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UAIII 50.15.20.6

Harvard College Library. Harvard College Library printing plates and blocks used in the production of bookplates, [1750], 1850-1971: an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: UAIII 50.15.20.6
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard College Library.
Title: Harvard College Library printing plates and blocks used in the production of bookplates,
Date(s): [1750], 1850-1971
Quantity: 2.62 cubic feet (7 document boxes, 1 half document box)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: This collection consists of engraved printing plates and blocks created for the production of bookplates for the Harvard College Library from the the mid-eighteenth through mid-twentieth centuries. Most plates and blocks indicate the names of donors and specified funds for Harvard College Library acquisitions. A limited amount of sample bookplates and related correspondence is also included in the collection.

Acquisition information:

The Harvard College Library printing plates and blocks used in the production of bookplates were transferred to the Harvard University Archives from the Harvard College Library:
  • Accession 18466; received 2011 November 7
  • Processing information:

    Processed in September 2013 by Jennifer Pelose.
    Processing included rehousing materials in the appropriate containers, establishment of series hierarchy, and the creation of this finding aid. Printing plate and block titles were transcribed by the archivist; dates and titles supplied by the archivist appear in brackets.

    Conditions on access and use:

    The Harvard College Library printing plates and blocks used in the production of bookplates contain Harvard University records which are restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted at the item level in the inventory.
    Restricted material is housed in box 8.

    Preferred citation:

    Harvard College Library. Harvard College Library printing plates and blocks used in the production of bookplates, [1750], 1850-1971. UAIII 50.15.20.6, Harvard University Archives.

    Related materials in the Harvard University Archives

    Historical note on bookplates in the Harvard College Library

    Bookplates have been used by Harvard since 1750 when Nathaniel Hurd engraved a copper printing plate with the College's seal to commemorate the Detur Prize. The bookplates produced from this printing plate were placed in books which were awarded as prizes to the student recipients.
    Over the next two hundred sixty years, the Harvard College Library inserted bookplates into its printed volumes to indicate ownership, identify collections, and honor donors. The Library continued this practice until December 2010; all materials acquired after this date, with the exception of rare books and manuscripts, now receive a digital rather than a paper bookplate.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged in two series:

    Scope and content note

    This collection consists of engraved printing plates and blocks created for the production of bookplates for the Harvard College Library from 1750 to 1971. Most plates and blocks indicate the names of donors and specified funds for Harvard College Library acquisitions. When available, biographical and historical notes on the donors, honorees, and printing plate and block creators, are listed at the item level.
    Of particular note in this collection is Nathaniel Hurd's copper printing plate engraved in 1750 for the Detur Prize, which was the first bookplate created and used by the Harvard College Library. This copper plate was used for the production of bookplates to be placed in books presented by the college as prizes to students.
    In addition to the engraved printing plates and wooden printing blocks, the collection also contains a limited amount of correspondence and sample bookplates. These items have been arranged with the corresponding plate or block in the collection.

    General

    This document last updated 2014 February 25.

    Container List


    hua01013