Decorated and Decorative Paper Collection
This database showcases a selection of decorated and decorative papers from Europe, primarily Germany, France and Italy, produced between the 17th and 19th centuries. Representative samples include Western marbled paper, paste papers and decorative papers, such as Dutch gilt and lithographically or linoleum block printed paper. Some examples of Suminagashi are also included in the database.Selected paper samples in this digital collection include loose samples, as well as paper that has been used for the covers and endsheets of books.
The patterns and their techniques have been titled and described using a limited selection of authoritative resources found within the University of Washington Libraries collections. The two main references for marbling used are Richard J. Wolfe. Marbled paper : its history, techniques, and patterns : with special reference to the relationship of marbling to bookbinding in Europe and the Western world , and The art of marbled paper : marbled patterns and how to make them by Einen Miura . As other resources and permissions become available, the collection will be updated to include modern marbling artists’ work.
About the Database
Some explanation is needed for the data entered into the various fields for this project. The metadata for this database was defined by the following decisions made by the Special Collections digital projects staff.
Prominent versus Secondary Pattern Type field
Marbled papers often include multiple patterns, each of which may still be discernable. The last completed pattern usually determines how the paper is named, thus our logic in applying it as prominent. The entry in the “Prominent’ Pattern Field” is (with a few exceptions) the final or last pattern in the marbling process. The “Secondary Pattern Field” allows earlier, discernable patterns to be named.
Paper Process/Medium field
This field includes information about the process/medium used to create the work. Terms in this field are taken from the vocabulary published in an article by Sidney Berger entitled: “Cataloging decorated papers”. Hand Papermaking, 20(2), pp. 30-32. (2005). The vocabulary string consists of a hierarchy of terms composed of one of Berger’s 5 process types (Colored papers; Fiber distributed papers (ex: Lace papers); Impregnated papers (ex: Suminagashi, Batik, D’Annonay Papers, ); Surface application papers (ex: Marbled papers); or Surface treated papers (ex: Vellour papers) and then the medium type.
Description Notes Field
This field can include any information of importance regarding the item's physical description and related background that is not represented elsewhere.
- An explanation of the pattern name assignments by the our reference sources. In terms of hierarchy, of the four (Western) marbling texts, Wolfe provided the most comprehensive coverage followed by Miura, Schleicher and Maurer-Mathison. This hierarchy also decided which pattern name to use when there were conflicts between these four resources.
- Any type of historical information about the pattern itself such as approximate date of creation and/or creator.
- Relationships between patterns with explanations regarding their different characteristics or commonalities.
- Medium/technique notes. (For example, whether the item is oil marbling, its treatment, and/or how the pattern is created.)
- Paper color (if applicable), and primary colors in the pattern
- Whether paper is a second. A note of this kind indicates that the example is not of museum quality –a distinction made by the artist.
This digital collection was created with the CONTENTdm software's JPEG 2000, which enables finely detailed materials, such as illustrations, to be displayed in a higher quality, more usable online format. It allows viewers to see image details that would be difficult or impossible to see at the lower resolutions used in the normal software. This new software includes pan and zoom capabilities which allow a user to move in and out of an image and to move across the image to display the fine details which researchers need to be able to see clearly. The paper samples presented in this digital collection were scanned from original artifacts as TIFF files, manipulated in Adobe PhotoShop to achieve the best and clearest possible digital image and loaded into the Contentdm JPEG2000 software and linked with descriptive metadata.
Selection, research and descriptive metadata for the Decorated and Decorative Paper Collection were done by Sandra Kroupa, Katie Blake and Johanna Burgess in 2006-2007. The materials in this database are selections from various ephemera and book collections held by the UW Libraries Special Collections Division.