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[Bookplate by Colonist Lithography]
[Bookplate by Colonist Lithography]
Title[Bookplate by Colonist Lithography]
CreatorColonist Lithography
Date Created[between 1898 and 1900?]
Sort Date1900
DescriptionIn black ink on cream paper. The top center contains the coat of arms, flanked by elaborate leafy scrollwork. In the center is text in multiple bold fonts identifying the book number and library number (with gray rectangles where these numbers were handwritten). The bottom third contains the small text rules. Surrounding everything are two thin borders, between which, on the bottom edge, is the name of the lithographer.
Extent1 bookplate : lithography ; 10.7 x 15.8 cm
Subject - GeographicBritish Columbia
TypeStill Image
NotesThe travelling library system in BC began in 1898 to serve residents in rural BC. Each travelling library consisted of a wooden box filled with approximately one hundred books, which circulated as a set to a distant school or community, and then three months later together again back to the central location. The community requesting the library paid $6 for the locked case and key, as well as the (not insignificant) freight costs for actually delivering the library. In 1901, the Canadian Pacific Railway allowed for free transport of travelling libraries on any of their trains, though this offer ended around 1917, at which time the freight fees were paid by the Provincial Library, which organized the service. As the early libraries had fixed collections, a catalog for travelling library #9 would provide the exact name of the book in which this bookplate was inserted. Based on the catalogs for libraries 29-33, whose 90th books fall in the middle of a section of biography, it is possible that this bookplate was originally placed in some biography itself. In 1914, the travelling libraries began to offer 'special collections' of texts, including non-English materials for immigrants and collections of literature for lighthouse keepers. In the 1920s this transformed into a system where users could specify their needs and have a library created and sent out to fill them. Alongside this grew the Open Shelf Library, which allowed individuals to request specific books and receive them through the mail. The travelling library system continued into the 1960s, though the demands slowed as communities joined regional libraries and formed municipal libraries. In particular, travelling libraries were sent to one-room schools in rural BC. This bookplate can be specifically dated to the first two years of the program due to the low library number - #9. 20 libraries were created in the first two years of the program's existence, a group to which this bookplate belonged. Of particular interest is also the coat of arms at the top of the bookplate. This coat of arms represents the earliest phase of BC's current coat of arms, and was designed by Canon Arthur Beanlands of Victoria and accepted by the provincial government in 1895. A problem arose in 1897, when the provincial government tried to register the coat of arms, however, as legal precedent required that the official coat of arms be created and handed down by the Crown, with advice from the Heralds at the College of Arms. In 1906, a modified design was approved ' the motto and shield only, with the Union Jack and setting sun switched to their modern positions. In 1987, the supporters and crest were finally approved (though they had been unofficially used all along), with some small changes to the design. Colonist Lithography was a printing company in Victoria, BC, possibly associated with the Colonist newspaper.
1) Holmes, Marjorie C. Library Service in British Columbia: A brief history of its development. Victoria, BC: Public Library Commission of BC, 1959.
2) Library of the Legislative Assembly, British Columbia. Travelling Library No. 29-33, Finding List. Accessed June 13, 2013 from
3) Watt, Robert D. 'The Coat of Arms of British Columbia: A Brief History.' Government of British Columbia: Protocol & Events Branch. October 15, 1987. Accessed May 28, 2013 at
Access IdentifierBP MUR BC I T738
Digital IdentifierBP_MUR_BC_I_T738
Is Part OfRBSC Bookplates
SourceOriginal Format: University of British Columbia. Library. Rare Books and Special Collections. Thomas Murray Bookplates Collection. Morley Binder. BP MUR BC I T738
Date Available2013
Publisher - DigitalVancouver : University of British Columbia Library
RightsImages provided for research and reference use only. Permission to publish, copy, or otherwise use these images must be obtained from Rare Books and Special Collections:
TranscriptSPLENDOR SINE OCCASU I Am No. o[?] TRAVELLING LIBRARY No. The property of the GOVERNMENT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA. Dear Reader: Please remember I am your friend to borrow, not to lend ; to use well, but not abuse. Read me, mark well, learn, and inwardly digest ; and having done all these things return promptly. If you honour literature, mark your appreciation by keeping my pages clean. Refrain from turning them with a moistened thumb ; and in laying me aside do not thrust my corners down to point to your place. Lastly, if you love me keep all these commandments, and care for me as your own. Ex Libris. COLONIST LITHO.
TranslationSplendor without diminishment.
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