Common Acronyms in the Book Trade

We’ve compiled the following list of common acronyms. These acronyms are useful to the cataloguer and experienced collector, but they can be alienating to new collectors who would have no way of knowing their full spellings. We therefore thought it would be helpful to compile this small resource.

Please Contact Us if we’re missing any acronyms. We’ll be happy to update this reference accordingly.

The list:

  • 4to – Quarto
  • 8vo – Octavo
  • 12mo – Duodecimo
  • 16mo – sextodecimo
  • ABAA – Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America
  • ARC – Advance Reading Copy
  • Ads, Adverts – Advertisements
  • AEG – All Edges Gilt
  • AL – Autograph Letter
  • ALA – American Library Association
  • ALS – Autograph Letter, signed
  • AN – As New
  • Bibl – Bibliography
  • Bdg – Binding
  • Bds – Boards
  • BCE – Book Club Edition
  • Bkpl – Bookplate
  • BOMC – Book-of-the-month club
  • Dj – dust jacket
  • Dw – dust wrapper
  • Ed – edited, editor, edition
  • Ep – endpapers
  • Ex – example
  • f – fine condition
  • Ffep – front free endpaper
  • FON – Former Owner’s Name
  • Gt – gilt
  • Ge – gilt edges
  • Htp – half-title page
  • ILAB – International League of Antiquarian Booksellers
  • Ill – illustrated
  • Insc – inscribed
  • IOBA – Independent Online Booksellers Association
  • ISBN – International Standard Book Number
  • Ltd – Limited edition
  • LEC – Limited Editions Club
  • LOC – Library of Congress
  • Ms – Manuscript
  • Mmpb – mass-market paperback
  • Nd – no date
  • NF – Near fine
  • Np – no place
  • Op, oop – out-of-print
  • Ow – otherwise
  • Or. Cl. – Original cloth
  • Pb – paperback
  • PBO – paperback original
  • Pl – plate
  • Prefs – preface
  • Pc – price clipped
  • Pos – prior owner’s signature
  • PUB – published
  • Rem -remainder
  • RFEP – rear free endpaper
  • Rm – remainder marks
  • Ser – series
  • Tp – Title Page
  • Tpi Title Page Index
  • TEG – Top edge Gilt
  • TLS – typed letter signed
  • TOC – table of contents
  • Unpag – unpaginated
  • vg – Very good
  • Vol – volume
  • Wr – wrappers