It has always been a common practice for people to donate or bequeath books to public libraries. As a result, 'gift' bookplates are a common sight, especially in organizational holdings and special collections. When I bought a couple of old books that had been discarded from the Carnegie Public Library of Ottawa (see my previous blog), one of them included a gift bookplate in addition to the library's lending rules ex libris (see photo). I did a quick internet search for any Edward Bruce Bates connected to Ottawa and 1921 but came up empty. Was he an affluent philanthropist or simply a local bibliophile who loved his library? The bookplate itself isn't very ornate. Perhaps this was part of an early donation to expand the library's holdings? The public library only opened in 1906, and given its requirement to feed the reading needs of a growing capital city there is little doubt that donations were gladly welcomed. I'll have to see what else I can dig up on this mystery as time permits.
The original Ottawa Public Library - later torn down :(