BPG Endpapers

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Endpapers are the leaves of paper or parchment found in the front and back of a book. See "endleaves" in Ligatus or "endpapers" in Roberts and Etherington. This wiki page focuses on the historical development of endpaper structures, rather than on decorative styles of the papers, and was originally based on an article in the GBW Journal: "The Development of Endpapers" (1994) by Linda Blaser.

Wiki Compiler: Katherine Kelly
Original Compilers: Linda Blaser and Olivia Primanis
Wiki Contributors: Linda Blaser, Jennifer Evers, Katherine Kelly, Olivia Primanis, Jon Sweitzer-Lamme, please add your name here

Copyright 2021. The Book and Paper Group Wiki is a publication of the Book and Paper Group of the American Institute for Conservation. It is published as a convenience for the members of the Book and Paper Group. Publication does not endorse nor recommend any treatments, methods, or techniques described herein. Information on researching with the wiki and citing the BPG Wiki can be found on the Reference and Bibliography Protocols page. The BPG Wiki coordinators can be reached at bookandpapergroup.wiki@gmail.com.

Cite this page:

BPG Endpapers. 2021. Book and Paper Group Wiki. American Institute for Conservation (AIC). Accessed July 30, 2021. https://www.conservation-wiki.com/wiki/BPG_Endpapers

Introduction[edit | edit source]

From their earliest use, endpapers have served multi-purpose functions. A collection of leaves at both the beginning and the end of a text block, separate from the printed work, they add the final touch of support to the joint, strengthening the book as a whole. Aesthetically, they cover the insides of the book boards and open up possibilities of decoration.

The variety of endpapers available today is considerable and the type chosen will depend on the bookmaker's intentions. How they are to be used determines the choice of weight and composition. For example, an endpaper for a full leather binding with raised cords and laced-on boards would serve a different purpose from one for a cased-in book where the endpaper is the only attachment of the book boards to the text block. An obvious function of many endpapers is to cover the inside of the book board, hiding the cover turn-ins. When an endpaper is not pasted down, the corner turn-ins are visible and the inside board is covered separately. Endpapers provide a proper place for bibliographical remarks, stamps, or signatures, and they give extra protection for the first and last few leaves of the text block.

Materials[edit | edit source]

The material used for the endpapers can be (but is not always) of the same character as the paper or the text block. Wholly decorative materials are also employed. Silk, satin, parchment, colored paper, printed paper, marbled paper, and many other materials are used to create decorative endpapers.

Parchment[edit | edit source]

Parchment and manuscript waste on parchment were frequently used as endpapers and as reinforcement strips for endpapers in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries (Middleton 1996, 39-40).

Paper[edit | edit source]

Paper quality is important: it should be strong and pliable, easing the strain or opening a book. The grain of the paper should run parallel with the spine, head to tail. Running the grain across from spine to fore-edge may warp the boards horizontally after the pastedown of the cover lining leaf; this may impede the opening of the book and should be avoided.

Handmade paper, which does not have a pronounced grain direction, is usually placed so that its watermark is right-side-up with the text block. The pastedown or the endpaper is used to create a certain inward tension (bowing) across the width or the cover. "As the pastedowns dried, it shrank creating this desired inward tension and gave a certain vertical rigidity to the cover" (Clarkson 1975). This tension and rigidity are important to the proper opening and closing of a book.

Printers' Waste[edit | edit source]

Printers' waste was sometimes used for flyleaves, particularly in the sixteenth century (Middleton 1996, 40).

Marbled Paper[edit | edit source]

Decorative marbled paper was introduced in the East and the Persians appear to have been the first to use it as book decoration. The earliest examples show marbled borders surrounding painted miniatures and calligraphy pages in sixteenth century Persian manuscripts (Loring 1952, 11). The spread of the marbling trade is credited to various wars, circulating first in Spain and Italy and then in France and Germany. With the use of rivers and canals as inland waterways creating greater trade, the craft of marbling spread even further.

According to Zaehnsdorf, English bookbinders were sold discarded marbled paper that had been used to wrap Dutch toys. The English bookbinders used marbled paper for endpapers and box linings. By recycling these discarded wrapping papers the bookbinders were able to avoid paying the heavy English duty on paper.

Although marbled endpapers appeared as early as the end of the sixteenth century, they were not in general use until nearly a century later. French binders began to use marbled papers frequently from the seventeenth century on. One French bookbinder, Le Gascon, used marbled papers in several of his bindings between 1617-1630. He employed them as opposing flyleaves to leather doublures. Around 1650, Florimond Badier, another French bookbinder, used marbled papers as pastedowns on the insides of his covers with opposing white flyleaves (Loring 1952, 23).

See also Middleton 1996, 33-35.

Other Decorative Papers[edit | edit source]

Terminology[edit | edit source]

Historical Development of Endpapers[edit | edit source]

Endpapers in Early Manuscript Books[edit | edit source]

Many early manuscript books had no proper endpapers, the text coming directly next to the covers (Loring 1973, 3). The first endpapers were quite simple. One or two leaves were often left blank before and after the written text. The outer blank leaves were used as the pastedowns and inner blank leaves, if present, were used as the flyleaves. Another simple endpaper that was used frequently consisted of one or two folios that were treated as a separate section. Two of these endpapers were sewn along with the text block: one above it and one below it. These two types of endpapers were generally made of parchment. Such strong material allowed a simple "endpaper" structure ensuring a stable joint, resistant to tears and disintegration.



Figure 1: Two folios of parchment sewn along with the text block.


Figure 1: Two folios of parchment sewn along with the text block.


