Ex libris / Bookplate

The Latin term ex libris means literally "out of the books" and represents a label indicating the owner of a book and in the modern continental European sense, for the bookplate itself on which the owner's name appears. A bookplate is usually on the board paper, the firm outer leaf of an end-paper and is in the form of a miniature print bearing the owner's name(s) or monogram. A bookplate or ex libris is artistically rendered to consist of armorial bearings, ornaments, allegories, symbols, portraits, still lifes, landscapes or illustrations indicating profession, etc. Artists of all periods, including L. Cranach, A. Dürer, H. Holbein, M. Behmer, M. Fingesten, M. Klinger, H. Vogeler-Worpswede, have devoted themselves to creating bookplates, using a wide variety of printing processes and techniques. Several societies (including the Deutsche-Exlibris-Gesellschaft in Germany) are dedicated to the cultivation, promotion and scholarship of ex libris as an art.