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In My Book

Bookmark Collector


Needle and Thread

Needle and Thread


Let's get to know each other. Introduce yourself and tell us about your bookmark hobby. How did you get started? What do you collect?

Post your introduction as a reply to this post

September 11, 2009 | Registered CommenterAlan

My name is Alan, and although I had informally accumulated a lot of interesting advertising bookmarks over the years, it wasn't until I found a bookmark at an antique mall that was from the 1920's and advertised an "all girl" jazz band that I became interested in really collecting bookmarks. Several years later I started the Bookmark-Collectors blog to try and keep me focused on building my pile of bookmarks into an organized collection. That opened me up to a much larger world of collectors and hobbyists. All this exposure to other scholars and collectors made the experience so much more interesting. I think that's why the idea of a bookmark collectors convention is so compelling. I look forward to learning from all of you.

My collection isn't too focused. I have bookmarks from a wide variety of historical periods and materials. I occasionally swap bookmarks with other collectors from around the world. And I love hand crafted bookmarks, especially needlework.

September 11, 2009 | Registered CommenterAlan

Hi everyone.

I'm Lauren. In January 2006 I founded BiblioBuffet, an online literary salon devoted to the subjects of books, reading and related subjects. Not surprisingly, bookmarks is one of those. The column in which Laine Farley, my co-writer, and I write about bookmarks is called "On Marking Books." New columns are put up every other week. Between Laine and I we have written about our bookmarks on tea, milk, typewriters, early radio, poetry, perfumes, toothpaste, x-rays, women's suffrage, cigarettes, bacon, bubble gum, shorthand, bookmark artists, royalty, Christmas, sewing machines, the development of bookmarks, gloves, and much more. Other things about which we've written include interviews (one with Alan Irwin) with other bookmark collections, bookmark competitions, and how the bacon bookmark become a legend.

My collection began at least six years ago when I visited a small but famous bookshop in Ojai, California called Bart's Books. In the section where they kept the old books. I noticed an old olive-colored book entitled <I>The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac</I>. I pulled it off the shelf only to have it fall open to pages 55-56. Tucked neatly at the beginning of the chapter entitled “Baldness and Intellectuality,” a bookmark particularly apropos to its location, sat quietly: hair. Specifically, a clump of golden brown hair, male from the length of it. It had lain undisturbed for so long it had even left visual stigmata on the page under it. I was enchanted and remain so.

It is the only bookmark I own that stays in the book and the only one made of hair. But that experience has grown into a collection of more than 1,300 bookmarks. Most of them have been bought on eBay as I prefer antique ones. But I don't have any preferences as to material or age. It's kind of a "if I like it I'll buy it" thing. A number of bookmarks have been given to me as gifts, and I treasure these. The prices I have paid have ranged from free to about $350.

I do have a nice organizational system I have created for the two-dimensional ones, but the three-dimensional ones are still in boxes. I want to get them out, and have finally found some display boxes that I think will work well.

This convention was Alan's idea, and I was thrilled that he asked me to be part of it. We are looking forward to meeting and getting to know so many of you. Please do join us.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLauren Roberts

Hi. I'm Jen Funk Weber. I'm a children's author and needlework designer. In an effort to marry the two pursuits, I began the Needle and ThREAD: Stitching for Literacy program, which revolves around bookmarks. Stitchers craft bookmarks and donate them to libraries and schools where they are used as prizes and awards for reading accomplishments. We also teach people--adults and children--how to stitch bookmarks, and we sell bookmark patterns, donating a portion of the proceeds to literacy projects.

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenFW


My name is Wayne Clowery and I have been collecting something or other since I was in grade school. As far as bookmarks go, I have two distinct collections.

The first is of bookmarks that I have received free from bookstores around the world. If they only give me one, I ask for a few more. If they are left lying to one side of the cash, I help myself to two or three of each different one available. I have never organised these bookmarks. They sit in a drawer of my desk and when I need a new one for a book I'm reading, I know where to go to get one.

