“A Relic of John Bunyan (?)”: The Mystery Continues

In 1968, collector Robert T. Taylor presented a copy of three works by the English puritan, Issac Ambrose (1604-1664/4), all printed in London in 1650 and bound together in one calf-bound volume, repaired but retaining its early 17th century covers. It has the bookplate of Roderick Terry, clergyman and in his day, a renowned book collector of Newport, Rhode Island. When part II of Terry’s books were sold on November 7-8, 1934, this book, lot 44, sold for $55. Terry, most likely, obtained it from George T. Juckes, 35 St. Martin’s Court, London, who dubbed himself “The Bookfinder.” Juckes had the book in 1912 and detailed his speculations about it in both an article in Notes & Queries (“A Relic of John Bunyan(?)” II Series, vol 1, August 31, 1912, p. 162-163) as well as in long detailed single sheet printed description headed “A Genuine Relic of John Bunyan,” likely also dating from 1912. (Juckes priced it at £100.)

Juckes offered three arguments for tying the book to Bunyan.
1) He cited several notes either in or with the book by owners other than him saying so.
2) He noted that the subject matter of the book, indeed, a phrase repeatedly used in it — “the new birth” — conforms to language ascribed to Bunyan by his “anonymous biographer, “evidently … one who knew him well.”
3) Two authorities compared the marginal notes with two established examples of Bunyan’s handwriting and, according to Juckes, “both agree … the handwriting … is identical.”

What are we to make of these arguments?

Juckes is right when he states: “… in the year 1768 [the book] belonged to one Ludovic Auber, and has is signature in three places, also the date 1768. It afterwards passed into the hands of another owner, as the following inscription shows, “James Martin, is (sic) Book, October the 5th. 1785” Then we have another inscription in a different handwriting of about the same date, as follows, “The Notes in the magin (sic)were written by that valiant advocate for Truth, John Bunyan, while in prison.”Still later it came into the possession of Lady Gregory, wife of Dr. Olinthus Gregory, who has written the following on a sheet of old paper, “The marginal notes in this book were written by John Bunyan. I know not the evidence upon which the fact rests. but it was fully believed by my dear husband, Dr. Olinthus Gregory, A.G., Woolwich Common, June 1842.” [Juckes further adds “It then passed into the possession of Canon Acheson.”]

Moreover, the letter of the two authorities is present with the book and one authority thinks the handwriting is “very much alike.”

However, today, how much more of the literary remains of Bunyan are documented, although they are still sparse. See: * Index of English Literary Manuscripts, vol. II, 1625-1700, part 1, p —- as well as T.J.Brown “English Literary Autographs XXXIII, John Bunyan, 1628-1688” in the *Book Collector, vol 9, Spring 1960, p. 53-55.
Needless to say, the comparison of these marginal notes against a corpus larger than that known in 1912 must be done afresh. Given that this wider comparison is still undone, we must set Juckes’s contention to one side. Today, Bunyan’s authorship of the marginal notes remains an open question.

Issac Ambrose (1604-1664)
Prima, the first things; or, Regeneration sermons …[bound with] The Doctrine & Directions *[and] *Ultima.
London, Printed for J.A., and are to be sold by N. Webb and W. Grantham, 1650.
Call number (EX) 5849.122.2
•Ludovic Auber (1768)
•James Martin (1785)
•Olinthus Gregory = Olinthus Gilbert Gregory (29 January 1774 – 2 February 1841) mathematician
• “A.G.” = 2nd wife of Olinthus Gregory, whose identity is not known according to Oxford DNB [http://www.oxforddnb.com/index/101011469/Olinthus-Gregory].
•Canon Acheson = the Rev. Johnston Hamilton Acheson, Kirby-Cane Rectory, Bungay, Norfolk (19th cent.)
•George T. Juckes, bookseller, London
•Roderick Terry (1849-1933) (bookplate)
•Gift of Robert H. Taylor in 1968

Accessioned in 1912: Thomas Gray’s annotated copy of Algarotti’s Vita di Orazio

Algarotti, Francesco, conte, 1712-1764.
Saggio sopra la vita di Orazio
Venezia, Nella stamperia fenziana, 1760.
Call number (PTT) 2865.557

[The following is a transcription of an article published in The Nation. The author was Reference Librarian at the Library. ]

Harry Clemons. [Algarotti’s Vita di Orazio and Gray.] in The Nation, Aug. 22, 1912, xcv. 167-8


