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  • The Cover
  • Judith Overmier (bio)

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Bookplate.

(Clockwise starting with top left): Source for bookplate 1: Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas at Austin. Source for bookplate 2: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin. Bookplate 3 courtesy of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Bookplate 4 courtesy of the History of Science Collections at the University of Oklahoma.

Which is your favorite Libraries & Culture cover story? You have a wide choice. One hundred and seven cover stories have been published through 2004. The first cover story appeared in 1977, when Donald G. Davis, Jr., became editor and the journal, then titled the Journal of Library History, moved to the Graduate School of Library Science at the University of Texas at Austin. Davis wrote in his first issue as editor, "It is expected that future covers will follow the pattern established by this issue in featuring a graphically attractive bookplate [End Page 213] from a significant library or book collection."1 Davis recalls establishing the bookplate as a "cover motif" because it "represented the institutional library equivalent of the printer's mark on Library Quarterly."2

The first Libraries & Culture cover story, written by Philip A. Metzger, Davis's first doctoral student, focused on the private collection of Genaro Garcia (1867–1919), a Mexican private collector of books, pamphlets, and manuscripts about the history of Mexico.3 It is Garcia's 6-by-6-cm personal bookplate that appeared on the cover of that first issue and is reproduced in the upper left of the bookplate montage on the cover of this issue. The Garcia collection became the catalyst for the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, which contained over 350,000 books, periodicals, and pamphlets in 1977 when the cover story was written and which now holds nearly 900,000 items. Metzger continued as cover story editor until he graduated in 1982; he wrote fourteen cover stories between 1977 and 1982.

Between 1982 and 1989 Davis reports, "I, as editor, tried to find or commission bookplate cover stories wherever I could find them."4 It was during that period that Davis's favorite cover story was published. He writes that he is "fond of symbolic bookplates," so it is not surprising that the two cover stories he identified as his favorites were those for the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) and for the Society for Promoting the Gospel inForeign Parts.5 Davis writes that to him the "two plates show theologically the source of recorded wisdom and the responsibility to propagate it."6 Davis has the 17.3-by-7.1-cm SPCK bookplate, which appeared in the books of small libraries established by the Reverend Thomas Bray (1656–1730), mounted on his website, and it is featured in the upper right of this issue's cover montage.

Bette W. Oliver, assistant editor, who joined the staff of Libraries & Culture in 1984 and retired in 2005, also chose two favorite cover stories. Her choices are the cover story for the books Nicholas II acquired for His Majesty's Own Library at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg and for the Library & Research Center of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.7 The artist Pamela Wedd Brown (1928–) created her first bookplate for the latter library's collection, and the 10-by-12.5-cm bookplate appears in the lower left of the cover montage of this issue.

My own favorite cover story is always the next one I'm working on. At the moment it involves a maritime collection with a breaching whale on its bookplate—watch for it in a future issue. I joined Libraries & Culture as cover story editor in 1989, and the first cover story that I recruited was for the books on the history and science of [End Page 214] archery collected by physicist Paul E. Klopsteg (1889–1991) anddonated to the University of Oklahoma History of Science Collections. The Klopsteg collection's 14-by-11.5-cm bookplate is attributed to an archer friend, Dorothy Duggan.8 It appears again in the lower right of the cover...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-3033
Print ISSN
2164-8034
Pages
pp. 213-217
Launched on MUSE
2005-10-25
Open Access
No
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