Friday, June 09, 2017

A Win-Win No Brainer for Amazon or Barnes and Noble

"Be on the lookout for a train with 10 subway cars that have been covered in bright blue, purple, green, orange and yellow.
The train — which is alternating between the E and F lines in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens — is decorated with the words “SUBWAY LIBRARY.”
Inside those 10 cars, the seats resemble books on a shelf.
Beginning today, the Subway Library will offer commuters six weeks of free downloadable books from the city’s public libraries.
But you don’t need to be in a library car to take advantage. When you enter a subway station, connect to the Transit Wireless WiFi network available at all underground stations. When you’ve logged on, you’ll see a prompt for, and — voilà — you can start browsing and downloading books, short stories, chapters and excerpts donated by publishers to the New York Public Library. The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Library, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Transit Wireless created the project.
“It used to be that you were ‘unplugged’ on the subway, and even though you’re connecting to the wireless now, you’ll still have the sense of being unplugged when reading books,” said Lynn Lobash, manager of reader services for the New York Public Library. “It’s a lot different than the frantic sense of checking your email or being on Twitter.”
You’ll find short reads curated for the quick commutes, and long reads for the farther destinations or delayed rides. You can explore New York stories, children’s titles, young-adult novels or new releases in the “New and Noteworthy” category."CC "

This article was copied from The New York Times 6/9/2017
Note From Lew- What an innovative , thoughtful idea.
Hopefully other cities will offer similar services , maybe some will even have "real books" Personally I would be pleased to pay an extra fare to ride in a library car with real books and a librarian.
If you are so inclined  send this on to your local transit system. 
 I am going to send a copy of this posting to the marketing director at Amazon. It seems like it would be a win -win no brainer for them.

 In the golden era of railroad transportation library cars flourished.
Here are two examples of bookplates used in railroad cars.
"The Atalanta was a private  railroad car built  for Jay Gould, a noted financier and owner of several railroads. It was built in 1888 to Gould's specifications and was named the "Atalanta". The car had four staterooms, two observation rooms, two baths, an office, a kitchen, a dining area, and a butler's pantry. Only the finest materials were used. Upon Gould's death, ownership of the car fell to his son George Jay Gould who was also a railroad president. The car remained in the Gould family until the 1930s. It was then used as a private residence during the Texas oil boom until finally coming to Jefferson Hotel in 1954. Today it is a tourist attraction in Jefferson Texas". 
I suspect the bookplate was designed in the 1930s.

In 1901 The Alton Road (railroad) hired J.W.Spenceley to engrave the bookplate shown above.
In writing about this subject in the Journal Of Library History (vol15,No.4) Phillip Metzger mentions that During the 1850's and 1860's , railroads began heavy competition for first class passengers and that the development of the "vestibule" or flexible covered connection between cars made it safe for passengers to move about the train. Railroads began attaching parlor cars to their crack trains and the parlor car shortly thereafter became the " library -buffet smoker car".
"The Chicago and Alton(C&A) traced it's roots back to 1846, eventually developing a triangular route between Chicago, St . Louis, and Kansas City.The C& A also carried President Lincoln's body on the final leg of it's journey to Springfield. In 1900 The Alton Limited was probably the premier train of the ten or eleven the C&A ran daily, leaving Chicago every morning at 11 A.M. and arriving in St. Louis at 4:30 P.M."
If you plan to be in New Zealand before July 5th you might wish to see this bookplate exhibit.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Bookplate News and Events

Fellow book and bookplate collector Jerry Morris send me  his new bookplate and I asked him to send me a brief description. Here is his response.

Back in February 2013, I wrote a blog post 
On Selecting a Bookplate For My Library .
 Recently, I asked a friend to make two copies of Bookplate #4 for me.  I was donating two books, Four Oaks Farm and Four Oaks Library, from my Mary Hyde Collection for the silent auction at the upcoming Florida Bibliophile Society Banquet in May, and I wanted to paste the bookplates in them.
This friend, Charles Brown, the President of the Florida Bibliophile Society, makes exquisite bookplates for our guest speakers; but instead of merely making copies of my bookplate, Charles improved upon it .
I liked it so much that I had 100 copies made for the other books in my Mary Hyde Collection.

Jerry Morris

Piggy Go Fetch My Book
Shown above is one of my favorite plates by William Fowler Hopson
If you are near New Haven Connecticut before October 6th you should
visit the Hopson Exhibit at Yale.

