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Old 04-29-2006, 09:23 AM   #1
Michael Rowley
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KT:

That note is called a colophon, and it is rarely supplied

In England, the term 'colophon' is more restricted generally: it usually refers to the publisher's device, which is mostly on the title page (this is no criticism of US usage!). However, the verso of the t.p. often has the identity of the typeface (and usually, the size) used for the text and the name of the setter; the name and location of the printer is compulsory.

   
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:31 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
In England, the term 'colophon' is more restricted generally: it usually refers to the publisher's device, which is mostly on the title page (this is no criticism of US usage!). However, the verso of the t.p. often has the identity of the typeface (and usually, the size) used for the text and the name of the setter; the name and location of the printer is compulsory.
In this case, the English have gone off on their own, then. But people have long used “colophon” to refer to different things, so why not?

But it is traditionally a passage on a page at the end of text. Colophon sometimes also refers to the publisher or printer’s logo or device, on either the title page or the spine. Lately, especially in English books, the information is shown near the required text about the printer.

Wherever and however it appears, I like having the information. Classical colophons (the ones in the back of the book) have been having a small vogue, but designers too often mis-label or mis-describe the typeface.

   
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:38 PM   #3
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KT:

In this case, the English have gone off on their own, then

Here are the definitions from the latest edition of the COD:

"colophon
n noun
1 a publisher's emblem or imprint.
2 historical a statement at the end of a book giving information about its authorship and printing.

ORIGIN
C17: via late Latin from Greek kolophon 'summit or finishing touch'. "

What you call 'traditional', the COD (following the OED) call 'historical'. I wonder if the present US meaning is a revival.

Giving both the publishers and the printers names and addresses is the law in England, and has been for hundreds of years. Nowadays it is protection against libel (the person libelled can sue the author, publisher, and printer), but originally it was intended to protect against sedition (so authors often had their pamphlets etc. printed in the Netherlands).

The typeface information is fascinating: in a long series of books be Pratchett, most were set in 10.5/13.5 pt Meridien, but occasionally they're set in 11.75/15 pt Minion. Most books printed in USA have only the information, 'Printed in the United States of America' (also a historical requirement).

   
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
Giving both the publishers and the printers names and addresses is the law in England, and has been for hundreds of years.]
But you do often see type and physical book information there, along with the required text. Makes sense.

As for colophon, you are nitpicking; your dictionary says more or less what I did. Enough on that. The main thing is that it is too bad contempory colophons are so often inaccurate.

   
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Old 04-29-2006, 03:58 PM   #5
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KT:

As for colophon, you are nitpicking

No, I don't think so: perhaps you didn't notice the remark 'historical' that prefaced COD's second definition. But usage in England and America is clearly different: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (mine is not very new now) reverses the two definitions and omits the remark 'historical'. The magisterial OED also has nothing about 'historical' but says the information normally given in a colophon was 'formerly' at the end of a book.

American books generally have one advantage over English books: the CIP is usually there on the verso of the title page in America; in England, publishers have the lazy habit of saying that the CIP is 'available from the British Library'. Well, of course it is, but the publisher is responsible for getting it before the book is published. (Any comments on that from a librarian, Ann?)

   
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Old 04-29-2006, 04:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
\Well, of course it is, but the publisher is responsible for getting it before the book is published. (Any comments on that from a librarian, Ann?)
I can only speak for the scene here. As a publisher, I have made the decision not to get the CIP information from the National Library of Australia and include it on the verso of the title page. It does add to the cost because of the special formatting required.

As a librarian in special libraries, I liked having it available because I could cheat on the Dewey number if it was the first book on the topic in the library.

As a systems librarian in a public library, I no longer care, because we download MARC records from Libraries Australia.

   
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Old 04-29-2006, 04:47 PM   #7
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Ann:

I could cheat on the Dewey number

That's what I want the CIP for (I assume that the 'Dewey' number is nowadays the UDC).

I'm surprised that printing the CIP is a a problem, but I see that in the UK the pre-publication information must be supplied at least three months before the publication date, which the publishers are loath to do.

   
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Old 04-29-2006, 05:24 PM   #8
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(I assume that the 'Dewey' number is nowadays the UDC.
No; you are mixing up two different classification systems – the Dewey Decimal Classification System, and the Universal Decimal Classification System, which was derived from Dewey. This paper has an excellent explanation of how UDC works (and how it differs from its parent).

   
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:34 AM   #9
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Ann:

No; you are mixing up two different classification systems

No, I'm not mixing them up, but I thought the Universal would have superseded the Dewey Decimal System by now; but it is fifty years since I became convinced of the merits of UDC, and I haven't concerned myself with Dewey since.

   
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
Ann:

No; you are mixing up two different classification systems

No, I'm not mixing them up, but I thought the Universal would have superseded the Dewey Decimal System by now; but it is fifty years since I became convinced of the merits of UDC, and I haven't concerned myself with Dewey since.
UDC never took on in all but technical libraries, and most of those still use Dewey. Users of public libraries have enough difficulty with Dewey, by and large; UDC is beyond most of them. And of course, academic libraries mostly use LC.

There is a trend in public libraries to stop arranging adult non-fiction by classification at all, and to move to broad subject groupings.

   
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