"Bookplates first appeared in the 1480s with the book–owner’s coat of arms. In America, people started using them as early as 1680 and in greater numbers in the 1730s. And by the end of the nineteenth century, when the Arts and Crafts Movement was challenging the excessive decoration of the earlier Victorian taste, bookplate collecting became a fashionable pursuit, one that would remain so until World War II."

Via the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art Blog, the graphic contributions of American artists to the history of the bookplate.