Sometimes, I don't need to start from scratch. The work has been done for me.
That was the case with this War Service Library bookplate, which I retained from the inside front cover of an otherwise unsalvageable novel1 that was more than 100 years old.
In doing some research on Google, my first hit took me to a Q&A on the American Libraries Magazine website. It featured an identical version of the above bookplate and all of its history from World War I.
So go check out the Ask the ALA Librarian entry. It has everything you'll want to know about this bookplate and the War Service Library.
- New York Times: "Death of the Bookplate?" (March 15, 2010)
- "Flu, Libraries and Sammies in Oklahoma" (February 28, 2008, blog entry on Exile Bibliophile)
- "Books for Sammies: The American Library Association During World War I" by Arthur P. Young (inexpensive copies available on Amazon.com)
1. My stance is that some books cannot and should not be saved. If they are falling apart, moldy or otherwise damaged beyond reasonable repair, I will not hoard them just because they are "old books". Nor will I donate them to a library or another individual in that condition. Sometimes, it's just a book's time. (Which isn't to say I won't remove a few ephemera relics, if interest warrants, from a dead book before sending it off to the Great Beyond.)