Page:Essays in librarianship and bibliography.djvu/217

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ON SOME COLOPHONS OF THE EARLY PRINTERS[1]


The paper to which I am about to invite attention belongs to the class which Mr. Chancellor Christie has very justly entitled "haphazard papers," lying outside the proper work of the Library Association, and contributing little or nothing to promote it. It is written to recommend a slight literary undertaking which could not possibly find a place in the programme of our body. It can only plead that a certain variety has always been thought conducive to the interest of our gatherings; that it may be well to show that no province of book-lore is altogether too remote for our attention; and that a prolusion on an out-of-the-way subject may have, so to speak, a kind of decorative value; as a sprig of barberries, though nobody wants to eat it, may serve as garnish for a substantial dish. The little enterprise I have to recommend is the publishing, in a small volume, of such colophons, or attestations of the completion of a book by a printer, as belong to the fifteenth century, and possess

  1. Read at the Annual Meeting of the Library Association, London, October 1889.