CHD CHD Tutorial on Books of Hours
Collation and Foliation
Table of printed signatures

All the Horæ printed before 1530 have unnumbered pages, exactly as the manuscripts they imitate. Reference is made to the printed alphabetical signature in the gathering (with indication of recto or verso), where the first four folios usually are marked by the printer with a letter and a Roman numeral on the recto in the lower right corner. Capital and small letters are used more or less at random and have no great significance, unless they are different in otherwise identical editions. Together with the gathering signature is the use often indicated with one or two letters: Ro.= Use of Rome, M. = Use of Le Mans, P. = Paris, To. = Tours, etc.
The table is a regular collation as found in many editions (like the 1509 Hardouin edition), but unfortunately not always followed. Some printers collated the books by assembling gatherings from different editions. The general parts are the same in all editions, and quires for local use different (thus the reference in the table of contents "selon ledit usage" ("after the said use", which will go in any book). In order to manage this complex procedure were special letters used as signatures (like ê or double letters aa-bb), which of course complicate the simple alphabetical sequence. Composite books have sometimes smaller gatherings of 6 or 4 folia, and require an individual table (many of Vérards editions with more than 96 leaves have highly irregular signatures). When a calendar takes 12 leaves can it be bound in two gatherings of 6 leaves or assembled in one gathering of 12 leaves. The slash symbolizes the sewing in the middle of the quire. Any irregularity in the first part of the book will remove the line of sewings accordingly for the remaining quires.
Some copies have a modern foliation in pencil. This can be convenient, if it is correct and count missing folios, following the original plan as shown in the table below. It is not always the case. A regular pagination would perhaps seem natural to the modern reader, but it is more confusing than helpful - it makes comparison to references in the litterature very difficult.
The table converts signatures into foliation, and vice versa, and can be useful for the student, f.ex. in connection with the survey of illustrations in Davies Murray French; The Poitevin Crucifixion (Hours of the Cross) is c7 in 1498 = fol.23 recto, in 1503 is it d4 = fol.28 recto, etc. Very few copies have survived intact, and this table has served me many times in quickly locating missing leaves.

Table of Collation
A.i.f.1a.ii.f.2a.iii.f.3a.iiii.f.4 / [A5]f.5[A6]f.6[A7]f.7[A8]f.8
B.i.f.9b.ii.f.10b.iii.f.11b.iiii.f.12 / [B5]f.13[B6]f.14[B7]f.15[B8]f.16
C.i.f.17c.ii.f.18c.iii.f.19c.iiii.f.20 / [C5]f.21[C6]f.22[C7]f.23[C8]f.24
D.i.f.25d.ii.f.26d.iii.f.27d.iiii.f.28 / [D5]f.29[D6]f.30[D7]f.31[D8]f.32
E.i.f.33e.ii.f.34e.iii.f.35e.iiii.f.36 / [E5]f.37[E6]f.38[E7]f.39[E8]f.40
F.i.f.41f.ii.f.42f.iii.f.43f.iiii.f.44 / [F5]f.45[F6]f.46[F7]f.47[F8]f.48
G.i.f.49g.ii.f.50g.iii.f.51g.iiii.f.52 / [G5]f.53[G6]f.54[G7]f.55[G8]f.56
H.i.f.57h.ii.f.58h.iii.f.59h.iiii.f.60 / [H5]f.61[H6]f.62[H7]f.63[H8]f.64
J.i.f.65J.ii.f.66J.iii.f.67J.iiii.f.68 / [J5]f.69[J6]f.70[J7]f.71[J8]f.72
K.i.f.73K.ii.f.74K.iii.f.75K.iiii.f.76 / [K5]f.77[K6]f.78[K7]f.79[K8]f.80
L.i.f.81l.ii.f.82l.iii.f.83l.iiii.f.84 / [L5]f.85[L6]f.86[L7]f.87[L8]f.88
M.i.f.89m.ii.f.90m.iii.f.91m.iiii.f.92 / [M5]f.93[M6]f.94[M7]f.95[M8]f.96
N.i.f.97n.ii.f.98n.iii.f.99n.iiii.f.100 / [n5]f.101[n6]f.102[n7]f.103[n8]f.104
O.i.f.105o.ii.f.106o.iii.f.107o.iiii.f.108 / [o5]f.109[o6]f.110[o7]f.111[o8]f.112
P.i.f.113p.ii.f.114p.iii.f.115p.iiii.f.116 / [p5]f.117[p6]f.118[p7]f.119[p8]f.120

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©CHD Erik Drigsdahl 2002 - Last updated 22.02.2002