Marbled Endpapers Examples from the General Collection at John J. Burns Library

Endpapers are the double leaves of a book that are inserted by the book binder in the front and back. Endpapers that are pasted to the covers are called paste-down endpapers, and ones that are not are called free endpapers. Marbling is a process that involves suspending colors in a liquid, and then lowering a piece of paper on top. Different patterns in the liquid are created using tools such as combs or sticks. When you combine these two words, you get marbled endpapers, a beautiful bookart that’s been used since at least the seventeenth century. This exhibit is a small collection of marbled endpapers selected at random from the General Collection at Burns Library. There are hundreds, if not thousands more examples among our holdings to be explored.