Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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trial binding

A term descriptive of a tentative cover design for a book submitted to the publisher by the publisher's (edition) binder. Such bindings have been produced regularly since the early days of edition cloth bindings. Today, the bindings are generally dummies made up of blank leaves. See:DUMMY (1) . In the 19th century, however, finished copies were often used, as there are examples of books with identical contents but different bindings from that of the version offered for sale. Some publishers used trial bindings to fulfill copyright obligations or gave them as free copies to the author. (69 )

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