factitious volume ☜☞ tomo facticio

This entry includes nonce volume, sammelband, and ‘bound with’

The root of this word is from Latin facere meaning “to do” or “to make.” Think of Spanish hacer, “to make,” and it becomes obvious that this is a “made-up book” (i.e., made up of individual pamphlets or, in our case, sueltas).

A factitious volume, created by binding several (usually 12 to 20) sueltas, would have been assembled at the request of the owner/collector, bookdealer, or library. Each factitious volume is unique in that the selection to be included is based on authors, titles, subject, simply what was available, or any whim of the person making the request. Sometimes, a descriptive generic title label, such as Comedias, was added by the binder or by a library for easy identification. They frequently include a hand-written or typed table of contents created by the owner, bookseller, or library.

Libraries may not have had the time and resources to catalogue the individual plays bound within each factitious volume; we have tried to remedy that situation in this database to the extent possible. As a result, some library collections, as surveyed by this site, possess a dozen, or several dozen, more sueltas than the original holding libraries claim to own.

The term "factitious volume," translated from Spanish, is not used in Anglo-American cataloguing; it is not even well-known among students of Spanish literature. One is more likely to encounter the following terms in catalogs: nonce volume and Sammelband.

Folgerpedia further points out “not to confuse nonce volume with sammelbands, which are composite volumes created after publication by a former owner.” . . . “Sammelbands are volumes consisting of two or more separate works bound together after having been issued. (Do not confuse with nonce collections, which are separately published titles reissued as a collection by a bookseller/publisher from stock on hand.) Sammelbands are also known as "bound-withs," "bound-togethers," or "binder's volumes." "Bound-with" was the preferred term at the Folger for many years, and continues in general use and in some call numbers, but the RBMS Controlled Vocabularies uses "sammelbands," so we're sticking with that for official use and preferring it over the AAT's use of the German plural Sammelbände.

Spaniards should not have to adopt a German or an English word when they have a perfectly adequate term tomo facticio (factitious volume) in their native language. Controlled vocabulary for MARC cataloguing does not allow its use in OCLC cataloguing, but for the Database of this website, it stands.

Nonce volume is defined by Folgerpedia as “volumes made up of separately published pamphlets that have been gathered up for reissue by a publisher, usually with a collective title page. Different copies of nonce collections usually contain the same works but may vary in issue or edition between copies. ("Nonce collection" and "nonce volume" are synonymous.)”

This definition can be applied accurately to Calderón’s FAKE or Pseudo Partes: the publisher gathered up available suelta editions, arranged them in the same order as the plays in the nine volumes of the Vera Tassis edition that had been issued from 1682-1691 (they followed the sequence of the Verdadera quinta parte), printed the title page and some of the preliminaries (excluding the portrait, which would have added to the expense) and sold them as gato por liebre.

Other examples of nonce volumes from the database are two volumes of sainetes with the title pages: Colección de saynetes representados en los teatros de esta Corte. Tom. I. que contiene quarenta saynetes. Con licencia en Madrid en la Imprenta de don Benito Cano año de MDCCXCI and Colección de saynetes representados en los teatros de esta Corte. Tom. II. que contiene quarenta saynetes. Con licencia en Madrid en la Imprenta de don Benito Cano año de MDCCXCII held by New York University. Although the title pages were printed in 1791 and 1792, the actual volumes contain works from as late as 1803 when the volumes were bound. On addition to the collective title page, each sainete has its own title page and imprint.

Diana --as an example for Nonce volume, Let's use the 2 volumes of saynetes from NYU


The University of Connecticut owns a unique copy of Colección de las mejores comedias de Lope de Vega. Tomo Primero. Con licencia en Madrid. Año 1805.: Se hallará en la librería de Castillo, frente á las gradas de San Felipe el Real; en la de Sancha, calle del Lobo; y en el puesto de Sanchez, calle del Principe, frente al Coliseo. Antonio Palau must have seen a copy (very possibly a unique copy) of this volume with its printed title page that he included Manual del librero hispano-americano. The individual singly printed plays, some with printer’s series numbers, some with signatures later in the alphabet are well represented in various collections, but this volume, possibly intended to be a trial copy for an edition to be launched in 1805 bears the only surviving title page [SEE ENTRY IN MISCELLANIES]

See also: bindings, disbound, bound with
  • Examples of factitious volumes, made up from many distinct plays bound together. The spine label on the left reads "COMEDIAS DE D.P. CALDER. TOM. IX." The spine label on the right reads: "COMEDIA. D. CALDER. T. 7."

    [Hispanic Society Museum and Library]

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