As some of you know, I am the queen of folding exercises.1 It’s the only way to understand early modern book formats, and I like puttering around coming up with better ways to demonstrate this to my students and even to my blog readers (see here and, most recently, here). Because it’s that time of year when I get my syllabus in order and because, thanks to my week at Rare Book School’s Introduction to the Principles of Bibliographical Description, I have format on my brain, it suddenly dawned on me that instead of just handing out my one-sheet syllabus (the bulk of my syllabus is online), I could hand it out as a folding exercise!
And so, after much fiddling with Word (which really isn’t the right tool for this sort of thing), I have at long last produced my syllabus in quarto format!
I’m pretty crazily excited about this. I didn’t number the pages of the syllabus, because that would be giving the game away, but I did try to include lots of hints to figure out what order the pages go in: there are signature marks on the second and third leaves, lots of numbered sequences, and a clear title page. I’ll let you know how it goes in class. I had fun, if nothing else, but I think it might help us start a semester-long conversation about the physical properties of texts.
If you want to examine it more closely, a pdf of it is here; just print as double-sided to try it out yourself. And if you want to make your own quarto syllabus (or quarto text), I made up a Word template that will make it a bit easier for you. Take it, use it, and have fun folding!
- I’m not really the queen of folding exercises. If I was, I’d do more than the easy formats. I’m more like the JV champion of folding, having mastered 4° and 8°. I still stumble over making my own 12°s and I aspire to 18°s. Then I’ll be the Empress of Folding.