Friday 16 March 2012

Bookplates and Place Names

A Vancouver BC bookplate
Aside from the obvious interest that comes with learning the identity of the owner of a particular old bookplate, one thing I always enjoy is when those owners also included the place name of where their library resided.  Some ex libris, such as those belonging to Canadian institutions, typically included not just the name of their organization but also its location.  But for private libraries the practice was much less consistent.

I suppose it makes sense in a way.  Even during the golden age of bookplate design and collecting, people moved often enough perhaps to not want to include a location.  Perhaps as well, it was simply a matter of practicality.  After all, who wants to remove and replace several dozen or even several hundred bookplates every time you move?

Still, to me adding a place name added just that much more to the story of the bookplate.  And as I continue to consider the design of my own new bookplate I've decided that I'll definitely include the place where my private library lives.  It may seem trivial to some, but I don't think it is.  If the book itself is considered an artifact, then every clue offered about where it came from as well as who owned it is important.

Anyway, just something that struck me this week as I was looking through yet another collection of bookplates.  I've included a few more place name ex libris below.  Until next time....

No comments:

Post a Comment