What do you call the thing - a small imprinted piece of paper - that an owner attaches inside the front of a book to mark it as his own?

  • Book name tag? Book name label? Feb 3, 2014 at 18:35
  • This is what we've put on ours, from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales > For hym was levere have at his beddes heed > Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reed, > Of Aristotle and his philosophie, > Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrie. librarius.com/canttran/genpro/genpro287-310.htm Feb 4, 2014 at 1:17

3 Answers 3


It’s a book-plate, in the OED’s definition:

A label, usually pasted inside the front cover of a book, bearing the name or crest of the owner, or other device indicating ownership, position in a library, etc.

  • 5
    If this book should chance to roam, box its ears and send it home.
    – tobyink
    Feb 3, 2014 at 21:22
  • @tobyink: Do you know why I write the initials P.R.T.O. prominently somewhere on the book-plate page? They stand for Please Return To Owner!! Feb 4, 2014 at 19:18

As wikipedia says -

A bookplate, also known as ex-librīs [Latin, "from the books of..."], is usually a small print or decorative label pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover, to indicate its owner. Simple typographical bookplates are termed "booklabels".

Also, In the United States, bookplates replaced book rhymes after the 19th century.

  • YES! Bookplate was the word I couldn't remember. Thank you all so much!
    – user64596
    Feb 3, 2014 at 19:32

It is an "Ex Libris" bookplate (or stamp), usually placed on the inside of the front, whereupon one writes one's name as owner of the book (or orders them pre-printed with one's name).

This is a popular one in the US.

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