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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 ?
Brewer Collection of California Bookplates, Kemble Collections on Western Printing and Publishing
It contains a bookplate for Dalhousie University Special Collections and a seal with the initials KTM, indicating it is from the library of Kathryn Macintosh (Judge Tate).
Ford does not state whether he saw the inhaler or the inscribed bookplate.
Mitchell's coins, medals, tokens, stamps and bookplates have been harder to reconcile, again for the lack of an original inventory and the intermingling with later additions.
They are now at Magdalen College, Oxford The bookplate design used by Addison, still in place above the porch of 1623 A view of the hall and the 18th century staircase
She attached bookplates that read: "From the library of the late Most Rev.
With a parent's permission, glue the bookplate in the front of your book.
Note: The bookplate of the Stanley Rose Bookshop is pasted inside the back cover, identifying this as one of the titles Faulkner purchased in Hollywood--even though it is inscribed "Rowan Oak.
For example, most libraries input a bookplate into each item.
Inside each book bought with the money, place a bookplate that honors the person.
The manuscript was apparently owned by Chief Justice Edward Coke and was subsequently signed on the front flyleaf by Thomas William Coke (1754-1842), with his bookplate on the front pastedown.