Endpapers Reinforced with Vellum (late 15th - 16th C)[edit | edit source]

When paper became the dominant material used, a stronger joint was needed. At the end of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth century, the most common endpaper used was a folio of white paper with a strip of vellum folded around it, which acted as a reinforcement (Middleton 1996, 39).



Figure 2: Paper reinforced with vellum.


Figure 2: Paper reinforced with vellum.


This endpaper was sewn through the fold along with the text block, one on each side of the text block. Sometime during the years 1520-1570 in Oxford it became popular to use a full-size leaf of parchment or vellum for the pastedown with a paper flyleaf (Middleton 1996, 39-40). The earliest method of employing this style of endpaper was to fold the stubs toward the text block and then to sew through the fold, treating the endpaper as a separate section along with the text block.



Figure 3: Paper flyleaf with parchment pastedown.


Figure 3: Paper flyleaf with full-size parchment pastedown.


Occasionally, the stubs were folded around the outside sections of the text block and the two were sewn through simultaneously. This second method was often preferred as it avoided a problem evident in the first: independent action of the flyleaf.



Figure 4: Paper flyleaf with parchment pastedown. Wrapped around first and last sections.


Figure 4: Paper flyleaf with full-size parchment pastedown. Wrapped around first and last sections.


The stiff vellum stub would cause the flyleaf to drag away from the text block upon opening (Middleton 1996, 39-40).



Figure 5: Structures in Figures 3 and 4 can cause flyleaf to drag away from the text block.


Figure 5: Structures in Figures 3 and 4 can cause flyleaf to drag away from the text block.


A third method came into use in 1540 (Middleton 1996, 39-40). A vellum or parchment pastedown with a paper flyleaf was still employed but the difference in this method was that the stubs were folded away from the text block toward the boards. This endpaper was sewn as a separate section along with the text block. Upon pasting down of the parchment or vellum leaf, the stubs were covered and out of the way; thus, the flyleaf would not drag away from the text block upon opening, but would act as a part of the text block.



Figure 6: Paper flyleaf with parchment pastedown. Stubs folded up towards board, eliminating drag.


Figure 6: Paper flyleaf with parchment pastedown. Stubs folded up towards board, eliminating drag.


Unreinforced Endpapers (Late 16th C - early 19th C)[edit | edit source]

By the end of the sixteenth century there was a tendency, mostly in retail circumstances, away from reinforced endpapers (Middleton 1996, 40). A probable reason for this tendency was the increase in demand for books and the decrease of their physical size. Some of the common endpapers at this time were hooked folio, hooked leaves, double folio, and single folio.



Figure 7: Common endpapers (late 16th C - early 19th C).


Figure 7: Common endpapers (late 16th C - early 19th C).


These endpapers were all sewn as separate sections along with the text block. Occasionally a separate board sheet was pasted down. (Figure 8) This method of using a separate sheet left a gap in the joint (Middleton 1996, 40-41). Endpapers were still simple during this phase, but they lacked their previous strength.



Figure 8: Separate board sheet.


Figure 8: Separate board sheet.


In her 1995 survey of 18th and 19th century paper binding structures, Barbara Rhodes comments that hooked folio (or "backed-wrapped stubs") were the most common style of endsheets, and that the stubs were usually mitered (Rhodes 1995).

In his study of 16th to 19th century stiff-board parchment bindings, Peter Geraty notes that for simple bifolio endpapers, the outermost leaf was "usually torn, cut, or folded back on itself" and then adhered to the board. This was probably done to partially attach the boards before covering. The second leaf was then adhered over the first, and over the turn-ins. He also discussed another common variant, where a hooked folio has the stub (3-5mm wide) folded around the first gathering. (Geraty 2019, 144-151).

Made Endpapers, Sewn On (16th C - 19th C)[edit | edit source]

With the use of marbled papers for endpapers in the late 16th century came the development of more elaborate endpaper structures. Because marbled papers were always one sided, with the reverse side having become somewhat blemished in the marbling process, binders looked for ways to hide these blemishes. The pasting together of white and marbled paper to form a made endpaper came into fashion around 1650 (Middleton 1996, 41). This marbled-made folio was often accompanied by one or two unpasted white flyleaves. The flyleaf folio and the made folio were sewn as two separate sections along with the text block.



Figure 9: Made marbled paper endpaper with extra flyleaves.


Figure 9: Made marbled paper endpaper with extra flyleaves.


Sometimes the marbled paper and the white paper were pasted together before sewing. With this method, the sewing thread was visible when opening up to the marbled folio. More often the marbled paper was pasted to the white paper after sewing. This may be evidenced by the fact that the sewing thread was often sandwiched between these two folios of paper. A skilled bookbinder might have employed still another method.

The marbled paper was sometimes pasted to only one side of the white folio and then sewn through the white folio only (Figure 10). After sewing, the marbled folio was pasted to the other side of the white folio giving the same result as shown in Figure 9. This method made the pasting step easier. There may have been a two reasons for the sewing to have been between the white folio and the marbled made folio. One reason might have been that piercing holes through both folios would produce a weaker opening joint. Most likely the sewing thread against the marbled paper was thought of as unsightly and this sandwiching of the thread hid it from view.


Figure 10: One white folio and one marbled folio. Sewing avoids marbled paper.


Figure 10: One white folio and one marbled folio. Sewing avoids marbled paper.


