Endleaves, sometimes called endpapers, are blank leaves or sections sewn in at the beginning and end of the textblock. These endleaf sections might consist of a simple single-folded sheet, but more commonly they are made up of several leaves, with the outermost one usually adhered to the inside of the board as the last step in the forwarding process. This latter leaf is called the "pastedown," and the other sheets are referred to as flyleaves. It is common to find no endleaves at all in bindings from the manuscript and incunabula period. Into the sixteenth century, especially in English work, the outside endleaf was sometimes not pasted down, leaving the inside of the boards exposed. As a cost-saving measure for cheaper editions, a binder might use waste material for the endleaves, instead of a clean sheet of paper or parchment. The technique of marbling paper had been practiced in the Islamic world and the Far East for some time before it was introduced to Europe in the sixteenth century. Marbled paper quickly became the most common type of decorated endleaves found in European bindings. The two examples here are in eighteenth-century bindings from England and France. In more expensive bindings, endleaves were often altered to include inner leather joints and doublures. A doublure is a piece of leather (or sometimes paper or silk) that covers the inside of the board, but is not part of the endleaf section. The final two examples are a nineteenth-century French binding with leather doublures and marbled paper flyleaves, and a twentieth-century binding from the Monastery Hill Bindery in Chicago with elaborately onlaid leather doublures and silk flyleaves.
British, sixteenth century
Waste endpapers, leaves of an edition of the Digesta.
Author: Fulke, William, 1538-1589
Title: A defense of the sincere and true translations of the holie Scriptures into the English tong.
Published: London: Imprinted by Henrie Bynneman, for George Bishop, 1583.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 5172.371
Spine height: 16 cm

British, eighteenth century
Marbled red/orange.
Author: Disney, John, 1677-1730
Title: An essay upon the execution of the laws against immorality and prophaneness.
Published: London: Printed and sold by J. Downing, 1708.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: HV6705.D63
Spine height: 18 cm

French, eighteenth century
Swirl and edges.
Author: Sigorgne, M. l'abbé (Pierre), 1719-1809
Title: Institutions Newtoniennes.
Edition: 2nd ed.
Published: Paris: Guillyn, 1769.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 8204.674.857
Spine height: 21 cm

Italian, sixteenth century
Doublures. All edges gilt. Blue.
Author: Doni, Anton Francesco, 1513-1574
Title: La zucca del Doni.
Published: Venice: Francesco Marcolini, 1551.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 3128.2.399.12
Spine height: 18 cm

French, nineteenth century
Leather doublures and marbled paper flyleaves.
Author: Corneille, Pierre, 1606-1684
Title: Oeuvres ... Premiere partie.
Published: Paris: Antoine de Sommaville and Augustin Covrbé, 1644.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 3242.1644
Spine height: 14 cm

American, twentieth century
Binding from the Monastery Hill Bindery in Chicago with elaborately onlaid leather doublures and silk flyleaves.
Author: Thompson, Slason, 1849-1935
Title: Eugene Field: a study in heredity and contradictions.
Published: New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1901.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 3737.5.94.11
Spine height: 20 cm