Ekslibris – artystyczna personalizacja
Ex-libris – an artistic personalisation
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An ex-libris is a personalised mark of ownership of a book, used by a holder of a collection, which highlights their bibliophilic attitude to their library. It becomes proof of a person’s distinctive connection with a book, as well as an expression of respect and diligence. In the past, it was meant to act as a reminder to return the copy, in a timely manner, to the person from whom it was borrowed. The ex-libris also identifies collections, protecting them against theft. Taking various shapes and forms, created in an ordinary or artistic fashion, it becomes a graphic ornament of a book, as well as a ‘portrait of the interests of a library’s owner’ ("Encyklopedia wiedzy o książce"). The aim of the article is to draft a panorama of the history of the ex-libris in Polish literature. Special attention is given to the most commonly appearing themes, depicted with specific examples, as well as to the contemporary changes and transformations of the ex-libris form. The article presents, among other aspects, the specifics of the bookplate. It also discusses the topics of memory and identification. It outlines an area known only to a particular group of readers, as well as promoting the creation of the ex-libris and encouraging the cultivation of this type of activity.
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