Ainslie Hewett Bookplate Collection
About the Collection
Bookplates, also known as ex libris, are labels pasted to the inside front cover of a book indicating ownership. Although some bookplates are simply text, others, with their ornate images, ornamentation, and calligraphy, are valued examples of design. Artists often employed engraving techniques such as wood cuts and copper or steel plates to create their prints.
The Ainslie Hewett Bookplate Collection features 104 bookplates designed by Louisville native (George) Ainslie Hewett between 1909 and 1951. The bookplates were created for notable Louisville residents, as well as for clients across the United States. Ainslie Hewett was especially drawn to the Gothic style, the influence of which can be found in many of his designs. Heraldic designs with their intricate coats-of-arms are also common.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1880, Ainslie Hewett was the son of Edward Anderson Hewett, a banker with the Louisville Trust Co., and Ida Ainslie Hewett. He graduated from Yale University in 1902, studied briefly at the New York School of Art and Design, and lived in Los Angeles for a few years, but most of his time was spent in Louisville. Hewett maintained a studio in Louisville that he named the Heraldic Studio.
The bookplates, in addition to original drawings, poems, advertisements, and reference files, were donated to the University of Louisville in 1964 by his widow, Gladys Wilson Hewett.
See also: "Ainslie Hewett: Bookplate and Heraldic Artist (1880-1963)" an essay by Edward Wilson Hewett.
Conditions of Use
The Ainslie Hewett Collection is open for research. For information about permissions and use, contact Sarah Carter, Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library, University of Louisville.
To cite an image from this collection, please use the following format:
[Image Name], Ainslie Hewett (1880-1963) Collection, Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library, University of Louisville.
To cite the digital version, add its Reference URL (found by following the link in the header above the digital file).
Lindsey Wilts scanned the bookplates in summer 2007 and summer 2008 on an Epson Expression 800 flatbed scanner. Each bookplate was scanned as a 600 ppi, 24-bit RGB TIFF file. Emily Symonds converted the TIFFs into JPEGs of best quality and resized them to 600 pixels on the long side using IrfanView 3.98.
Emily Symonds researched and created metadata for the Ainslie Hewett Bookplate Collection in accordance with the University of Louisville Digital Initiatives data dictionary (PDF). All titles were supplied by the cataloger. Gail Gilbert and Kathy Moore provided subject knowledge and collection assistance. Terri Holtze designed the HTML pages. Dwayne K. Buttler, J.D., provided copyright advice.
Edward Wilson Hewett gave UofL Libraries permission to publish online his article "Ainslie Hewett: Bookplate and Heraldic Artist (1880-1963)" from the November 1988 issue of Library Review (vol. 38).