Notes on collections at the RIHS
In addition to collections of materials like books, manuscripts and images, the Historical Society has a wide range of ephemeral items, including bookplates like the ones below:
Bookplates range in size from modest indications of ownership to full-page exclamations (usually of the owner’s vanity). An example like the one above offers a visual demonstration of a portion of the book’s history as it passed from one owner to the next.
Mr. Nightingale’s warning is a much kinder version of the medieval book curse, many of which include punishments like snake-bite, palsy, bookworm-entrail-gnawing, and the flames of hell.
Here are two examples of more recent bookplates. Many of the modern bookplates in our collections came from the Providence Lithograph Company Records.
For your bookplate fix, visit the Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie blog.