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« Dictionary Index « Definitions under C


To examine the signatures in each gathering, to see that they are right and perfect. Moxon styles it Collation Books.

The person who has to collate, (generally the Warehouseman, as he is answerable for the correctness of the delivery of books) takes a heap of a gathering and places the first or signature page uppermost, towards his right hand, and with the point of a sharp bodkin, or a penknife, picks up the corner of each sheet, in order to see that each signature is right, passing his thumb under them as they rise, to keep what he examines separate from the heap, and thus proceeds till he has examined one gathering; he then slips this gathering a little back on the heap, and proceeds with another, till he has gone through eight or ten, which he turns over to his left hand upon the table, where they are ready to fold; and he thus proceeds till he has collated a sufficient number for his delivery, or the whole number of the work, as the case may require.

In the course of his progress he will find some sheets laid the wrong way, these he puts right; in some cases the boys will have taken two sheets of the same signature up, he takes one of these out; in other cases, there may be duplicate signatures, and the right one in order wanting; he calls out to the gathering boys to give him the right sheet, and draws out the duplicate as before, and sometimes a signature is wanting, which he also calls for. In these cases the wrong sheets that are taken out of the gathering are called Drawn Sheets, and are laid down on their respective heaps, to be re-gathered.

Although not customary, I have known a warehouseman use neither a bodkin nor a penknife, but slip up the corner of the sheet with the end of his forefinger, in order to examine the signatures: any one who adopts this practice should be particularly careful to have clean fingers, or he will soil the corners of many sheets, and disfigure his work.

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