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 des-cendant
of the world's first such organisation, the Ex Libris Society, 1891-1908,
and its creation and successor, the Bookplate Exchange Club. So in 2012 we
celebrated the Society's 40th anniversary.
Our purpose is to encourage the production, use, collecting, and study
of bookplates. We achieve this through our publications, members' auctions,
visits to collections, social events, talks, and exhibitions.
OUR LATEST BOOKS
The News and Events page of this website has details of our book issued to members in June 2013: British Royal Bookplates by Brian North Lee,
first published in 1992. We previously published, and issued to members for 2011/12, was on the bookplates of Miss C Helard (see image to right). She was the wife of Arthur Fox-Davies, the great heraldic
authority. Copies of both books can be ordered by non-members. One or two copies of the special edition of the Helard book, with original bookplates tipped-in, remain available. Our book for 2013/14 is currently
in preparation - entitled Strawberry Leaves it will cover the bookplates of British non-royal dukes and their libraries.
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 list for the members auction to be held on 1 September 2015 is now available online, together with images of all the items on offer (see Members Area page).
It is worth mentioning that there exists a vibrant market in bookplates on eBay but be aware that descriptions of exlibris may not always be accurate, especially
as regards dating of bookplates, their condition and the attribution of ownership.