NGC Library and Archives
Bookplates, or ex libris (from the Latin, meaning “from the books of ”), first came into use shortly after the advent of the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century. Attached to the inside cover of books to indicate ownership, they became especially popular among the upper classes in the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth century, the use of bookplates proliferated, appealing to a rapidly growing middle class that increasingly had the opportunity to develop personal book collections.
This exhibition presents a selection of Canadian bookplates from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives, the work of Canada’s leading bookplate designers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.