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2000-12, 328, Bookmarks, Jon Prance

Collecting Bookmarks

Over the years I have acquired a number of bookmarks. Totalling around 110, from six countries, they range in subject from book-shops and libraries to natural history, local history, banking and the role of government departments. Many are small works of art.

Literature on bookmarks is not great. Do other people collect them? There seems to be nothing on the Internet, unless I am using the wrong term. Incidentally, is it “Bookmark” or “Bookmarker”? One word or two? Other questions that occur to me are:

  •  What is the earliest known bookmark?
  • I have seen bookmarks made from paper, cardboard, fabric, leather and metal (including magnetic). Most are slipped into the book, some (mainly in the past) are bound into the book, and a few clip onto the page in some way. What other types are there?
  • How many readers make their own blank bookmarks, that is, use a strip of paper for note-taking? If so, what do you do with them afterwards?
  • Can one classify bookmarks into two broad categories: decorative and promotional (i.e. those that are purely pictorial and those that advertise something)?
  •  How to store them safely and conveniently?
  • Do other readers of Biblionews collect bookmarks? If so, is anyone prepared to exhibit, swap or sell?

Bookmarks are colourful, entertaining and take little space to store. I would be pleased to hear from anyone with a similar inter-est.

P.S. I have just found two sources: On the Internet there is the fol-lowing site that describes Victorian bookmarks:


You will also find a number of other sites on the Web if you search for “bookmarkers”. If you search for “bookmarks” you find a different answer as it relates to “bookmarking a site on the Web”.

As for books, the standard guide appears to be: Arthur Coysh. Collecting Bookmarkers (New York: Drake, 1974) 159 pp. I have not seen that book and would still like to hear from others interested in this field.

Jon Prance



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