Ex Libris

Andrea here, musing today on a topic that combines two of my favorite things—art and books. I became fascinated  with bookplates as a child when my mother showed me a very old book that belonged to her father. Affixed on the inside page was rectangular piece of paper with an elaborate illustration and below it, the words “Aus der Bücherei von Ernst P. Münch,” which my mother translated from German into English: From the Library of Ernst P. Münch.

I loved the idea of a special “signature” style  (other than a simple scrawling of one’s name to proclaim ownership of a book. And I seem to recall that I promptly fetched colored paper and crayons and made some of my own. (Sadly, none of them seemed to have survived.)

In college, I discovered a magical place in the stacks of the main library called The Arts of the Book Collection, which was this amazing set of rooms filled with samples of  marbled paper, bookbinding examples, hand made books and all sorts of of ephemera, including a large collection of bookplates from over the centuries.

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