Another method of making made-marbled endpapers during this period used two white folios and one marbled folio (Figure 11). The white folios were placed one inside the other and sewn along with the text block. After sewing the first flyleaf was thrown back. One side of the marbled folio was pasted onto the second white flyleaf. Then, depending on the size of the book, the upper half of the marbled folio was pasted to the first white folio to create a stronger pastedown. If the book was small, the first white flyleaf was left as a waste sheet to be torn off at the time of pasting down the cover lining leaf of the endpaper.



Figure 11: Two plain folios and one marbled folio. Marbled paper pasted after sewing.


Figure 11: Two plain folios and one marbled folio. Marbled paper pasted after sewing.


Sometimes the marbled folio was pasted to the second and third leaves, hiding the sewing thread and leaving a waste sheet.



Figure 12: Two plain folios and one marbled folio. Marbled paper pasted over sewing.


Figure 12: Two plain folios and one marbled folio. Marbled paper pasted over sewing.


These methods of making made pastedowns and made flyleaves were still important during the early days of machine-made papers. This was true even when using only white folios. The machine-made papers tended to be thin and weak; therefore, by making up the endpapers, a stronger and thicker folio was created.

Made Endpapers, Tipped On (19th C)[edit | edit source]

This trend of adhering the endpaper layers after sewing died out around 1830 (Middleton 1996, 44). The tendency at this time was to make up the endpapers away from the book, and then tip them into place instead of sewing them along with the text block. Several standard-sized endpapers could be made up at once and used as necessary. A common nineteenth century endpaper consisted of one white folio, one marbled folio, and one white flyleaf. The marbled folio was pasted onto the white folio (Figure 13). When dry, the free white leaf of the white folio was folded around the marbled folio to form a waste sheet. The white flyleaf was tipped to the text block followed by the made section of the endpaper (Figure 14).



Figure 13: Preparing the endpaper by adhering a plain folio to a marbled paper folio.


Figure 13: Preparing the endpaper by adhering a plain folio to a marbled paper folio.




Figure 14: Single flyleaf tipped to text block, then endpaper from Figure 13, with free leaf folded around, tipped to flyleaf.


Figure 14: Single flyleaf tipped to text block, then endpaper from Figure 13, with free leaf folded around, tipped to flyleaf.


A refinement of this endpaper consisted of one marbled folio and two white folios. The marbled folio and one of the white folios were made-up as before except that the free white leaf was not folded around the marbled folio. The other white folio was tipped onto the text block. Next, the made-up portion of the endpaper was tipped inside the previously tipped white folio. This refined endpaper allowed the made leaf to open right back to the fold, eliminating the drag common to the prior endpaper.



Figure 15: Plain folio tipped to text block, and endpaper from Figure 13 tipped inside folio.


Figure 15: Plain folio tipped to text block, and endpaper from Figure 13 tipped inside folio.


Cloth Reinforced Endpapers (Late 19th C - 20th C)[edit | edit source]

Cloth joints came into use as early as the 1840s, but they were not sewn along with the text block until the twentieth century (Middleton 1996, 46). Upon occasion, instead of being tipped, they were overcast onto the text block. Overcasting prevented the leaves from opening fully back to their fold, thus creating a strain along the overcasting at the backs of the sections. After a period of opening and closing the leaves gave way and broke along the line created by the overcasting.



Figure 16: Endpapers that have been overcast tend to break along the edge of the sewing.


Figure 16: Endpapers that have been overcast tend to break along the edge of the sewing.


"If the ends are stabbed with the book, a strip of calico should be fastened along the outside of the ends to protect the paper from the cutting of the thread, or they may be edged on afterwards else the boards, when thrown back, will cause the paper to break away" (Anonymous 1889). The addition of a strip of cloth that was tipped (edged) on before or after stabbing took the brunt of the strain away from the paper, creating a stronger endpaper.



Figure 17: A strip of cloth can be used to reinforce the endpaper.


Figure 17: A strip of cloth can be used to reinforce the endpaper.


Near the turn of the twentieth century a German cloth-jointed endpaper appeared (Marsden 1902b). The cloth for the joint was made of either muslin or cambric that was sized to such an extent that its raw edges would no longer fray. Light tints such as light buff, pale grey green, and silver grey were most often used. According to the size of the book and its proposed joint, the cloth was cut into strips approximately 2 - 2½" wide. The cloth was tipped just up from the edge of a white folio.



Figure 18: Preparing the endpaper by adhering a strip of cloth to a plain paper folio.


Figure 18: Preparing the endpaper by adhering a strip of cloth to a plain paper folio.


After drying, the free leaf was folded around the cloth.



Figure 19: Preparing the endpaper by folding the free leaf around.


Figure 19: Preparing the endpaper by folding the free leaf around.


The folded edge was then folded again to form a hooked guard approximately 3/8" wide. This guard was hooked around and tipped to the first or last section (Figure 20). The folding of this guard allowed the sewing of the endpaper to be concealed, giving the opening a neat, unbroken appearance. Henry Marsden, who described this German cloth joint, indicated that he was interested in hearing from some fellow workers about any deficiencies they may have encountered with this technique.



Figure 20: Cloth reinforced endpaper is hooked around the first section.


Figure 20: Cloth reinforced endpaper is hooked around the first section.


In the April 1902 issue of The International Bookbinder, Herman Stengel contested the strength of Henry Marsden's German cloth-jointed endpapers. Stengel said that the first and last sections were "liable to come loose very easily." He developed a cloth-jointed endpaper that he felt had "superior durability and neatness" (Stengel 1902). This endpaper contained two folios of white paper, one folio of marbled paper, one strip of cloth or leather 2 - 2½" wide, and one strip of muslin 3/16" wide. The cloth strip was tipped between the two white folios.



