The New Australian Bookplate Society was unofficially launched at a bookplate exhibition held at Blackheath's Stop Laughing This is Serious Gallery in October 2005, attended by artists and other lovers of bookplates. A year later on 22 October 2006, a meeting to officially form the Society was held in the Edward Ford Room of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in Macquarie Street, Sydney. The purpose of the Society is to raise awareness of the art of bookplates among printmakers, collectors and the general public. At present there are approximately 80 personal and institutional members distributed in almost all Australian states as well as New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Society's 8th Annual General Meeting
Following the success of the seventh annual general meeting, we decided to impose again on the kindness of owner Pat Corrigan and staff of Better Read Than Dead bookshop in Newtown in Sydney’s youthful and lively inner west. As it turned out, not a lot of members were able to make it to the meeting on the evening of 24 June, due to illness, distance, short hours of daylight or prior engagements, but the small attendance was amply made up for by the vigour and breadth of discussion.
After the minutes of the seventh annual general meeting were confirmed, the President presented his report for the year 2014. Four issues of the Newsletter had been prepared and distributed, further work had been put into the Society’s website, and the invitation card for 2014 was the second in the series of postcard-style compilations, this time on the topic of flower/garden bookplates. In addition to the annual meeting, an informal ‘show and tell’ meeting was held in Sydney and further, a group of Melbourne members arranged a local gathering to discuss bookplates and other matters of common interest. The year ended with 78 paying members, including four new members (three, NSW, and one, QLD). The President closed his report by thanking members for their continuing interest in the Society, and in particular Bronwyn Vost, honorary secretary for organising successful annual and show and tell meetings, and Mary Keep for continuing superlative design of the Newsletter and the most attractive invitation ‘postcard’.
Further business of the meeting was next covered, including the report of the Treasurer, showing a bank balance of a little under one thousand dollars at year’s end, up from about six hunderd dollars at the start of the year. The increase was due to an excess of income (based on membership subscriptions, donations and other income) over expenditure (on printing postage and stationery costs), and the Treasurer thanked members who had made monetary donations to the Society. There was no change in office holders for 2015 as no nominations were received other than from incumbents, who were confirmed in their offices for 2015, as were previous committee members.
Proposed celebrations for the Society's tenth anniversary, 2016
The President then introduced the next agenda item ‘Tenth anniversary celebration’ by noting that the Society was officially formed at a meeting held in October 2006 and that he had the idea of marking the tenth anniversary in late 2016 with some sort of function or other event. This prompted a pleasantly vigorous discussion, in particular a suggestion from Nick Ingleton of mounting a bookplate design competition, open to all but in particular targeting students of art/design schools and courses. It was agreed to proceed to develop this excellent idea, and it is proposed that a sub-committee be established to plan the celebration and associated events.
Newsletter and printed materials
The flagship of the society is its quarterly, full-colour Newsletter, which publishes a range of illustrated articles, letter and notes on historical and contemporary aspects of bookplates. Contributions are invited from members and non-members; any enquiries should be directed to the Editor, Dr Mark Ferson on +61 2 9428 2863 or by email at m.fersonATunsw.edu.au More information is available on the Newsletter page.
For information on joining the Society, please go to this page.