EARLIEST HISTORY OF BOOKMARKS
by Asim Maner
IFOB publication No. 1
February 2016, 12 pages (A4), 10 pictures
History of Ancient and Medieval bookmarks (0-1500 AD)
There are indications that the bookmarks have accompanied books for about 2000 years already. The research for this paper revealed new facts about the existence of much earlier bookmarks as the ones described in the current bookmark literature. As a consequence, the earliest currently known bookmark has to be backdated by several hundred years to the 6th century AD. It is an ornamented leather bookmark lined with vellum on the back and was attached to the cover of a Coptic codex found near Sakkara under the ruins of the monastery of Apa Jeremiah in Egypt in 1924-25.
Remnants of bookmarks found in the earliest Coptic codices indicate that bookmarks have accompanied codices since their first emergence in the 1st century AD. Several bookmarks of Coptic codices from 1st to 11th century and bookmarks of Carolingian codices dating from 8th to the 12th century are described in detail and with pictures. In the light of these results, the history of bookmarks has been divided into new periods, and the paper is devoted to the earliest part of the bookmark history: Ancient and Medieval Bookmarks (0-1500).
The ruins of the monastery of Apa Jeremiah near Sakkara, Egypt, during the excavation work in 1912, where the oldest known bookmark was found as part of a Coptic codex in 1924-25 (picture from page 228, Excavations of Sakkara (1908-9, 1909-10) Quibell, James Edward et al.).
WORLD LITERATURE CLASSICS
by Helga Moghaddam
IFOB publication No. 3
April 19, 2016
Helga Moghaddam describes the beautiful series of bookmarks with the title World Literature Classics, issued by the Felix Jud Bookshop, Hamburg, in 2010 and tells us a nice story how she has discovered by and by a world of agencies, advertising campaigns, and illustrators behind these enchanting pieces of art. Read more here.
HOLIDAY HAUNTS BOOKMARKS BY THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY (1923-1929)
by Sylvia Bunting, Asim Maner
IFOB Publication No.4
July 9, 2016
From 1923-1929 the Great Western Railway published a guide book with the title Holiday Haunts covering its holiday destinations in UK. To accompany and promote this book came a series of six bookmarks each illustrating one of the Haunts, with background information and the name of its nearest railway station on the reverse. Read more here.
REPRINTS OF THE 1928 AMSTERDAM OLYMPIC GAMES BOOKMARKS
by Georg Hartong
IFOB Publication No. 5
December 5, 2016
The Shell Company in the Netherlands issued on the occasion of the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam a beautiful card bookmark which shows a discus thrower and emblems of the town on the front and an advertising for Shell on the back. The bookmark is a popular collector's item meanwhile. In 1970s the company produced a reprint of the bookmark which is rather difficult to distinguish from the original. As the price difference between the original and the reprint is increasing steadily, criteria to differentiate between them get important and are described in this paper. Read more here.
FASCINATING BOOKMARKS - FASZINIERENDE LESEZEICHEN
by Merle Wuttke
IFOB Publication No. 6
February 17, 2017
in German - English translation will follow soon
The journalist Merle Wuttke from Germany describes in an enjoyable essay the personal significance of bookmarks in our life and gives a survey of the development of bookmarks in human history. The paper was first published in a special edition of the German flow magazine dedicated to Reading (Lesebuch) in November 2016. The republishing of the article by IFOB is owed to its importance both for the awareness of bookmarks in public and for our community's work as the topic of bookmarks has been presented to a widely young audience in a print medium of high-circulation. Inquiries from readers of the article lead us to expect that the interest may result in more publications about bookmarks in printed media in near future.