Become a bookplate donor

Thrill the book lover in your life by giving them a personalised bookplate that will become a permanent part of Victoria’s history.

Your personal tribute to a friend or family member will be placed inside a specially selected book in the State Library Victoria collection, and preserved for future generations.

A bookplate also makes a perfect gift to yourself, and is a tax-deductible donation to the Library.

Give a lasting legacy this festive season

This festive season, we're offering a limited edition 2018 bookplate featuring a magnificent illustration by James Sowerby, renowned naturalist and illustrator. Or you can select one of our Lewin, Audubon or Gould bookplates, named in honour of three iconic illustrators of the 19th century.

Each bookplate features a stunningly detailed illustration from the Library’s Rare Books Collection, with a dedication to your gift recipient, or yourself. You, or your gift recipient, are welcome to view the bookplate once it has been added to the collection.

This unique donation gives twice – it is a gift to the book lover in your life and it supports the Library’s work in building the State Collection.

Choose your bookplate

You can select from the following bookplates, named after master illustrators whose valuable works are held in the Library’s collection:

  • $95: James Sowerby (1757–1822) – LIMITED EDITION UNTIL 19 DECEMBER 2018
  • $175: John William Lewin (1770–1819)
  • $500: John James Audubon (1785–1851)
  • $1000: John (1804–81) and Elizabeth Gould (1804–41)

Your contribution is tax deductible.

Order your bookplate now

About the illustrators

Sowerby

James Sowerby was an English naturalist, illustrator and mineralogist whose hand-coloured engravings were highly valued by researchers. Sowerby kept the specimens he used in the expansive works he helped produce. Many notable scientists of the day borrowed and donated specimens to his collection.

Lewin

John William Lewin arrived in New South Wales in 1800, intent on furthering his career as a naturalist. His book, Birds of New South Wales, with their natural history, was the first illustrated book printed in Australia.

Audubon

Born in Haiti and raised in France, John James Audubon migrated to America at 18 and soon devoted himself to his passion: an ornithological survey of North American birds. His vivid life-size paintings were transferred to copper etching plates for printing and then hand coloured by a team of artists.

Gould

Husband and wife John and Elizabeth Gould collaborated on some of the 19th century’s most significant ornithological publications, including The birds of Australia and the adjacent islands (1837). From John’s initial sketch, Elizabeth would produce a detailed watercolour, then transfer the image to the lithographic stone to produce the final print, which she hand coloured.

Order your bookplate