Flamboyant book labels from the archives
The first Archive of the month for 2012 features bookplates from the archives. Bookplates, or ex-libris, are labels pasted into books, usually on the inside front cover. They show the owner's name and often their coat of arms.
The Archive of the month gives a brief history of how they evolved from simple inscriptions in the Middle Ages to highly decorative artworks in the Victorian era. They became a prize for collectors as well as valuable evidence for antiquarians who wanted to trace the provenance of a book.
See the January Archive of the month.