catchword ☜☞ reclamo

A catchword is a single word (or part of a word) in the lower-right corner of a page. It appears below the last word on that page and is repeated in the first word on the following page. The purpose of catchwords was to enable the compositor to assemble the pages of the form in the correct order. It can also serve as a clue to the folding and to the collation of gatherings for binding. It is easy to tell if a suelta is misbound if the catchword on the last verso of the gathering does not match the first word of the recto in the next gathering. 

It is sad to see how many sueltas were so closely cropped that catchwords fell under the binder’s plow during trimming.

See also: collation, format, gathering, quire / signatura / signatures
  • Catchword example: "va-"

    Additional observations: In this example, you can also see TOM. II. under the left hand column, which is our clue that this is from Calderon parte segunda. Another clue that this is a desglosada is the collation that starts with F ff.

    Saber del mal y del bien

    [Private Collection SzT]