Bookseller Labels                                                                 

A resource for the obscure little world of collecting booksellers’ marks and related ephemera...

~ Label Links ~

Below are some links to websites, blogs, etc., that have substantial information on bookseller labels.  I haven’t included sites that only give a sentence or two and a couple of images on the subject.  If you know of any sites that should be listed here, or if you find any dead links, PLEASE email and let us know.  Thanks!


The Seven Roads Gallery of Book Trade Labels – This is the granddaddy of bookseller label sites.  Developed by Greg Kindall, it features a MASSIVE gallery of labels, arranged alphabetically, from around the world.  Stunning stuff here!  While Greg didn’t update the site for a while, it is now being updated periodically.

Seven Roads Book Trade Labels flickr Group – This is a flicker group administered by the Exile Bibliophile of blog fame.  Group members can post images and info on labels, tickets, etc. and there is some great stuff.  This group is independent of Greg Kindall and named in homage to his gallery.

Exile Bibliophile: Adventures in Book Collecting – Not only is this a fantastic book blog, but the Exile Bibliophile also has some great bookseller label posts.  Go to the menu on the left side and click on “Book Trade Labels.”

The Museum of Labels is a gallery of bookseller labels on the Plurabell Books website, based in Cambridge, England.  “The bookseller deals in cultural memories, superficially, purely economically, but nevertheless. And in doing so, providing a simple service, he may occasionally find something which is yet lacking an account in the general bank of culture.”   Love it!

Bookseller’s Labels – A Vanished Custom features the collection of Howard Prouty of  The gallery is arranged geographically and there is a bookplate gallery as well.  Prouty and his collection are also featured in an article on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website.

Ephemera: Exploring the World of Old Paper features a nice interview with bookseller and painter Sarah Faragher on the subject of collecting bookseller labels.  Sarah also has a blog.

The Bibliophemera blog of Chuck Whiting has some wonderful bookseller label posts as well as a treasure trove of bookish matters.  Go to the menu on the right side and click on “bookseller labels” and “bookseller labels tickets.”

“A Window on Bookshops Past” is a lovely article by Macy Halford on bookseller labels on The New Yorker website:  The labels are like this—part label, part book, part shop, part society.  Mourning the loss of independent bookstores is commonplace these days, but the labels are especially poignant signifiers of what we have collectively abandoned.”  Thank you, Macy.

Jennifer Kennard’s blog, Letterology, has a piece on bookseller labels titled “The Book Trade Chronicles” which includes a short introduction to labels and some stunning images.

Randal Brandt has a nice flicker gallery of book trade labels, including some really beautiful older labels.

~ Other Interesting Sites ~

The Ephemera Society of America was formed in 1980 to cultivate and encourage interest in ephemera and the history identified with it; to further the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of ephemera by people of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of interest; to promote the personal and institutional collection, preservation, exhibition, and research of ephemeral materials; to serve as a link among collectors, dealers, institutions, and scholars; and to contribute to the cultural life of those who have an interest in our heritage as a nation or a people, both nationally and internationally.

The American Society of Bookplate Collectors & Designers -  The ASBC&D is at the forefront of the bookplate (ex libris) world and is a must for those interested in collecting, trading or designing plates.  They produce several beautiful publications each year, sponsor a traveling bookplate exhibition, can help you commission a custom bookplate, and offer a variety of membership levels.  The society seeks “to cultivate the spirit of friendship and mutual helpfulness among collectors and designers of bookplates; and to assist in the further development of the bookplate.”


  Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie is the brainchild of Lewis Jaffe of Philadelphia.  Lew has a few decades of bookplate collecting under his belt and his experience and love for the hobby really show through in this entertaining and info-packed blog.  It is updated weekly and filled with wonderful images.

Located in San Francisco, the American Bookbinders Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of all things related to the history of bookbinding in America. Exhibited at the museum are a wide array of 19th century industrial binding machines, hand tools, collections of 18th and 19th century marbled and printed papers, reference books and manuals dating back to the 18th century, journals, photographs, and much more. The museum also maintains an electronic database containing biographical information on thousands of American bookbinders from the 17th century through to the present day.

Wiering Books – Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Wiering Books is a bindery that specializes in period restorations and historically sensitive bindings, as well as innovative new designs.  All work is done by hand using the finest materials.  The proprietor, Vernon Wiering, also has a great blog which features a post on how he designed and printed his binder ticket.  This is also the gentleman who designed and printed the current label for my shop, Bay Leaf Books.

Bay Leaf Used & Rare Books -  This is my shop, located in Sand Lake, Michigan.  We’re a general stock used bookshop that also carries a variety of rare material and a large selection of children’s books.  We’re located about 25 minutes north of Grand Rapids, so if you’re in the area, stop by to chat.