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Barbara Abele Bookplate Collection, 1915-1998 | Special Collections & University Archives

By Ellen Jarosz

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Collection Overview

Title: Barbara Abele Bookplate Collection, 1915-1998Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1970-1998

Primary Creator: Abele, Barbara

Extent: 6.5 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

I. Bookplates by Subject, A-Z

II. Bookplates by Designer, A-Z

III. Collector Files, A-Z

IV. Correspondence

V. Subject Files

VI. American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers (ASBCD)

VII. Published Materials

   1.) Bookplates in the News

   2.) Other Publications

Date Acquired: 09/18/2003

Subjects: Abele, Barbara, d. 1998--Archives, American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers--Archives, Bookplate Collection, Bookplates--Collectors and collecting, Bookplates--History, Bookplates--Specimens

Forms of Material: Personal Papers

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Barbara Abele Bookplate Collection documents the historical development of bookplates, bookplate designers, and collectors, as well as the communication networks they used when interacting with each other. The collection dates from 1915 to 1998 with the bulk of documents created or collected between 1970 and 1998. It consists of six main series: Bookplates by Subject, Bookplates by Designer, Collector Files, Correspondence, the American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers (ASBCD), and Published Materials. The Published Materials series includes two subseries: an incomplete run of the newsletter Bookplates in the News, and other miscellaneous published works, all relating to bookplate collecting and designing.

The Bookplates by Subject and Bookplates by Designer series consists of files of bookplates arranged alphabetically by subject, and designer’s last name, filed from A-Z.

The Collector Files are composed of information about different bookplate collectors, and include some correspondence press releases, and news articles.

The Correspondence series consists of correspondence both with individuals and institutions written by Barbara Abele from the 1970s-1990s primarily about sharing and building her collection of bookplates. It is arranged alphabetically by correspondent or general subject.

The Subject Files consist of a few photographs and files generated during research for public presentations made by Abele, and about bookplate collecting. They are filed alphabetically by subject.

The American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers (ASBCD) consists of membership directories dating from 1966, 1977-83, and 1992, and yearbooks dating throughout the 20th century, filed chronologically by year of publication.

The Published Materials series is comprised of two subseries: Bookplates in the News and Other Publications. The collection does not contain a complete run of Bookplates in the News, but does include issues from July 1970 to April 1998. They are filed chronologically. The second subseries, Other Publications, includes a collection of published works drawn upon by Barbara Abele when performing research about bookplates and when networking with other collectors and designers. They are filed alphabetically by author, and inventoried in the Container List below.

Biographical Note

Bookplates, labels indicating ownership pasted inside the front cover of a book, probably originated in Germany in the mid-15th century. The earliest dated bookplate still in existence was created in 1516, and is also German. In North America the earliest known bookplate, dated 1674, was found in colonial New England, while the earliest example created by an American engraver dates from 1749.

Many themes and motifs can be identified in bookplate creation throughout history. Pictorial bookplates include portraits, images of books, views of libraries, and various landscapes. Early armorial bookplates in 16th-century England consisted of a simple unornamented shield, symmetrically mantled helmet, crest, and scroll where the owner's name was usually inscribed. Allegorical bookplates were popular in France during the reign of Louis XV and in England by the mid-18th century. Personifications of the Christian cardinal virtues and other abstract ideas, such as truth, justice, wisdom, hope, and faith usually appeared on bookplates from this period, as well as symbols of the interests and occupations of the book's owner, such as the scales of justice, and naval and military trophies. Toward the end of the 19th century, German designers began to use nude figures as a major motif in bookplate design. This fashion was followed in the rest of Europe and the United States, where figures were treated naturalistically, sometimes with erotic intent.

A variety of methods can be used to make bookplates. As in the past, the majority of bookplates created today are printed. The plates used for making printed labels may be prepared by any photomechanical processes, such as zinc etching. For finer plates the design may be engraved by hand on steel or etched into copper.

Barbara Abele was a long-time collector and researcher of bookplates. She was the niece of Fridolf Johnson, author of the book A Treasury of Bookplates from the Renaissance to the Present, still considered the best modern introduction to the study of bookplates, and spent her life in Redlands and La Jolla, California. She died on April 8, 1998 in La Jolla. She was a member of the American Society of Bookplates Collectors and Designers (ASBCD), and her collection is comprised of thousands of bookplates, sometimes considered miniature pieces of graphic art.

