Department of Early Printed Books

The library’s extensive historic collections, which have come together from very different sources, also include a rich fund of hand-made decorated papers from the 16th century and later. As the sheets have been processed into bindings, book end papers or ornamented pages, the manufacturers can only rarely be identified. Therefore it is particularly important to record the details of design, material and manufacturing. Decorated papers can contribute immensely to binding and provenance research.

Meanwhile experts of the Department of Early Printed Books haves begun to describe and record samples of decorated papers, many of which are of extreme rarity. Their classification is based on the standard terminology for decorated paper developed by the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar and revised and extended by members of the Arbeitskreis Buntpapier. This thesaurus is also used for creating relevant authority records for the library’s online catalogue.