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label pasted in a book to indicate ownership, also called ex libris [Lat.,=from the books of]. The bookplate is usually of paper on which heraldic or other designs are engraved or printed. The earliest printed bookplates date from c.1480 in Germany. Dürer and Holbein designed and engraved a number of bookplates. A Stephen Daye bookplate of 1642 may have been among the first printed in North America; the John Cotton plate of 1674 certainly was. Paul Revere was well known for his bookplate engravings, as was Nathaniel Hurd. The practice of designing bookplates flourished throughout the 18th and 19th cent. Fine examples are still being produced mainly for collectors and connoisseurs by a number of graphic artists including Richard Horton and John DePol.


See J. B. L. Warren (Lord De Tabley), Guide to the Study of Bookplates (1880); W. Hamilton, Dated Book-Plates (1895); E. J. Kavanagh, ed., Bookplates (1966); C. D. Allen, American Bookplates (1895, repr. 1968).



(also ex libris), a label pasted inside a book’s binding or cover, bearing the name of the book’s owner. Bookplates have been quite common since the beginning of book printing. They have been popular in Russia since the early 18th century. Until the 19th century, the name of the book’s owner was customarily tooled on the binding or spine of the book, along with an ex libris; because such work was expensive to execute, when books were first published for the general public the paper bookplate became preferred.

The simplest bookplates bore only the owner’s name, sometimes accompanied by a motto. Later they were ornamented with the owner’s coat of arms (16th–18th centuries) or elaborate monograms. Pictorial bookplates, especially popular in the 20th century, depict landscapes, architectural motifs, and various emblems suggesting the owner’s tastes or profession.

Pictorial bookplates are engraved on copper, wood, or linoleum. Occasionally they are zincographed or lithographed. From the 16th to 18th centuries, many outstanding artists designed bookplates, including A. Dürer and H. Holbein the Younger.

Miniature compositions for bookplates, employing the effects of various graphic techniques, have been designed by many Soviet graphic artists, including A. I. Kravchenko, D. I. Mitrokhin, P. Ia. Pavlinov, and V. A. Favorskii.


Minaev, E., and S. Fortinskii. Ekslibris. Moscow, 1970.
Ivenskii, S. G. Mastera russkogo ekslibrisa. Leningrad, 1973.
References in periodicals archive ?
When she got her membership directory, Reva began corresponding with international members and began trading bookplates with her newfound friends.
Most of the entries are for plates produced in the first 50 years of the 20th century but the revival of interest in bookplates can be seen by the large number of entries for John Gartner and Edwin Jewel that date from the 1980s and 1990s.
In addition, the campaign, which is scheduled for completion in June 2001, is mentioned to new employees, and they are asked if they would like to have their name on a bookplate, which requires a minimum gift of $20 (C.
What makes this original gift even more special is a beautiful gift notification package that includes personalized bookplates -- one for each book.
Elbert Hubbard is quoted as saying "As a fad, the collection of bookplates is one that gives joy without headache, peace without stupor, and friends who are not rivals, is worth cultivating: it's a basis for human sympathy and its excuse for being--bookplates".
The collection of bookplates - over 150 of them - has been put together by children's author Anne Fine, OBE and donated to the Dyslexia Institute.
He began to research the bookplates - paper marked with the owner's coat of arms - last November, as part of a larger project after the university bought 14,000 rare volumes from Cardiff Public Library in 2010.
Beck would come outside and hand out signed bookplates to those who hadn't made it inside, so he could move on to his next stop.
Neville Barnett published four of the most outstanding books from the golden era of Australian bookplates at the Beacon Press.
In his phenomenally productive spare time he studied heraldry and philately, and assembled significant collections of postage stamps and bookplates -- the latter now resides at the University of Calgary.
The site also features links to classic books and templates to create bookmarks and bookplates for students' own libraries.