The second is related to my present collecting addiction. I collect hotel related epemera, collectibles & memorabilia and within that scope falls bookmarks issued by hotels as gifts or as advertising. I have both two and three dimensional bookmarks and I have been slow to get them as organised as I would like. My medium term goal (when I retire in 3 years) is to mount a vitrual museum of my hotels collection and there will be a section on hotel bookmarks, to be sure.

I look forward to the success of your virtual convention. What a great idea.



October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWayne Clowery

I am Lois and have been a long-time bookmark collector. To read about how I started collecting bookmarks and the types I collect, follow this link to the website of The Ephemera Society of America:

The article is illustrated with examples from my collection.

Lauren interviewed me several years ago for her "On Marking Books" column, which was a lot of fun. I am really looking forward to the Bookmark Collectors Virtual Convention.

December 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLois Densky-Wolff

Hello everyone,
I was delighted to finally find a website specialised in collecting bookmarks! I'm also really excited about the oncoming convention, it's like a treat for all the collectors.
I live in Greece, and unfortunately bookmarks are not a very popular item here, therefore, I find most of my bookmarks while I'm travelling abroad or online, otherwise, I make them myself.
It all started 10 years ago, when I had a single cardboard bookmark, which I used for all my reading. I used to read a lot then, about one book every week, and one day I had the idea: if only I had a bookmark for each one of the books I was reading, a book mark that would match the book. I flipped the pages of a few magazines and found some pictures of paintings, animals, fruit and vegetables, I cut them out, used cardboard to make them harder and had them laminated. Tht was it!! I had started the most exciting and colourful collection of my life! I went on making laminated bookmarks, mostly out of stuff I found in glossy magazines. My friends soon found out and brought me cut-outs, in order to make bookmarks for them. It went on like that for about 5 years. The second part of my collection was travelling bookmarks, the ones I bought during my trips, from souvenir and museum shops. I always had them laminated. Same thing for all my friends and relatives, who brought me bookmarks from their trips.
Once I started working, there was mkore money to spend on my collection. I never really cared if it yould have any value. First I bought bookmark calendars and laminated the seperate bookmarks. I've been doing that for about 5 years, that added a few hundreds to my collection. Then I decided to look up for other materials.
Today my collection is divided in two parts: laminated card board (made by me or purchased) and other materials (including metal, wood, leather, cross-stitch, glass, plastic, ribbon, lace and much more) arranged in two huge boxes. I buy my bookmarks online and in bazaars and flea markets. I have never managed to count them, I get lost in the procedure... Everytime I start a book, I look at its cover and instantly think of the matching bookmark, I guess I've made my dream come true and now it works the other way round: there are so many bookmarks and I'm afraid I will never manage to read the equal number of books :-))))))))


January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelina

Hi, Wayne. Welcome to the BCVC! We so happy you are here. Do you favor one of your collections over the other? It sounds like the bookstores bookmarks are everyday ones, ones you use as they should be used. What countries do these represent? And what kind of hotel bookmarks do you have? Do you think many hotels hand them out? Have you ever found any left behind by another guest (bookmarks not of the hotel where you found them)? One of my presentations will look at ways to show them off so maybe that will be of use to you for your future exhibitions.

Lois, welcome! That interview you did with me was just great. How is your bookmark collecting coming now that you are retired? Are you traveling and picking up more?

Melina, we are pleased you joined us. Welcome! That's a fantastic story about your collection. How many do you estimate you have now? Do you find a lot of bookmarks at swap meets and bazaars? I'd be happy to send you (or anyone) some from here. Just let me know. What are some of your favorites? Do you want to display them or are you satisfied with them in boxes?