Figure 21: Preparing the endpaper by adhering two plain folios and a cloth strip.


Figure 21: Preparing the endpaper by adhering two plain folios and a cloth strip.


The marbled folio was then pasted onto the outside white folio.



Figure 22: Preparing the endpaper by adhering a marbled paper folio on top.


Figure 22: Preparing the endpaper by adhering a marbled paper folio on top.


Next, the inner leaf was folded around the marbled folio forming a waste sheet.



Figure 23: Preparing the endpaper by folding the free leaf and cloth around.


Figure 23: Preparing the endpaper by folding the free leaf and cloth around.


This endpaper was then sewn through the middle folio as a separate section along with the text block. After sewing, the 3/16" strip of muslin was pasted down between the endpaper and the text block (Figure 24). Time could be saved by making these endpapers up before needing them, thereby creating a small inventory on the shelf from which to choose.



Figure 24: The endpaper from Figure 23 is sewn on, and then reinforced with a strip of muslin.


Figure 24: The endpaper from Figure 23 is sewn on, and then reinforced with a strip of muslin.


Made Endpapers with Book Cloth Joint, Tipped On (Late 19th C - 20th C)[edit | edit source]

Henry Marsden discussed another cloth-jointed endpaper common at the turn of the twentieth century (Marsden 1902a). This endpaper was used principally to give strength to a heavy book, particularly if the boards were not laced onto the book. A strip of 1½" - 2" wide binders cloth was tipped about 1/4" onto a folio of white paper.



Figure 25: Preparing the endpaper by tipping book cloth to plain paper.


Figure 25: Preparing the endpaper by tipping book cloth to plain paper.


If the ends were to be marbled, a single leaf of marbled paper was pasted to the white folio just covering the edge of the cloth.



Figure 26: Preparing the endpaper by adhering marbled paper.


Figure 26: Preparing the endpaper by adhering marbled paper.


The other blank white flyleaf was then folded over the cloth flap, acting as a waste sheet.



Figure 27: Preparing the endpaper by folding the free leaf and cloth around.


Figure 27: Preparing the endpaper by folding the free leaf and cloth around.


The endpapers were then tipped onto the text block. This endpaper was not sewn. Just before pasting down to the book boards, the waste sheet was torn off. The cloth was then cut off diagonally at the corners, leaving the amount of cloth necessary to fill the joint area square.



Figure 28: Trimming the cloth to fit under the pastedown.


Figure 28: Trimming the cloth to fit under the pastedown.


The diagonal of the cloth ran inward from the edge of the book board. The cloth was then glued out and stuck to the joint and the book board. Occasionally, the cloth was stuck down first and then cut diagonally with a sharp knife. Cutting after gluing allowed the binder to start the diagonal exactly at the board's edge. The marbled leaf that was used to cover the inside of the book board was glued down next. The marbled leaf started in from the joint about 1/8" farther than the edge of the book board (Figure 29). By starting the paper in from the joint, the friction caused by the opening and closing of the book fell solely on the binder's cloth.



Figure 29: Finishing the endpaper by adhering a marbled paper board sheet.


Figure 29: Finishing the endpaper by adhering a marbled paper board sheet.


Leather Joints (Late 19th C - 20th C)[edit | edit source]

Unsewn leather joints of thin leather such as skiver were made in much the same manner as the cloth joints just described. The cloth joints, however, were much stronger. The leather strips used were cut and pared evenly to the same thinness as the cover turn-ins, with the edges pared to the finest possible degree. The corners of the portion of the leather strip that was to be attached to the book board were pared off at a slant to miter with the turn-ins.



Figure 30: Leather joints on the board shaped to match turn-ins.


Figure 30: Leather joints on the board shaped to match turn-ins.


The leather strip was pasted, and before stretching, the thinnest possible edge was laid down along the fold of the flyleaf. The overlap measured 3/16" from the groove of the flyleaf and the book board. The leather was then drawn onto the book board.



Figure 31: Leather joint slightly overlapping onto flyleaf.


Figure 31: Leather joint slightly overlapping onto flyleaf.


If the leather was drawn on too tightly, it would pull on the flyleaf as it dried and subsequently contracted (Figure 32). Because a leather joint was not only weaker than a cloth joint, but also more time consuming, its chief purpose must have been enrichment.



Figure 32: Leather joint drawn on too tightly will pull at flyleaf.


Figure 32: Leather joint drawn on too tightly will pull at flyleaf.


Zigzag Endpapers (20th C)[edit | edit source]

In 1902 Douglas Cockerell introduced a zigzag endpaper that consisted of three white folios. Two of the white folios were tipped together with 1/8" overlap (Cockerell 1910, 81).



Figure 33: Preparing the endpaper by tipping two plain folios together.


Figure 33: Preparing the endpaper by tipping two plain folios together.


Leaf number A1 was folded around B, forming a waste sheet.



Figure 34: Preparing the endpaper by folding the first leaf around.


Figure 34: Preparing the endpaper by folding the first leaf around.


Leaf number A2 was then given a second fold forming a zigzag.



Figure 35: Preparing the endpaper by forming a zigzag with the second leaf.


Figure 35: Preparing the endpaper by forming a zigzag with the second leaf.


A third folio was then placed inside the fold between B2 and A2. The endpaper was then sewn as for a separate section through folio C along with the text block (Figure 36). Every leaf of this endpaper would open right to the back of its folios and the zigzag allowed play for the drag of the board.



Figure 36: A third plain folio is added and sewn through.


Figure 36: A third plain folio is added and sewn through.


