Skip to main content
The Collation

Correcting with cancel slips

correcting item 3 (sig. 1[8]r)

correcting 4 lines (STC 25286; sig. 1[8]r)

Thanks to my last post, when Mitch Fraas and I were looking at how different copies of the same book handled having a printer error (Judas instead of Jesus, in that case), I’ve spent the last week with cancel slips on my mind—those pieces of papers that are pasted in to correct printing mistakes. Once you start looking, you can find cancel slips in a huge range of uses and states. (And as long-time readers know, I’m always interested in printer’s mistakes and how they can be corrected.)

What do you do if you’ve misprinted one of three propositions central to the 1599 Westminster conference? You print the corrected third proposition and paste it over the error—cheaper than reprinting the whole sheet (the whole book is only two sheets long) and easier than pasting in a canceled leaf.

Of course, for shorter errors, printers often included a list of errata—known mistakes in the book that users are invited to correct on their own. But what if your errata has errata? Paste in the correction, like the printer does for this 1660 Homer: 


[…] In the era before Liquid Paper, how do you correct a misprint in a 16th century book? […]

Top Picks Thursday 04-23-2015 | The Author Chronicles — April 23, 2015


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *