Ex Libris (Bookplates)

The National Library owns the largest public collection of ex libris (bookplates) in Sweden – more than 15 000.

An ex libris is a bookplate – the book owner’s identification in the form of a stam on the outside of a book or a label that is usually pasted to the inside front cover. The bookplate contains the owner’s name or initials, and often a motto or a symbol of the owner’s interests or profession.

The National Library’s Ex Libris Collection

The collection contains primarily Swedish ex libris, but also large numbers of Finnish and other foreign examples. The collection covers a wide range, everything from Queen Hedvig Eleonora of Sweden’s ex libris from ca. 1700 to author Ellen Key’s from 1903, and musician Magnus Ugglas’s ex libris, designed by artist Kristina Elander.

Manu forti. Ellen Key´s ex libris, designed by Ingeborg Uddén 1903.

Ingeborg Uddén designed Manu forti, which is Ellen Key’s ex libris, in 1903. The motif is an oak tree that stood outside Ellen Key’s window in her childhood home. Manu forti means “with a strong hand.” The hand holding a dagger refers to the Key family’s Scottish crest.

Last updated: 2008-04-22
Contact person: Greger Bergvall, e-mail: firstname.lastname@kb.se
Books från our collections

National Library