Many different variations on the zigzag theme sprang into being. Marbled paper was easily employed whenever it was desired. The marbled paper was pasted into folio B.



Figure 37: Marbled paper could also be added.


Figure 37: Marbled paper could also be added.


Zigzag Endpapers with Vellum and Leather (20th C)[edit | edit source]

Because this was a made endpaper it was often too stiff to allow a proper opening in a small book. Another variation utilized vellum with a leather joint. This endpaper consisted of one vellum folio, one vellum flyleaf, one leather strip, and one paper waste sheet (Figure 38). According to Douglas Cockerell, the zigzag area was scraped thin and then lined with Japanese paper. Sewing was done through both vellum folds because paste could not be relied upon to hold the vellum folio and vellum flyleaf together. This sewing through both folds caused the effect of the zigzag to be lost. The tendency of the vellum to curl up or contract when exposed to heat caused some binders to abstain from using it for endpapers unless they were for use on a heavy book with wooden boards and clasps.



Figure 38: Zigzag endpaper with vellum and leather.


Figure 38: Zigzag endpaper with vellum and leather.


Zigzag Endpapers with Silk and Leather (20th C)[edit | edit source]

Silk was used as another type of a decorative zigzag endpaper. The silk was pasted into folio B much the same way as was the made-marble zigzag endpaper. A leather joint was also used (Figure 39). This endpaper was trimmed with the edge of the book and then gilded. The feeling was that the gilding would keep the silk from fraying along its raw edges. Edith Diehl, in her book Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique suggested applying paste to the raw edges of the silk to keep them from fraying if the book edges are not gilded.

Often when a leather joint was employed with a zigzag endpaper, leaf number A1 was left off. The edge of the leather was pasted and inserted into the outside zigzag along with a piece of waste paper. Joints were also made in this manner using cloth or linen. The feeling was that a cloth joint was much stronger than a leather joint because the leather had to be pared so thin. Since it allowed for many variations, the zigzag endpaper achieved much popularity.

The French developed another popular style consisting of an inside cover lining of silk or satin called doublure. This enrichment evolved because of a French tendency to dislike the sudden change from a highly decorative cover to a plain endsheet (Comparato 1971, 3). A sheet of white paper was cut to the trimmed size of the text block. The paper fit exactly from the joint to the fore-edge less 1/8" and from the head to the tail less two thicknesses of silk. The silk was cut 3/8" larger all around for the turn-ins. The cuts were always done neatly and cleanly to prevent unsightly lumps caused by loose threads. The silk was then laid face down on a clean surface. The edges of the paper were glued thinly. The paper was then centered on the silk with the glued side up. The corners of the silk were then cut off close to the corners of the paper. Following this, the edges of the silk were turned in over the paper. Care was taken to turn in the edges tight enough not to bulge but loose enough not to curl the paper. While this was drying, a leather joint was put onto the book.



Figure 39: Zigzag endpaper with silk and leather.


Figure 39: Zigzag endpaper with silk and leather.



When the silk and paper were dry, the paper side was glued out and positioned on the first flyleaf, adjusting it to be even with the fore-edge, head, and tail. A clean tin was inserted inside the board, and the book was given a quick nip in the press to assure even adhesion. The book was left open until dry. The same method was applied for the board lining, fitting the silk between the turn-ins and the leather joint (Figure 40). One of the main objections to this endpaper was the unpleasantness of its bulk and its tendency to be lumpy.


Figure 40: Silk doublure and flyleaf, leather joint.


Figure 40: Silk doublure and flyleaf, leather joint.



In an effort to solve the bulk and lump problems, another type of silk doublure was developed (Figure 41). A sheet of white paper was cut larger than the flyleaf with the grain running the width of the paper. The silk was cut larger still with the grain running lengthwise. The silk was pasted out with a thin starch paste. The all-over pasting caused a problem; the paste had a tendency to strike through and stain the silk. After pasting, the silk was laid on the lining paper and smoothed out with the hand. Any small wrinkles that may have appeared were generally removed with a slightly dampened sponge. Two of these lined silks were made for each endpaper; one for the flyleaf and one for the board lining. After drying, the silks were cut square to fit. Before adhering the silks into place, a small amount of medium-thick paste was taken on the forefinger and applied carefully along the cut edges to prevent fraying. Glaire or [[BPG Glossary of Terms #Size,sizing | size] was also used for this purpose, but they were more likely to stain (Diehl 1946, 84). The silks were then pasted and positioned.



Figure 41: Silk doublure and flyleaf, leather joint.


Figure 41: Silk doublure and flyleaf, leather joint.


This type of silk-lined endpaper could also be used as a folio without a leather joint (Figure 42). The grain of this type of endpaper must run from the head to the tail. Even with the attempts to prevent fraying, the silk would eventually begin to fray and look unsightly.



Figure 42: Silk endpaper.


Figure 42: Silk endpaper.


A method of watering silk became popular when it was discovered that the effect left behind after watering often hid small areas of strike-through caused by the moisture of the adhesive (Marsden 1901). The silk of the cover lining was always watered to match the silk of the flyleaf. At one time the watered silks were manufactured in a repeating pattern specifically for bookbinding. The demand dropped, so the manufacture of the repeating pattern, watered silk stopped. If watered silk was desired it was easily made in the workshop. A pair of silks were cut larger than needed for the book. They were dampened with clean water from the back until they were soaked. The damped silks were then laid face-to-face with the grain of both sheets going in the same direction. The silks were then sandwiched between two sheets of clean paper and again between two smooth flat wooden boards. This sandwich was then pressed for two or three minutes. The silks were re- moved and laid out together to dry. When dry, the watered pattern of both silks matched.

