November 6, 2023 in 

Every book printing is assigned a unique press number as an identifier. This number, the printer’s name, and the printing date are typically found on the copyright page.

A press number acts as a distinct marker for each publication’s print run, whether it be a book, magazine, or newspaper. By referencing this number on the copyright page, one can trace the specific print run and its printing history.

The value of press numbers goes beyond identification—they allow for provenance tracking, too. In cases where errors are discovered in later prints, examining the press number helps pinpoint which print run was affected. They can indicate popularity since publishers often gauge demand by analyzing print runs.

Press numbers prove helpful to libraries and institutions seeking to manage their collections effectively. For instance, these numbers enable libraries to determine if they possess complete sets of certain magazines or publications.

Identifying specific printings becomes crucial when multiple editions exist for a single book. If someone possesses an earlier edition out of two possibilities, referring to its press number guarantees precise identification.

Furthermore, when searching for particular copies of books, press numbers aid greatly in locating them precisely. Libraries can utilize these numbers to request specific copies from stores or other libraries.

While vital in accurately distinguishing different prints of a publication among various details presented on the copyright page—such as publishing date and printer’s mark—the press number acts merely as one component within the broader context of its printing history.

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