The Bookplate Collection

The History of Medicine Collections has over 450 medically related bookplates. Although ex libris collections have never attained the popularity and status of stamp collections and the focus on medicine further limits the number of enthusiasts, there exists a small body of literature and bibliography on the subject. Bookplates can be approached as small works of art and are widely diverse in style and technique. They range from the simple to the sophisticated, from the serious to the humorous. Both individuals and libraries are represented. They are quite often engraved or woodcut, and are sometimes colored, occasionally by hand. A few are mass produced with a place to fill in a name. Size is limited only by the book into which the plate will be placed as a mark of range. The items chosen for inclusion in a plate even when focused by the common theme of medicine are various. Sometimes medical symbols such as the caduceus, stethoscope, or microscope are prominent or medical activities such as delivering a baby or performing surgery are obvious. An eye, a heart, or a bone can give an idea of the specialty. In others a medical connection is less evident and other interests of the physician are conspicuous. Sometimes there is no connection whatsoever, except for the designation of the owner as Dr. or M.D. Our collection frequently has examples of more than one ex libris designed for a particular person. Many explanations are possible for this practice. There is a limit to the number of good copies that can be struck off from a single plate. New plates are needed for a growing collection and extras are often wanted to exchange with others. An owner might want plates designed by different artists. Quite often separate bookplates are desired for different subjects within a library, either personal or institutional. Property of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library's History of Medicine Collections, Durham, NC.

Parent Collections (1)

Total Works (627)

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List of items in this collection
  Title
 

Given by Dr. Walter B. James

1900s
Bookplate: Seal of Columbia University in the City of New York.
 

Ex Librus Frank Kells Boland

1900s
Bookplate: Coat of arms over a facsimile signature
 

Ex Libris American College of Surgeons

1913
Bookplate: Seal of the American College of Surgeons on which Aesculapius is seated with his Caduceus on the left side of a tree and an Indian...
 

Mayo Clinic Library

1900s
Bookplate: Seal of Mayo Clinic displayed on decorative field.
 

The New York Academy of Medicine J. Marion Sims Memorial Fund

1896
Bookplate: Seal of the New York Academy of Medicine showing a right profile of Hippocrates.
 

Dr. Karltheo Bodeewes

1900s
Bookplate: Inscribed inside a circle is a caduceus positioned above an open eye from which emanate rays of light.
 

Ex Libris MUDr Jan Loris

1951
Bookplate: Hand with a scalpel.