Cancellandum and Cancellans

(see also Integrandum). Terms for sheets or leaves involved in a substitution. Printers in the Nineteenth century called them Cancels, but for bibliographers the word is ambiguous since it fails to distinguish the piece of paper being substituted from the one which does the substituting. The present terminology was proposed by R.W. Chapman in a series of articles from 1923 onwards and taken up by McKerrow in An Introduction to Bibliography cit., pp. 222-228. In it the cancellandum (plural cancellanda) is the leaf/sheet that has to be eliminated (Chapman also employs the term cancellatum once the operation has been performed) and the cancellans (plural cancellantia) is the reset and reprinted text that takes its place; see Chapman, Cancels (London, Constable; New York, Richard R. Smith, 1930) [this not easy to find pamphlet brings together the substance of articles published in The Library, i.e. ‘Notes on Eighteenth-Century Bookbuilding’, s. IV, vol. 4 (1923-24), pp. 165-180; ‘Notes on Cancel Leaves’, vol. 5 (1924-25), pp. 249-258; ‘Cancels and Stubs’, vol. 8 (1927-28), pp. 264-268]. I also draw attention to the excellent analysis of everything that can happen to a book from the moment in which the printing process is concluded in Giles Barber, ‘From Press to Purchase: the Making of the Book after its Printing’, in Trasmissione dei testi a stampa nel periodo moderno: II seminario internazionale, Roma-Viterbo, 27-29 marzo 1985, a cura di Giovanni Crapulli (Roma, Edizioni dell’ateneo, 1987), pp. 17-32.

How does one spot a cancellans? The best way is to be lucky and find a copy in which the cancellandum has not been inserted. If the whole sheet has been reprinted, it is nevertheless possible, or indeed seems to have happened quite often, that copies were distributed before the cancellans was realised. Careful comparison of copies will therefore, and this is another reason why libraries should not discard multiple copies of early printed books, bring the two different versions to light. If the cancellans was executed as a single leaf, the stub left by the removal of the cancellatum is often visible. Since the insertion of the cancellans was left up to the binder of the book, it is not unusual, sometimes even due to instructions from the purchaser, for the cancellandum to be left intact, awaiting discovery. Of course it can also happen that a cancellans is introduced only in selected copies: for instance in the 1532 Orlando Furioso the inner-leaf cancellans in gathering A is to be found only in the large paper copies and in one exemplar in vellum (see Fahy, L’«Orlando furioso» del 1532 cit.), while in some copies of the two editions of the Decamerone in 1582 half-sheet cancellantia are printed to substitute ‘Imola’ for ‘Venice’ and thus avoid offending the sensibilities of citizens of the latter city; see Gustavo Bertoli, ‘Le prime due edizioni della seconda «Rassettatura»’, Studi sul Boccaccio, vol. 23 (1995), pp. 3-17.

- Catchwords. To catch bibliographers obviously. Though catchwords are ancient and go back to medieval scribal practice, they can be revealing when we have to identify textual disturbances. We should always remember that in printing every leaf is a distinct textual and bibliographical unit and therefore a discrepancy in a catchword can be a sign of a difficulty in the printing of the book. On catchwords and typographical style, see Giles Barber, ‘Catchwords and Press Figures at Home and Abroad’, The Book Collector, vol. 9 (1960), pp. 301-307.

- Collational Formulae. The algebra of bibliographical description. Its basic purpose is to tell the story of the book as a material object and to give every leaf its own individual name to which precise reference can subsequently be made. A bibliographical description is always with reference to the ‘ideal copy’. The practice of writing a collational formula to describe the physical structure of the book derives from the fact that printers themselves often provided a Register, usually on the final leaf, as a form of instruction to the binder, but these of course rarely tell us the secret history of the making of the edition. A refinement of the collational formula as a bibliographical instrument first appears in the article by W.W. Greg, ‘A Formulary of Collation’, The Library, vol. 14 (1933-34), pp. 365-382, repr. in Collected Essays, pp. 298-313. Greg’s suggestions, some of them borrowed from McKerrow, are taken up and elaborated in habitually prescriptive fashion by Bowers in chapter five of the Principles cit., pp. 193-268, together with a useful synthesis in ‘A Digest of the Formulary’ at pp. 457-462, which has the advantage of brevity. The authority of Bowers’ exposition is shown by the fact that that there is very little subsequent bibliography, but see G.T. Tanselle, ‘Title-Page Transcription and Signature Collation Reconsidered’, Studies in Bibliography, vol. 38 (1985), pp. 45-81. Most bibliographers and library cataloguers nowadays understand and employ the additional symbols proposed by Greg: p [preliminary] for an unsigned leaf or gathering at the beginning of the book and ? [extra] for an unsigned leaf or gathering in the body of the book. Less known but still useful is the practice of Allan Stevenson, who employs ? to “signify an unsigned, unpaged leaf of letterpress opposite (or associated with) a plate”; see Catalogue of Botanical Books in the Collection of Rachel McMaster Miller Hunt, compiled by Jane Quinby, Allan Stevenson (Pittsburgh, The Hunt Botanical Library, 1958-61, vol. 2, p. cxlvii). Greg and Bowers did not contemplate a symbol for inserted tables without letterpress, which they preferred to deal with in the note on contents; but, quite apart from the fact that such inserts are a legitimate part of the book as manufactured, following a hint from Stevenson, I find an apposite symbol or t [table] useful, both in the formula and as a system of nomenclature.

