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Clara T. Evans Collection of Bookplates

Finding Aid & Inventory

Bookplates are small pieces of paper used since the early 15th century to establish ownership of books, they are normally embellished with hand drawn designs, pictures, and slogans that are specific to a family lineage, library or institution. The bookplates that are included this collection are organized by the last name of the person(s) or name of the institution. Though some bookplates have dates, the majority do not.

Biographical and Historical Note

Bookplates are tools that have been used around the world to identify a book's owner beginning around the early 15th century. Often times, bookplates are small pieces of paper that are embellished with hand drawn symbols, pictures, and/or words that are specific to the owner. During early bookplate usage, books were a rare treasure, so, owners wanted to establish ownership of their books with extravagant pieces of their own identity pasted inside the front cover. On many bookplates, one will see the words, "ex libris," which is Latin for, "from the library of.." Bookplates can be specific to a family, a library, any type of institution, or an individual. Bookplates were extremely common in the past but they are still used today. Since many early century books contained bookplates, researchers can now use bookplates to track down rare or even ancient books. Bookplates are also popular as collection items due to their unique designs.

Collection Overview

This collection contains bookplates that indicate ownership of books. Though most of the bookplates are not dated, some may have a date written on it or printed as part of the design. The collection includes many bookplates with different designs, names, and/or portraits on them. Most are not related to Wake Forest College.

Collection Inventory

  • A (undated) Box 1 Folder 1-2
  • B (undated) Box 1 Folder 2-3
  • C (undated) Box 1 Folder 4-5
  • D (undated) Box 1 Folder 6-7
  • E (undated) Box 1 Folder 8
  • F (undated) Box 1 Folder 9
  • G (undated) Box 1 Folder 10
  • H (undated) Box 1 Folder 11-12
  • I (undated) Box 1 Folder 13
  • J (undated) Box 1 Folder 14
  • K (undated) Box 1 Folder 15
  • L (undated) Box 1 Folder 16
  • Literary societies (undated) Box 1 Folder 17
  • M (undated) Box 1 Folder 18-19
  • N (undated) Box 1 Folder 20
  • O (undated) Box 1 Folder 21
  • P (undated) Box 1 Folder 22
  • Q (undated) Box 1 Folder 23
  • R (undated) Box 1 Folder 24
  • S (undated) Box 1 Folder 25-26
  • T (undated) Box 1 Folder 27
  • U (undated) Box 1 Folder 28
  • V (undated) Box 1 Folder 29
  • W (undated) Box 2 Folder 1-2
  • Y (undated) Box 2 Folder 3
  • Z (undated) Box 2 Folder 4
  • Unidentified (undated) Box 2 Folder 5

Summary Information

Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives
Clara T. Evans Collection of Bookplates
1.51 linear feet  1 record carton, 1 half-document

Administrative Information

Publication Information
Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives 2018 October
Revision Description
 Revised by Stephanie Bennett 2019
Access Restrictions
This collection is open for use. 
Copyright Notice
The nature of the WFU Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of ZSR Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. 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. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. 
Preferred Citation
Clara T. Evans Collection of Bookplates (MS 879), Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA. 

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