" From his home on New Haven’s Whitney Avenue, William Fowler Hopson catered to a growing marketplace that sought out individualized, personal bookplates. Hopson’s process realizing his 201 bookplate commissions—preserved in correspondence, sketches, and corrected trial proofs—demonstrates his commitment to encapsulating his patrons’ identities.
This exhibition in the Sterling Memorial Library exhibits corridor, features Hopson’s artistic materials and personal papers, part of the Yale Bookplate Collection and Yale’s Manuscripts and Archives, to elucidate the process of inventing, negotiating, and printing bookplate designs in their golden age. Ultimately, Hopson’s clients commissioned bookplates with artistic representations that were emblematic of their familial, personal, and communal contributions. By tracing the claims made through these commissions, we gain unique insight into some of the social standards and aspirations at the turn of the twentieth century in America."

DON'T Procrastinate
The contest is almost over

The contest is easy.
 Just create a caption for the bookplate ,shown below.

The rules are simple .
Only one submission per person The judges (Lew and Mary Jaffe) will delete any submissions in poor taste.

All submissions must be received by Midnight (E.S.T) May 30,2017 

The winner will receive a copy of John Grisham's upcoming new thriller about the antiquarian book trade , Camino Island

Send Your Submissions to

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

This week in bookplates 5/24/2017

Sometimes it is difficult to come up with new blog postings each week which is why I am  always pleased to publish submissions from friends.
Fellow collector Jeffrey Price sent me this breaking news about a recent sale of an unpublished bookplate  by Robert Crumb.
Note From Lew
Personally, if I wanted to spend $7000.00 + for a bookplate  I would look for one from George Washington's library.
Here is a universal bookplate by Crumb which shows up on Ebay from time to time.

Over at Bookplate Ink Karen Gardner has been writing a fascinating blog focusing on bookplates ordered by notable people , bookplates for special events and trips to exotic places.

If you wish to see the finest selection of 18th century American bookplates, documents and ephemera  a trip to the American Antiquarian should be on your bucket list.
In any event bookmark this link. It will take three lifetimes to carefully read all the bookplate articles. In the interest of full disclosure I have barely scratched the surface .
California bookplates are one of the many areas I focus on.
It is particularly gratifying to find a California artist not mentioned in the
standard reference books.

Walter Barron Currier (1874-1934)

"Walter Barron Currier, a painter, craftsman, bookbinder ,illustrator, printmaker, and etcher, was born in Springville, Massachusetts on May 3, 1879. After his education at Brown and Cornell universities, he studied art with Arthur Dow, Eben Comins, and Kenyon Cox. By 1913 he had settled in Los Angeles. He was at one time the head of the art department of Lincoln High School there and in 1926 established the Currier Creative Art School in Santa Monica. He died there on January 11, 1934. Member: Laguna Beach Art Ass'n; California Art Club; California  Society; Santa Monica Art Ass'n; Painters & Sculptors of Los Angeles. Exhibited: Printmakers of Los Angeles, 1916; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1920; San Diego FA Gallery, 1920; Berkeley League of Fine Arts, 1925. Works held: Lincoln High School (Los Angeles); Exposition Park Galleries, (Los Angeles); Cecil B. DeMille Home for Girls (Hollywood)"

I currently have the artist's own bookplate. If you have any others he designed please send a scan to

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

This Week in Bookplates 5/17/2017

The Birth of a Rabbit Bookplate

I have always wanted a rabbit bookplate so I asked Daniel Mitsui to
 create one for me  and track its progress from start to finish.

I am very pleased with this project and will get the bookplates printed as soon as I receive the completed art work


Notes From Lew

A group of rabbits is known as a colony, or nest (and occasionally a warren, though this more commonly refers to where the rabbits live). A group of young rabbits with the same parentage is referred to as a litter, and a group of domestic rabbits is sometimes called a herd.

Rabbit - Wikipedia
In 2011 I ran a three part series of blogs about Rabbit Bookplates
They still make me smile.

Rabbit Owner Nancy McClelland sent this additional information.

Cool.  I was told that a conglomeration of bunnies like the "Rabbit Island" pic can be called a Fluffle--sounded strange but appropriate to me.
Here are a few recent additions to my rabbit collection.
If you would like your rabbit bookplate added to this posting send a scan to

The Clock is Ticking.

My Goodness - Two contests in one year. I am on a roll. Alice L. Salzmann's bookplate was designed in 1905 by A.H.B (artist unknown) She was an active member of the Royal Horticultural Society . The contest is easy.  Just create a caption for her bookplate ,shown below. The rules are simple . Only one submission per person The judges (Lew and Mary Jaffe) will delete any submissions in poor taste.

All submissions must be received by Midnight (E.S.T) May 30,2017 

The winner will receive a copy of John Grisham's upcoming new thriller about the antiquarian book trade , Camino Island
Send your submissions to

Friday, April 21, 2017

This day in Bookplates 4/21/2017

Fellow collector David Wilton sent the following information about his new bookplate.

