Imperfections (590)

Any imperfections in a given copy which affect the printed matter are recorded in a 590 note. The "unsavory vocabulary" devised by Leon Nemoy, former head of rare book cataloging at Yale, is used in imperfect notes.

Wormed eaten by worms (round holes, or winding channels through the paper)
Chewed nibbled at by mice or rats, irregular pieces gnawed at the edges*
Frayed irregular damage to margins through frequent use and abuse, with paper thinned and brittle
Bled  text cut into, and some lost through trimming of edges with sharp knife or shears
Browned  paper turned brown through exposure to weather or dry heat
Mutilated text lost
Rubbed page abraded, with type rendered indistinct or altogether illegible
Faded type discolored through sunlight or other causes, with reduced legibility
Damp-stained page spots due to water or other liquids
Mildewed rainbow-colored stains, usually with paper made brittle or flaky

*"Chewed by bookworms" is somewhat of a strain on the imagination--if worms have teeth, they must be very tiny

When entire pages of text or illustration are wanting, this is noted as specifically as possible. Other imperfections may be noted in a more general way if it is not feasible to detail the extent of imperfection.

590     ‡a BEIN 1999 580: Imperfect: plates and all before p. 7 and after p. 92 wanting; p. 31-32 mutilated; slightly wormed through p. 38; many pages bled at top, bottom and/or fore-edge.

When volumes from a multi-volume monograph work are wanting, make an imperfect note.

590     ‡a BEIN 2021 333: Imperfect: v. 3-4 wanting.

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