• @ sign

    symbol used in the formation of e-mail addresses (“@”)
  • A/D converter

    electronic component for converting analogue signals into digital signals
  • abacus

    mechanical counting aid for calculating the four basic arithmetic operations and extracting a root
  • abbreviation

    time- and/or space-saving textual short forms on coins, seals or in handwriting
  • abbreviator

    writer in the papal chancery who are expert in abbreviations and produce drafts of papal bulls and briefs
  • academic book

    book primarily specific to research and teaching
  • academic library

    library whose collection is primarily focused on academia and research
  • academic publishing house

    specialist publisher of academic books and journals
  • academy

    term for an art school or a learned society dating back to the time of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato
  • acidity (paper)

    an important consideration in papermaking because increased acidity levels (resulting from processes such as sizing) reduce durability
  • Adelslexikon

    reference book providing information in short form of the history, names, coats of arms and property of the German nobility
  • adhesive seal

    rubberised, round, oval or angular seal used by a public authority, company or private person
  • AF

    abbreviation for autofocus, the capability of cameras and scanners to focus automatically
  • ageing resistance (of paper)

    property of paper to be durable against internal material changes or external influences such as light or atmospheric pollution
  • Agnus Dei

    the lamb of God, a widespread symbol for Jesus Christ, represented in art as the Easter lamb holding a flag of victory
  • ahnentafel

    German record of a person’s ancestors numbered and listed in a fixed sequence of ascent
  • album

    a collection contained in the form of a book into which objects may be put or glued
  • Aldines

    small format printed matter that was published by the printer Aldus Manutius and his descendants in Venice between 1494 and 1598
  • aliasing

    stepped on-screen display of round or oblique shapes, which can be compensated for optically with anti-aliasing software
  • almanac

    normally a small-format calendar or paperback appearing annually
  • Almanach de Gotha

    almanac that served as a directory for the classification and genealogy of European nobility
  • alphabet

    character set of an alphabetical writing system in a classified order
  • alphabetisation

    children’s, young people’s or adults’ learning of the techniques of reading and writing
  • ambo

    platform built out of stone in medieval churches, predecessor of the pulpit
  • Ambrosiana (Biblioteca Ambrosiana)

    library founded in Milan in 1602
  • anachronism

    false temporal classification of persons or events
  • anagram

    forming a word by rearranging the letters of another word
  • analects

    the fruits of reading: a collection of quotes and passages
  • analogue

    in IT, a continuous, constant and infinitely variable process, also serves as a term for pre-digital media
  • ancillary rights

    legal rights of use arising from a primary right that a publisher passes onto to a third party for the purposes of creating paperback editions, film versions or altered forms of a work
  • andachtsbilder

    images of Christ, the Virgin Mary or saints, for private devotional use
  • annals

    medieval form of history writing employing strict chronological sequencing and concisely formulated facts
  • anonym

    a work that appears without naming their author
  • anonymous

    withholding the name or identity of the person responsible
  • anonymous lexicon

    reference book that identifies authors who are unnamed in their writings, or who have published work under a pen-name
  • anthology

    thematically related compilation of texts by various authors (florilegium)
  • anti-Semitism

    rejection of and struggle against the Jews on religious, nationalist and racist grounds
  • Antiqua

    group of Latin letters with round, and so not broken, letterforms
  • antiquarian bookshop

    bookshop with books that are not subject to fixed price regulations, plus newspapers, sheet music and hand-written documents  etc.
  • aphorism

    maxim or adage, often also metaphorical
  • App

    short form of application or software application
  • aquatint

    artistic form of intaglio printmaking
  • arabesque

    tendrilled ornamentation with strongly stylised leafwork
  • archaeology

    the science that deals with the cultural development of mankind on the basis of its material residues and legacy
  • archive

    facility for the permanent safekeeping of written material which stems from the administration and correspondence of state and private institutions
  • archive library

    collection site for library presentation copies of  physical and digital media, which the library collects, stores and makes accessible and available
  • armarium

    term for a repository for the safekeeping of valuable objects in the Middle Ages, also used for libraries and archives
  • art book

    elaborately designed book with original graphic illustrations by an important visual artist
  • Art Nouveau

    a period of art history in the late 19th and early 20th century which also had a tremendous influence on the design of books
  • art paper

    glazed or matt-coated paper particularly suited to the printing of images
  • art prints

    graphic art, often of artistic standard, reproduced using print technology
  • artists’ book

    a stand-alone work of art realized in the form of a book which is intended to be readable unlike a book art object
  • Arts and Crafts Movement

    a design movement that began in England in around 1880 lasting until about 1920, which reunited art and handicrafts

    American Standard Code for Information Interchange, originally arising as a teleprinter coding of characters by means of numbers
  • Asian printing techniques

    printing techniques that contain the great diversity of Chinese, Japanese and Korean writing and their paper quality
  • assignats

    paper money from the time of the French Revolution, originally covered by confiscated church property, later devalued by inflation
  • Assyriology

    a field within Oriental studies which deals with the culture and history of the Middle East, principally on the basis of cuneiform script documents
  • atlas

    compilation of thematically related illustrated panels, geographic or thematic maps
  • auction

    sales auction in which the price is established by increasing bids or by decreasing the price and is then fixed by the fall of the hammer
  • auction catalogue

    index of objects on offer for public sale at auction with precise descriptions and estimates of the price
  • audiovisual media

    media that makes integrated access to texts, sounds and moving images available to the user
  • aureola

    a symbol in art in the form of a halo or band of light around the head
  • author

    the writer of a work who thus acquires its intellectual property rights
  • author (personal author)

    writer or intellectual creator of a work
  • autobiography

    written account of the author’s own life
  • autograph

    a work transcribed in the author’s own hand (a letter, manuscript, etc.)
  • autopsy

    description of an object after its examination with one’s own eyes