various digitised bookplates from eirene mort collection

Digitising Eirene Mort's Bookplate Collection

Jessica Le

Last night was the New Australian Bookplate Society's 15th Annual General Meeting - of which I'm a committee member - and I had the chance to talk about the digitisation of Eirene Mort's bookplate collection that I'm undertaking! I thought I'd put a very brief summary of my presentation here if it interests anyone.

So in July last year I put up my hand to digitise Eirene Mort's (1879–1977) historically significant collection of 1000 bookplates. The aim of this project is to make Eirene's collection accessible to more people - to spread awareness and interest in bookplates and the society. In the end it'll be hosted on Flickr.

To start the project I made an initial project plan outling methods, time frame, file naming conventions, why Flickr etc to be approved by the president and secretary of the society. After the plan I started numbering all the pages with sticky dots so we can easily reference each bookplate's place in the binders.

Scanning as you can imagine has taken the longest time. After scanning around 60 pages in bulk I would take it into Photoshop to crop, straighten and save each individual bookplate. This part didn't actually take too long because Photoshop has a tool where you can automate this process, it can crop, straighten and place individual pictures into its own file from the one image. It does this by identifying right angles in the picture.

I estimated it might take me a year to digitise and upload everything to Flickr, so far I've scanned 750 out of the 1000 bookplates. I'm still working towards uploading everything to Flickr but there's already 50 uploaded :)

When I was presenting we had a very interesting discussion about some of the bookplates that were on screen - like one of them happened to be someone's grandma's!

If anyone has any questions about the collection let me know!



Jessica Le is the founder of Fleur & Fable. She writes about bookplates and is a member of The New Australian Bookplate Society.


  • Robert C. Littlewood said:

    Is it your intention to catalogue each of the Bookplates with artist attribution, day & medium?

    August 22, 2023

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