Bookplates are sought by collectors and studied by scholars for the insights they provide into past cultures and societies. Abele’s bookplate collection illustrates the wide scope of past cultures and societies, the communication networks created between individuals who shared an interest in collecting and preserving them, and Abele’s own personal love of nature.

Also contained in the collection are some records of the ASBCD, formed in June of 1922, of which Abele was a member. Charter members included artists Sara B. Hill, Frederick C. Blank,

Elisha Brown Bird, Arthur H. Noll and collectors Rachael M. Hunt and Carlyle S. Baer. The organization’s goal is to further the study and collecting of bookplates. It also serves as a communication network for the entire community of people interested in the history, collection, and preservation of bookplates.

Subject/Index Terms

Abele, Barbara, d. 1998--Archives
American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers--Archives
Bookplate Collection
Bookplates--Collectors and collecting
Bookplates--History
Bookplates--Specimens

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: Lori McFadden, Brenda J. Heaney, and Karen G. White

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Barbara Abele Bookplate Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Bookplates by Subject],
[Series 2: Bookplates by Designer],
[Series 3: Collector Files],
[Series 4: Correspondence],
[Series 5: Subject Files],
[Series 6: American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers (ASBCD)],
[Series 7: Published Materials],
[All]

Series 1: Bookplates by SubjectAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Abele, Barbara, BookplatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Allen, Charles Dexter and Frances LouiseAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: AnimalsAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: AntiochAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: ArchitectureAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Armorial Heraldic SealsAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Armorial Heraldic SealsAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Art DecoAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Art Nouveau, 1990Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Artists, 1997Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Artists and Engravers of British and American BookplatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: AstronomyAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Authors' BookplatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: AutographedAdd to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: BirdsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Bookplates in the NewsAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Books and Book pilesAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Books: ReadingAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: BookstoresAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Borders, Labels, TypesetAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Botanical: FlowersAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Botanical: TreesAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: California, Historic (Talbot, Clare Ryan)Add to your cart.
Folder 10: CaliforniansAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: CalligraphyAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: CantingAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Castles, KnightsAdd to your cart.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 1: CatsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Children, toysAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: ChristmasAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: ContemporaryAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: CrestsAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Doctors/MedicalAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: DogsAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Don QuixoteAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Early AmericanAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Egyptian / King Tut's DiscoveryAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: English BookplatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Extra CopiesAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: FireplacesAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: FishingAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Foreign CountriesAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Foreign DesignersAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: GatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 18: Genealogy SocietiesAdd to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Folder 1: HobbiesAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: HourglassAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Human side of Bookplates (Jones, Louise Seymour)Add to your cart.
Folder 4: HotelsAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: IndiansAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Initials Only on PlatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: LampsAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: LandscapesAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: LawyersAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: LeatherAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Libraries, CaliforniaAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Libraries, Societies, Clubs, Colleges, Institutes, AssociationsAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Libraries, United StatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Library InteriorsAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: LincolnianaAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Lugano, ItalyAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: Lugano, ItalyAdd to your cart.
Box 5Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Maps, GlobesAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Masonic PlatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: MermaidsAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Military PlatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: MiscellaneousAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: MonksAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Mottos and VerseAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: MusicAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Old PlatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: OlympicsAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Personal BookplatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: PhotocopiesAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Premium Plates, CommercialAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: PressesAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: RedlandsAdd to your cart.
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 1: RedlandsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Religious BuildingsAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: ShipsAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: ShipsAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: SilhouettesAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Skeletons, SkullsAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Small BookplatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: SundialsAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Tiffany and BullocksAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: TransportationAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: United NationsAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: University Libraries, CaliforniaAdd to your cart.
Box 7Add to your cart.
Folder 1: University Libraries, InternationalAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: UnusualAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: VersesAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: WomenAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: WoodcutsAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Bookplates by Subject],
[Series 2: Bookplates by Designer],
[Series 3: Collector Files],
[Series 4: Correspondence],
[Series 5: Subject Files],
[Series 6: American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers (ASBCD)],
[Series 7: Published Materials],
[All]


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