- Collators (Collating Machines). Pioneering bibliographers frequently discovered variants of state by slow, painstaking comparison of different exemplars on a line-by-line basis. Such operations were feasible when the texts concerned were Elizabethan or Jacobean dramatic texts, therefore fairly short and surviving in a small number of copies; for example A.K. McIlwraith, ‘Some Bibliographical Notes on Massinger’, The Library, s. IV, vol. 11 (1930), pp. 78-92; Idem, ‘Marginalia on Press-Corrections in Books of the Early Seventeenth Century’, The Library, s. 5, vol. 4 (1950), pp. 238-248; and W.W. Greg, The Variants in the First Quarto of ‘King Lear’: A Bibliographical and Critical Inquiry (London, The Bibliographical Society, 1940). When the books concerned were bigger, however, and the bibliographical projects more ambitious and financially better endowed, people began to think about ways of mechanizing the process of collation. The first, and easily the best known, of these devices was the so-called Hinman Collator, which finds variants through the principle of stroboscopy; see Charlton Hinman, ‘Variant Readings in the First Folio of Shakespeare’, Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 4 (1953), pp. 280-281, and ‘Mechanised Collation at the Houghton Library’, Harvard Library Bulletin, vol. 9 (1955), pp. 132-134. Through a series of mirrors the images of two copies are reflected onto a plane in front of the person performing the collation, who, by raising and lowering the intensity of the light on the exemplars, spots changes in the text, since the variants appear to move. Approximately fifty of these machines were built and purchased by large institutional libraries in the United States and Canada, though a few examples did make their way across the Atlantic to the library of the British Museum (now British Library), the Bodleian, and libraries in Germany. An excellent history of the making and marketing of Hinman’s machine, including a census of the exemplars still extant, can be read in Steven Escar Smith, ‘“The Eternal Verities Verified”: Charlton Hinman and the Roots of Mechanical Collation’, Studies in Bibliography, vol. 53 (2000), pp. 129-161. Idem, “Armadillos of invention”: A Census of Mechanical Collators’, Studies in Bibliography, vol. 55 (2002), pp. 133-170. The principal disadvantage of a Hinman Collator is obvious. It is approximately the size and weight of a telephone box: therefore it cannot be transported, except by lorry, and can be employed usefully only in a library such as the Folger, in which an eccentric millionaire has assembled numerous exemplars of the same edition. But in the real world it is unusual for a library to own more than one copy of the same book and even a very large collection, such as the British Library, which has been known to dispose of so-called ‘duplicates’ in its past, rarely possesses more than 3-4 copies even of an important edition. A easily suggested alternative, that of obtaining carefully printed photographic copies from exemplars in distant libraries, is complicated when we think instead of the shoestring budgets on which most bibliographical research is conducted, while the use of reproductions on a Hinman is limited by the fact that they have to be on the same scale as the originals.

In a world of wandering bibliographers, if the book cannot come to the collator, the collator must go to the book. A number of simple, loss-cost solutions have been discovered, which allow the collating device to be carried to distant libraries and avoid the expense of obtaining reproductions. The advent some twenty-five years ago of a new generation of Japanese xerox machines led researchers in several countries to experiment collation with transparent photocopies. The exercise is simple and the cost contained, since, after a control copy has been made (obviously a requirement is that a library should be willing to allow someone to photocopy a valuable early book in this fashion), it can be taken to libraries owning the edition, where collation proceeds by superimposing the transparent xerox over the text. If the line has been adjusted or reset in the course of printing, the images fail to match up and the bibliographer looks to see what is causing the disturbance. Obviously the weight of the transparencies, except in the case of a bulky original, is insignificant and the operation requires no other special equipment. Collation nevertheless has to be conducted with care, since a printer can make physical changes to a forme that do not involve significant movement in the line, for instance substituting an a with an e, and therefore the text still has to be read word by word. For further information about this technique, see H. F. Hofman [and others], Uit bibliotheektuin en informatieveld (Utrecht, 1978, pp. 209-218; see also note in The Library, s. VI, vol. 7, 1985, p. 301); Randall McLeod, ‘A Technique of Headline Analysis, with Application to Shakespeare’s Sonnets, 1609’, Studies in Bibliography, vol. 32 (1979), pp. 197-210 [though the method is suggested only as a way of comparing headlines]; Conor Fahy, ‘A New Technique for Collating Copies of the Same Edition’, Bulletin of the Society for Italian Studies, vol. 17 (1984), pp. 20-24, reprinted in Italian translation in La Bibliofilìa, vol. 87 (1985), pp. 65-68, and in the same scholar’s Saggi di bibliografia testuale (1988, pp. 105-111). Rather surprisingly, researches involving the collation of multiple exemplars dispersed in many different libraries have been relatively few in number and seem to have been applied mainly to texts of Italian literature; see Conor Fahy, L’«Orlando furioso» del 1532: profilo di una edizione (Milano, Vita e pensiero, 1989), which describes the results obtained in collating the twenty-four known copies of the definitive edition of Ariosto’s poem; as well as the critical editions of the De umbris idearum by Giordano Bruno, edited by Rita Sturlese (Firenze, Olschki, 1991), and of L’Ercolano by Benedetto Varchi, edited by Antonio Sorella (Pescara, Libreria dell’Università editrice, 1995). My own experiences with transparencies have taught me that, however simple, collation with this method is both tiring and time-consuming, especially when the book is a sizeable one.

A very ingenious technique of stereoscopic collation, based on much the same optical principle as the binocular, has been developed by a succession of scholars over the course of the last four decades. The initial device was conceived by Gordon Lindstrand and consisted of a large box, in which two exemplars of a book placed on reading stands and reflected through mirrors were viewed through an eyepiece; cfr. his account in ‘Mechanized Textual Collation and Recent Designs’, Studies in Bibliography, vol. 24 (1971), pp. 204-214, and also Smith, “Armadillos of invention”: A Census of Mechanical Collators’, cit. above. Between twenty and thirty exemplars of this collator, some of them still working, seem to have been constructed and acquired by libraries, mainly in the United States, in the early Seventies, but Lindstrand subsequently dropped out of sight amid rumours (unfounded) that he was serving a prison sentence for having taken money from institutions and not delivered the machine. From a practical point of view however, although not heavy, the box-shape still required some form of mechanised transport if the collator were to be taken to a book in another library. During the Eighties Randall McLeod of the University of Toronto, employing the same basic concept in a radically different manner, invented the first truly portable collator which, broken down into its constituent parts, nowadays fits into a small suitcase and weighes about 17 kg., so that it can be transported without undue difficulty as personal baggage. Setting it up requires a certain amount of expertise and practise, but, once the system has been learnt, it can be got ready in 30-40 minutes and taken down in half the time. An explanatory pamphlet is available from the maker, who can be contacted at rmcleod@utm.utoronto.ca (it is described in Italian in McLeod, ‘Il collazionatore portatile McLeod: una veloce collatio dei testi a stampa come figure’, in La stampa in Italia nel Cinquecento: atti del convegno Roma, 17-21 Ottobre 1989, a cura di Marco Santoro (Roma, Bulzoni, 1992, vol. I, pp. 325-354)). Some sixteen exemplars of the collator have been manufactured and sold, both to private scholars and to institutions. Libraries who have purchased the collator and are willing to make it available to bibliographers include the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, the New York Public Library (Rare Books Division), and the Pierpont Morgan Library. University Departments that have acquired it, usually for research projects, include those of English at Cambridge and Melbourne Universities, and the College of the Air Defense Academy in Canberra. The only exemplar outside the English-speaking world (at present) belongs to the University of Udine and is usually kept in my office. The latest development comes from Carter Hailey, who has dispensed with the overhead bar, which in the McLeod suspends the mirrors, and instead mounted the latter on the stands of two anglepoise lamps. At this point any person who has understood the methods involved and is reasonably able with their hands ought to be able to construct a collator in a home workshop. In layman’s terms the principle behind the device is that it deceives the brain into thinking that both eyes are looking at the same page in the same printed artefact, whereas the mirrors are in fact reflecting an image from a second copy of the same into one eye. When a true variant appears the brain has difficulty accepting the contradiction, so that the spot in the page shimmers or appears three-dimensional. The major advantage it presents is that, once its use has been mastered, collation is remarkably swift and the ‘vision’ is very sensitive even to trifling change in the appearance of the page, such as damage to the letter-press. This awareness to very slight differences makes it invaluable for the rapid comparison of images produced in copper-plate printing or maps, where small differences in state, deriving from the need to retouch the plates from time to time, are commonplace but difficult to detect with the naked eye. The McLeod and Hailey Collators are highly recommended therefore not only to textual scholars and bibliographers, but also to art historians and anyone interested in finding minimal differences in impressions made from the same original matrix. The adjustable mirrors also make it possible to collate an original from a reproduction on a very different scale (an important consideration if copies of books are being obtained in microfilm) or even from the screen of a microfilm reader or a computer, though the operator has to be fairly skilled at adjusting the device.