"The bookplate is engraved from an original artwork, a watercolor, by Graham Redgrave Rust.

The house shown is The Firs in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. The Firs was built in 1922 to a design by the well known architect George Howe of Mellor, Meigs and Howe. It is a scaled-down variation on its neighbor,  Howe's own house High Hollow.

The arms at the top and the circular badge in the bottom right of the cartouche are my family's. My initials are in the circle in the base.

The bookplate was engraved and printed by Book Arts in Washington DC on acid-free pre-gummed paper. The idea was to capture the feel of the watercolor, which I think they have achieved."

Note from Lew -The bookplate has a thin blue line border which the scanner does not show properly.

A new contest was hatched this morning.

My Goodness - Two contests in one year. I am on a roll.
Alice L. Salzmann's bookplate was designed in 1905 by A.H.B (artist unknown)
She was an active member of the Royal Horticultural Society .

The contest is easy.
 Just create a caption for her bookplate ,shown below.

The rules are simple .
Only one submission per person
The judges (Lew and Mary Jaffe) will delete any submissions in poor taste.
All submissions must be received by Midnight (E.S.T) May 30,2017 

The winner will receive a copy of John Grisham's upcoming new thriller about the antiquarian book trade , Camino Island

Send your submissions to

Sunday, April 16, 2017

More Bookplate Odds and Ends

Fellow collector/dealer Jeffrey Price sent me this information about a very special bookplate he recently framed in his Norwalk, Connecticut Studio.

"This is what I look for in a bookplate, and how I like to present such special pieces. .

Bookplate for Calvin Coolidge. Proof printing of the engraving by Timothy Cole. Signed by Timothy Cole and noted, 'this is the latest printed today.' Also signed by Calvin Coolidge. This print was formerly in the collection of Malcolm S. Forbes.

The 'floating' presentation within a patriotic red mat with a decorative inner frame allows the complete print to be displayed with its full margins. The 'Stars and Stripes' design of the frame echoes the flag unfurled around the vignette of George Washington which crowns the plate.

The hand-painted gold-leaf name-plate identifies the details of this fine work."
I am always pleased to receive emails from blog readers.
Anna Jaffe sent me this information.

"I ran into your website which caught my eye as a fellow Jaffe - who used to work at an antiquarian bookstore and designed a few bookplates for customers.
Just for fun, here's a bookplate I bought years ago (hairy guy), plus 2 of my own designs".

"As to my bookplates, I worked for over a decade at an antiquarian bookstore in The Hague (proprietor Bob Loose, now sadly deceased). We had various steady customers who collected specific subjects, as one does. I originally studied Industrial Design and like being crafty, so I'd ask if they'd be interested in a personalized bookplate or stamp, as I love making them. Animals seemed to be the most frequent. I think I've done ants, monkeys, snails, snakes, owls, "levenstrap" (life phases pictured on stairsteps), tiger and probably more. There's something about expressing yourself in a restricted space that I really enjoy."

Many Mystery Bookplates
I purchased a large collection several weeks ago and it includes many bookplates   about which I know very little . Here are two examples.

A rebus bookplate which may be in Spanish.
Have fun with this one. I can use some help.

It would be nice if this was Fidel Castro's bookplate. I suspect it is a tribute plate made to honor him.The collector whose contact information is printed on the verso  shows up on Google at the same address with a telephone number. Unfortunately the telephone number is no longer  working.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Odds and Ends

And the winner is :

I want to thank all the people who  entered the 10th anniversary contest. It was not easy selecting the best of the best.
The winner is Don Hobbs. His submission was:
How Can I Buy Books? I Can't Afford Pants

I finally started listing bookplates on Ebay after a very long pause.
My goal is to list 25 plates by the end of the day on Monday April 10th.
Right now I have about 16 items listed and you can see them by going to 
this link.

A longer post will be sent out later in the week.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Contest Reminder

Reminder The 10th anniversary Bookplatejunkie contest will be ending soon

The contest is very simple .

 Create a caption about the image shown above in ten words or less.
It can be serious or humorous.
Onlyone entry per person 
The entries must be received no later than Midnight (Eastern Standard Time) Saturday April First

I reserve the right to reject entries in poor taste (Highly Unlikely)
 The winner will receive a professionally bound hard  cover inscribed book  with all my blog postings for 2016.

