Ex Libris: Bookplates from the Special Collections

Main Library
tags: Art Exhibits

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Ex Libris
Bookplates from the Special Collections

Salt Lake City Public Library's Special Collections hold hundreds of bookplates from across the globe. These decorative labels are fixed on a book's inside cover to indicate the book's owner. Our collection showcases a great variety of designs and techniques, including linoleum and woodblock prints, lithographs, photography, and even hand sketches. With motifs ranging from mythology and theology to heraldry to the ever-popular memento mori, this collection is full of miniature masterworks of design. Lovingly crafted, these bookplates represent the care and devotion that we give to our books, our collections, and our libraries.

Join us for a bookplate workshop on Saturday, December 2 during the Friends of The City Library Holiday Used Book Sale. We'll have materials to transform our bookplate designs into your very own set of bookplates for gifts or for your own library.

Joseph Porath (1893–1972) was an amateur historian and collector who immigrated to the Salt Lake Valley from Hamburg, Germany in 1913. He served as president of the Utah Historical Society from 1965–1967 and was a member of many other historical societies and collecting groups. As a member of the National Society of Bookplate Designers, he organized exhibits across the state of Utah, including an exhibit at the old library building in 1967. His daughter described him as "a history buff in a custodian's hat, a writer in farmer's overalls, a stamp expert in a bakery truck, a patriot in miner's boots, a gospel scholar in a chicken coop, and a patriarch in a business suit." He donated his immense collection of bookplates to the Salt Lake City Public Library.

Location: Main Library Special Collections, Level 4

Contact Information: 801-524-8200