Patrick Anthony Lawlor’s bookplate is just one of hundreds which can be found pasted into the rare books held in Special Collections.
In Lawlor’s own words, a bookplate or ex libris is “a printed label of artistic design affixed to the inside front cover of a volume as a mark of ownership”.1 A centuries old tradition, bookplates are also useful for tracing the provenance of books in a collection which has been sourced from multiple donors over many years.
Designed by artist and cartoonist Tom Glover, this is one of seven bookplates commissioned by Pat Lawlor2. Born into an Irish Catholic family in Wellington in 1893, Lawlor was a journalist, editor, writer, bibliophile and founding member of the New Zealand Ex Libris Society. From the mid-1960s, he began dispersing his books, which numbered in the thousands, to university and public libraries as well as private collectors3.
Special Collections holds a second Lawlor bookplate, in his pen name Shibli Bagarag, among a small collection of his personal papers.
1 Lawlor, P.A. New Zealand book-plates: Illustrated History and Bibliography. Wellington, Beltane Book Bureau, 1948.
2 Thwaites, I. Biographical Journeys: 100 Favourite Bookplates. Auckland, Puriri Press, 2009.
Lawlor, Patrick Anthony. Papers. 1907-1970. MSS & Archives A-158. Special Collections, University of Auckland Library.
Jo Birks, Special Collections