A significant proof of the successful nature of these latest versions is the number of research projects in which a large number of exemplars of an edition have been collated. Hinman’s historic project in the Folger set the bench mark at fifty exemplars, to which should be added the Lee facsimile of the First Folio. Randall McLeod has collated some forty exemplars of the first edition of Harington’s translation of the Orlando Furioso (London, R. Field, 1591 = STC 746)), and Hailey Carter sixty-two copies of the three editions of Piers Plowman, all published by Robert Crowley in London and all dated 1550 (STC 19906 [25 copies], STC 19907a [20 copies], STC 19907 [17 copies]). (I thank both scholars for furnishing information about their projects.) The Guinness Record for the highest number of exemplars collated belonging to the same edition printed on a hand-press goes however to Emanuela Sartorelli of the Centro Nazionale di Studi Manzoniani in Milan, who has verified sixty-seven copies of the first edition of Manzoni’s Promessi sposi (Milano, Silvestri, 1825-26, in 3 vols.). The project, conducted from May 2002 to March 2004, employed the Udine exemplar of the McLeod collator. A key, and unusual, feature of the organisation saw the involvement of the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, who, together with the other centre, was able to arrange to obtain copies on loan for short periods, so that the collating operations were conducted in the Sala Manzoniana of the library (only in one case was the collator taken to the book). As well as weight and cost, the other consideration in choosing a collator is speed. Though there are an infinite number of variables, average time for the collation of in-4° with 200 leaves, done by single operator (time can be much reduced by having a helper turn the leaves), can be estimated as approximately five-six hours on a Hinman, seven on a Lindstrand, seven-eight on the "Comet", eight on a McLeod, and getting on for a week if transparencies are employed (I thank Steven Escar Smith for advice on this point). The principal advantage of the Hinman from this point of view is that the exemplars being collated are more conveniently placed.

Recent times have inevitably seen projects in which the scanning and the comparison of printed texts are done by or through computers. Two basic methods are ‘discovered’ with a certain frequency. In the first, the page is scanned through Optical Character Recognition, converted into a text file and compared with previous scansions of the same page. If the truth be told, this method is already practised with frequency by textual scholars comparing different editions of modern texts. When the books belong to earlier periods, however, the nuisance elements inevitable in scanning hand-press books, often through reproductions, with all the distortions due to erratic inking on damp paper, usage and age, can lead to the signalling of a high number of inexistent or insignificant differences. There is also element of danger in the fact that the device might not recognise a very exact resetting nor meaningful episodes of damage to a forme. In the second, the images of the copies being collated are photographed, nowadays with a digital camera, given distinct colours, for example red and blue, and superimposed on the computer screen: if the two blocks of texts are unvariant, the whole appears as the secondary colour, in this case purple; if, on the other hand, there are variants, the primary colour shows separately. None of this is difficult and can be conducted by an ordinary user employing a program such as Photoshop; but the computer operator still has to have enough bibliographical knowledge to decide what is a true variant in the original and what is instead distortion in the images. Two points therefore have to be underlined: first, it is not the computer that in real terms finds the variants and therefore the human element remains all important; second, that the real difficulty in any such enterprise is not the collation but the acquisition of images. A pioneering method of image comparison is described in P. R. Sternberg – J. M. Brayer , ‘Composite Imaging: A New Technique in Bibliographic Research’,  Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, vol. 77 (1983), pp. 431-445, while a series of imaging techniques developed in Germany by the Münster firm Soft Imaging System, in collaboration with the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, are described by Martin Boghardt, ‘Änderungen in Wort und Bild’, La Bibliofilìa, vol. 100 (1998), pp. 513-581 (also issued for the centennial of the journal as Anatomie bibliologiche: saggi di storia del libro per il centenario de “La Bibliofilìa”, a cura di Luigi Balsamo e Pierangelo Bellettini, Firenze, Olschki, 1999). Projects in which copies of early printed books are reproduced as digital images have also made available variant states, albeit more for their curiosity value than for their scholarly or textual significance. The most interesting example is certainly the Keio University Gutenberg Bible project [link to http://www.humi.keio.ac.jp/treasures/incunabula/B42/index.html: unfortunately variant readings between copies can only be visualised on the screens of computers in Cambridge and Tokyo]. It is necessary to state that numerous editions of important texts exist that contain only trifling variants deriving from the printing process and sometimes none at all, while, whatever the technology, collating multiple copies of the same is always going to be a long, slow and monotonous task. From a bibliographical and textual point of view a collation that has been scrupulously executed and found nothing has the same importance as one that has found many variants. But it is human to ask oneself whether in the real world a heavily financed and much blazoned project would find this circumstance acceptable.