Send your Entries to

What is the significance of the acanthus leaves?
The symbolism and meaning associated with the Acanthus is that of enduring life, and the plant is traditionally displayed at funerary celebrations. In Christianity the thorny leaves represent pain, sin and punishment. Acanthus symbolizes immortality in Mediterranean countries.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Goodbye Dear Friend

Richard Schimmelpfeng (July 13,1929-March 16,2017)

Richard Schimmelfeng was a gentleman in every sense of the word.
He was much more than a mentor  and a passionate collector of many things including  bookplates, glass paperweights and children's literature.He was one of the most centered people I have ever met .He gladly shared his knowledge and enthusiasm with friends and colleagues 
Have a safe journey Richard, you will be missed.

Lew Jaffe
March 26,2017

The Passing of Richard H. Schimmelpfeng

It would be difficult to find someone more dedicated to the UConn Library’s Archives  and; Special Collections than Richard Schimmelpfeng. Perhaps it is because of the solid foundation he built beginning with the Special Collections Department after his arrival in 1966. But more likely it is because of his dedication to the collections after his retirement in 1992. Mr. Schimmelpfeng began volunteering in the Archives the day after his retirement and was a daily staple until his recent illness a few months ago. In a March, 2005 article he stated “I intend to continue as a volunteer until either I fall over, am dragged out, or told to quit,” he quips. “I figure I’ve got about 15 more years to go.” We estimate that he worked more than 15,000 volunteer hours over 20+ years. As Norman D. Stevens, Emeritus Director of the UConn Library says in his obituary below, “his fifty years of service to the University of Connecticut is perhaps unsurpassed.”
Our sadness is beyond words. We will truly miss his knowledge and dedication, but mostly the smile he brought us every day.
Richard H. Schimmelpfeng(7/13/1929-3/16/2017)
The son of Harold W. and Rose Schimmelpfeng, Richard was predeceased by his brother Harold W., Jr. and is survived by his niece, Margaret R. Lilly, and nephew, William J. Reynolds, and five grandnieces and nephews.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, with a triple major in English literature, history, and modern languages, and, in 1955, of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Library Science. He began his library career as a cataloger, rising to the head of the department, at Washington University in Saint Louis.
In 1966 he joined the staff of the University of Connecticut Libraries to protect and preserve the library’s rare and unusual books and manuscript collections. He had become head of a somewhat larger and more formal Special Collections Department by the time he retired in 1992. The day after his retirement he began working as a volunteer in what had become the Archives and Special Collections Department, where he served as its principal cataloger until early 2017. His fifty years of service to the University of Connecticut is perhaps unsurpassed.
During the course of his official appointment he oversaw an enormous growth of special and unusual archives, books, and other printed materials in a wide variety of fields. His own interest in collecting in many areas, led to the creation of a number of specialized collections including bookplates – he was an active member of the American Association of Book Plate Collectors and Designers – and the limited edition publications of major book designers.
He was especially adept at giving his employees, including students, support and encouragement. That led, for example, to the establishment of one of the country’s strongest collections of Alternative Press materials that continues to grow as it documents the growth and development of the counter-culture movement that began in the late 1960’s and early 1970s. It also resulted in the publication of a multi-volume annotated edition of the manuscript materials of the noted American poet Charles Olson.
He and his father shared an interest in collecting hand blown glass paperweights that Richard continued throughout his life. He was an active member of the New England Paperweight Association. Shortly before his death a few recent purchases joined The Schimmelpfeng Collection of Contemporary Glass Paperweight at the New Bedford Museum of Glass. His love of the visual arts extended to illustrated children’s books and he was an active participant of the American Book Collectors of Children’s Books (ABCs). He delighted in dressing up for a number of years as Clifford the Big Red Dog to entertain children and their parents at the annual Connecticut Children’s Book Fair at UConn.
For many years he used his specialized knowledge of books to assist the Mansfield Public Library in identifying and pricing items donated to their regular book sales. He was himself an avid reader who especially enjoyed detective stories.
He was also the Librarian and a member of the Executive Council of the Mansfield Historical Society from 1992 through 2016. He had begun his service to the MHS in 1982 when he indexed their scrapbook collection.
Richard’s love of the visual arts and music contributed to his enjoyment of concerts and programs at UConn and his active support of those programs including the donation of visual materials to the Benton Museum of Art.
In the fall of 2017 the Homer Babbidge Library at UConn will host an exhibit Glass Animals presented by the New Bedford Museum of Glass that will include a significant number of important pieces for which he had provided the funding. During that exhibit there will be a program to honor Richard and recognize his generous support of the University and the Mansfield community.
Colleagues and friends may post a note on the guest book for his obituary at, or may wish to share with one another their reminisces of Richard through e-mails, cards, phone calls as well as small gatherings and/or postings on social media.
Norman D. Stevens
March 12, 2017

 In memory of a giant

I have known Richard Schimmelpfeng for almost twenty years. A native Midwesterner, Richard settled in Storrs, Connecticut, walking distance from the library at UConn, where he worked and volunteered for decades.