Many other materials were used as doublures, most commonly, leather. Some bindings incorporate very unusual materials for endpapers. A copy of Aesop's Fables in a binding by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, English binders, had doublures of rattlesnake skin. A French children's writing and picture book circa 1860 had heavy cardboard slates lining both covers. The slates were incised with letters and figures to be used for penmanship guides. An earlier example was a calendar printed in Vienna in 1765. Its front endpapers are made from a light green glazed paper and on the inside of the back cover is a little mirror (Loring 1973, 6-7). The choice of materials used for doublures or endpapers became subject to the binders' creation and invention.

Modern Endpapers and Conservation Endpapers[edit | edit source]

The following endpapers are examples of endpapers currently in use for different purposes. Many of these endpapers were compiled from a class on endpaper construction taught by Donald Etherington and Christopher Clarkson in September 1973. They feature a number of refinements on the historical models described above, including the use of linen reinforcement, loose guards, staggered edges on hooked guards, flexible flyleaves, and variations on the zig-zag structure. They avoid the use of tipped-on leaves or sections.

Single Section Endpaper[edit | edit source]


Figure 43: Single-section endpaper (Roberts and Etherington 1982).


Figure 43: Single-section endpaper (Roberts and Etherington 1982).


Linen Jointed Endpapers, Sewn On[edit | edit source]

It is not clear from Blaser's article (1994), but the following four endpapers appear to be designed to have the linen visible in the joint. An additional board sheet would be added after the linen stub was adhered to the board. The Japanese paper guard is adhered to the flyleaf after sewing.

Figure 44 shows a simple endpaper with a strong linen joint and a Japanese paper hook guard. The linen strip is wrapped around the endpaper and the first section of the text block. The Japanese paper hook guard closes up the gap between the endpaper and the first section by hooking around the first section.



Figure 44: Linen-jointed endpaper.


Figure 44: Linen-jointed endpaper.


Figure 45 is a variation of Figure 44 where the linen strip is wrapped only around the endpaper. Before sewing, the linen is tipped to the white folio, and the Japanese paper is tipped to the first section. After sewing, the Japanese paper is tipped over the linen, hiding the linen and closing the gap.



Figure 45: Linen-jointed endpaper (variation).


Figure 45: Linen-jointed endpaper (variation).


Figure 46 is another variation of Figure 44. A double folio of white paper is used instead of one folio. This endpaper gives the binder more flyleaves.



Figure 46: Linen-jointed endpaper, extra flyleaves.


Figure 46: Linen-jointed endpaper, extra flyleaves.


The endpaper shown in Figure 47 consists of hooked leaves. It is very important to step the hooked guards so that they will not cause a hard ridge that would break the section whenever opened. This endpaper is useful on large books when paper large enough to form folios of the correct size for the text block is not available.



Figure 47: Endpaper leaves hooked around first section (for oversized books).


Figure 47: Endpaper leaves hooked around first section (for oversized books).


Linen Reinforced Made Endpapers, Sewn On[edit | edit source]

In the endpaper shown in Figure 48, the marbled folio and the white folio are made (pasted) together to form a stiff flyleaf. The paste is applied to the white flyleaf so that upon drying the stiff made flyleaf pulls toward the text block instead of away from it.



Figure 48: Linen reinforced made endpaper.


Figure 48: Linen reinforced made endpaper.



Figure 49 is a variation of Figure 48. The only difference is that the waste sheet is tipped to the outside of the linen instead of to the marbled sheet. This eliminates the possibility of damage to the marbled paper when removing the waste sheet. The placement of the waste sheet can help in the binding operation, too. If the waste sheet is tipped in from the folio at the point where the backing shoulder is to go, it forms a visual line to put the backing boards up to.


Figure 49: Linen reinforced made endpaper (variation).


Figure 49: Linen reinforced made endpaper (variation).


Figure 50 is another variation of a made endpaper, sometimes referred to as a flexi end. Instead of the marbled and white leaves being completely adhered to each other, they are simply tipped together at the spine edge. The marbled folio is left about a 1/4" longer at the fore-edge. This 1/4" of the marbled folio is folded toward the white folio. The fold is then adhered to the white folio. This endpaper has a very flexible first flyleaf instead of the stiff one created by the made endpaper.



Figure 50: Linen reinforced made endpaper, flexible flyleaf.


Figure 50: Linen reinforced made endpaper, flexible flyleaf.


Made Endpapers with Cloth Joint, Sewn On[edit | edit source]

Figure 51 shows a cloth-jointed, stiff-leaved endpaper often used in ledger work. The adhesive used on this endpaper is a polyvinyl acetate glue. This is a very strong endpaper. Etherington and Roberts (1982) call this a "blankbook endpaper". In their illustration, the sewing passes through the endpaper only once, through the book cloth joint.



Figure 51: Made endpaper with cloth joint, stiff flyleaf.


Figure 51: Made endpaper with cloth joint, stiff flyleaf.


Figure 52 is a variation of the cloth-jointed endpaper. Instead of a stiff flyleaf this endpaper has a flexible flyleaf.



Figure 52: Made endpaper with cloth joint, flexible flyleaf.


Figure 52: Made endpaper with cloth joint, flexible flyleaf.


Made Endpapers with Leather Joint[edit | edit source]

Figure 53a and Figure 53b) shows a leather-jointed endpaper. The areas of the hair side of the leather that are glued are sanded for good adhesion. The leather joint goes over the joint of the book and onto the book board. Another leaf of marbled paper is glued onto the book board.



