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.

Works (104)

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List of items in this collection
  Title Item Number Date Added Visibility
  ULAL National Society of Colonial Dames 2021-08-25 Public
  ULAL Logan, Dulaney 2021-08-25 Public
  ULAL Kiefer, John 2021-08-25 Public
  ULAL Kentucky Society of Colonial Dames 2021-08-25 Public
  ULAL Jefferson, Floyd 2021-08-25 Public
  ULAL Hewett, Edward Wilson 2021-08-25 Public
  ULAL Hewett, Ainslie 2021-08-25 Public
  ULAL French, Betty 2021-08-25 Public
  ULAL Cowan, Anna Gilbert 2021-08-25 Public
  ULAL Allen, Caroline Belknap 2021-08-25 Public