Working from the title and copyright pages, identify the following as best as possible:
1) WHEN the book was published; WHERE it published; and by WHOM it was published.
2) Make sure you check the copyright page and note the same information as above for when the book was FIRST printed, in case that is different than the copy you have in hand.
This advice is generally for books in the English language and printed in the 17th century to the present.
The further you go back in time, the more complex the title page becomes. It takes practice learning how to understand all the information you may find on a title page and in earlier books you may find some of the bibliographical information printed at the end of the book it what's referred to as the colophon.
John Carter's ABC for Book Collectors; now in its 9th edition in paper revised by Nicolas Barker and Simran Thadani. a brief yet comprehensive guide in alphabetical order by terminology. Available in Special Collections and online at ABC for Book Collectors.
Oxford Companion to the Book by Suarez, Michael Publication Date: 2010
Geoffrey Glaister's Encyclopedia of the Book; with a new introduction by Donald Farren. Second edn. rep. New Castle: Oak Knoll Press, 1996. It supports and expands upon Carter's ABC, and is extensively illustrated.
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