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COLLECTION Identifier: 52L-1000

Rosamond B. Loring collection of decorated papers


This collection of decorated papers consists chiefly of marbled, paste, Dutch gilt, flocked, and printed papers, including some made by Mrs. Rosamond Loring; with printed and manuscript items and a collection of tools used in the paper arts.


  • circa 1500-1950

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Physical Description

Extent is approximate.

Conditions Governing Access

Restricted: Access requires the permission of the Curator of Printing and Graphic Arts. Examination is by appointment with the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts.

A portion of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions for publication must be ordered through Houghton Library from Harvard College Library Imaging Services. Permission to publish or distribute images of papers must be sought from the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts.


33 linear feet (141 boxes)

This collection contains approximately 10,000 pieces of historical decorated paper, dating from the 16th century to the mid-20th century. Principal categories are marbled papers, paste papers, Dutch gilt and flocked papers, and printed papers. Most papers are European in origin, but there is a selection of Asian papers. The collection includes marbled and paste papers made by Loring herself and by her student Veronica Ruzicka, as well as papers made by a number of her contemporaries. There is a selection of the tools used by Loring to make marbled and paste papers.

Biographical / Historical

Rosamond B. Loring (1889-1950) was a maker, collector, and historian of decorated papers. She was the author of Marbled papers (1933); Decorated book papers (1942; 2nd ed., with additional material, 1952; 4th ed., with additional material, 2007);Colored Paste Papers, The New Colophon 2/5 (January 1949): 33-40; and Marbled and Paste Papers: Rosamond Loring's Recipe Book [facsimile ed.] (2007).


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Papers made by Rosamond B. Loring.
  2. II. Papers made by Veronica Ruzicka.
  3. III. Marbled papers.
  4. IV. Paste papers.
  5. V. Dutch gilt papers.
  6. VI. Printed papers.
  7. VII. Stenciled papers.
  8. VIII. Asian decorated papers and associated tools.
  9. IX. Miscellaneous decorated papers.
  10. X. Decorated cloth and proto-papers.
  11. XI. Ephemera.
  12. XII. Decorated papers used as covers and on covers.
  13. XIII. Photographs of decorated papers, textiles, and tooled book covers.
  14. XIV. Examples of graphic processes.

Items are numbered within each series. For example, IV.3 is the 3rd item in series IV.

Except for series I subseries F, all items consist of one folder. The letter a, b, or c before an item number denotes the size of the folder for that item. (Folders of the same size are boxed together.) a = 38 x 29 cm.; b= 61 x 46 cm.; c= 76 x 61 cm. Some oversize items in series I marked "d" are in a box 106 x 80 cm.

Physical Location

Lamont Map Room, Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

52L-1000. Bequest of Rosamond Loring, who died 17 September 1950; received: 1952.

Related Materials

Loring's bequest to Houghton Library included her library of paper sample books, books about decorated paper, and books containing examples of decorated papers. These are classified as *52L-1 through *52L-713. Additional books and paper samples have been given by her family or purchased on a fund endowed in her name and are also classed under *52L.

Separated Materials

The portion of the decorated paper collection that consists of Modern Pictorial Endleaves, that is, printed endleaves from 20th-century commercial editions, is cataloged separately as: Rosamond B. Loring Collection of Printed Endpapers (*52L-1001).


The following are referred to in this finding aid by author's name or short title:
Other sample books referred to in this finding aid are in the Rosamond B. Loring collection in Houghton Library, with call-numbers as follows:
  • Sue Allen, Floral patterned endpapers in nineteenth-century American books, Winterthur Portfolio 12 (1977): 183-224.
  • Carlo Alberto Chiesa Libri Antichi, Raccolta di carte colarate antiche Italiane dei secoli XVIII e XIX (typescript sale catalog, 1960; Houghton Library *52L-723F Index).
  • John Dreyfus, The Curwen Press Collection in Cambridge University Library, Matrix 5 (1985): 23-32.
  • Karli Frigge, Sample book of the fancy paper factory Aschaffenburg (Buren, Netherlands 1993).
  • Albert Haemmerle, Buntpapier: Herkommen, Geschichte, Techniken, Beziehungen zur Kunst (Munich 1961).
  • J. F. Heijbroek and T. C. Greven, Sierpapier, marmer-, brocaat- en sitspapier in Nederland (Amsterdam 1994).
  • Ann King Herring, The world of chiyogami (Tokyo and New York 1987).
  • Mario Infelise and Paola Marini, Remondini: Un editore del settecento. (Bassano 1990).
  • Rosamond B. Loring, Decorated book papers: being an account of their designs and fashions (Cambridge, Mass. 1st ed. 1942, 2nd ed. 1952, 3rd ed. 1973).
  • Alberto Milano and Elena Villani, Raccolta Bertarelli: Carta decorate (Milan 1989).
  • Henry Morris, Japonica: The study and appreciation of the art of Japanese paper (1981).
  • Museum of Decorative Arts, Copenhagen, Catalogue of an exhibition of block-printed papers from the 18th and early 19th centuries (typescript, ca. 1958; Houghton Library *58-1050).
  • Sarah Postgate, Introduction to Patterns for papers (New York 1987).
  • Piccarda Quilici, Carte decorate nella legatoria del '700 dalle Raccolte della Biblioteca Casanatense (Rome 1988).
  • Hans Schmoller, Chinese decorated papers: chinoiserie for three (Newtown, Pa. 1987).
  • Hans Schmoller, An Italian paperchase, Matrix 5 (1985): 1-14.
  • Tanya Schmoller, Chinese decorated papers, Matrix 8 (1988): 94-98.
  • Tanya Schmoller, Remondini and Rizzi: a chapter in Italian decorated paper history (New Castle, De. 1990).
  • Tanya Schmoller, Introduction to In praise of patterned papers: A collection of essays (Oldham, Lancs. 1997).
  • Curwen Press, Curwen Press figured papers (1927), *52L-731.
  • Curwen Press, A specimen book of pattern papers designed for and in use at the Curwen Press (1928), *52L-25F.
  • Alois Dessauer (?; ca. 1850), *52L-592.
  • Grafisk Kompani, Oslo, Forsats- og overtrekkspappir (ca. 1937), *52L-603.
  • Henningsen & Wolf -Jürgensen, Sample booklet (7 x 15 cm., with handwritten title "Parisermarmor"), *52L-603.
  • Japan Paper Co., French marble 19 x 25 (1932), *52L-603.
  • Japan Paper Co., Batik papers from Germany, *52L-603.
  • Japan Paper Co., Czechoslovakian papers, *52L-605.
  • Japan Paper Co., Italian wood block papers, *52L-605.
  • Japan Paper Co., Sagan paper (Peka) (1929), *52L-596.
  • Maunoury & Cie., Nouvelle fabrication française: "Patria" papiers de fantaisie (1920), *52L-579F.
  • Remondini (Firm), Campione delle carti colorati della fabbrica di Giuseppe Remondini, e figli di Bassano (1808) (no. 1 in Chiesa, Raccolta), *52L-722.
  • Giuseppe Rizzi (Firm), Sample booklet (ca. 1865), *52L-599.
  • Sample book 1. See Remondini above.
  • Sample book 14 = Unidentified firm, Catalogo di 42 campioni di carte fiorate a più colori (Northern Italy ca. 1840; no. 14 in Chiesa, Raccolta), *52L-723 v. 3.
  • Sample book 17 = Unidentified firm, Catalogo di 67 campioni di carte a motivi floreali a più colori (Northern Italy ca. 1840; no. 17 in Chiesa, Raccolta), *52L-723 v. 5.
  • Sample book 21 = Unidentified firm, Catalogo di 160 carte e 1482 campioni di cata cambrich a piccoli e grandi disegni, fiorata, liscia a tinta unita, sbruffata, quadrigilia, sagrinata, radicata, finta foglia, marmorata a più colori (Northern Italy ca. 1840; no. 21 in Chiesa, Raccolta), *52L-723F v.1.

Processing history:

According to a letter written to Olga Hirsch in 1939, Loring organized the collection into these categories: Paste, Marble, Early Printed, Modern Printed, Douglas Cockerell, Oriental, her own papers, book covers, Ingeborg Börjesson, W.C. Doebbelin, and Modern Pictorial Endpapers. She mounted many papers on thin cardboard, and stored them in flat portfolio boxes.

At Houghton Library the collection was reboxed and refoldered ca. 1980 by Dennis Marnon and Doris Freitag, who also attempted to recreate the order and categories of papers as discussed in Loring's Decorated book papers. A finding list was created with one line of description for each of the 57 boxes.

In 2002 the decision was made to rehouse the collection in boxes and folders that met current conservation standards. For the same reason, and to conserve space on the shelves, the papers were removed from the cardboard backings. Any annotations by Loring on the backings were photocopied and the copies stored in the folders with the papers to which they relate. Notes on the folders include: transcriptions of Loring's notes when present (upper left corner); series and folder number (upper right corner); and cataloger's description and number of pieces in the folder (lower edge). Processing and cataloging in 2002-2007 were done by Susanne Olson, Audrey Jawando, J. F. Coakley, Quang Anh Duong, and Olympia Sosangelis.

Loring, Rosamond B. (Rosamond Bowditch), 1889-1950, collector. Rosamond B. Loring collection of decorated papers: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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