analytical bibliography

(also critical bibliography), n. The study of the physical characteristics of books and the process of bookmaking, especially with an eye to understanding how materials and production influence the text. A listing of works that indicates in precise details the name of the author, the exact title of the work, and publication details, and that emphasizes the material nature of the work, including the format, the pagination, typographical particulars, illustrations, and other characteristics, such as the kind of paper and binding.


Cox 1990, p. 262 Analytical (sometimes called critical) bibliography, and its related studies of historical, textual, and descriptive bibliography, is the 'study of books as material objects.' It is a specialty within library and humanistic spheres that studies the book and all its parts in the assumption that any individual book is a representation of the society in which it was produced and that analyzing aggregates of books will assist in understanding the means and circumstances of transmitting ideas and the general nature of past society. Reimer 2015 Analytical bibliography studies the processes of making books, especially the material modes of production, including the practices of [a] scriptorium or printing shop. One of the purposes of analytical bibliography is to understand how the processes of material production affect the nature and state of the text preserved in the book.