bookplates

Pictorial or armorial, bookplates provide booksellers and book collectors with literal paper trails when trying to decode a volume’s provenance. But they can also be fascinating pieces of visual art that captivate collectors all on their own.

The

New York — Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books comet to auction at Swann Galleries on Thursday, July 9. American cartography and atlases that span the globe and the centuries, as well as noteworthy treasures by John James Audubon

One of the leading twentieth-century British book collectors, Major John Abbey (1894-1969), is celebrated in an exhibition at Horsham Museum, West Sussex, England, which looks at his collecting life. (And yes, it is still currently open to visitors.)

Dyslexic and a poor writer, Abbey was interested in the book as physical object, its

Prize Books and Politics, a digital exhibition on Instagram and Twitter that launched on March 5, looks at the history of inscriptions in books at the start of the twentieth century in Britain when a literate working class was making the most of two decades of compulsory education and a dramatic fall in the price of books.

“Book inscriptions offer a unique opportunity to

Looking ahead to the Boston book fairs this weekend, we’d like to share a short list of items that show the breadth of material on offer at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair.  

In the booth of Justin Croft Antiquarian Books, for example, you may encounter the rare first

It’s September, that time of year that tends to bring us all back to the books, so to speak. The ‘books about books’ market is no different, but there seems to be a more-than-usual amount to share with you—a baker’s dozen in all, unevenly split with eight non-fiction titles, three fiction, and one adorable gift book. Let’s dive in! (Part II will appear on Thursday.)

First up is

A return to action in the auction rooms this week, with two sales on Thursday, January 10:
  

The art of the bookplate is alive and well among Grolier Club members—just as it has been for 130 years.

The functional purpose of the bookplate is simple: collectors paste the small pieces of paper or leather into their volumes to identify ownership and establish a trail of provenance. Yet for centuries, bookplates have also served as visual

Rhode Island Center for the Book’s 2014 Art of the Book Program Presents Mine!: Ownership Marks from Curses to Book Plates 

This year the R.I. Center for the Book's Art of the Book Program will celebrate the book as a personal possession. Why do owners mark books? What is the history of book plates?