Glossary Term: Front Matter

Front matter, or preliminaries (“prelims”, for short), is the first section of a book and is usually the smallest section in terms of the number of pages. The pages are numbered in lower-case Roman numerals. Each page is counted, but no folio or page number is expressed or printed, on either display pages or blank pages. Front matter generally only appears in the first volume in a multi-volume work, although some elements (such as a table of contents or index) may appear in each volume.