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Bookplates at Yale: Selected Collections

This guide presents an overview of bookplates and the Yale Bookplate Collection.

Featured Item

New Year's Card by T. F. Šimon, 1912.

[New Year's Card] by T. F. Šimon, 1912, 7.5 x 7.5 cm on sheet 17 x 12.3 cm. C.P.J. van der Peet Collection of Czech Bookplates (BKP 94), Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Yale University.

Other types of small graphic works were often collected alongside bookplates. This is a century-old New Year’s card by Czech artist T.F. Šimon (1877-1942). “P.F.” is an abbreviation for the French phrase pour féliciter, which was adopted in Czech and Slovak as a kind of shorthand for expressing New Year’s wishes. The artist’s distinctive monogram and signature appear beneath the image.

Starting Points for Bookplate Research

The Yale Bookplate Collection is a significant resource for both historical and artistic research—equally rich for someone interested in the visual culture of a particular time and place as well as someone seeking hands-on study of printmaking techniques.

Here are some starting points for approaching bookplate research:

  • What information do you already have on your topic?
  • What background information might improve your search?
  • What types of primary sources might be relevant to your topic?

You might consider any or all of the following:

  • Dates
  • Places
  • Persons
  • Organizations, agencies, etc.

See below for selected collections organized around suggested themes.

Collections by Theme

Some possible themes by which to explore bookplate collections at Yale include:

By Artist By Collector
  • Richard E. Ballard '48 Collection of Bookplates, Call # BKP 34.
By Institution  By Geography
  • C.P.J. van der Peet Collection of Czech Bookplates, Call # BKP 94.
  • ...

Collections List

This list represents the majority of archival holdings that make up the Yale Bookplate Collection. When available, links to finding aids and estimated dates are also provided in the document.