,
and endless economies in time and money
might be effected by a careful study of the
subject. You, sir, have probably given no
particular attention to it, largely because so
little of it has hitherto come your way.
This is probably due to the fact that there
is no recognized medium for advertising for
tenders of this description, beyond that
of the local papers. There are, however,
comparatively few ' local ' firms capable of
handling a large catalogue efficiently and



PROBABLY corrections cause more dis-
agreement between the printer and
his clients than anything else in connexion
with the production of a catalogue. This
should not be so. But like most other
causes of discontent, it is due to the ignorance
of the librarian, and the knowledge that
certain unscrupulous firms have iniquitous
methods of calculating corrections and charg-
ing for them.

There are several methods of charging
for corrections, but let it be said at once
that the most equitable plan is to have them
charged for at so much an hour for the time
employed. This should be rendered at once,
and in the event of any serious dispute the
printer's time sheets should be open for in-
spection. It is sometimes thought that the
charge should be the amount paid to the


workman, but a moment's reflection will
show how absurd an idea this is.

Very frequently there is no provision in
the contract for corrections and their pay-
ment, because the librarian, with an angelic
belief in his own infallibility, says there will
be none beyond those of the compositor.
This is simply courting disputes, as the
catalogue has not yet been compiled in
which some corrections were not necessary
in proof.

Corrections in revised, or page proofs, are
always to be avoided, because they cause a
much greater disarrangement of the type,
the insertion or deletion of an additional
entry sometimes necessitating alterations in
several pages. In first, or galley proof, the
correction begins and ends with itself.
From this it is obvious that a galley proof
should always be provided for in catalogue
work, where it is possible by the justifica-
tion of several lines to ease off an addition.
It will be readily seen that a line in a book
of straight matter may be easily worked off
in a page or two ; but in a catalogue, where
broken entries are to be avoided as far as
possible, it may be necessary to go over
several pages before the entries may be
satisfactorily adjusted.

I have known cases where no charges for


corrections of an^ kind have been allowed
for, but this is another species of gamble
similar to that described in a previous chap-
ter. Where the manuscript of the compiler
is well-known to the printer, the allowance
for this might be estimated with comparative
closeness ; but this knowledge cannot be
possessed hy all the printers who may tender
for the work, and those who do not possess
it are seriously handicapped. And the
knowledge that his competitors will be
obliged to put on a high percentage to cover
this risk will enable the man who has the
knowledge to increase his price proportion-
ately : in this way the client — in this case
the librarian or his committee — militates
against either a low tender or a just tender.
In printing, as in everything else, it is more
satisfactory to pay for what one purchases
and to know what one obtains.

It must be understood that these remarks
apply to catalogue work and to either open
tenders or to tenders invited from a reason-
able number of printers, and not to those
cases where the work is given to one man
without competitive tenders of any kind.

An idea much more common than might
be reasonably supposed is that entries al-
ready ' set up ' may be deleted with im-
punity from the proof. Let me elucidate


this a little. A catalogue, we will suppose,
has been estimated to extend to 128 pages,
but it is found that this is exceeded by three,
with a total of 131. It may or may not be
cheaper, according to the size of the page
and the number of copies in the edition, to
be printed, to reduce this to the estimate ;
but it is absurd to suppose that entries can
be deleted from the catalogue to bring about
this reduction without the original com-
posing being paid for, as well as the time
occupied in the deletion of the type.

It is usual to arrange for three proofs of
catalogue work to be submitted for correc-
tion, but it must be remembered that each
proof means delay, by the time occupied in
its transmission through the post. And the
practice, at one time common, of asking for
as many copies of each proof as there were
members of the committee, is a wasteful one.
Each proof pull has to be paid for either
directly or indirectly, and the multiplicity of
copies invariably results in confusion. In
catalogue work, where the compiler for all
practical purposes is the publisher, two
copies are sufficient ; three are too many.
Both copies should be corrected, one to
return to the printer and the other to be
retained for reference. Although, as the
printer invariably returns the marked galley


proof with the first page proof, and the first
page proof with the second revise, this
duplicate copy is not essential.

In correcting it is usual for one to read
from the copy and another to make the
necessary corrections in the proof ; the one
with the greater skill doing the latter.
This depends, to some extent at all events,
on individual circumstances. Personally,
when I have written the ' stuff ' myself I
generally dispense with a ' reader.' The
reader helps to ensure that the proof agrees
with the copy, but makes it less likely that
errors in the copy will be ' spotted.' Where
a ' reader ' is employed, the assistant with
the clearest and most rapid enunciation
should be put on to the work. There is, to
my mind, nothing more annoying in the
whole of the work connected with the cata-
logue than, when racing time, to have to
follow the slow and halting speech of a
' reader.' And when correcting it is as well
to stop the reader as seldom as possible.
After some little practice it will be found
easy to make all the simple corrections ' on
the way.' When a junior I have frequently
read for five or six hours at a stretch, stopping
only to take coffee ; if I had been obliged
to stop after every few lines for corrections
the (literally) jaw-ache would have been so


intense that I should have been unable to
continue so long. It must be remembered
that in a library this work is only occasional,
and that it never continues long enough
for any one to get thoroughly inured to

There are certain well-known marks or
symbols used in correcting proof which it is
well to follow. Original marks, quite in-
telligible to the amateur who makes them,
are obscure or misleading to the printer,
and should be avoided. If anything arises
outside the scope of the symbols given below,
the instructions should be clearly written
in full.

