Saturday, March 22, 2008

Storing and Displaying Bookplates

Two pocket sheet, side one-Click on Images to Enlarge Two pocket sheet , side two.
Does anyone know who designed the Vivian De Sola Pinto plate?

Click On Images To Enlarge I received an inquiry from a new collector who wanted to know the best way to store and display bookplates.There is no one best way so I will describe what works for me and what works for a few of my collector friends. I purchase top loading loose leaf sheets that are made by a company called Ultra Pro .Most hobby shops carry this brand or something comparable.They come with two , four and nine pockets . In each pocket I insert acid free paper to better display the bookplates.

The nicest display I know of is done by a fellow collector who has a professional framer mat bookplates in groups of four or six by designer or category and has a professional calligrapher write a brief description on the bottom of each mat. This is quite pricey but very impressive.

Here is what two other collectors have written in answer to my inquiry:

I found after a lot of experimenting that by putting the plate onto acid free card stock and inserting in a polypropylene sleeve that I can manipulate the plates well. I use photo corners to mount the plate. I use two sizes of sleeve: 5x7 and 8x10 and write information on a sheet I put into the sleeve on the verso side. I get my supplies from either Light Impressions or Gaylord; other library supply houses carry the sleeves. The sleeves can also be bought in bulk from Pro-Line/Filmguard Corp. The plates are stored into archival "shoe boxes" which hold the proper size of sleeve. My collection is arranged by artist, then by owner. Unidentified plates are a-z arranged. This is a simplistic approach but dealing with many thousands of plates can be daunting.

I mount my bookplates in 81/2" x 11" spiral-bound Rhino Sketch Journals. Each journal has 80 acid free pages (160 pages front and back). The bookplates are mounted only on the front side of the page by means of clear archival photo corners. Occasionally, I write a notation in pencil beside a bookplate. I like being able to turn the pages and look at the bookplates. That's why I store them this way, aside from the fact that it's easier than more elaborate mounting and storage procedures. I never glue a bookplate to a backing except for use in a reading book. The Rhino journals may be obtained at

Earlier this week I wrote a guest editorial for Collectors Weekly. It is a distillation of several blog postings about bookplate basics including a simple way to remove bookplates .While you are at their site take a good look at what other people collect. It's overwhelming and well worth a visit.

Michael Jones , in addition to being a very talented artist is also a bookplate collector.Here is a link to his collecting website:

See you next week.


Anonymous said...

Beware of any page protectors that use Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC). They emit Hydrochloric Acid, and Coin collectors discovered that over time, that can do incredible damge to valuable objects. Mylar is more fragile, but much more stable.

Anonymous said...

Thanks--I've often wondered how other collectors displayed their bookplates. Do you mount them on the paper and if so, what do you use?

Lew Jaffe said...

Thanks for taking the time to write.I do not mount the bookplates.
Lew Jaffe