Established 1976


Learn about maps: Glossary


Binder's Guard
Copper Plate
Intaglio Printing
Relief Printing

**From "Collecting Old Maps" by F.J. Manasek.
Copyright 1998 by F.J. Manasek. Used with permission.

(We have new copies of "Collecting Old Maps" in stock at $65.00 each)

  • Atlas: A (generally) bound assemblage of maps.

  • Backing: A substance affixed to the verso of the map, using a variety of adhesives, with the purpose of strengthening or flattening the maps. It is noted that some maps, particularly sea charts, were issued on a double paper; this is their normal condition.

  • Binder's Guard: A strip of paper glued to the map along one side of the centerfold. The map is sewn into the atlas using the guard, obviating the need to make stitcholes in the map itself.

  • Burin: Tool used by engravers to incise the lines. A graveur.

  • Centerfold: A crease running through the center of a map where it was folded to be inserted into an atlas.

  • Copper Plate: The plate, made of copper, that is incised in making copperplate engravings.

  • Deckle: The wood frame holding the wire mesh onto which the slurry is scooped in making laid paper. The wood frame gives an uneven edge to the sheet of paper: the so-called deckled edge.

  • Intaglio Printing: Printing from a plate where the part to print is below the surface of the plate, as in engraving or etching.

  • Lithography: A form of printing invented in 1799. The surface of a plate is treated chemically to accept the inked image which istransferred to paper directly or via an intermediate substrate, as in the case of offset lithography.

  • Paper: A feltwork of randomly arrayed fibers, generally of cellulose.

  • Parchment: Vellum.

  • Planigraphic: Printing from a flat surface, such as lithography.

  • Relief Printing: Printing from a raised surface, such as woodblock or letterpress.

  • Vellum: A prepared and treated flexible sheet derived from animal dermis. Used for writing and binding.

  • Verso: The left page of an opened book; also the "back" side of a map or leaf, or the side on which the image does not appear.

  • Woodcut (Woodblock): An image printed in relief from a carved wooden block. The block is carved, with knives and gouges, on the side grain and blank areas are cut away, leaving raised lines which hold the ink and provide the image. This is relief printing.
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