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Alfred Jerome Brown bookplate collection

Identifier: MRBC-MS-00021

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of virtually all of Edwin Davis French's bookplates in various conditions, many autographed by him, and some of his copperplates. Also included are bookplates of other engravers, some autographed.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1890 - 1960


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

French was born in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. in January. 1851. He attended Brown University but ill health forced him to withdraw before he completed his degree. He became a silver engraver for Whiting Company. In 1876 he moved to New York City, became involved with the Art Students League and developed his interest in engraving. He became interested in bookplates and created bookplates for serious book collectors and libraries. Alfred Jerome Brown graduated from Yale University (1899) and from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University (M.D., 1903). While a physician at Bellevue Hospital, New York, he started making bookplates (largely for family members and friends) and collecting French's work. He later practiced medicine in Omaha, Nebraska. Brown was also an avid bookcollector. His collection on surgery was sold by Swann Auction Galleries, March 31, 1949.


4.167 linear feet (10 containers)

Language of Materials



The French bookplates are arranged based on the bibliography in: Edwin Davis French : his life, his art, a memorial. New York : Privately printed, 1908 (S.l. : The De Vinne Press). This text is part of the collection and is annotated by Brown. The remainder of the collection is unsorted.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source unknown

Finding aid to Alfred Jerome Brown bookplate collection
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Ellice Amanna
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2019-10-30: Finding aid updated to current standards and published.

Repository Details

Part of the Mortimer Rare Book Collection Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063