Glossary of Symbols & Code Words

The following symbols, terms, and phrases are used in the Index to Print Catalogues Raisonné (IPCR) with certain specific meanings. Although these meanings conform for the most part to ordinary English usage, they have been defined here at length to prevent possible misunderstanding. A handful of these terms will apply only to catalogues raisonné dated after 1972.

Following the number of entries in a catalogue, the plus sign indicates that the actual number of prints catalogued is greater, either because sets of prints have been catalogued as single entries, illustrated books have been catalogued as single entries regardless of the number of prints contained, or because supplementary entries have been interpolated by the cataloguer without renumbering.

"Additional to" indicates that the catalogue in question is a supplement to an earlier catalogue, listing only prints which the earlier work omitted. "Additional information to" indicates that the catalogue in question provides additional information (correction of errors, additional states, etc.) about prints catalogued in the earlier work.

In a number of particularly thorough catalogues, the description of each print is accompanied by a bibliography listing the references to that print in earlier literature.

Unless otherwise noted, a "bibliography of books with illustrations by" an artist does not catalogue individual book illustrations, but simply gives a bibliographic description of each book.

In an oeuvre-catalogue of paintings by an artist, the prints which have been made after a painting are sometimes mentioned as part of the catalogue entry describing that painting. Such a catalogue incidentally becomes a kind of oeuvre-catalogue of the prints made after the work of the artist in question, although the prints themselves are not described or collected together in a list. Catalogues like this are listed with the phrase "Catalogue of paintings; prints after are mentioned where extant," but not described more precisely.

"Complete?," in parentheses, following the number of entries in the description of a catalogue, indicates that it is not clear whether the work is a true oeuvre-catalogue or a generous selection of the artist's prints.

Post-1972 catalogues which feature concordance tables or lists referencing earlier publications will include the descriptor "Concordance to" followed by an abbreviated reference to the author and date of the earlier publication, i.e.: "Concordance to Mansfield (1909)." When multiple concordances occur, each is identified.

"Copies mentioned" indicates that the entry for a print includes mention of the copies (repetitions by other artists) of that print, usually with some indication of how they can be distinguished from the original.

For older, unillustrated catalogues, "described" indicates that the subject of the print catalogued is described in such a way as to distinguish it from other prints of the same subject. When the catalogue is illustrated such description is naturally superfluous, and "described" may simply indicate that additional descriptive information is provided for the print such as the color of paper it is printed on if it is illustrated in black and white.

"Doubtful" prints are those about which the cataloguer appears to be in doubt, unwilling either to accept or reject them as the work of the artist in question. Older catalogues often refer to these as "prints attributed to" the artist.

The publication data for new editions of a catalogue are given at the end of the regular bibliographic citation, preceded by the words "2d ed.," "3d ed." and so forth. Occasionally the phrase "many later editions" is used, when the catalogue has passed through too many to describe individually.

When a catalogue has been translated into another language, the translated title and the publication data are preceded by the words "English ed.," "French ed.," and so forth. "English" and "French" here refer to language, not nationality, and could be used for American or Belgian publications. Multiple simultaneous editions in the same language are not necessarily all listed.

For post-1972 catalogues which include mention of the number of impressions pulled from each plate, the term "Edition size given" is used. In particularly thorough publications, this term indicates that the entire edition, including artist’s proofs, hors commerce proofs, and/or printer’s proofs is described.

As far as possible, the numbering system used by the catalogue in question has been followed. If the catalogue uses no numbering system, that is noted by the phrase "Entries: unnumbered" and the page numbers of the catalogue are given to provide a rough indication of the catalogue's length.

If the catalogue does not cover all prints by the artist, its limits are indicated in parentheses following the number of entries. "(woodcuts only, to 1928)" for instance, means that the catalogue covers only woodcuts, although the artist is known to have used other print techniques, and that it covers only prints done up to 1928, although the artist may have continued to work after that.

The number of entries in a catalogue is not necessarily the same as the number of prints catalogued. Sometimes different states of the same print are separately numbered, so that the number of entries is greater than the number of prints. Alternatively, a set of prints may be given a single entry number, so that the number of entries is less than the total number of prints. These situations are pointed out when they occur.

When a catalogue appears first in a periodical and later is published separately both publications are noted (see "Separately published"). Occasionally, however, the separate publication has been found but the original periodical reference could not be traced. In that case the separate publication is cited, followed by the phrase "Extract from" (the periodical in question).

"Illustrated" indicates that the catalogue in question provides a reproduction of every print catalogued (also see "Selection").

