What Is A Bookplate?

Most people who are familiar with the world of books will be familiar with bookplates. Traditionally, they are the printed labels pasted into books to show the name of the owner. They are a pleasant way of showing the ownership of a book, and to encourage a borrower to return it!

This label could simply be the name of the owner. On the other hand, it could be highly decorative and display the heraldic arms, interests or a place, object or person that is important to the owner. Other bookplates have an image that is a visual pun on the name of the owner. The Latin phrase Ex Libris simply means "From the books or library of". They are a common form of wording on the label and many people refer to them as Exlibris, rather than bookplates.

Many bookplates that are commissioned today are not intended for pasting into books. They are produced solely for the pleasure of owning them and for exchange with other collectors. I make bookplates for both use and exchange.

Here is an example of my wood-engraved bookplates: