This collection consists of nearly 2,000 bookplates mainly from the 20th century with some 19th century designs as well. The bulk of the collection came from the Cleveland Public Library in the early 1970’s. The remainder were obtained through various donations to WRHS. The collection is broken up alphabetically in two categories, Individuals and Institutions. Institutions may include corporations, schools, universities, libraries or societies.
The work of many fine artists is represented, including E. D. French, Paul Landacre, Kalman Kubinyi, Arthur N. Macdonald, Rockwell Kent, J.W. Jameson and J.W. Spenceley. Engravings span the range from linoleum block prints to woodcuts to fine copper etchings. Styles include the very basic with just the owner’s name or monogram, to the elaborate designs of the Early English, Chippendale or Jacobean period, where ornate carvings usually centered around the family crest. Two popular 20th century themes are categorized as Literary, featuring a shelf of books, or as Library Interior – a roomful of bookshelves surround an empty wingback chair, a book resting open on its seat near the hearth. Pictorial designs may include the family home, nature or sporting scenes, allegorical tales, humor, or reflect the owner’s other interests. Examples of bookplates for children generally depict a child or children reading.
Many Latin phrases or mottoes are featured, as are the straightforward Ex Libris, This Book Belongs To and statements of possessiveness as in My Book, His Book or Her Book.
The following are some examples of book-owners’ sentiments:
Many of my friends are bad accountants but good bookkeepers.
Steal not this book my honest friend, for fear the gallows be thy end.
Who borrow books and soon restore, may come again and borrow more.
Bookkeeping taught in three words: Never lend them.
I’m stingy grown, what’s mine’s my own! v Welcome to the temple, and when you leave, leave my book.
This little book nere’ll be forsook, it is my constant friend; a careful look I’ll gladly brook, ask not for it to lend.
If this is borrowed by a friend, right welcome shall he be, to read, to study, not to lend, but to return to me.
Stop, look, and read within if it so please thee friend; but pray return the book to me when thou hast reached the end.
My owner is glad to lend me, and have you read me, too- but please, oh please return me, as soon as you are through!
I enjoy sharing my books as I do my friends, asking only that you treat them well and see them safely home.
A book is a journey into a new land. v A lover of good books is heir to all the ages.
Choose well, your choice is brief but endless.
Books are like lamps spreading their light.
Wear the old coat, buy the new book.
Knowledge is the lifeblood of civilization and the means of turning darkness into light.
If love, joy, laughter, sorrow please my mind, love, joy, grief, laughter in my books I find.
For a jolly goode booke, whereon to looke, is better to me than golde.
The love of learning the sequestered nooks, and all the sweet serenity of books.
Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends.
Here is a book made after mine own heart, good print, good tale, good picture and good sense, good learning and good labor of old days.
Thou fool to seek companions in the crowd into thy room and thereupon thy knees, before thy bookshelves humbly thank God that thou hast friends like these.
Old books, as you will know, are books of the world’s youth; and the new books are the fruits of its age.
Processor: Angi Bedell
Editor: Kermit J. Pike
Date: 20 October 1999