In the Horace Collection, recently presented to the Library of Princeton University by R. W. Patterson of Pittsburgh, is a book which bears interesting traces of ownership by the poet Gray. It is a copy of the “Vita di Orazio” published in Venice in 1760, which, according to an autograph note on the title page, was given to Gray by the author, Count Francesco Algarotti, in February, 1763. That the scholar poet read the little volume with critical thoroughness is evinced by nearly a hundred marginal comments in his delicate chirography. These notes shed no new light, perhaps, on the recluse of Stoke Poges and Cambridge; but as evidences of his quiet habit of scholarly acquisition and of his nice sense for language many of them seem worthy of quotation.

At least an epistolary acquaintance existed between Gray and Count Algarotti, and it is on record that each publicly expressed a considerable degree of admiration for the work of the other. (Gray’s Works, ed. by Gosse, London, 1884, Vol. Ill, pp. 147, 155, 159, 298.) The Italian litterateur, who was within a year of his death when the “Vita dl Orazio” was presented to Gray, had at this time become well known among literary and court circles in Europe. Lord Byron, writing from Venice to the publisher, Murray, in 1818 (Byron’s “Letters and Journals,” ed. by Prothero, London, 1909, Vol. IV, p. 223) mentions a collection of manuscript letters addressed to Algarotti by Lord Hervey, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Gray, Mason, Garrick, Lord Chatham, David Hume, and others. Voltaire had affectionately dubbed Algarotti “Le cher cygne de Padove,” and he had become a favorite with King Augustus III of Poland and with Frederick the Great. The former had appointed him a Councillor, and Frederick not only made him a Count of Prussia and a Court Chamberlain, but after Algarotti’s death erected to his memory the tombstone which stands on the south side of the Campo Santo at Pisa. It was while coursing through the career of Frederick that Carlyle’s impatient pen fell afoul of this “young Venetian gentleman of elegance, in dusky skin. In very white linen and frills, with his fervid black eyes”— and paused for the few strokes of characterization (Carlyle’s “Frederick the Great,” book x, chap. 7; book xi, chap. 3), which have probably succeeded better in making the learned Italian dilettante and his “Poesies” and “Classical Scholarships” rememberable to English readers than all the voluminous commendations of polite admirers. It is of interest that the virile criticisms of Carlyle are not without support from these private comments in the book which belonged to Gray.

Of these marginal notes In the “Vita di Orazio,” some were evidently intended merely as a sort of irregular brief analysis of the contents. For example:

· Political cause of 3d Ode of 3d Book of Horace.
· False taste in language in Horace’s time.
· Examples from Italian of word-coining.
· Character of Horace’s works.
· Horace’s Irony against himself.

There are other notes which, as might be expected, exhibit Gray’s own somewhat pedantic knowledge of literature and history. His familiarity with Horace is indicated by several case in which he skillfully detected quotations from the Latin poet which Algarotti had assimilated into his own Italian. The range Is wider than Horace: references to Cicero. Ovid, Homer, Dante, Racine, Leo the Tenth, Vitruvius, Sperone Speroni, and as many others, were carefully noted in the margin. On one page Gray discovered that an expression used by Algarotti was “the motto of the Cruscan Accademy at Florence.” Other comments are:

· This Influence of civil causes in forming the characters of Catullus’, Ovid’s and Horace’s Muse is Just and ingenius.
· this remark of Ariosto’s want of knowledge with the polite world is just.
· Character of Plautus just.
· a just valuation of the work of the Augustan age.

To another passage, which discusses the popularity of the theatre over undramatic poetry, he added:

· natural enough as the greatest part of an audience even in the polite ages is illiterate and more prone to feed their eyes than their ears.

And in connection with Algarotti’s estimate of Horace himself Gray queried:

· how far may these sententious passages of our Poet tend to give us a real notion of his true character? Should they not be parallel’d with the character given of him by other authors.