January 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterLauren

Hello Lauren, I'm equally pleased for having found you. I recently joined a similar group on Facebook, it's good to know there other people out there who enjoy the same thing I do.
As I told you, I've never managed to count them all, but a rough estimate should be somewhere in between 1000 and 1500. There are no swap-meets in Greece, so far I'm the only person I know who collects. I'm sure there are others, but it is not a very popular hobby, so there isn't any publicity or group activity about it. Unfortunately, the bookmark is not e very popular item. You enter a stationery store and ask if they have any, and sometimes they don't even understand what you are talking about... As for displaying them, I don't think it would be feasible, I haven't thought of a way yet. I'm thinking of taking pictures and posting them on my facebook profile, in a separate album.
My favourite bookmarks are a long green pepper (about 20 cm) and a match (also about 20 cm). They were in a glossy cooking mazazine, I cut out the photos, hardened the thin paper with cardboard, cut around the object and laminated it... well I'm not sure you can understand the procedure, it's easy, fun and relaxing :-) and the result is really beautiful and unique.
I'd also like to swap, the first thing that comes into my mind, which might interest you is bookmarks with landscapes from my country. There are plenty and I can easily find them. There are also publisher's bookmarks, advertising books, distributed for free in every bookstore, I don't collect those, but I can find as many as you like. I could laminate them for you, if you like :-)
Anyone who's interested, don't hesitate to e-mail me.

January 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelina

Melina, I will definitely e-mail you. I'd be very happy to send you some and yes, I would love some from your country! Landscapes would be fabulous as would publishers' bookmarks and bookstore ones. Let me look around. I want to send you a nice selection. And I prefer mine not to be laminated, but thank you for the offer.

By the way, I love your ideas for making the pepper and match bookmarks. That is brilliant! They must be beautiful. I am sure Laine is going to set up a gallery that has something to do with food so you might want to enter your pepper one there. If there is one for smoking, the match one would be perfect.

It's a funny thing about bookmarks. Up until perhaps three or so years ago it was a very lonely collecting hobby. Now it seems to have taken off more. There's a Yahoo group, but they seem to have rarely talked about bookmarks. They are more into exchanging modern ones. When I ran into Alan, who I was stunned to find out lives in my hometown, we began to talk and share. We really have pushed one another's interests in this field, and slowly others have fallen in. We hope to attract more with this convention, and so far Alan tells me we have a number who have registered from around the world. That is so exciting!

January 31, 2010 | Registered CommenterLauren

I'm Laine, and as Lauren already mentioned, I contribute to the column on bookmarks in her BiblioBuffet site. I've been collecting for 25 years but have picked up the pace recently, especially since eBay has made it easier to find them. I have about 5,800 although many of them are freebies I pick up at libraries, bookstores and anywhere I can spot them. I like anything with interesting graphics, those that are die-cut and I'm especially attracted to celluloid bookmarks. Since I'm a librarian, I guess it was inevitable that I would collect something related to books and bookmarks fit my limited budget and space. I never dreamed it would be so much fun to conduct research related to bookmarks. I have over 1600 citations to books, articles and other publications, with almost as many more that still need to be located. I also catalog my bookmarks--double points for nerdiness. It's great to find so many other collectors and to use technology as a way to connect to them. I hope everyone will submit some favorites to the galleries.

February 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterLaine

Hi everyone. To answer your question, Lauren, retirement is great (I'm another retired librarian and archivist), and, yes, I continue to travel and look for old bookmarks and pagemarkers. Several of my most spectacular finds have been in Paris, where I have purchased several antique writing sets that include ,matching pagemarkers. They are in their original boxes. Very beautiful. And Melina -- how do I find the bookmark group on FaceBook? I already found the bookmark group on Yahoo. All these new connections are great!

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLois Densky-Wolff

Hello all, Glad to be a part of this first-ever bookmark convention. Lois, I know your work as I used some of your research on the In My Book® history of bookmarks page when I put my website together many years ago.

If you're in the market for some NEW bookmarks (that are also greeting cards), please visit our website IN MY BOOK® during the convention; and be sure to type in the special code for FREE SHIPPING (see below).

During the weekend of the on-line convention, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING with any size order. Just be sure to add the code "BMCVC" in a note when you check-out; you will not be charged for shipping (even though the zen-cart says you will be charged). Please feel free to email me with your questions or comments about our card line...and please take advantage of our FREE SHIPPING offer!

IN MY BOOK® Secure on-line ordering. The cards are great with the gift of a book, with a gift certificate or just on their own.

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobin K. Blum


it was a mere chance that i collect bookmarks. My parents give me early an bookmark as a gift. It was broken any years ago. I´´m so sad, that i never seen it again.
So i bought here an bookmark and there and so i have a parcel with bookmarks.
So on i accept that i´´m a bookmark - collector.

