Saturday, July 24, 2010

Collector Profile Jerry Morris

OCCUPATIONS: U.S. Air Force, Retired,1989. U.S. Postal Service, Retired, 2006).

PROFILE: People on the web know me as moibibliomaniac. I collect books by and about bibliophiles, authors, and other famous people. I have books they formerly owned, catalogues of their libraries, autographed letters, and bookplates( if they had them). I've completed the cycle for a few bibliophiles in my library and have come close with Henry Blackwell (1851-1928). He was a bookbinder, bibliographer, author, book and bookplate collector from New York City. An autographed letter is all I'm lacking. But I have something better: a signed proof of his 1894 E.D. French bookplate. Blackwell inscribed it,"Compliments of Henry Blackwell."
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Henry Blackwell emigrated to America from England in 1877. He started his own bookbinding business in New York City in 1892, and wrote articles about bookbinding and bookplates. He was a member of ex libris societies in America, England, France and Germany. He wrote the Introduction and a chapter on the study and arrangement of bookplates for W.G, Bowdoin's book, The Rise Of The Book-Plate, New York, 1901.

He had the largest Welsh Collection of books on this side of the Atlantic, and wrote articles, books and bibliographies about Welsh-American books. In 1893, he commissioned H.T. Sears to engrave a Welsh bookplate for his Welsh books. This bookplate is pasted on the front pastedown of Blackwell's copy of A Journal of the Life, Travels, and Labours in the Work of the Ministry of John Griffith, London, 1779. Griffith was a Welsh minister who emigrated to America in 1726.
Blackwell bound this book himself:

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While still in England in 1872, Henry Blackwell created a leather gift bookplate which he used to present his cousin, Sarah Parry, with a copy of The Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott, Edinburgh, 1869.

In December, 1915, Henry Blackwell sold his collection of bookplates and books relating to bookplates:

The month before he sold his private library of literature, history, and bookbinding books:
Henry Blackwell kept his collection of Welsh-American books until 1925. This collection eventually found its way to Yale University in 1948.
For more information on Henry Blackwell, please read his listing in"> The Welsh Biography Online.
For more information on Jerry Morris, please visit me on Library Thing:
or on my website:

Thanks to Jerry Morris for submitting a most interesting collector profile.You are encouraged to submit your own collector profile.There is no formal structure. A paragraph or two along with a few pictures is about all you need .Send it to

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