Ex Libris

One of the book-fetishist's greatest pleasures: a beautiful ex libris.

Bookplates! I’ve been doing some research on the personalized bookplates of centuries past, putting together a certain ahem-hem birthday gift lately. Since the first days when anyone lent anyone a book— or at least since the mid-15th century— nobles and monks have claimed ownership of their tomes of with ex libris labels. Collecting and viewing these ephemera became something of a hobbyist’s fascination in the intervening years, like stamp collecting, but all that nomenclature and Linnean categorization is really dull.

What’s great is sifting through the bookplates of anonymous bibliophiles of eras gone by, imagining the books they read and what their ex libris designs, decorated with miniature landscapes, slogans, coats of arms, allegorical iconography, said about the kind of people they were.

Get your fill via this link. And hats off to the Pratt Libraries for scanning and sharing over 1200 fantastic ex libris designs!