- Title page – in case of older materials: word by word line by line (line break= |) transcript of the title page
- Format, size (2°, 4°, 8° etc. or cm or inch)
- Structure: dedication, preface, table of contents, text, index with page references
- Additional information: author, publisher, who is addressed in the dedication etc. – what is information we get, what is information we can add out of later research
- Price (if for instance mentioned on the title page)
- When first published, succeeding editions (see ESTC), translations – how successful was the title? What influence did it have?
- Was the title formulation changed in later editions?
- Genre, self-definition
- Self acclaimed status of the object: fiction, true history, partisan publication etc.
- Design, self fashioning: elegant, belles letters, scientific. Changes of the design in later editions.
- Who was the audience? How was the first audience supposed to read the text? Changes of the text’s status – for instance from “true history” to “chap book” or “fictional/literary work”.
- Was there a reaction intended? (politics, behaviour)
- as given in the text
- as they evolved in later discussions
- does the text tell us how it wants to be interpreted, read, understood – and how serious are these hints?
- does the text present (intended?) contradictions – either within its own logic or against the background of (our perception of) reality?
- are there other texts the title in question refers to (openly or implicitly) – intertextuality. Is this reference humorous (parody), does it create authorities, does it simply sell the text by alluding to other bestsellers?
- are there other texts which later came to refer to the text in question?
- does the text create its own critical discourse – e.g. reflect its history, its author’s work and intentions