I’ve been remiss in posting here due to offline busyness, but I wanted to draw attention to this blog post by Rick Wright from the ABA Blog:
It’s always enjoyable to find birding and bibliophilia colliding. Bookplates, though not as in fashion today as they once were, are an interesting and artistic aspect of book culture. One of the links in Wright’s post is to the journal Libraries and the Cultural Record, which has a bookplate archive. The bookplate archive also includes the bookplate of the Montclair Art Association, which I remember well. The Montclair Art Association became the Montclair Art Museum, and my first job after college was working as a library assistant in the museum library.
Bookplates are, in some ways, the equivalent of marginalia. Some book collectors like their books as pure and unmarked as the driven snow. Some book collectors like to see the provenance and history of their book written as addenda in its pages. Every book has a history. The pristine books are less forthcoming about their history than the ones that have been heavily annotated, but they also have their histories.