Our relationship consisted of long emails, the occasional phone call and a yearly get together extravaganza that became a classic: I used to spend my Thanksgiving long weekends in CT to celebrate at my in-laws house and the day after Thanksgiving Richard and I always made room in our agendas to spend the day together and share stories and anecdotes and a ton of prints, which exchanged hands at a very brisk pace.

Richard had been collecting for forty plus years, prioritizing European prints from the twentieth century and amassing a collection second to none (especially for the bookplate literature). He helped the American Bookplate society for decades and shed light  many lesser known artists and prints. His knowledge went way past bookplates: he was a true collector (paper weights, art, music among other things).

Richard did not like traveling and never attended bookplate congresses, the exception being the Boston one in 2000, but was nonetheless known within the ex libris world for his generosity, knowledge and availability.

I ended up acquiring the Schimmelpfeng collection. Over the last two years Richard and I arranged for the massive transfer of his boxes. The last one occurred three months ago between Christmas and New Year, with Richard’s health already declining. I am proud and grateful to have had such an opportunity and will do my best to keep his legacy and collection intact and look forward to writing about it in depth.

I will miss Richard . I think of him while browsing through boxes and coming across his unmistakable hand writing and artistic use of marbled papers. He was not only a librarian.a friend and  scholar but also a gifted teacher.

Luigi Bergomi
March 26,2017

Richard Schimmelpfeng (1929-2017)

Richard Schimmelpfeng, the former head of Special Collections at the Benton Library at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and a vital presence there since 1966, died on March 16. Richard formally retired in 1992, and on his first day of retirement returned as a volunteer at the Archives and Special Collections Department, serving as the lead cataloger there until early this year. He was a noted ex-libris collector, and only recently sold his comprehensive collection of Dutch bookplates and related materials, but to the very end he was still actively adding to his collection of illustrated books. He was on the subscription list of many private presses here and abroad - I believe that his collection is earmarked for the Benton library, where it will further enhance holdings that he is largely responsible for gathering throughout his career.
I met him in October, 2014, because a bookplate collector in Philadelphia had introduced us, and suggested that Richard might be interested in some of my ex-libris stock. Richard and I planned a meeting at his house in Storrs on my way home from Oak Knoll Fest in New Castle, Delaware. We hit it off at once, and spent a good part of the afternoon talking about fine press books, bookplates, the state of the world, and his long and fascinating career. Before I had left late that afternoon Richard had examined and bought a copy of the James Reid portfolio of wood engravings that I had recently published and shown at Oak Knoll Fest, and showed me some of his wonderful book collection.
The next time we met, I bought a number of the prints that he had collected over the years, an eclectic mix unified by his good taste and discerning eye. We kept in touch, with an occasional get-together for lunch when I was in the area. I last saw him at the end of January, stopping on my way at Rein’s Deli in Vernon for the roast beef Reuben sandwich that he favored. Richard was a man unafraid to express forceful opinions that were firmly grounded in a lifetime of studying and collecting the beautiful works that surrounded him. Whenever we parted company, I always came away more well-informed than when I arrived. I’ll miss our lively conversations about fine press books, prints, and the pleasures of collecting.

Robert Strossi

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Bookplates of Willy Pogany

Fellow collector Yu Xingang sent me three  bookplates images by Willy Pogany and wondered if I knew anything about him. Although I have several bookplates he designed I really did know anything about the artist . I have begun a checklist of his bookplates. If you have any not shown in this blog posting please  send a scan to and your images will be added to the checklist.
"William Andrew ("Willy") Pogany (born Vilmos Andreas Pogány) (August 1882 – 30 July 1955) was a prolific Hungarian illustrator of children's books and others.  .] He is best known for his pen and ink drawings of myths and fables.] A large portion of Pogany's work is described as Art Nouveau. Pogany's artistic style is heavily fairy-tale orientated and often feature motifs of mythical animals such as nymphs and pixies."

The reason not much has been written about his bookplates is that he  was primarily  involved with book and magazine illustration and movie set design. Most of his bookplates were universal and were distributed by The Castle Co.Ltd.The only custom designed bookplate shown below was done for Anna May Wong

 Fania Marinoff was a Russian-born American actress.Wikipedia
BornMarch 20, 1890, Odessa, Ukraine
DiedNovember 17, 1971, Englewood, NJ
SpouseAnatole France (m. 1914–1964)

3/24.2017  Sent by Tom Boss