Now i collect especially free bookmarks, but i bought also a lot of bookmarks.

many Greetings from a german collector

February 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterMartina Schütt

Hi everyone,
I'm a bookmark collector from England, and have been collecting for 21 years. I like any kind of bookmark, but my favourites are those that tell me something about people's lives, like the fuel-saving bookmarks from WW II ('share your fireside with your neighbours' - would many of us do that today?!) and the victorian Sunlight soap adverts. I was very lucky that when I started collecting I made a list on my word porcessor, so when computers came in I had the information I needed for a database. So I can keep track of where I got bookmarks from (and who), and how long I've had them. The computer also counts them for me automatically which is how I know I've got 12,152 today. Next week it may be more when my ebay purchases arrive...
I've been very fortunate in finding The Bookmark Society early on, so have always had contact with other collectors. I'm sure that is what keeps a collection alive, and I think Melina has done really well to keep going with a collection in Greece without knowing other collectors. So this convention is an extension of the contacts I already have, and I think it's a great event!
see you all around!

February 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterSylvia Bunting

Hi, everyone. I'm excited to discover so many other avid bookmark collectors. As I've been going through my boxes of bookmarks to find some to share, I'm amazed at how many different ones I have. I'm especially looking forward to the organizing and displaying presentations.

February 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterVirginia Dappen

Good morning, everyone. We are two minutes away from opening the virtual doors! Welcome. I am so excited to see so many of you.

February 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterLauren

It's 11:04 EST and I can't hear Alan's introduction. Help!

February 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterLois Densky-Wolff

I've logged on but I can't reach the Presentations! It says only "Page Not Found on this website"

February 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterBarbara Kretzmann

Alan, the presentations will be available to be seen for how many days? Thanks Alex

February 20, 2010 | Registered Commentermerse0

Hi you all

My name is Natalia and I am a bookmark collector from Spain. I have my own website devoted to my collection and other little things about bookmarks (like bookmarks in films, art and so on). The web is ('marcapaginas' is the Spanish word to say 'bookmarks'). I created the Yahoo group "collecting bookmarks " some years ago and, through this group, I met lots of bookmarks collectors around the world and, apart from increasing my collection a lot, I have made good friends. Last time I counted my collection I had about 12000 bookmarks but nowadays I don't know exactly how many bookmarks I have...

Every bookmark have a place in my collection, even the damaged ones. I REALLY love used bookmarks, or bookmarks with a handwritten text in it, etc... I know some people don't want these kind of bookmarks, but I love them. Sometimes I feel like an adoptive mother with these bookmarks rejected from others hahaha.

Although at the beginning I had organized my collection by publishers, bookshops, etc. now I organize it by subjects. I don't know if it will be my definitive organization, but it is ok in this moment.

I will try to take some photos of my boxes and folders to add them in the "storage and display" gallery.

Best wishes,


February 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterNatalia Crespo

Hi, Natalia.

I am glad to see you made it to the presentations. I plan to re-join the Yahoo group soon.

February 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Hi Lauren

And you will be very welcome in the group again :-)

I know most of the people in the Yahoo Group don't talk about bookmarks (although at first it was the main purpose) and they prefer only exchanging bookmarks every month. But it is understandable because most of the people there is not English speaking people and sometimes it is really hard to explain oneself in other language...

Regards :-)


February 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterNatalia Crespo

Ah, that makes sense, Natalia. Thanks very much. I look forward to seeing you over there again.

February 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterLauren

Hi everyone,
I have been collecting bookmarks for about 30 years. I have approx. 400. Leather ones, particularly from the UK, silver ones, brass, ivory and some fabric ones. People are always surprised that I collect them. I am a librarian by training (not actually working in a library at the moment although very involved with information standards and metadata) but actually started collecting them before.
I couldn't believe it when I saw notice of this conference. I had no idea the Bookmark Society existed in the UK. I am particularly pleased at getting ideas for organizing them.
It's lovely finding other collectors and sharing ideas. I hope we all keep in touch.

February 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterSue (Canada)