- Compositor Analysis [see Tanselle, ‘Treatment’ cit., pp. 14-17: “Spelling and layout variations”]. As well as the indications relating to Shakespeare scholarship in § 5, on the more general applicability of such methods, see Wallace Kirsop, ‘Les habitudes de compositeurs: une technique d’analyse au service de l’édition critique et de l’histoire des idées’, in Trasmissione dei testi a stampa nel periodo moderno: I seminario internazionale, Roma, 23-26 marzo 1983, a cura di Giovanni Crapulli (Roma, Edizioni dell’ateneo, 1985, pp. 17-47).

- Copy-specific Information. Increasingly scholars are recognising that accurate descriptions of the single copies of an edition, each of which with its own particular history, should be part of a bibliographical entry, though as yet there has been no worthwhile theoretical discussion outside the field of incunable studies; see Paul Needham, ‘Copy Description in Incunable Catalogues’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, vol. 95 (2001), pp. 173-239. Two recent and to my mind significant examples conducted on early printed artefacts are published in the recent Hellinga Festschrift ( Incunabula. Studies in Fifteenth-Century Printed Books presented to Lotte Hellinga, cit.), i.e. Elly Cockx-Indestege, ‘The Gnotosolitos of Arnold Geilhoven published by the Brothers of the Common Life in Brussels in 1476’ (pp. 27-77) and Lilian Armstrong, ‘Nicolaus Jenson’s Breviarium Romanum, Venice. 1478: Decoration and Distribution’ (pp. 421-467). While we necessarily have to accept that work consisting in the analysis and description of all the known exemplars of an edition is an important form of bibliographical activity, some sort of discussion is needed about what constitutes relevant and useful copy-specific information. As regards centuries later than the Fifteenth, though copy-specific information has never been ignored, relatively few bibliographies privilege this sort of detail. Three books however, of which the first two build on more traditional bibliographical listings, seem important from this point of view: Steven Rawles – M. A. Screech, A New Rabelais Bibliography: Editions of Rabelais before 1626 (Genève, Droz, 1987); Rita Sturlese, Bibliografia, censimento e storia delle antiche stampe di Giordano Bruno (Firenze, Olschki, 1987), which supplements with an exhaustive copy-census the earlier Virgilio Salvestrini, Bibliografia di Giordano Bruno (1582-1950), 2a edizione postuma a cura di Luigi Firpo (Firenze, Sansoni antiquariato, 1958); and Owen Gingerich, An Annotated Census of Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus (Nuremberg, 1543 and Basel, 1566) (Leiden, Brill, 2002). A significant example of a bibliographical description dedicated to a single edition, which includes minute analysis of the single copies, is available in Conor Fahy, L’«Orlando furioso» del 1532: profilo di una edizione cit., pp. 19-31. Though copy-specific information is an alien concern as far as the ‘New Bibliography’ was concerned, Shakespeare scholars had a census of 160 copies of their favourite book provided by Sidney Lee in 1902, which in more recent work by Anthony James West has risen to 228, of which thirteen do not have their present location known; see ‘A Provisional New Census of the Shakespeare First Folio’, The Library, s. 6, vol. 17 (1995), pp. 60-73. This last work, is a revised and much amplified form is now in course of publication in four volumes, of which the first two have so far appeared; see The Shakespeare First Folio. The History of the Book. Vol. 1. An Account of the First Folio based on its Sales and Prices, 1623-2000 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001) and Vol. 2: A New World Census of First Folios  (2003), albeit to a somewhat critical reception: see Marc Vaulbert de Chantilly’s review of volume 1 in The Book Collector, vol. 51 (2001), pp. 297-300.