Octavo is a company based in California that produces digital facsimiles of rare books, both on CDROMs and as plain electronic files. Their catalog consists of books that are extremely rare, almost always outside the financial reach of the individual collector, or even most smaller institutions.

Octavo is named after the book type description octavo, a size of book made by folding each sheet of paper four times, to make eight pages.

The "books" published to date are:

Bernardino Amico
Trattato delle Piante & Immagini de Sacri Edifizi di Terra Santa
(Treatise on the Plans and Images of the Sacred Edifices of the Holy Land), Florence, 1620

Thomas Bell
A Monograph of the Testudinata
London, 1832-1836

William Blake
The Book of Urizen
London, c.1818

Giambattista Bodoni
Manuale Tipografico
Parma, 1818

Giovanni Battista Braccelli
Bizzarie di Varie Figure
(Various Bizarre Figures), Livorno, 1624

Geoffrey Chaucer
The Works Now Newly Imprinted
Kelmscott Press, London, 1896

Nicolaus Copernicus
De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium, Libri VI
(Six Books on the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), Nuremberg, 1543

Albrecht Dürer
De Symmetria...Humanum Corporum and Underweysung der Messung
(Books on the Proportions of the Human Form and Instruction in Measurement), Nuremberg, 1532, 1538

Benjamin Franklin
Experiments and Observations on Electricity, London, 1751

Galileo Galilei
Sidereus Nuncius
(The Starry Messenger), Venice, 1610

William Harvey
Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus
(Anatomical Treatise on the Movement of the Heart and Blood in Animals); Frankfurt, 1628

Hans Holbein
Icones Historiarum Veteris Testamenti
(Images from the Old Testament); Lyon, 1547

Robert Hooke
Micrographia, London, 1665

Horae Beatae Mariae ad usum Romanum
(Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary Following the Roman Use); France, 1524

Owen Jones
The Grammar of Ornament, London, 1856

John Merbecke
The Booke of Common Praier Noted, London, 1550

Gerardus Mercator
Atlas sive Cosmographicae Meditationes de Fabrica Mundi et Fabricati Figura
(Atlas, or Cosmographic Meditations on the Fabric of the World and the Figure of the Fabrick'd), Duisburg, 1595

John Milton
Areopagitica, London, 1644

Isaac Newton
Opticks, London, 1704

Andrea Palladio
I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura
(Four Books on Architecture), Venice, 1570

Louis Renard
Poissons, Ecrevisses et Crabes, de Diverses Couleurs et Figures Extraordinaires...
(Fishes, Crayfishes, and Crabs of Diverse Coloration and Extraordinary Form...), Amsterdam, 1754

Francis Sandford
The History of the Coronation of...James II, London, 1687

William Shakespeare
Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, First Folio, London, 1623

William Shakespeare
Poems, London, 1640

Joseph Smith
The Book of Mormon, Palmyra, 1830

Andreas Vesalius
De Humani Corporis Fabrica
(On the Fabric of the Human Body), Basel, 1543

Wycliffite Manuscript
The New Testament, England, 1400-1450

Also interesting is that Octavo is the first company I have seen to give an ISBN to a file.

Source www.octavo.com

To elaborate on the antiquated Webster 1913 definition, octavo is a book between 5" (five inches) wide and 8" (eight inches) tall to 6" (six inches) wide and 9" (nine inches) tall.

This usually indicates a hardcover book. See book sizes for other standard sizes.

Oc*ta"vo (?), n.;pl. Octavos (#). [L. in octavo; in in + octavo, abl. of octavus. See Octave.]

A book composed of sheets each of which is folded into eight leaves; hence, indicating more or less definitely a size of book so made; -- usually written 8vo or 8°.

 

© Webster 1913.


Oc*ta"vo, a.

Having eight leaves to a sheet; as, an octavo form, book, leaf, size, etc.

 

© Webster 1913.

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