But a large proportion of these private annotations are criticisms of style. In a letter written to Count Algarotti a few months after he received this book (September 9, 1763), Gray apologized for his use of English by saying: “Forgive me if I make my acknowledgments in my native tongue, as I see it is perfectly familiar to you, and I (though not unacquainted with the writings of Italy) should from disuse speak its language with an ill grace, and with still more constraint to one who possesses it in all its strength and purity.” (Gray’s Works, ed. by Gosse, London, 1884; Vol. Ill, page 155; Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. IV, Oct. 1818, p. 38.) Yet these marginal comments reveal no hesitation on Gray’s part to express the most specific criticisms of Algarotti’s Italian. Curiously enough, many of the notes are addressed directly, at Algarotti, as if Gray were a college instructor blue-pencilling a theme. He was some four years younger than the Italian. But as the fruit of above twenty years of writing, the author of the “Elegy” had up to this time permitted only eight of his poems to be printed; and to whatever cause this frugality was due, it is evident that his own severe apprenticeship had given him the confidence of a master in language.

Not all this criticism is adverse. We find such comments as “elegant expression,” “excellent use of the word here,” “this is a happy term and used by you very apropos.” With these, however, are not only such brief strictures as “too affected a term,” “Why not the common term?” “energetlck but affected term,” “I do not like this expression,” “a little affected obscurity here,” but also a series of fuller criticisms which sufficiently indicate Gray’s conclusions concerning the style of the Italian writer:

· Avoid affectation in the use of certain uncommon terms.
· avoid prosing Horace’s scraps too often.
· beware of affecting certain singularities and uncommon forms of diction.
· a friend of mine says you have ingenuity but that your works want to be translated into Italian.
· beware of borrowing the more trite images from the fine arts w[hi]ch custom is unbecoming your refined genius.
· In transposition of words beware of uncommon peculiarities.
· why this continued affectation of il instead of lo the common expression.
· never generalize, but in the espousal of sentiments or doctrines above the vulgar.
avoid affecting the quotations of our English Poets: w[hi]ch are sometimes too frequent in your Essays.
· I do not at all approve of these sentimental quotations.—except those from Horace’s own text.
· beware of too much Italianizing certain Latin terms of Horace.
· I cannot help observing some affectation in your metaphorical expressions, something too recherchée.
· I think you are too figurative in your common stile.
· do not play so much with your Pen.

All this, as I have said, offers no discovery concerning Thomas Gray; but It unquestionably affords us a familiar glimpse behind the “oak” of the scholar’s study.

Harry Clemons.

[Coda: After Princeton, the author served as university librarian at the University of Virginia from 1927 to 1950.


Two items in our Peter J. Eckel Newsboy collection are featured in a just-released New York Times interactive


“Newsboys Still Standing Firm” (article in
NY Herald, July 30, 1899) [Box 8d]

Newsboy’s Prayer” (in street argot) [Box 10]

Finding aid for the entire collection is available at

Matter of surprise: Constitutions des treize états-unis de l’Amérique. (Paris, 1783)

Constitutions des treize états-unis de l’Amérique. A Philadelphie [i.e. Paris] et se trouve a Paris, chez Ph. – D. Pierres, Imprimeur Ordinaire du Roi, rue Saint-Jacques. Pissot, pere & fils, Libraires, quai des Augustins, 1783. Call number: (Ex) 7583.01.267.11 copies 1-4.

Benjamin Franklin provides two key quotes regarding this book.

❧ First, on June 10, 1783, Benjamin Franklin wrote to printer Philippe-Denis Pierres

“Sir, I received the Exemplaire of the Constitutions. … I desire to have 50 of the 8vos bound in Calf, and Letter’d, and 50 half bound, that is, between Paste boards, with a Sheepskin Back and Letter’d, but not cut, I desire also 6 of the 4tos bound in Morocco. …”

❧ Ex copy 4 is one of the “50 of the 8vos bound in Calf and letter’d” (Franklin to the printer Pierres, 10 June 1783). Ex copy 4: Inscribed by Benjamin Franklin on t.p.: “Translated by the Duke de Rochefoucauld, and the Translation revised before Impression by B.F.” Note illustration above. Gift of Andre de Coppet.
❧ Ex copy 3 is one of the “50 half bound, that is between Paste Boards with a Sheepskin Back, and Letter’d but not cut” (Franklin to the printer Pierres, 10 June 1783). Ex copy 3: Presentation copy to George Hammond from Benjamin Franklin with inscription by Mr. Hammond. It remains both uncut and unopened.

