Posted in Interesting News & Commentary

A History of Bookplates


Have you ever bought a used book that had a bookplate on the inside cover? Did you wonder who put it there or why they wanted to proclaim ownership of that book? Book Riot recently explored a history of when bookplates were first created and their popularity among upper- and middle-class people who had large personal libraries. Many avid readers of history, including George Washington, placed their family seal and motto on the bookplate to distinguish works from their home library.

You may recognize this bookplate from the Susan McKnight Dougherty Free Library exhibit McCain Library hosted in Fall 2019.

Today, bookplates are less common and typically only found in library books, such as the McCain Library bookplates. However, some readers today will create their own bookplates or purchase personalized bookplates from an artist online to make their collection a little bit more special to them.

Check out Book Riot’s “Ex Libris: A History of Bookplates” to learn more.

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