Monday 16 May 2011

Getting Hooked on Ex Libris

Like many people I've always loved reading and I've collected books ever since I was a kid.  Over the years my private library grew steadily, but for some reason I never took much notice of the many diverse bookplates adorning the volumes of my collection.  Then about a year ago, I obtained a small collection of books that contained a number of extremely interesting Ex Libris.  Suddenly I was intrigued to know who these books had belonged to before I had acquired them, and more importantly, who had created these wonderful little works of art that appeared in the front of so many of my books.  Soon, I was chasing down every possible reference I could find on Ex Libris, and happily discovered a huge new hobby where two of my favourite things, books and art, routinely crossed paths.  The rest, as they say, was history.

There are many great websites, blogs, and societies already devoted to the general subject of bookplates.  Sadly, however, there is neither a bookplate society nor any online source devoted to the study of Ex Libris in my home country of Canada.  And as far as I can tell, the last book published on Canadian bookplates appeared in 1919!  Compiled by Stanley Harrod and Morely J. Ayerst and edited by Winward Prescott, A List of Canadian Bookplates remains a critical reference for those interested in Canadian Ex Libris despite being rather outdated.  As well, its publication occurred prior to the period when Canadian bookplate design and usage fully matured.

The aim of this blog is therefore to promote the study and sharing of information on the Ex Libris history and design, and book and library history, while at the same time feeding my own addiction for collecting and researching the tales behind these wonderful little canvasses of library ownership.  I hope you enjoy this blog and I look forward to hearing your comments.

Kind regards,

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