Title page

Woodcut title page of a "1599" Bible (actually printed 1633).

The title page of a book, thesis or other written work is the page at or near the front which displays its title. This page contains only the title in a fashion similar to the rest of the text within the book.

Title pages in books

The title page is one of the most important parts of the "front matter" or "preliminaries" of a book, as the data on it and its verso (together known as the "title leaf") are used to establish the "title proper and usually, though not necessarily, the statement of responsibility and the data relating to publication".[1] This determines the way the book is cited in library catalogs and academic references.

The title page often shows the title of the work, the person or body responsible for its intellectual content, and the imprint, which contains the name and address of the book's publisher and its date of publication.[2] Particularly in paperback editions it may contain a shorter title than the cover or lack a descriptive subtitle. Further information about the publication of the book, including its copyright, is frequently printed on the verso of the title page. Also often included there are the ISBN and a "printers key", also known as the "number line", which indicates the printing status.

The first printed books or incunabula did not have title pages. The text would begin on the first page, and the book would have to be identified by the initial words or incipit.

Title pages in papers and a thesis

The title page of a thesis or essay is the work's first page. It lists the title of the work and the name of the author.

In the case of an academic paper, the title page also lists class information (such as the course name and number), identification information (such as the student number), the date, name of the professor, and name of the institution. The title page is not numbered.

Title pages are not required in all citation styles; instead, some styles require that the same information is placed at the top of the essay's first page.

The title page for a thesis contains the full title, the author's name and academic credentials, the degree-granting faculty and department name, the name of the university and date of graduation, and the universal copyright symbol. The thesis title page is usually page i, but is not numbered; the abstract (page ii) is the first numbered page.

See also


  1. Gorman, Michael and Paul W. Winkler (eds.), Anglo-American cataloguing rules, 2nd ed., London, Library Association, 1978, 'Glossary', p.571
  2. Cowley, John Duncan (1970), Bibliographical description and cataloguing, New York: Burt Franklin, p. 29–32, 77–88
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