Octavo: Difference between revisions

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The oldest surviving octavo book apparently is the so-called "Turkish calendar" for 1455, presumably printed in late 1454, about the same time as the Gutenberg Bible.<ref>[http://istc.bl.uk/search/search.html?operation=record&rsid=356&q=0 British Library, Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, entry for the 1454 Turkish Calendar].</ref><ref>Margaret Bingham Stillwell, ''The Beginning of the World of Books, 1450-1470'', [[Bibliographical Society of America]], New York, 1972, p. 6, described as a tract of 6 leaves, but not identifying the format.</ref> Numerous other octavos survive beginning from about 1461.<ref>[http://istc.bl.uk/search/search.html?operation=search&rsid=356&sort=idx-year British Library, Incunabula Short Title Catalogue search for octavos, sorted by year]</ref> The [[British Library]] [[Incunabula Short Title Catalogue]] currently lists about 28,100 different editions of surviving books, pamphlets and broadsides (some fragmentary only) printed before 1501 <ref>[http://istc.bl.uk/search/search.html?operation=search&rsid=9450&sort=idx-year Search of Incunabula Short Title Catalog for imprints before 1501, sorted by date. Search done July 12, 2009.]</ref> of which about 2,850 are octavos,<ref>[http://istc.bl.uk/search/search.html?operation=search&rsid=9460&sort=idx-year British Library, Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, search for imprints before 1501 and format as "8vo", sorted by date. Search done July 12, 2009.]</ref> representing 10 percent of all works in the catalog.
 
Beginning in 1501, [[Aldus Manutius]] of Venice began to print classical works in small octavo format which were easily portable. These editions contained only the text of the works, without the commentary and notes, and became extremelyvery popular with educated readers. As a result, Aldus became closely associated with the octavo format.<ref>Martin Lowry, ''The World of Aldus Manutius,'' [[Cornell University Press]], 1979, pp. 137-167.</ref>
 
==Size==
 
Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, technology permitted the manufacture of large sheets or rolls of paper on which books were printed, many text pages at a time. As a result, it may be impossible to determine the actual format (''i.e.,'', the number of leaves formed from each sheet fed into a press). The term "octavo" as applied to such books may refer simply to the size of the book. The use of the term "octavo" as applied to such books refers to books which are generally between {{convert|8|to|10|in}} tall, the most common size for modern hardbound books. More specific sizes are denoted by reference to certain paper sizes as follows:
 
*[[Foolscap]] octavo (6¾" by 4¼") (170&nbsp;mm x 108&nbsp;mm)