Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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quarto

A book in which the sheets have been folded twice, the second fold at right angles to the first. The result is often squarer than the upright rectangular characteristic of the FOLIO , OCTAVO , and DUODECIMO . In books with laid paper the chain lines are horizontal. In England the quarto became an elegant format for published works in the first half of the 18th century.

In the 19th century, when the rapid mechanization of the printing industry took place, librarians began to apply the term format according to size rather than the way a book was put together. This has contributed considerably to the general confusion concerning format.




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