New Edition of The Dictionary of the Book

Rowman & Littlefield

The Dictionary of the Book: A Glossary for Book Collectors, Booksellers, Librarians, and Others by Sidney E Berger is now available in its 2nd Edition.

Former Fine Books editor Rebecca Rego Barry interviewed Berger when the first edition came out back in November 2016 and you can read that feature here. She described it as "a remarkably comprehensive volume of book terminology".

This new edition of The Dictionary of the Book published by Rowman & Littlefield includes an additional 700 new entries as well as numerous new illustrations. The publishers say it "brings the vocabulary and theory of bookselling and collecting into the modern commercial and academic world, which has been forced to adjust to a new reality."

In his new Foreword to the book, Joel Silver says: "Berger has produced a work that will benefit anyone who wants to learn more about books of any period, and how these books have been created, used, collected, valued, bought,and sold."

The new edition contains more than 200 images and 2,000 key terms, starting with AACR (see Anglo-American Cataloging Rules) and ending with Zoomorphic Borders. Between these two points is a vast range of information about every aspect of the book world including typeface terminology, physical condition, calligraphy, writing implements, book condition terminology, price of books, preservation and conservation issues, key figures/presses/publishers, and how to read and decipher new and old dealers’ catalogs. There is also an extensive bibliography.

Sidney E. Berger was the Ann C. Pingree Director of the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum of Salem, and is now the library’s Director Emeritus. For the past 18 years he has taught rare-book classes at Simmons University and the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He was also Curator of Printed Books and then Curator of Manuscripts at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA, and he headed the Special Collections Department at the University of California, Riverside. His book Rare Books and Specials Collections won the 2015 ABC-CLIO/American Library Association award for the Best Book in Library Literature. He is also the proprietor of the Doe Press, publishing short texts from handset types, printed on a handpress.