“It’s an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco.  It must be a delightful city and possess all the attractions of the next world.”   

                                                         — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900, Irish Poet, Playwright, Author)

Wood engraving by Richard Wagener

For 100 years, the American Society of Bookplate Collectors & Designers (ASBC&D) has shared its appreciation for books and ex libris prints with the public through exhibitions, lectures, and publications.  

The ASBC&D has organized major exhibitions that have been hosted by over 30 North American institutions including the main public libraries in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Portland (OR), Mexico City (CDMX), and San Miguel de Allende (GTO). 

Several private libraries including the Boston Athenaeum, Providence Athenaeum, Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and Social Law Library, Boston. 

University libraries include University of Connecticut, Harvard University, Duke University, University of Massachusetts, and many more.

An indication of our popularity can be seen through our presence on social and professional networking sites.

Our Facebook following has grown to more than 7,300 artists, bibliophiles, collectors, and librarians:

LinkedIn has generated a following of over 8,500 book arts professionals:

Instagram has more than 1500:

The first known bookplate called the “Igler” (hedgehog) for Johannes Knabensberg. Germany, 1450.

The ASBC&D has been a member of the Fédération International des Sociétés Amateurs d’ Exlibris (FISAE) since it was founded in 1966.  This is the international federation of ex libris societies made-up of many nations.

As host of the FISAE XXXIX Global Congress our society will bring book artists and collectors together in San Francisco from around the globe September 11-18, 2022.  For this event we established Bookplates By The Bay as a 501(c)(3) publicly supported non-profit organization to arrange exhibitions, museum tours, studio tours, Master Artist workshops, lectures, book publishing, publicity

The main exhibitions and lectures will be presented at the American Bookbinders Museum in the SOMA Museum District of San Francisco: 

A special exhibition and talk on “California Bookplates” will be presented at The Book Club of California in San Francisco: 

This congress will be our third international meeting in the Americas.  Our first global meeting was EX LIBRIS: Boston in year 2000 presented at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, Boston, Massachusetts.  The second congress was an inter-American event we called EX LIBRIS: San Miguel de Allende (Mexico).  This was the first world congress to be held in Latin America and was presented in 2009 at the Instituto Allende Fine Arts College, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.

There are more than a dozen museums dedicated to bookplate art throughout the world today. Our goal is to build a research center and library in the United States.

Please consider sponsoring an exhibition, reception, or lecture during our San Francisco congress in 2022. 

Bookplate wood engraved by Pam Rueter (1906-1998), Netherlands.

Congress registration fees depend on the donations we receive to sponsor events such as receptions, exhibitions, publications, website development, lectures, tours, and entertainment.  “Bookplates By The Bay” is a recognized 501(c)(3) publicly supported non-profit organization.  Donors have the option to sponsor events at our congress and support a noble cause!  In addition, we will enjoy increased participation with smaller registration fees for everyone.  We conveniently accept Visa, MasterCard and most major credit cards via PayPal.  For specific wire transfer details to “Bookplates By The Bay” bank, please write to:  

All correspondence may be sent to BBTB, P.O. Box 14964, Tucson, AZ, USA 85732-4964; or you may make a donation via credit card or bank transfer using PayPal.


The purposes of the American Society of Bookplate Collectors & Designers as stated in our first “Year Book” of 1922 are: “To cultivate the spirit of friendship and mutual helpfulness among collectors and designers of bookplates; and to assist in the further development of the bookplate.”  This is accomplished through our publications, international meetings, and traveling exhibitions.

World unity through books and learning through the exchange of art and ideas. Bookplates are a passport to friendship.

Thank you for your kind, tax deductible donation. It is a worthy cause to advance the interest in the book arts!

Etched bookplate by E. Reitsma-Valenca (1889-1981), Netherlands.