❧❧ Secondly on December 25, 1783, Franklin wrote to Thomas Mifflin ” … The extravagant Misrepresentations of our Political State, in foreign Countries, made it appear necessary to give them better Information, which I thought could not be more effectually and authentically done than by publishing a Translation into French, now the most general Language in Europe, of the Book of Constitutions which had been printed by Order of Congress. This I accordingly got well done, and presented two Copies handsomely bound to every foreign Minister here, one for himself, the other more elegant, for his Sovereign. It has been well taken, and has afforded Matter of Surprise to many, who had conceived mean Ideas of the State of Civilization in America, and could not have expected so much political Knowledge and Sagacity had existed in our Wilderness. And from all Parts I have the Satisfaction to hear that our Constitutions in general are much admired. I am persuaded that this Step will not only tend to promote the Emigration to our Country of substantial People from all Parts of Europe, by the numerous Copies I shall dispense, but will facilitate our future Treaties with Foreign Courts, who could not before know what kind of Government and People they had to treat with. As in doing this I have endeavour’d to further the apparent Views of Congress in the first Publication, I hope it may be approved, and the Expence allow’d. …”

❧ Franklin’s “two Copies handsomely bound to every foreign Minister here, one for himself, the other more elegant, for his Sovereign” included 4to editions. For example, the 4to at the New York Public Library is printed “sur papier d’Annonay” and has the supra-libros of Louis Joseph de Bourbon-Condé (1736-1818). A 4to at the Bibliothèque Nationale has the arms of Marie-Antoinette.

❧ Moreover, 8vo copies stamped with arms are known. Princeton has such an 8vo. At left is Ex copy 1: Stamped on spine with arms of the La Rochefoucauld family. Given the “accolé” character of these arms, they may be those for the Duke’s mother, Madame d’Enville (the Dowager Duchesse de la Rochefoucauld d’Enville; Marie-Louise Nicole Elisabeth de La Rochefoucauld, 1716-1797), also a friend of Franklin. This copy also has the 19th century booklabel of James Toovey (d. 1893). Presented to the Library by Junius S. Morgan, accessioned May 10, 1893. [Note: A 4to bound in red morocco with the supra-libros of LaRochefoucuald was sold at Sotheby’s, Monaco, on 9 December 1987. See: Bibliothèque La Rochefoucauld au château de La Roche-Guyon: provenant de la succession de Gilbert de La Rochefoucauld, Duc de La Roche-Guyon (Sotheby’s Monaco S.A., 1987) lot 641. The 4to binding is reproduced as the frontispiece to the catalog.]

For more on the publishing history of this book see
Echeverria, Durand, “French Publications of the Declaration of Independence and the
American Constitutions, 1776-1783,” Bibliographical Society of America, Papers, 47 (1953) p.313 ff.

Touching provenance

Isolating the elements of provenance feels like making a form of art. On the one hand, the process of discovering provenance is documentary, albeit selective and editorial. But beyond the experience of recording fact, the process induces a sense of search and wonder — who were all these different owners and, particularly, why did they succeed each other as they did?
Inscriptions, embossments, stampings, applications of arms, crests, badges, labels, and plates — all these bespeak a past conversation between owner and book. We’ll never know precisely what was the piece-by-piece context of their original conversation. But by looking closely, recording, reassembling, and presenting our findings we get something new and old at the same time. The ideal of provenance research is more than just utterance of facts. The ideal is to create a kind of emblem crystallizing a book’s career of ownership.
And isn’t that art? Transportive, on the one hand; transformative, on the other.

Moscow reads New York (addendum)

British antiquarian bookseller Simon Beattie recently posted:

« Moscow reads New York »

« 1927 saw two Russian translations of The Color of a Great City (1923), Dreiser’s classic memoir of early twentieth-century New York: this one (Gosizdat’s), by Pyotr Okhrimenko, and one for “Mysl’” (Kraski N’iu-Iorka) by V. P. Steletsky. What was particularly nice about this copy was that it still had its original dust-jacket:

Pyotr Okhrimenko (1888-1975), a translator for the Komintern, produced numerous translations of American literature in the 1920s and ’30s: Jack London, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Upton Sinclair, Sherwood Anderson. A staunch Tolstoyan, he had decided to emigrate to America after the 1905 Revolution. But he was unable to find work, so he asked Tolstoy himself for help and was provided with a letter of recommendation to Thomas Edison, who took him on in one of his factories. He returned to Russia in 1911.

Dreiser, alongside Mark Twain, was to become the most popular American author in Russia, hailed by Soviet reference works and critics as the foremost ‘progressive’ American writer of all time. In 1950, when Goslitizdat announced a twelve-volume edition of Dreiser’s collected works was to be published, in a staggering 900,000 copies, subscriptions sold out within days.»

