I have used notebooks in the 1960s till 1980s with the format 9" x 7" (229 mm x 178 mm); this was common in Europe (I have bought them at least in Switzerland, France, England). Now I cannot find any reference to this format and not find a name for it. What was it called?

2 Answers 2


According to Wikipedia 7" x 9" seems to be a traditional British paper size from before the ISO standard and it's called Imperial.

According to the British Association of Paper Historians (BAPH), 7" x 9" was called Small Post Quarto. Two completely different sizes are given for "Imperial" depending on whether it was cartridge paper, or book/drawing paper.

  • Thank you for your answer. There is something curious with this wiki page - when I opened it first it gave the expected anwer you point to. Then I opened the german translation of it (because I assumed I had searched there) and got VERY incorrect sizes in mm (570 × 780). Then I returned to the english page and it showed now the same wrong mm sizes for imperial. Do you have an explanation? How to correct wikipedia?
    – user855443
    Apr 22, 2020 at 7:04
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    According to the British Association of Paper Historians (BAPH), 9" x 7" was called Small Post Quarto. The are two sizes named "Imperial", each with different sizes for cartridge and book/drawing papers, which are different sizes altogether.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 22, 2020 at 8:26
  • @BillyKerr, OK I should probably have stayed out of this. I found the name "Imperial" under "Traditional British paper sizes" which seems to be different from "Imperial paper sizes" under "Traditional inch-based paper sizes". Can you save this answer or should I just delete it?
    – Wolff
    Apr 22, 2020 at 8:29
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    Why don't you just add a note to your answer. I don't know which of these sources is correct. Nobody has used these sizes since the UK went metric in 1970s. I'm 53 years old, spent most of my career in the print industry, and even I can't remember most of them except for Foolscap and Quarto.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 22, 2020 at 8:33
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    I've added it for you. +1 anyway for making an attempt!
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 22, 2020 at 8:46

Composition size. 7x9 is the standard Composition Notebook size, used in the 60s and 70s in schools for essays and projects. It is close to the XL Cahier Moleskine size, and the size of the Classic Happy Planner.

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