Endpapers are the folded sheets of paper at the front and back of a book. Half of each paper is pasted to the inside of the cover and the other half, called the “flyleaf,” remains free. Endpapers are the structural bond between the body of the book and the cover, and aesthetically, they are the transition between the exterior and the interior, the cover and the text.
Endpapers can be purely decorative, such as marbled or floral-patterned papers, or they can be thematically tied to the text. Sometimes they provide information such as maps or family trees. Occasionally, they advertise a publisher’s forth-coming books or even hotels or hats!
This exhibit is a tour under the covers of the Salem Athenæum collection.
Exhibition and site concept by Elaine von Bruns.