Exceliabueno.jpg (45059 bytes)

Ex Libris property of my wife,
Celia. This drawing is highly
representative of Jaume
Carbonell's style.

Introduction to Ex Libris 

An Ex Libris (bookplate) is an artistic tag or crest reproduced by means of existing printing techniques, which some people or institutions use to place on the first pages of their books, as a signal of ownership.

It comes from Latin culture, and has its origin in a signal left at the end of medieval codex to indicate to whom that copy belonged. 

To be considered as an Ex Libris, this tiny work of art must contain the Latin word ex Libris, or similar signal, followed by the name of the book's owner. It is also common practice to include the author's signature and the date. The artistic content can also reflect the owner's qualities or interests.

Also, series of ex Libris are created, not to be placed on books, but to be traded among collectors exclusively.

On English-speaking countries, Ex Libris are called "bookplates". Since Renaissance until the present time, many artists have contributed to increase the number of Ex Libris, thus pleasing collectors. It is estimated that more than 500.000 originals have been created, and some known collectors treasure thousands of them. Until last century, most Ex Libris were of an heraldic theme. It was during the first third of 20th Century that this art experienced an expansion in it's creativity range, allowing all types of themes and designs to take place, criteria that remainstoday.

In the present time, the Ex Libris are produced by means of a wide variety of methods, ranging from old traditional printing techniques to computer-assisted development. International contests take place often, rewarding the best creations and helping them reach a wider audience. 

Despite my lack of deep knowledge on the Ex Libris world, I've been tempted to elaborate this introduction on the subject here, on the Internet, for I've been unable to find any information, -either on Spanish or Catalonian, my main languages- although I know such information exists on the web. 

Bookplate Societies carry away divulgative actions, like the Association present here, in Barcelona, which edits an excellent, nearly produced by traditional means, information magazine, its last cover being reproduced in the links page, on which you'll find shortcuts to other websites and to additional information on the world of the Ex Libris. 

Towards a new concept

It was my good friend Jaume Carbonell who first introduced me to the ex Libris. That was quite a while ago. Jaume is a known painter, who also has a good ability at drawing, and masters different printing techniques, among other artistical abilities.

A few days ago, I offered myself to develop Jaume's website, as a retrospective sample of his work. This was also my introduction into this kind of work.

Jaume has created a great number of ex Libris, so a sample of this miniature artworks was determined to be one of the primary sections of his website, along with a brief introduction to the subject. (published in July 2.000: Link)

Although I wasn't exactly attracted by the idea of publishing a website, thinking of the introduction to the ex Libris, and remembering the interest I always had on them, I suddenly came with an interesting idea: To create this site as a separate work, and whilst it grew in my mind, I was struck with quite another idea, that what for a book is an Ex Libris (Bookplate), for a website could be an Ex Webis (Webplate).

The author. 



Although Ex Libris is told Bookplate in English, I keep using the Latin form, for I find it to be more aesthetical. Besides, Latin words help add a sense of "ancientness", which, as we've seen, the Ex Libris do have. 

The Translator. 


This ex Libris , property
of my son, David, shows
a picture of Gandalf, the
wizard from Tolkien's
"Lord of the Rings", his
favorite book, which is
also one of Jaume's
preferred literary works. 

ExAnaBe.jpg (17880 bytes)

Ex Libris belonging to my
daughter, Ana Bé, who also
likes to write. It represents
the Greek Goddess Athenea
as the protector of writers. 


ExJordiC.jpg (15561 bytes)

Tom Bombandill,
another character from
"Lord of the Rings",
represented on this ex
Libris property of my
friend Jordi Canas.

Ex Libris made for himself by
Jaume Carbonell.

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