keywords: explanation, dictionary, disciplines
Alexandre Le Blond`s “Explication des termes d’architecture“ is a French dictionary written in Paris in the year 1710. It explains different terms related to architecture and includes an enormous variety of topics. For example mathematics, geometry, mechanics, hydraulic systems, painting, sculpture, wall construction, carpentry, decoration and many more.
I chose the concept „structure“ for this book since a good structure is very important for a practical dictionary. Without a proper structure a dictionary is quite worthless as you would not find a single word in it.
On the very first pages of the book we can see a beautiful stamp in the center, several handwritten numbers and a sticker which looks more recent. The first printed page includes a very nice illustration which is the only one in the whole book. On the next page we can see a cover with the title of the treatise and a description about the content. Here all the different topics are listed. The following six pages contain a „avertissement“, which is a short introduction. The dictionary which is the main section of the book spreads over more than 550 pages from the first word „Abajour“ to the last word „ZicZac“.
The terms are structured alphabetically which is very useful and quite obvious. There are no chapters in this section. However the terms are separated in paragraphs, related to their first letter. To structure those paragraphs the next letter of the alphabet is always written in a bigger font size. There is also a separation made between the terms and their description by writing the terms in capital letters and the description in lower case. Furthermore the description is shifted a bit to the right, which makes it much easier to distinguish the terms from the description.
The text is completely surrounded by a double lined frame. Only the page numbers, the books title and sometimes little letters under the frame are excluded. There is a lot of empty space remaining around the frame which can be used for notes. The frames are positioned off-center on the pages, therefore the space can be used more efficiently.
The book is all things considered in a very good condition, regarding its age of more than 300 years. The book cover clearly shows its age but all the text us perfectly legible and there are only very little cracks in the pages.