Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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catchword

The word appearing at the bottom of the page following the bottom line of print. It is also the first word of the following page. Catchwords originally appeared on the last page of a quire or manuscript, and were intended to he used by the bookbinder in gathering. Later, they appeared at the foot of every verso or even every page; however, their use in the printed books of Europe was never very consistent. In Italian books of the period 1470-1500 they first appeared at the end of each signature (section), and later at the end of every page. In the 19th century, their use in conjunction with signature marks was redundant and they were discontinued. (12 , 156 , 234 , 365 )




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