One of the privileges I have in taking photographs for In Custodia Legis is getting to see the Law Library’s rare book collection. For preservation’s sake, the rare books must be confined to a locked climate-controlled room, so it is always a treat when these items emerge from the vault. I have been snapping photos of the endpapers of the collection items that we’ve featured in blog posts over the years. Marbled papers in law books bring a particular surprise, like a happy ending to a ponderous legal story or a rest for weary eyes. Below are just three examples.
The Law Library’s copy of the Constitution of Norway features endpapers with a monochromatic shell pattern. The deep red color brings to mind a slide you might have seen under a microscope in high school biology class. This example is interesting in that it has a distinct glossy finish, as you might be able to see from the glare on the left side of the photo.
The Laws of Maryland, Enacted at a Session of Assembly, Begun and Held at the City of Annapolis, on Thursday the tenth day of October 1727 [bound with] Laws of Maryland … 1729 is a new acquisition to the Law Library’s collection this year. We have not yet featured this item on the blog, so this is a sneak peek! The book cover is a Turkish pattern that features five colors – salmon, teal, ochre, burgundy, and black.