"Free endleaves," "Flying leaves," or "Flyleaves?"
This point of nomenclature is most important in cataloging, imaging, and in conserving books. For example, let's say you want to search a database for a decorated end leaf. Which word should you use? Well, you must use the word used by the catalogers -- but which did they use? Or what if you want to search conservation treatment records? You must use the word used by the conservators in their reports... and if you don't use the right search term, you won't find what you're looking for. I'l discuss my arbiter of points of nomenclature -- and then I have a question.
My standard for nomenclature these days is the extensive Ligatus' Language of Bindings Thesaurus Online, which provided the quote at the beginning of the blog post that prefers "free endleaves." (Their citation for it is Petherbridge, Sewing structures... 1991.) Other good general references, though older, are John Carter's ABC's for Book Collectors and Etherington and Roberts -- both of which prefer the term "endpapers" in our example.
Now for our free endleaves and the endleaf format! Alas, none of these sources admit a preference for the poetic "FLYING" leaves as stated in the earlier quote, but I should say that "free" holds its own. It is common to say "first free endleaf" or "second free endleaf" to describe the free leaves at the front of a bookblock. However, my question is if there is an equivalent for endleaves at the back of the book - if I said "last free endleaf" or "second last free endleaf," would everyone know what I was talking about?