John Carter, ABC for Book Collectors. 7th edition. With Corrections, Additions and an Introduction by Nicolas Barker. Oak Knoll Press 1995
"Strictly speaking, an edition comprises all copies of a book printed at any time or times from one setting-up of type without substantial change (including copies printed from stereotype, electrotype or similar plates made from that setting of type); while an impression or printing comprises the whole number of copies of that edition printed at one time, i.e. without the type or plates being removed from the press.In most books before 1750 the two terms in effect mean the same thing, for the printer normally distributed his type as soon as possible after it had been printed from; and if more copies were wanted he reset it, thus creating a new edition. For in the printing houses of those days labour was cheap, type metal expensive and printing presses few. Moreover, from 1586 the legal limit of the number of impressions to be taken from one setting of type required the text to be set twice contemporaneously, a phenomenon insufficiently noticed. In the third quarter of the 18th century, however, London printers began to reprint best-sellers from standing type, usually several impressions in quick succession; and indeed at all periods new impressions have often been described in imprints and advertisements as new editions. With the increase of mechanisation in the nineteenth century practice moved steadily towards the modern system, whereby type or plates are kept ‘standing’ (as the phrase is) in case reprints are called for; and the edition, in its strict sense, might therefore be subdivided into a number of different impressions, which might or might not be adequately differentiated. Thus a ‘tenth impression’ printed from the same type-setting five years after the first, would still be part of the first edition – and so, for the matter of that, as Professor Bowers and other pundits have warned us, would a photolithographic or xerographic off-set impression printed five hundred years after the first. This presents the first edition collector with a prospect of the most frightful anomalies – in theory. And sometimes, it is true, the difficulties are real ones both to him and still more to the bibliographer. But the majority of these are solved in advance, for all but pedants, by the sensible convention that first edition, unless qualified in some way, shall be deemed to mean first impression of the first edition. This has been taken for granted for so many years that it hardly needs saying. And the term impression, in the sense here discussed (see impression for others), seldom needs to be used at all by the ordinary cataloguer." (John Carter)
Ensemble du tirage d’un ouvrage. Parfois, pour laisser croire au public à un grand succès, certains éditeurs ont apposé sur une partie de la première édition des mentions fictives d’édition (Deuxième édition, Troisième, etc.). Par exemple Notre Dame de Paris de Victor Hugo.
"Der Begriff der Ausgabe ist nicht eindeutig und hängt wesentlich von dem Zusammenhang ab, in dem er gebraucht wird. Verschiedentlich wird "Ausgabe" gleichbedeutend mit "Auflage" gebraucht.