Figure 53a: Made endpaper with leather joint.


Figure 53a: Made endpaper with leather joint.




Figure 53b: Made endpaper with leather joint.


Figure 53b: Made endpaper with leather joint.


Flexible Zigzag Endpapers with Leather Joint[edit | edit source]

Figure 54 shows a flexible zigzag endpaper with a leather joint. A marbled cover lining is added in the same way as shown in Figure 53ab.



Figure 54: Zigzag endpaper with leather joint, flexible flyleaf.


Figure 54: Zigzag endpaper with leather joint, flexible flyleaf.


Hinged On Endpapers[edit | edit source]

When a book will not be resewn but needs new endpapers, they can also be hinged on. One common method is to hinge a single folio of paper to the spine of the text block with Japanese paper. An overhanging cloth spine lining secures the endpaper and strengthens the joint.

Stab Sewn Endpapers[edit | edit source]

Figure 55 is taken from Robert and Etherington entry for "stab-sewn endpaper" (1982). This endpaper is formed from a single leaf, an oversize folio, and a strip of linen. The linen and bottom leaf are stab sewn at an angle through the shoulder of the book. The top leaf and linen are then folded back to conceal the sewing and to form the pastedown. Blaser notes that in hand binderies, this endpaper is used primarily when new endpapers are added to an oversewn books. In commercial binderies, it is used for folded and sewn books and for oversewn books (Blaser 1994).



Figure 55: Stab sewn endpaper (Roberts and Etherington 1982).


Figure 55: Stab sewn endpaper (Roberts and Etherington 1982).



Figure 56 is a variation of Figure 55 used for larger books. Three single leaves are used instead of one single leaf and one folio.



Figure 56: Stab sewn endpaper designed for larger books.


Figure 56: Stab sewn endpaper designed for larger books.


Limp Vellum Bindings: Zigzag Endpapers[edit | edit source]

Figure 57 is a zigzag endpaper without a supported joint. It is made with only one folio. This endpaper is often used in limp vellum binding to give extra movement in the joint.



Figure 57: Zigzag endpaper.


Figure 57: Zigzag endpaper.


Figure 58a, b, and c is an endpaper developed by Christopher Clarkson for use with limp vellum bindings. It is much stronger than that in Figure 57.



Figure 58a: Zigzag endpaper with vellum pastedown and alum tawed joint.


Figure 58a: Zigzag endpaper with vellum pastedown and alum tawed joint.




Figure 58b: Above endpaper, showing the board side of the pastedown.


Figure 58b: Above endpaper, showing the board side of the pastedown.




Figure 58c: Above endpaper, showing the endpaper opened to the joint.


Figure 58c: Above endpaper, showing the endpaper opened to the joint.


These are just a few examples of contemporary endpapers. There are new challenges posed, such as attachment of new endpapers to an unpulled text block without piercing any new holes, or without adding any adhesive to the outer pages of the text block by tipping on the new endpapers. Many new innovations are being brought into the construction of endpapers.

Loose Guards[edit | edit source]

Loose guards are strips of paper wrapped around the first and last sections of the book block but not adhered. Once the book is sewn, the outside of the guard is adhered to the endpaper. The purpose is to close the unsightly gap between the endpaper and the text block, but avoid tipping the endpaper directly to the text block (Lindsay 2009). This practice appears to have been introduced by Sydney Cockerell in the latter half of the 20th century (Cockerell 1978).

Moderate to heavyweight kozo paper is commonly used, and in the section above on on Modern and Conservation Endpapers, some of the loose guards are tipped into place before sewing, to make sewing easier.

Pasting Down[edit | edit source]

Pasting down open: In laced boards bindings and bindings with a tight joint, pastedowns are adhered to the board with the book fully open (Roberts and Etherington 1982).

Pasting down shut: For cased bindings or for bindings with an open or French joint, the endpaper is glued out, and then the board closed onto it (Roberts and Etherington 1982).

The outermost endpaper sheet is sometimes used to adhere the textblock to the boards while the covering material is turned in. In these situations, the paper is either torn, cut or folded to make it smaller, or only partially adhered (Geraty 2019).

See Cockerell 254-259.

In case binding, the endpapers are the primary means of attaching the text block to the case.

Works Cited[edit | edit source]

Anonymous. 1889. "Stationary and Vellum Binding." The Bookbinder, An Illustrated Journal for Bookbinders, Librarians, and all Lovers of Books. Liecester: Raithby, Lawrence & Co., Limited. 154.

Blaser, Linda. 1994. "The Development of Endpapers." Guild of Book Workers Journal 32 (1). 1-29.

Clarkson, Christopher. 1975. Limp Vellum Binding and Its Potential As A Conservation Type Structure For The Rebinding of Early Printed Books, A Break With 19th and 20th Century Rebinding Attitudes and Practices. ICOM Committee for Conservation, Fourth Triennial Meeting, Venice, 1975:77/15/3-5.

Cockerell, Douglas. 1910. Bookbinding and the Care of Books. New York : D. Appleton and Company. Accessed March 25, 2020.

Cockerell, Douglas. 1977. Bookbinding and the Care of Books. New York : D. Appleton and Company.

In this 5th edition, the author's son, Sydney Cockerell, adds an appendix with "a number of the more recent technical developments." This includes some useful comments about loose guards and pasting down endpapers.

Comparato, Frank. 1971. Books for the Millions: A History of the Men Whose Methods and Machines Packaged the Printed Word. The Stackpole Co. : Harrisburg, PA.

Diehl, Edith. 1946. Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique (Volume II). Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, Inc. 2.