"Inches" indicates that the catalogue in question cites dimensions in English measure. Normally, of course, this is in inches and fractions of an inch, but a few old catalogues of early American prints use a curious pseudo-decimal system; in this notation 4.8 inches means 4-8/16 or 4-1/2 inches.

"Inscriptions" indicates that the catalogue in question transcribes (or more usually, summarizes) the inscriptions on each print catalogued.

"Located" indicates that the catalogue in question mentions the location of one or more impressions of each print catalogued. Occasionally, for extremely rare prints, a catalogue will give the location of every known impression, and this is pointed out when it occurs. Catalogues published after 1972 which also include locations for extant copperplates, woodblocks or lithographic stones will feature an additional notation, i.e. "Plates located."

"Millimeters" indicates that the catalogue in question uses the metric system, but not necessarily that millimeters (as opposed to meters or centimeters) are used.

A manuscript catalogue is followed by "ms." and the abbreviation for the library where the manuscript can be found. The same system identifies manuscript notes or a manuscript addition to a published catalogue. On-line catalogues are also indicated by the term "ms."

"Not seen," following the citation of a catalogue, indicates that the catalogue in question has been described from secondary sources.

"Not seen by --," in the enumeration of entries in a catalogue, indicates that the cataloguer described those prints from secondary sources.

"Paper described" indicates that the post-1972 catalogue in question includes specific details about the paper used for each print. This can include the manufacturer’s name, the color, the weight, and/or the particular type of paper (wove, laid, etc.).

"Paper fold measure" indicates that the catalogue in question gives dimensions in the traditional sizes derived from the folding of a full sheet of paper: piano (unfolded), folio (folded in half), quarto (folded in quarters), octavo (folded into eighths) and so forth. This gives only a rough indication of size, but occasionally will be useful in identifying a print.

"Pre-metric" indicates that the catalogue in question uses one of the old Continental European measuring systems, usually the pied de Paris. Dimensions are noted in inches and lines (pouces et lignes, or Zollen und Linien), often abbreviated thus: 4" 6" (4 inches 6 lines).

Post-1972 catalogues which recognize the individual (or firm) responsible for pulling prints from an artist’s prepared plates, particularly when this role is filled by someone other than the artist, are designated by the term "Printer identified."

Unless otherwise noted, the works listed in IPCR are catalogues of prints by the artist in question. If a catalogue includes prints after the artist's designs, the fact is noted in the enumeration of the entries: "54 prints after" or "54 prints by and after" or "54 prints by, 25 after."

Post-1972 catalogues which name the firm, gallery, or individual responsible for financially supporting the publication and distribution of a particular print or set of prints are designated by the term "Publisher identified."

"Rejected" prints are those which the author of the catalogue in question does not accept as being by the artist whose work he is cataloguing, but nevertheless lists to show that they have not been accidentally omitted.

"Reprint," following the description of the first edition of a catalogue, means an unaltered or facsimile republication, often done nowadays by photographing the original edition.

"Sample signatures included" describes those post-1972 catalogues where the author has included illustrations or detailed photographs of the artist’s variant signatures, initials, and/or monograms.

"Selection," in parentheses, following one of the terms defined in this glossary, indicates that the catalogue in question provides this information for some of its entries but not all: "Described (selection)," for example, means some prints in the catalogue are described, others not. "Illustrated (selection)" is a special case: it means that more than 10 percent of the prints catalogued are illustrated. When fewer than 10 percent of the prints are illustrated, the illustrations have not been mentioned at all, unless they are clearly a significant adjunct to the catalogue.

When a catalogue appears in a periodical and subsequently as a separate publication, the periodical reference is cited first, followed by the words "Separately published" and the publication data for the separate publication. The title is repeated only when it has been altered.

"States" indicates that the catalogue in question takes note of the different states of the prints catalogued. Normally this means that some distinguishing characteristic of each state of a given print is noted. There are a few summary checklists, however, where only the number of states is given, without any attempt to distinguish them.

Post-1972 catalogues which describe, codify, or illustrate watermarks in papers commonly used by an artist are indicated with the term "Watermarks described."

"Unnumbered" indicates that the catalogue in question uses no numbering system to identify the prints catalogued. To give a rough idea of the extent of such a catalogue, the pages it covers have been noted: "Entries: unnumbered, pp. 36-175." For a few very short catalogues without numbering, the entries have simply been counted and the number given. In that case IPCR does not mention that the catalogue has no numbering system of its own.