colophons (parts of books)

Inscriptions historically placed at the end of a book and containing the title, the publisher's or printer's name, date and place of printing. Sometimes they include claims by the publisher or printer for their role in the production of the work in order to protect their property from the depredations of rival printer-publishers. By about 1480, part of the contents of the colophon was transferred to the blank cover page at the front of the book, thereby initiating the title page as it is now known today. In modern usage in most countries, the colophon now appears on the page opposite the title page and consists of a one-sentence statement that the book was printed by a given printer at a given location. Colophons stating the typeface, paper, and other production details of fine editions are sometimes still placed on the last page, however. For similar inscriptions on the final pages of manuscripts and incunabula, use "explicits."

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