Geraty, Peter. 2019. "A Manual Approach to Stiff-Board Parchment Binding. In Suave Mechanicals, vol. 5, edited by Julia Miller, 124-196. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Legacy Press.

Ligatus Language of Bindings Thesaurus.

Loring, Rosamond. 1952. Decorated Book Papers, Being an Account of Their Designs and Fashions. Cambridge : Harvard University Press.

Loring, Rosamond B. 1973. Decorated Book Papers, Being an Account of Their Designs and Fashions. Cambridge: Harvard College Library.

Marsden, Henry. 1901. "Silk Linings for Fine Work: How to Water the Silk." The International Bookbinder: Journal Devoted to the Interests of Bookbinders. 2(11): 3. Accessed February 26, 2021.

Marsden, Henry. 1902. "On Cloth and Leather Joints." The International Bookbinder: Journal Devoted to the Interests of Bookbinders. 3(1): 4. Accessed February 26, 2021.

Marsden, Henry. 1902. "The German Cloth Joint" The International Bookbinder: Journal Devoted to the Interests of Bookbinders. 3(2): 20. Accessed February 26, 2021.

Middleton, Bernard C. 1996. A History of English Craft Bookbinding Technique. Fourth Revised Edition. New Castle and London: Oak Knoll Press & The British Library.

Rhodes, Barbara. 1995. "18th and 19th Century European and American Paper Binding Structures: A Case Study of Paper Bindings in the American Museum of Natural History Library." Book and Paper Group Annual 14: 51-62.

Roberts, Matt T. and Don Etherington. Drawings by Margaret R. Brown. 1982. Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology. Washington DC: Library of Congress. Available online through CoOL.

accordion-pleated fold, doublure, drag, drumming on, end leaf paper, endpapering machine, fly leaf, endpapers, library style endpaper, made endpaper, made flyleaves, pastedown, pasting-down open, pasting-down shut, waste sheet, zig-zag endpaper

Stengel, Herman. 1902. "Cloth and Leather Joints" The International Bookbinder: Journal Devoted to the Interests of Bookbinders. 3(4): 51. Accessed February 26, 2021.

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

Battershall, Fletcher. 1905. Bookbinding for Bibliophiles: Being Notes on Some Technical Features of the Well Bound Book for the Aid of Connoisseurs, Together with a Sketch of Gold Tooling, Ancient and Modern . Greenwich, CT : The Literary Collection Press, 1905. Accessed March 26, 2020.

Bell, Emily. February 2019. "Structural & Material Clues to Binding History: A Series. Part 4: Endsheets." Guild of Book Workers Newsletter 242.

The Bookbinder: An Illustrated Journal for Bookbinders, Librarians, and All Lovers of Books. 1889. Leicester : Raithby, Lawrence & Co., Ltd.

Middleton, Bernard C. 1962. "The Bookbinders Case Unfolded." The Library s5 - 7(1): 75. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cockerell, Douglas. 1902. Bookbinding and the Care of Books. New York: D. Appleton and Co. 80-91. Accessed March 26, 2020.

Cockerell, Douglas. 1929. Some Notes on Bookbinding. London : Oxford University Press. 81.

Comparato, Frank E. 1971. Books for the Millions. A History of the Men Whose Methods and Machines Packaged the Printed Word. Harrisburg, PA : The Stackpole Co.

Davenport, Cyril. 1907. The Book: Its History and Development. New York : D. Van Nostrand Company. 157-159.

Diehl, Edith. 1946. Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique. Vol. II. New York/Toronto : Rinehart & Co., Inc. 67-85. Accessed March 26, 2020.

Dutton, Meiric K. 1926. Historical Sketch of Bookbinding As An Art. Norwood : The Holliston Mills, Inc. 88-89. Accessed March 26, 2020.

Kromp, Daniela. 2018. Buntpapier: Decorated and Decorative Papers from the 17th to the 21st century. [Catalogue #3] Part 1: The 17th and 18th century.

Sales catalog from Rare & Unique Books in Munich, Germany showing historical decorated papers including printed decorative paper, paste paper, marbled paper, brocade paper, and embossed paper. Contains many color illustrations. In German, with short English descriptions at the bottom of each text. Great visual resource for paper decoration.

Larsen, Sofus and Anker Kyster. 1930. Danish Eighteenth Century Bindings l730- l780. Copenhagen : Levin and Munksgaard Publishers. 18-21 (Plates 9-12).

Leighton, Douglas. 1935. Modern Bookbinding, A Survey and Prospect. New York : Oxford University Press. 48.

Metcaffe, John. 1968. Book Production and Reproduction, Notes for Students of Librarianship. Surry Hills : The Wentworth Press.

Middleton, Bernard C. 2004. The Restoration of Leather Bindings. Fourth edition. New Castle, DE, and London : Oak Knoll Press and The British Library.

Figures 37-39, pp. 108-113.

Ranganathan, S.R. 1952. Social Bibliography or Physical Bibliography for Librarians. Delhi : University of Delhi. 318, 823.

Reavis, W. Elmo. 1913 Bindery Talk. Vol. I & II. Los Angeles, CA : Pacific Library Binding Company. 58.

Szirmai, J. A. 1999. The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Aldershot: Ashgate.


History of This Page[edit | edit source]


Prior to the creation of the AIC Conservation Wiki, this page was created as "Section 3 - Chapter 1 - Endpapers" of the Book Conservation Catalog by Linda Blaser and Olivia Primanis. For more see: History of the BPG Wiki. In 2021, Katherine Kelly revised the page, adding section headings, captions, and additional images and text.

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