Sunday, January 20, 2013

Early Harvard College Library Bookplate

The design of the bookplate shown here was used by the Harvard College Library from the 1760s through the first part of the 19th century. This particular bookplate was used in a book purchased from a library fund established in 1842 and was received on April 24, 1844. It is a recent addition to my collection of institutional library bookplates. I was fortunate to locate information about the bookplate in an article in the Bookplate Archive of the Libraries & Culture journal. The article was written by W. H. Bond in 1987. The bookplate was designed by Nathaniel Hurd of Boston (1730-1770). Bond's article notes that the original bookplate was used to identify books donated by Thomas Hollis V. Books donated by Hollis were an important part of the rebuilding of the Harvard College Library after a fire destroyed most of the library's collection in 1764. Harvard's electronic library catalog is named Hollis. Harvard has now established an elaborate system of identifying books purchased through named library funds with digital bookplates

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