Ex Libris and the Internet


aking advantage of the Internet as a powerful means of planetary communication appears to be of paramount importance, in order to promote ex libris, artists, Bookplate Societies’ activities, publishing lists of ex libris for exchange, announcing Competitions and Exhibitions, Bibliography and other relevant news on the subject, making it almost instantly known to a tremendous vast worldwide audience

But astonishingly enough, this has not been yet generally understood, since Ex Libris related sites are still scarce at the WWW [i].

In particular, Ex Libris Societies tend to be slow in apprehending the major importance of the Web as a valuable instrument to promote their activities beyond its narrow national boundaries, as it can be inferred from these numbers:

- In 1999, there were only 5 Bookplate Societies’ websites [ii], although this number has seen lately an amazing increase up to 16 – that is, more than tripled!

On the other hand, many websites related with bookplates seem to have a momentary life, concerned mainly with seasonal events like Bookplate Exhibitions. Also very few artists have yet taken advantage of the Net to publicize their work [iii].

Notwithstanding, there are some relevant exceptions of good conception, great layout, graphic quality and excellent contents. To name but a few, we would mention the following, as our Favorite websites:

Ex Libris Owls - Josep Manzano (From Ex Libris to Ex Webis)

We do hope that, in the near future, the presence of Ex Libris at the WWW will grow steadily encouraged by a wider conscience of its importance.

[i] Another point that could be discussed is the quality of those sites, as far as contents, layout, graphics, navigation, information provided and the use of the Web Universal language - English. And here again, there isn’t any uniformity and some sites can be very poorly rated. The best sites are undoubtedly the one from Exlibriswereld (The Netherlands) and the most recent from the Bookplate Society of Andalusia (Spain). Our congratulations are due to those Societies’ Committees and to the Sites’ Webmasters.
[ii] See, our article, Ex Libris/Bookplates at the WWW, originally published in the A.S.B.C.D.’s Bulletin «Bookplate in the News», 1998 (updated in June 1999).
[iii] Nevertheless, we have established a page at our Website – The Art of the Ex Libris (co-edited with Mr. Stewart LeForte, from Cape Breton, Canada) with Links to Bookplate Related Sites, including artists, antique booksellers, the Graphic Arts in general, bookplate collections at Public & University Libraries.

© 1998-2003, José Vicente de Bragança (Portugal) & J. Stewart LeForte (Canada), editors

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