Before her passing in 2006, the late Phoebe Jane Easton kindly gave her permission to publish the bibliography that had been her life’s work and share it on this website.
It effectively updates the information presented in her publication Marbling: History and Bibliography, published by Dawson’s Book Shop in 1983.
Should you wish to contribute further citations, please contact <>.

The bibliography is intended to bring the references to marbled paper up to date, and includes the literature of Turkish and Japanese marbling, which has not previously been listed comprehensively. The scope is catholic, including history, technique, and various applications of marbling.

Only one bibliography solely devoted to marbling has been compiled in the past. Dard Hunter, the great paper scholar, published “A Bibliography of Marbled Paper” in the Paper Trade Journal in 1921. He included an interesting brief history of marbling, a thumbnail sketch of the technique, and an account of his own interest in and collection of marbled papers. His bibliography contains only sixty-nine entries, and many of them are very obscure. The material probably was gathered while he was studying marbling in Vienna. A few inaccuracies were found in it. Kantrowitz and Spencer reprinted the bibliography, without the introductory passage, as an appendix to their Process 0f Marbling Paper, published by the Government Printing Office in 1947.

Hunter returned to bibliography in 1943. In that year his Papermaking, The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft was published; the expanded second edition of 1947 has a list of two hundred works on papermaking. One section is devoted to decorated papers, and of these titles many concern marbling. The 1921 list is updated with later works.

Several other bibliographies, books, and articles have been particularly rich resources for references. The Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration (now Cooper-Hewitt) held an exhibition of decorated book papers in 1954. The exhibit catalog, Decorated Book Papers…, contains a bibliography on the subject compiled by Whitney N. Morgan, drawn from the museum library holdings. The majority of the entries pertain to the study of marbling.

Paul Kersten, who worked and wrote extensively in the field of decorated papers, privately published a chronologically-arranged bibliography of German bookbinding in 1917, Das Vollkommenste Verzeichnis der Deutschen Literatur über Buchbinderei 1644 bis 1917, an important but exceedingly rare resource. Wolfgang Mejer covered the literature of bookbinding up to 1924 in Bibliographie der Buchbinderei-Literatur, and Herman Herbst continued the work from 1924 through 1932 in a second volume. Both contain a section on marbling. An extensive bibliography of decorated papers, annotated and cross-referenced, was published in Albert Haemmerle’s Buntpapier, written in collaboration with Olga Hirsch and issued in 1961. Rosamond Loring’s Decorated Book Papers, first published in 1942, Charles Adams’ “Some Notes on Marbling in the 17th Century,” G. Thomas Tanselle’s “Bibliographical Description of Patterns,” and Bernard C. Middleton’s A History of English Craft Bookbinding Technique have been valuable. Anneliese Dühmert’s Buchpflege: Eine Bibliographie. 1963, contains a section on decorated papers, including marbling. Gabriele Grünebaum’s Buntpapier contains an extensive bibliography on decorated papers. The late Nusret Hepül contributed the majority of Turkish language citations for this revision. Many of the most interesting entries in the present listing emerged as the result of pure serendipity and the alert interest of friends, rather than through the usual methods of bibliographic research.

The literature of marbling is extensive and difficult to locate. On the one hand it runs to rare and out of print books, and on the other to specialized journals, house organs, and commercial journals judged to be only of ephemeral value, which are widely scattered, sometimes destroyed by bombing in the war, frequently in storage, and often represented by incomplete runs. Several contemporary books on marbling have been published in extremely limited editions. In some instances, reprints were discovered but the parent journal has not yet come to light.

Difficulty was often encountered in separating articles on marbling from those on other forms of decorated papers. History and literature of decorated papers cannot readily be dissected by category. References to decorated papers are included if they contain any material on marbling, even if it is peripheral to the main subject of the work or repeats information in other works.

Some very brief entries have been included because they make an interesting historical or technical point, or simply illustrate the breadth of interest in the subject. In these cases, an explanatory note is usually given.

No effort was made to search Spanish or Italian literature. It remains for the bibliophile with those particular language skills and the gift of time to make further additions in these areas.

Titles not seen are credited to their sources by initials in parentheses, and an identifying list follows. The sources are varied. E.A. Thompson kept a card index of the literature on bookbinding, and one section is devoted to decorated papers. Guyot, Weimann, and Wolfe all supplied titles in letters, conversations, and publications. Several issues of Bookbinding Magazine supplied titles. In the interest of brevity, full citations are not given for these sources.

Occasionally a library source is indicated, but this does not necessarily mean it is the only source. Some abbreviations have been used: the German Jahrgang is abbreviated to Jg., Heft to H., and Band to Bd. Abbreviations of English words include rpt. for reprint, tr. for translator, U.K. for United Kingdom, ed. for edition, Ed. for editor, Par. for paragraph, c. for circa, and Pl. for plate.

Brackets are used to enclose the interpolated material for the following cases: publication of information not provided in the publication, such as author, date, publisher, or place of publication; translations of titles; pseudonyms; and notes that are not part of the bibliography proper.

It has become apparent that one can never declare a bibliography to be either complete or entirely accurate. Additions and corrections will be appreciated.

Sources of Citations for References Not Seen:

AD Anneliese Dühmert
AH Albert Haemmerle
BBM Bookbinding Magazine
BM Bernard Middleton
BW Bruce Walley
CA Charles Adams
CS Caroline Schimmel
CW Christopher Weimann
D M. Ugur Derman
DB Dawson’s Book Shop Catalogue No. 403, item 164
DH Dard Hunter, 1921
DHB Dard Hunter, 1947
EAT E.A. Thompson
G Don Guyot, letters
GBH G. Bernard Hughes
GG Gabriele von Grünebaum
GVD Geert van Daal
GW Geoffrey Wakeman
HH Herman Herbst
LG Leon Gruel
MC Maurice Craig
McC Nancy McClelland
MK Mehmed Ali Kagitçi
NH Nusret Hepgül
OH Olga Hirsch
PK Paul Kersten
R&E Matt T. Roberts and Don G. Etherington
RE Rosamond Loring
RW Richard J. Wolfe
S&E A.V. Sugden and J.L. Edmondson
T G. Thomas Tanselle
T&T Keith and Harriet R. Tindale
WM Wolfgang Mejer
WO William Osmun