Sometimes social media offers up random gifts to brighten your day. Recently I have been enjoying posts from a Facebook group called “We Love Endpapers.” Enthusiasts from all over the world share pictures of both modern and antique decorated endpapers, and occasional links to related blog posts, like this one from the National Library of New Zealand. The post, “Opening up the Covers,” has great information about varieties like paste paper and gilded paper, with useful resources at the end, including the database of images at the University of Washington. In the spirit of “We Love Endpapers,” I offer a few images from Amherst’s collection that have caught my eye over the past few months.
click on an image to see it larger,
click on a caption to view more information in the library catalog
Last month, Mike posted about a recent gift of books from alumnus Peter Webb. I have cataloged them and they can be found via this search. Mike mentioned in passing that the gift included copies of some of Charles Eastman’s books in their original dust jackets:
Since dust jackets on hardcover books are common today, these may not seem all that exciting. But dust jackets from the early 1900s and before are quite rare, even in special collections libraries. See this recent post from the University of Virginia about a collection of 19th-century books in original dust jackets, donated by Tom Congalton. (more…)
The practice of decorating the fore-edge of a book with a hidden painting was “popularised in the 18th [century] by John Brindley and (in particular) Edwards of Halifax, whereby the fore-edge of the book, very slightly fanned out and then held fast, is decorated with painted views or conversation pieces.¹ The edges are then squared up and gilded in the ordinary way, so that the painting remains concealed (and protected) while the book is closed; fan out the edges and it reappears.”²
The Archives and Special Collections holds eight examples of hidden fore-edge paintings. Below are pictures of three of them, showing the edge both closed and fanned.