also known as ex-libris, have since the 15th century been placed
in books to declare ownership. Many artists, some famous such as
William Hogarth, Aubrey Beardsley and John Piper, have designed
bookplates, and many significant people
(e.g. Samuel Pepys and Rudyard Kipling) have used them, but a personal
bookplate has been available to anyone owning a library and wishing
to place in the books a printed design as a mark of possession.
Founded in 1972, The Bookplate Society is the direct descendant
of the world's first such organisation, the Ex Libris Society, 1891-1908,
and its creation and successor, the Bookplate Exchange Club. So now in 2012 we
are celebrating the Society's 40th anniversary.
Our purpose is to encourage the production, use, collecting, and study
of bookplates. We achieve this through our publications, lectures,
visits to collections, members' auctions, social meetings, and exhibitions.
TWO RECENT LOSSES
We record here with great sadness two recent deaths. The Society's past president, James Ley Wilson (Jim Wilson to most of us) has died peacefully in hospital at the age of 91 on 29 October 2012. He formed a considerable collection, and ranks as one of the leading British collectors of the second half of the 20th century. A full appreciation of him and his interests will appear in our Spring 2013 journal. Also, on 18 September 2012, after long illness with cancer, Wiesbaden exlibris dealer, author and publisher Claus Wittal, has died at the young age of only 57. The FISAE website carries a short obituary notice.
OUR AUTUMN 2012 JOURNAL IS NOW AVAILABLE
Librarians, booksellers and collectors of work by Jessie M. King will be glad to know that The Bookplate Society has in October 2012 published a second edition
of Colin White’s comprehensive article on the attractive bookplates designed by this renowned Scottish artist. It forms a major part of the Society's Autumn 2012
issue of The Bookplate Journal. See halfway down our News and Events page for details of how to order
OUR LATEST BOOK
The Publications page of this website has details of our latest book, on the bookplates of
Miss C Helard (see image above) issued to members earlier this year. She was the wife of Arthur Fox-Davies, the great heraldic authority. Copies of the standard edition remain available for non-members.
THE FRANKS CATALOGUE IS DIGITIZED AND AVAILABLE ONLINE
Library staff in Toronto have earned our warmest thanks by converting into digital form the Catalogue of the Franks Collection of British and American Bookplates in the
British Museum Department of Prints and Drawings. Rather than paying out £400 or more for ever-scarcer copies of this important reference work, you can now find it online.
Each of the three volumes can be downloaded free of charge, without copyright restriction, in PDF format, which is partly searchable. Alternatively, you may flip through
the pages online (but not downloadable). The links to the three volumes are:
VOL.2 H-R and
VOL.3 S-W, Bookplates of Institutions, and Heraldic Index .
RECENT CHANGES TO THIS WEBSITE
The listing for our members auction held on 1 December 2012, plus prices realised and list of unsold items still available, is now posted on the Members Area page. As mentioned above, the News and Events
page now carries details of our second journal of the year, which was mailed end-October 2012. .
We celebrated in 2012 the 40th anniversary of the founding of The Bookplate Society. For more on this, plus
details of our Spring and Autumn 2012 issues of The Bookplate Journal see the News and Events page.
The March 2009 issue of The Bookplate Journal is of interest to non-members because it reprints the Studio Winter Number 1898/99 on
Modern Book-Plates, with particular attention to Art Nouveau items.
It is worth mentioning that there exists a vibrant market in bookplates on eBay.