❧ This copy is now in the collections of the Library:

Author: Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945.
Uniform title: [Color of a great city. Russian]
Title: Nʹi︠u︡-Ĭork / Teodor Dreĭzer ; perevod s angliĭskogo P. Okhrimenko.
Published/Created: Moskva : Gos. Izd-vo, 1927.
Physical description: 125 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: Item 6211357

“Collat. & perfect. p[er] J. Wright” • Who was “J. Wright”?

“Feb. 6 1722/23 Collat. & perfect. p[er] J. Wright”
on leaf facing title page of H. Grotius, Poemata (Leiden, 1545)
Call number (ExV) 2949.411.

John Carter in ABC for Book Collectors states “When [one] pencils on the endpaper ‘collated and perfect’ (or simply ‘c. & p.’), he is using it in the special sense of ‘to examine the sheets of a printed book, so as to verify their number and order’. The operative word is ‘verify’. Verify by what? If no bibliographical description of a book is available and no other copy for comparison, collation in this sense can do no more than reveal obvious imperfections.”

Fair enough, but when did this practice begin? And who might have first used it? Perhaps the case of “J.Wright” will give some clues.

❧ Ten libraries report owning books marked with the “Collat.” formula signed and dated by J. Wright.

They are found on incunables at several libraries:

• University of Glasgow. Shelfmark: Bl9-g.25 “Feb. 10. 1723/4 Collat. & perfect. p[er] J. Wright.” [Image of inscription] and By.3.38“June 26. 1723 Collat. & perfect. p[er] J. Wright.” [Image of inscription]

• Houghton Library. Call number: Inc 4142.10 “June 27. 1723. Collat. & perfect. J. Wright”

• Bodleian Library. Shelfmark Auct. L 1.2-5. “Collat. & perfect Jan. 8 1724/25”

• Princeton. Call number:

PTT 2865.341.007
“Jan. 25 1722/23 Collat. & perfect. p[er] J. Wright”

Then on later books such as the following at

•John Rylands Library: Livy (Venice, 1520) “Collat. & perfect. [?] J. Wright”

JRUL copy at R213746

•Several examples listed in the ESTC for copies at Huntington, Folger, University of Wisconsin and Yale. Search the copy-specific notes for ‘Collat.’ and ‘Wright’ and six entries return; imprints dating between 1601 and 1689. Inscriptions:

“Feb. 5. 1722/23 Collat. & perfect [?] J. Wright”;
“Mar. 1. 1723 Collat. & perfect J Wright; Fawsyde, Bervie, N.B.”;
“Oct. 5. 1723. Collat. + perfect. J. Wright”;
“Dec 2. 1723. Collat. perfect. P.[?] Wright”;
“Dec. 2. 1723. Collat. & perfect. J Wright.”
“Dec. 5. 1723. Collat. & perfect. J. Wright”

•Two are listed in the Hunt Catalogue by Allan Stevenson: 351 and 385 “Dec. 9 1723. Collat. & perfect. J. Wright.”

•Four others at Princeton: imprints dating between 1543 and 1706. Inscriptions:
“Feb. 6 1722/23 Collat. & perfect. p[er] J. Wright.”;
“Oct. 23 1723 Collat. & perfect. J. Wright”;
“Oct. 29 1723 Collat. & perfect. J. Wright”; and
“Dec. 10 1723 Collat. & perfect. J. Wright.”

[There’s even a Wright book on sale at Bibliopoly! “June 14 1723 collat[ed] & perfect p[er] J. Wright” (The Great and New Art of Weighing Vanity, Glasgow, 1672).]

❧ Inspection of these books shows frequently they contain another concurrent mark of provenance along side that of Wright’s inscription. Commonly, they carry “Dupplin Castle” (inscribed, together with shelfmark), or the armorial bookplate of the Right Honorable Thomas Lord Viscount Dupplin, Lord Balhousie, dated 1699, or the armorial bookplate of Thomas Earle of Kinnoull Viscount Dupplin Lord Hay of Kinfauns (motto “renovate animos”). In sum, many books Wright marked trace back to the seat in Perth of the Hay Earls of Kinnoull. A contemporary of Wright tells us that the coincidence of his name with that of Kinnoull is not an accident.

