During the hand-press period, printers and publishers thought of their books in terms of the size and number of whole sheets of paper needed to produce them. An immediate concern in planning an edition was to establish its format, the way in which its sheets of paper would be folded into gatherings so that they could be sewn together and bound in an efficient and convenient manner. Authors, publishers, printers, and retail booksellers alike were conversant with the advantages and traditions associated with the various standard formats used during the hand-press period. A knowledge of and familiarity with these formats is thus an indispensable part of the scholarly equipment of students of book history—bibliographers, historians, textual editors, research librarians, antiquarian booksellers, book collectors, and others.
A workbook and facsimile sheets to accompany this video are available for purchase from Rare Book School: https://rarebookschool.org/product/facsimiles-of-bibliographical-format/
Originally issued in 1991; remastered in 2004. Written by Terry Belanger and directed by Peter Herdrich. All rights now owned by the Book Arts Press (Rare Book School).
Note: The projected second part of this video series, covering collation, was not produced.