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”)
Lewis Jaffe's homage to the bookplate. Lots of scrolling, but worth it for the great scans, plus commentary on a wi… [read review or visit site]
Gallery of Book Trade Labels
Greg Kindall's collection of over 2100 colorful and historic book labels, pasted into books by publishers, printers… [read review or visit site]
Google Book Search
Want to do one quick search and pull up the mother lode of vintage books? Try Google Book Search, a database filled… [read review or visit site]
Bruce Black's gallery of paperback book covers from the 1940s and 50s. With help from numerous contributors, he's a… [read review or visit site]
Clubs & Associations
Other Great Reference Sites