Bookplates, also known by the term ex-libris, evolved over centuries from simple inscriptions to printed woodcuts to an artistic medium that has attracted world-class artists and illustrators. Bookplate mania in America and England peaked from 1890 to about 1920.
Bookplates are highly collectible (although there's some debate about removing them from vintage books), and many collectors focus on specialized topics or themes. These can range from era (e.g. 18th or 19th centuries) to subjects portrayed (e.g. professions, activities, animals, nature), to associations with famous people, places and institutions (e.g. coats of arms, signed plates), and designs or artistic merit.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Gallery of Book Trade Labels
Google Book Search
Clubs & Associations
- American Society of Bookplate Collectors
- The Bookplate Society
- Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America