News | September 8, 2010

William Augustus Brewer Bookplate Collection

Sept. 7, 2010----The University of Delaware Library announces the availability of a new digital collection, the William Augustus Brewer Bookplate Collection. An enlarged version of each bookplate, as well as the Rev. Brewer's handwritten notes and catalog numbers, can be viewed by clicking on “Detailed View” below the image for each bookplate.

The Brewer Bookplate is widely known and there have been many requests from scholars and collectors to have it digitized. The collection is available online.

Brewer was an avid bookplate collector. His wife, Augusta LaMotte Brewer, bequeathed his collection to the University of Delaware Library after her husband's death. The William Augustus Brewer Bookplate Collection comprises 12,680 printed bookplates dating mainly from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

The collection includes bookplates from the libraries of John Carter Brown, Lewis Carroll, Samuel L. Clemens, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Dickens, Walt Disney, Edward Gibbon, Alexander Hamilton, Harry Houdini, Samuel Pepys, Howard Pyle, Paul Revere, Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Alfred Stieglitz and William Butler Yeats, as well as many others. The designers of the bookplates include, such well-known artists as Thomas Bewick, Edward Burne-Jones, Kate Greenaway, William Hogarth, Howard Pyle, Rudolf Ruzicka and James A. M. Whistler.

Subjects illustrated in the bookplates are varied, including acrostics, birds, death's heads, medicine, music, rebuses, science and portraits of historical and literary figures.

The William Augustus Brewer Digital Bookplate Collection currently includes about 3,000 bookplates, with the remaining bookplates to be added in 2011.

The William Augustus Brewer Bookplate Collection is housed in Special Collections at the Morris Library. The finding aid for the collection is available online.

Mary Durio, head of the Center for Digital Collections of the University of Delaware Library, coordinated the digitization project working with Craig Wilson, assistant director for library collections, and Gregg Silvis, assistant director for library computing systems. Mark Grabowski, CITA IV, library data and server support, library computing systems, provided technical support for the project.

UDaily, Office of Communication and Marketing, University of Delaware.