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.
7th 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 7th annual general meeting was held on the evening of Wednesday, 11 June 2014 in the stimulating surroundings of the upstairs room of the Better Read Than Dead Bookshop in Newtown, Sydney, thanks to the generosity of owner, art patron and bookplate enthusiast Pat Corrigan AM. Society business was preceeded by a round of 'Show and Tell', led off by Douglas Stewart's presentation on his upcoming book Bookplates Pat Corrigan & family; other members showed off their own bookplates and related finds of the past year and Pat Corrigan gave an insightful summing up of the current state of the bookselling business.
At the meeting, the President reflected on the key events and activities of 2013, namely the inaugural Show and Tell in February; the 6th AGM held in the Dymock’s Building in May, a successful event on account of a fascinating and enthusiastic talk by engraver John W Thompson on his work in England and Australia; the Society’s first exhibition, held at Kogarah Library from 24 July to 11 August; and the continuing success of the four quarterly issues of the Newsletter.
Activities planned for 2015
At the suggestion of member Brenda Heagney, we have approached the organisers of the 14th Biennial Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine about having a display of medical bookplates at the Conference (to be held in Sydney in mid-year), and it looks like this will go ahead. We are also planning at least one supplement to the Newsletter and perhaps other publications for members. Any suggestions for activities to either add to the experience of membership or as ways of attracting members will be gratefully received by the President or Honorary Secretary.
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.