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 Macquar ie 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.
5th Annual General Meeting
The Society holds an annual general meeting in the first half of the year to report on the previous year's activities and financial situation and to plan means of promoting interest in bookplates in the coming year. The 5th annual general meeting was held on the evening of Wednesday, 4 July 2012 in the serene surroundings of the Friends' Room of the Mitchell Library, Sydney. Society business was preceeded by a fascinating talk by Richard d'Apice AM KCSG, Society member and President of the Australian Heraldry Society, on The Honourable John Francis Lane Mullins KCSG: Father of the Australian bookplate movement and his collection.
At the meeting, the President reflected on the key events and activities of 2011, namely the success of the four quarterly issues of the Newsletter, augmented by the Supplement, an Index to the first 20 issues, posted out in August together with Newsletter no. 21, and solid work on the Directory of Members 2011 containing reproductions of the bookplates of 35 members - the Directory was posted out to members in early 2012.
Activities in 2013: Exhibition, Kogarah Library, 22 July to 12 August
The big news for 2013 is that under its Community Art and Cultural Program, Kogarah City Council, in Sydney's south, has offered the Society an opportunity to mount a bookplate exhibition at the Kogarah Town Square Library and Cultural Centre under Council’s over the period 22 July to 12 August 2013. The venue has been offered without charge, and comes with the assistance of staff, and Kogarah City Council may be able to subsidise an opening event with some catering. In the Society’s Expression of interest the working exhibition title of ‘Australian bookplates: contemporary and historical’ was proposed, which largely reflects the scope of the Society. Suggested themes were: Bookplates of the golden age, 1890-1950; Modern Australian bookplates; Bookplate design techniques; Lending library and institutional bookplates.
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.
In 2013, we are also planning to design and print some bookplate-themed postcards which members may wish to use themselves or give to friends and relatives, as well as a bookmark to help keep the Society before the eyes of readers.
For information on joining the Society, please go to this page.