When librarians and booksellers describe books, they often include a collational formula, a nightmarish collection of Roman and Greek letters, Arabic numerals, and all manner of subscript and superscripts. If you are interested in learning how to decipher collational formulas, then you may be interested in watching The Attack of the Collational Formula, a series of five videos produced by John Henry Adams, Joseph Sabo, and Caleb Ashlock in a joint project between Special Collections and the Digital Media and Innovation Lab. The project was funded by the Bibliographical Society of America.
The video series includes a basic introduction to bibliographic terms before covering format, collation, and signing in greater detail. Whether you want a refresher or are just getting started, why not check it out? You can find all five videos as a playlist at the BSA’s YouTube channel or you can follow the links below: