Behind the Stacks: literally

plough marks
Freshly hewn blocks of wood? Or roughly ploughed fore-edges of the collected works of Christian Scriver from among Burke Library’s rare books?

Sometimes the most interesting views are not the front of bookshelves with all the book spines facing outward, but rather the back, where you can find various edge decorations, hardware, and conditions that make for a visual treat. I often find these during shelf maintenance tasks that involve removing a range of books from a shelf, thereby revealing the backside of another shelf. Literally from behind the stacks, here are some choice reverse views of Burke’s special collections shelves:

marbled edges
Some classic marbled edges
tartan pattern edge
A simple tartan pattern for edge decoration
tube
A solitary tube
Green ribbons
book closures
Book and box closures, old and new
blue edges
Blue colored edges (with neighboring green)
gauffered edges
Gauffered edges
tidy shelf
Protective enclosures are good for the books and make it easy to keep a tidy shelf… but they do hinder chance discoveries of other interesting reverse views!

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