These signs are quite well known to those
who have had much to do with printers,
but I am indebted to Mr. Jacobi's well-known
book on printing and to Mr. Hitchcock's
useful work on " The Building of a Book "
for the list of them, although neither of
these has been followed in the manner of
presenting them to the reader.

In the table following, the first column
gives a description of the desired alteration.
They are given in the order in which they
are most frequently required in catalogue
work. In connexion with this, reference
should be made to the markings given in the
chapter on preparing the copy.

76 production of the printed catalogue
Correction Marks.

Comma to be inserted ,

Point or full stop to be inserted, or to re-
place a comma or other mark ....
Parenthesis to be inserted . . . . (

Bracket ,, ,, [

Italics to be substituted for some other

fount ital.

Note : It is usual to underline the
word to be changed.

Roman type to be substituted . . . rom.

Clarendon type to be substituted. . . clar.

Note : It is usual to underline the
word to be changed with a wavy line.

Small capitals to be substituted . . . s.c. or sm.cap.

Capital letters to be used .... caps.

Brevier, Bourgeois, etc., are shown bv . Brev., Bour.,


Small letters to be substituted . . . I.e., or lower


To remove, or to take out, or to delete . 'J)

Wrong letter, i.e. a letter or figure from a
different fount to be altered : wrong
fount w.f.

Correction wrongly made ; the original

to remain stet.

Note : It is usual to put a row of dots
beneath the word.

Bad letter or figure to be removed . b.l., or X


Quotation marks or superior letters to be
inserted — j

Line to be indented or set in beneath the
one above it D

Note : Technically this should be set
in one em, but in catalogue work it is
understood to stand for the indenta-
tion agreed upon.

Letter upside down, or turned . . . Q

Space to be inserted or increased . . Jjt^

Letters, etc., to be transposed . . . Trans, or trs.

Letters out of alignment below or above

the line > — < ' — i

Space to be reduced 1/

Space to be taken out altogether . . O

Black line of a quadrat showing to be
knocked down J_

New line to be comm.enced .... New par, or

n.p., or fl

New line which should have followed on

the preceding one run on.

Crooked lines =f

Bad spacing to be eqitalized .... equal

Margin line uneven ||

Letter to be inserted A

Leaders to be inserted or . . .

or . .

Selected catalogue entries to show
the application of these marks or sym ■
bols are given in the following pages.


A Page of Errors.

Gaboriau (E.) Honor of the name, (France.
Louis XVIII H636

Gadfly. By Mrs. E. L. Voynich hi 530

Gainsborough (Thomas,)

Arnold (G. M. B.) Gainsborough F381


M[urdoch (A.) Century of gas F428

Sketch of the inventor.

Gateless Barrier. By L. Malet hi 061

Gaverocks. By S. M. Baring-Gould. . . .11680
Geary (Sir W. N. M.) Lawyer's wife . .H2023

Gil Bias. By A. -y. Le Sage. H987

Giles (H. A.). Chinese literature -0106

Girlcaptives. By B. Marchant L433

Givers. By M. E. W. Freman hi 60S

Gore (C.) Body of Christ. A175. Leo the Great A291
Gosse (E.) Cong reve ,,.,,., 0200


Marked for Correction.

Gaboriau (E.) Honcr of the name/ (France. O

)/ LouU XVII^ ." H^, thi.

^ixjrn,} Gadfly. By "Mf^ E. L. Voynich "^53°

(^ Cap. G ainsborou gh (Thomas,)
P ^rnold (G. M. B.) Gainsborough fjSi ^ .A^

D 3 / /kM[urdocWA.) Century of gas f+zS

/Vy*<^ /Sketch of the inventor.^ *-^ «-^

^t. Gateless Jiarrier. By L. Malet H1061

Gaverocks. By S. yL Bariog-Gould. . . .h68o ch
l^-jh Q>t3^ (Sir W. N. M.) Lawyer's wife . .H2023
j^^ Gil Bias. ^ A. y. Le Sage. y^ H987 <o) /

. Giles (H. A.). Chi^^ literature v»°'°^ v

' ' j

44 Girj^ptives. By B. Marchant .„ L433

Givers. By M. E. W. Fr^an hi 608 ^/

I y\,.h Gore (C.) Body |_of Christ, ai 75. y^Leo the Great A251
I ^^ Gosse (E.) / Congreve ............. . d20q

1 2 4 6 7 8

Online LibraryAlexander J. (Alexander John) PhilipThe production of the printed catalogue; the preparation, printing, and publication of catalogues of libraries, museums, art galleries, publishers, booksellers and business houses. With a chapter on the monotype machine, and an appendix of type faces → online text (page 4 of 8)