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Re: Folio, Quarto

These are all from Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary
of Descriptive Terminology <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/don/don.html>

The dimensions of books, as measured, in inches, centimeters, or
millimeters, from head to tail and from spine to fore edges of the cover.
The descriptions given to book sizes are based on a still currently used
system that involves using the size of a leaf as a fraction of the folded
sheet on which it was printed. With reference to the printing of books, an
even number of leaves always results when a sheet is folded, i.e., 2, 4, 8,
16, etc., resulting in printed pages on each side of the leaf, i.e., 4, 8,
16, 32, etc. Except for the largest size, the FOLIO (1) , the name of the
size indicates the fractional part of the sheet one leaf occupies, e.g.,
quarto (2 folds, 4 leaves, 8 pages), 1/4 Of the sheet; octavo (3 folds, 8
leaves, 16 pages), 1/8 of the sheet, etc. In this system, since books are
printed from different sizes of sheets (See: BOOK BASIS ), the fractional
designation by itself cannot denote an exact size; therefore it is a common
practice to give the name of the sheet before the fractional name, e.g.,
royal octavo, which is an octavo 1/8 the size of a sheet 20 X 25 inches or,
excluding the SQUARES , a book 10 x 6 1/4 inches (before trimming). Paper
is cut to so many sizes, however, that the terms crown, royal, post, etc.,
unless qualified, are practically meaningless. See: SIZES OF PAPER .
Untrimmed sizes for three commonly used sheet sizes are given below. The
customary trim of 1/8 inch at head and tail will reduce the height of the
text block by 1/4 inch; however, the size of the bound book. assuming 1/8
inch squares will make the height of the book the same as the sizes given.
It should be mentioned that not all sheet sizes given are folded to produce
books of the very small size indicated. All folds, following the first, are
right-angle folds.
The common book-trade designation of sizes was originally related to a
sheet of handmade paper measuring 19 X 25 inches, which was the common size
of the papermaking mold. When folded to 8 leaves, or 16 pages, and trimmed,
each was 6 1/2 X 9 1/4 inches, approximately, and was the standard
dimension of an 8vo. When folded to make 16 leaves, or 32 pages, it was a
16 mo. With the present great variety of paper sizes, all dimensions are by
necessity only approximate.

Paper Sizes:
Foolscap                    13 1/2 x 17
Foolscap, oblong double     13 1/2 x 34
Pinched post                14 1/2 x 18 1/2
Crown                       15 x 20
Post                        15 1/4 x 19
Large post                  16 1/2 x 21
Foolscap, double            17 x 27
Demy                        17 1/2 x 22 1/2
Medium                      18 x 23
Post, double                19 x 30 1/2
Royal                       20 X 25
Crown, double               20 X 30
Large post, double          21 X 33
Imperial                    22 X 30
Demy, double                22 1/2 X 35
Medium, double              23 X 36
Royal, double               25 X 40
Foolscap, quad              27 X 34
Crown, quad                 30 X 40
Imperial, double            30 X 44
Demy, quad                  35 X 45
Medium, quad                36 X 46
Crown, double quad          40 X 60

At 10:54 AM 4/9/2000 -0400, you wrote:
>Sorry to ask such a basic question, but basically I don't know the answer
>to this!
>What are the traditional sizes for folio, quarto, octavo, etc.?

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