A label, usually made from paper, pasted into a book identifying the book’s owner. The practice of marking ownership in books dates to the Middle Ages (if not earlier); the first printed bookplate dating to the mid-15th century. Ex Libris, a term often interchangeable with bookplate, is Latin for From the Books of. Bookplates typically bear a name, motto, device, coat-of-arms, crest, badge, or any motif that relates to the owner of the book.
Bookplates are valuable tools in studying the provenance of books but have also been avidly collected as their own objects of interest since the mid-19th century. In this scrapbook of collected bookplates a variety of styles are on view, including a bookplate designed by artist Rockwell Kent.