As books begin to vanish into the digital abyss their tangible aspects become all the more charming. Take endpapers, for example: the lovely decorative pages at the beginning and end of a book that both welcome you and bid you a fond adieu at the finish of a great read like a transdimensional portal. Marbled endpapers are the most traditional and have a surprisingly timeless psychedelic quality that gives them an otherworldly magic. We went to Special Collections at Colorado College to peruse the endpapers and bring you this slide show, which we dedicate to retiring Tutt Library Director Carol Dickerson!

(Many thanks to Amy Brooks and Jessy Randall at Special Collections!)

Music in this piece is “Library” by Gurdonark

 

5 Responses to Marbled Endpapers

  1. [...] Noel Black gave our endpapers a little love in A Big Something today (May 17, 2012). Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  2. Steve Lantier says:

    Great segment. Noel has a real appreciation for how the book as a considered aesthetic object lends to a richer experience of the text. I wonder if it’s too much of a stretch to link the abstract patterning of marbled endpapers (a European decorative element appropriated from the Orient) to the “automatic” abstract visual art of certain Surrealists (a primarily literary movement) &, by extension, American Abstract-Expressionists like Jackson Pollock. Perhaps those endpapers functioned as a germinal, subconscious formal inspiration?

  3. Wow! What fun eye candy! Thanks for sharing! ….just one more reason to make me a sad to loose printed books on paper, though.

  4. Harry Miller says:

    I enjoyed this article but wanted to tell you that this form of art not not dying! Presently I live in central Turkey and the middle east has had for centuries a very similar art form called “Ebru”. The difference is that in the west marbling was only used for books. Ebru is highly prized and hung with pride in homes, businesses and mosques.

  5. Kay Johnson says:

    beautiful stuff, thanks.

News

Getty Images
February 26, 2015 | NPR · Val James became the first American-born black player in the NHL in 1982. He ensured vicious racism, including fans throwing bananas on the ice. After 30 years in silence he is talking about it now.
 

Getty Images
February 26, 2015 | NPR · Five men are charged with planning the Sept. 11 attacks. When they appear for proceedings in Guantanamo Bay, people who lost loved ones that day are flown down to the courtroom to bear witness.
 

NPR
February 26, 2015 | NPR · Single people represent the fastest growing category of households in the U.S. That’s made small dwellings — from micro-apartments to stand-alone tiny houses, a niche force in the real estate market.
 

Arts & Life

February 26, 2015 | NPR · NPR’s Kelly McEvers talks to journalist Laura Kasinof about her memoir on her experience reporting in Yemen during the Arab Spring called, Don’t Be Afraid of the Bullets.
 

February 26, 2015 | NPR · Small, who died this week at 77, was one of a group of authors who helped transform romance in the 1970s from a relatively tame, demure genre to the bold, bawdy books that sell by the millions today.
 

February 26, 2015 | NPR · The new CBS show about two very mismatched investigative partners plays like a comedy. The characters are complicated and surprising, and the dialogue is crisp and quick. It’s “a lot of fun to watch.”
 

Music

Netflix
February 26, 2015 | NPR · The show’s distinctive score is the work of Jeff Beal, who ushers viewers into its clandestine, manipulative and sometimes violent world by breaking a few musical rules.
 

Courtesy of the Artist
February 26, 2015 | NPR · See the trippy new video for “Rainbow” from People Get Ready’s album Physiques.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 26, 2015 | NPR · The Montreal band mines the built-in tension between its many sources of effervescence and the darker shading in its words and backgrounds.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab