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History and Art of the Book: Form searches

Using Form Terms

Using form terms to search within the Lee Library's catalog can be a fruitful way to discover and explore the Library's rich holdings in the history and art of the book. This section of the History and Art of the Book guide contains links to specific literary form searches, but you can also create your own searches for terms that are not listed here.

To perform a literary form search:

  1. Go to the Library's catalog
  2. Click on "Alphabetic Search"
  3. Enter a form term (e.g., "wood engravings," "fore-edge paintings," "chapbooks")
  4. Click on "genre/form"

A thesaurus of form terms for books and printing is available from the American Library Association Rare Books and Manuscripts Section's Bibliographic Standards Committee here. Click on one of the links for the various vocabularies. Many terms from this thesaurus have been used in the BYU catalog.

For further help, including help in discovering form terms for books and printing that have been used in the Library's catalog, please contact me.

Your Librarian


Profile ImageRobert L. Maxwell

6728 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602
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Greek and Latin languages, literatures, and cultures
History of printing and book arts
Information organization (cataloging)

Paper Terms

To find examples of books in the BYU collection by aspects of their papers, click on one of the links below.


Printers, typographers, and printing and typography students find it useful to study typefaces in the context of a completed book. For this reason, the BYU Library catalog identifies typefaces used in modern fine press books when known.

To find examples of typefaces,

  1. Go to the Library's catalog 
  2. Click on "Alphabetic search" 
  3. Enter the following string: "typefaces type evidence [name of type]" (e.g. "typefaces type evidence bodoni") 
  4. Click on "genre/form" 

Alternately, click on the first letter of the name of the typeface, below, and browse to the typeface.