Bibliography (from Greek βιβλιογραφία, bibliographia, literally "book writing"), as a discipline, is traditionally the academic study of books as physical, cultural objects; in this sense, it isalso known as bibliology (from Greek -λογία, -logia). Carter and Barker (2010) describe bibliography as a twofold scholarly discipline—the organized listing of books (enumerative bibliography) andthe systematic, description of books as physical objects (descriptive bibliography). These two distinct concepts and practices have separate rationales and serve differing purposes. Innovators andoriginators in the field include W. W. Greg, Fredson Bowers, Philip Gaskell, and G. Thomas Tanselle.
Bowers (1949) refers to enumerative bibliography as a procedure that identifies books in “specificcollections or libraries,” in a specific discipline, by an author, printer, or period of production (3). He refers to descriptive bibliography as the systematic description of a book as a material orphysical artifact. Analytical bibliography, the cornerstone of descriptive bibliography, investigates the printing and all physical features of a book that yield evidence establishing a book's historyand transmission (Feather 10). It is the preliminary phase of bibliographic description and provides the vocabulary, principles and techniques of analysis that descriptive bibliographers apply andon which they base their descriptive practice.
Descriptive bibliographers follow specific conventions and associated classification in their description. Titles and title pages are transcribed in aquasi-facsimile style and representation. Illustration, typeface, binding, paper, and all physical elements related to identifying a book follow formulaic conventions, as Bower's established in hisfoundational opus, The Principles of Bibliographic Description. The thought expressed in this book expands substantively on W. W. Greg’s groundbreaking theory that argued for the adoption of formal...
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