❧ So who was J. Wright? “Lord Kinnouls Library keeper,” John Wright, according to Humfrey Wanley (1672-1726), librarian for Robert Harley. In his diary, Wanley records meetings and transactions with Wright during the 1720s. The following summarizes Wanley’s diary entries:

“John Wright was described by Wanley on his first recorded visit to the library (8 February 1722-23) as ‘a Scots Gent’ and of him we know nothing more except that he is said, again by Wanley, to have been ‘my Lord Kinnouls Library keeper’. This was George Henry Hay, seventh Earl of Kinnoull, who had succeeded to the title in 1719 and was married to Robert Harley’s youngest daughter, Abigail. On his first visit Wright brought a small group of MSS and old printed books to sell; subsequent entries show that the printed books were rejected and that the prices he asked for his MSS were considered too high; only on his abatement of these prices did Harley buy them. Thirteen in number, they are listed by Wanley under 24 June 1723 in the addenda to the second volume of his diary.” [C.E. Wright “Manuscripts of Italian Provenance in the Harleian Collection in the British Museum: Their Sources, Associations, and Channels of Acquisition,” in Cecil H. Clough (ed.), Cultural Aspects of the Italian Renaissance: Essays in Honour of Paul Oskar Kristeller (Manchester, 1976), pp. 472]

Provenance evidence on Flickr

“Frances Wolfreston hor book bot of soldars” inscribed on the front free endpaper of Bartas His Deuine Weekes & Workes Translated: & Dedicated To the Kings most excellent Maiestie by Iosvah Sylvester. London, Printed by Humfrey Lownes, 1605. Princeton call number:RHT-17th-223. •

Frances Wolfreston, the English woman book collector of the seventeenth century, has been the subject of a number of studies, the most notable of which is Paul Morgan’s article characterizing her library and published in The Library, 6th series, vol. XI, no. 3 (September 1989), pp. 197-219. In a recent essay Arnold Hunt expands Morgan’s study by drawing attention to Wolfreston books in the British Library overlooked by Morgan. Cf. Arnold Hunt “Libraries in the Archives: Researching Provenance in the British Library” in Libraries within the Library: The Origins of the British Library’s Printed Collections. Ed. by Giles Mandelbrote, and Barry Taylor. London: The British Library. 2009, pp. 363-384. •

Re: “Bot of soldars.” Some military veterans, able or disabled, after service earned a living as pedlars. A report published in 1886 records the Royal Library of Denmark having a copy of The lyf of saint katherin of senis inscribed “Frances Wolfreston bot of a soldar.”

The web and social media are providing means for controlling book ownership data. Already in the ESTC many thousands of copy-specific notes fill out the holdings records. Records for STC books in the Folger Library are quite full — all useful results from a cataloging grant project. Incunabulists now turn to Paul Needham’s IPI for an listing of more than 12,000 recorded owners, both institutional and personal, of fifteenth century books http://ipi.cerl.org/cgi-bin/search.pl]. Nota bene: owners of incunabula were also likely to own worthy books printed post 1500, so provenance researchers for books of any period may profit from consulting IPI.

These verbal tools are being supplemented by the visual. A number of these visual data were noted by binding historian Mirjam Foot in 2005: “The most common ownership marks found on books, either on their first bindings, on later re-bindings, or added to or subtracted from existing bindings, are coats of arms, armorial charges, inscriptions, mottoes, monograms, initials, full names, symbolic tools, badges, or structural features.” (See http://www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/special-interest-groups/rare-books/publications/newsletters/Pages/rbn76.aspx). One could add to these markings bookplates, bookstamps, owner’s codes, and a host of other features.

To access the visual, websites such as those at the British Library [http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelprestype/prbooks/provenanceresearch/provenanceresearch.html and http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/bookbindings/] or St. John’s College, Cambridge [http://www.joh.cam.ac.uk/library/specialcollections/provenance/provenancetype/] offer remarkable help, to name just a few such.

Recently emerging visual tools are a number of provenance-related sites on Flickr. They offer striking, colorful evidence of the range, complexity, and vitality of marks of ownership in early printed books. They also offer sites at which collaborative identifications can be recorded, comparable to CERL’s Can you help? website. http://www.cerl.org/web/en/resources/provenance/canyouhelp

Here’s a short list of notable sites:

University of Pennsylvania Libraries project cataloging the Culture Class Collection

Smith College • Mortimer Rare Book Room

David Pearson • English book owners in the seventeenth century

University of Glasgow Library

Heraldic Bookplates (Group pool)

Pratt Libraries Ex Libris Collection