Topic 6: Glossary: Fingerprint

Juliet McLaren juliet at
Tue Jan 12 16:15:22 MST 1999

Ok, so there is as yet no standard international definition, and probably
what the EngSTC does is somewhat off the wall, but for the benefit of Bob
and others who haven't seen or used the Steele Bibliography of Royal
proclamations ... The first level of distinction of course to give title,
imprint, date, format, and to identify which version of the Royal arms is
at the head of the broadside sheet. I quote from Steele's introduction on

	"Every proclamation has a large initial letter indented in the body of the
text.  It is found that if the last word of the first line of the
proclamation, the word at the lower right-hand corner of the initial, and
the last word of the last complete line of the proclamation [text] itself
be observed, it rarely occurs that they are the same in two different
issues ..."

	This information has been embodied in the proclamations and Orders in
Council entered into the ESTC.  Lacking (up to now) a unique note for this
information, it has been presented in a 500 note.  See ESTC item # R231873
or any one of 3,500 others for an example of its use.  For those of you who
don't look at the ESTC, I will quote: 

500	 "Arms 51. Steele notation: persons such 2) Appre- these."

	The first reference is to a particular style of Royal arms, pictured in
Steele.  The first two words of the notation are for the first two
locations mentioned in Steele's note; the letters following the number 2)
refer to the last word of the first line on the second sheet (which is
longer than most Proclamations) and the final entry is for the last word of
the last full line of text.  

	Yes, Bob, we could just point people to the Steele bibliography in the 510
(which we also do), but if you don't have access to it ...

	Anyway, that is one form of 'fingerprint' and very useful.  ~ jm

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