Hi Matthew,


The book is tightly bound so I can’t see the actual make up or the conjugate leaves so I have to work with what I have got in front of me. I have one leaf missing at the front that’s why I called it [A]²(-[A1]), i.e. I only have one unsigned leaf at the front but I am assuming that this is part of the normal sequence of gatherings, so there should be at least two leaves. I then have an unsigned, added leaf at the end, which I called “chi1” but I am guessing that this is the missing leaf from the front that has been folded over to appear at the end. From the position this is in, i.e. last leaf at the back, and given the fact that I am missing one leaf at the front this makes sense to me. I will never know for sure unless I take the book apart, which I won’t do, of course.

So in this case it is mostly about presumption but sometimes if a book isn’t quite so tightly bound you can see the conjugate leaves, which makes it much easier.


I think if there are no printed signatures and it’s not a loose leaf item I probably wouldn’t try to describe the register as you wouldn’t have much to go by.


-----Original Message-----

From: CIG E-Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Matthew Baalham

Sent: 16 April 2015 14:29

To: [log in to unmask]

Subject: Re: [CIG-E-FORUM] Submission of Record 3


Hello Iris,

I am really interested to see that in your 3rd record's signature statement you have called the first leaf [A]² and assumed that the final leaf is probably [A]1. I have always struggled to understand how cataloguers make these judgements. What is the best way to ascertain that leaves are conjugate, rather than separate? How do you know whether [A]1 or [A]2 are retained? Is it mostly about presumption, or are there obvious signs? How would you describe the register if it had no printed signatures?





Iris O'Brien

Early Printed Collections Cataloguing and Processing Manager

The British Library

St Pancras

96 Euston Road



Tel.: +44 (0)20 7412 7731

E-mail: [log in to unmask]


Experience the British Library online at www.bl.uk
The British Library’s latest Annual Report and Accounts : www.bl.uk/aboutus/annrep/index.html
Help the British Library conserve the world's knowledge. Adopt a Book. www.bl.uk/adoptabook
The Library's St Pancras site is WiFi - enabled
The information contained in this e-mail is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended for the addressee(s) only. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete this e-mail and notify the [log in to unmask] : The contents of this e-mail must not be disclosed or copied without the sender's consent.
The statements and opinions expressed in this message are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the British Library. The British Library does not take any responsibility for the views of the author.
Think before you print