In Memoriam medical bookplates

Bookplate Ink's design D62

One of the popular uses of bookplates throughout the years has been to designate a book as being donated to a library, school, church, synagogue, university, or other organization, in memory of a loved one.  We received just such an order from the sister and brother-in-law of Dr. Robert Leffert, a physician who made a significant contribution to orthopeadic medicine. An article I found online in the Harvard University Gazette states that Dr. Leffert “became a major force in Rehabilitation Medicine and also in the management of upper extremity disorders” while at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was “adored by his patients and his students.”


The design Dr. Leffert’s sister and brother-in-law wanted to use was Bookplate Ink’s D62, which shows two surgeons at work. This design was created by woodcut artist Harry Roth, who escaped from Germany just prior to World War II. The Antioch Bookplate Company began offering it in the 1940s. Harry Roth created two other bookplates for Antioch that weren’t quite as popular, D-9 and D-10. He seemed to have a penchant for medicine.


The D62 design that we usually print has the text “ex libris” included, which means “from the library of.” Dr. Leffert’s sister and brother-in-law asked that this text be changed to “In Memoriam” for this order. As a side note, I appreciate when customers call with questions about changes that can be made to our designs. Even though this can be time-consuming, I’d rather have people ask. We aren’t able to show all the options that are possible with our bookplate designs, and we specialize in personalization.

Dr. Leffert's bookplates

After the bookplates were shipped, I received a very sweet note from Dr. Leffert’s sister:

I’m writing to thank you for the help and beautiful work on the surgeon’s bookplate in memory of my brother, who was a wonderful surgeon.

We’ve begun pasting these into his books (a very simple job), which will become part of a library for doctors from Partners in Health, who bring their expertise to Haiti.

I think my brother would have loved these plates – and they have made me smile!

We don’t have bookplate designs that are strictly for “In Memoriam” bookplates. Most of our customers find artwork that is appropriate for their use, whether it be a border design or something more elaborate, and request the text of their choosing. This gives the customer more flexibility and more customization.


A Cornucopia of Links

Through Google Analytics, I can see which websites “referred” people to Or, in other words, it shows which websites include a link that someone clicked to access our site.  Yesterday, I decided to look at as many of these sites as I could. What an interesting and wonderful collection of websites! Here is a short description of several of them:

• Did you know there is a website devoted to getting your Ph.D. in American History online? They have a great page of “100 Tips and Tools for Managing Your Personal Library,” with helpful ideas for any book lover of any genre. And tip #100 is to check out Bookplate Ink for bookplates!

• Author Nina Sankovitch offers a signed bookplate on her site, Sankovitch spent one year reading one book a day and writing about each book on her site. She also wrote a memoir, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, focusing on her life of reading. Her website is chock full of information about reading.

• On his blog, Steven Gomez, whose pen name is C.S. Gomez, posted an entry about cultivating a personal library. Step number ten is: “Bookplates are essential.”

• The site is full of book recommendations, encouragement for teen readers, and other information. As stated on the site, “Bibliobabe is a blog dedicated to all things reading: book news, awards updates, free book giveaways, teen links and books news, reviews and book journal comments.” Included on the site is a very informative page about bookplates.

• Booksilly is a great website to visit during the holiday season. As stated on the site, “It’s a world of gifts and products for the avid reader, bibliophile, librarian, teacher, bookaholic and anyone else just silly about books!!!” Of course, I was happy to see bookplates right near the top of their offerings.

• One of the more interesting and yet obscure sites I found is The site is in Hungarian, but when translated, it seems to be comprised of lists of artists, Facebook pages, and bookplate suppliers, among other things. Included in the listing is Bookplate Ink.

• Lew Jaffe is a longtime collector of bookplates. On his blog, which is updated every Sunday, he shares information about his purchases, bookplate artists, and bookplate history.

• The Bookplate Society, based in the United Kingdom, is “an international society of collectors, bibliophiles, artists and others dedicated to promoting bookplate study.   Their “purpose is to encourage the production, use, collecting, and study of bookplates.” Their resource page has many helpful links.

• My hometown and home of the bookplate business, Yellow Springs, Ohio, is a wonderful village with an interesting history that is celebrated by its residents. The Yellow Springs Historical Society is instrumental in keeping this history alive.

• One of the sites I was not surprised to see is that of my good friend, artist and cartoonist Jennifer Berman. We have some of her beautiful animal block prints as part of our bookplate gallery, and other products with her artwork are available on her website.

• Evelia, whose artwork can be seen in products at Target, Pier 1, and other major companies, has a gallery of colorful and artistic bookplates at Her entire product line can be seen on her website.

• Likewise, artist Amy McGregor-Radin’s bold and unique woodcut art is featured in our bookplate gallery and more is shown on her site.

• And finally, I was happy to see that an article written about bookplates in the Wall Street Journal in 2007 is still available on the internet. After all these years, it is still bringing customers to Bookplate Ink.