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Helen Brainerd Lay bookplate collection

Identifier: MS 0048

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the book-plates were designed and engraved by Edwin Davis French and represent an almost complete collection of his work. In addition there is an almost complete collection of the work of Cleora Wheeler. Most of the rest of the book-plates are English and American although there are also examples from Italy, France (including the plate of Octave Uzanne) and Switzerland, along with plates of the Japanese designers K. Nakata and Yumimaro Ohmori probably from the 1930's. The American book-plates not by French have been identified using Allen's "Classified list of early American book-plates" whenever possible. The correspondence (<1896-1938>), both with Helen Brainerd Lay and with librarians at Mount Holyoke College, is from book-plate engravers and from other collectors.


  • ca. 1893-1929

Biographical Note

Helen Brainerd Lay, librarian. Sister-in-law of Edwin Davis French. Graduated Mount Holyoke Seminary and College in 1887.


1.31 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



Lay, Helen Brainerd; Librarian. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1887. Papers consist of a collection of book-plates designed and engraved by her brother-in-law, Edwin Davis French. Other material consists of the work of Cleora Wheeler, Octave Uzanne, K. Nakata and Yumimaro Ohmori. The correspondence is between Helen Brainerd Lay, Mount Holyoke College librarians, and book-plate engravers and other collectors. Also contains some periodicals, catalogs, advertisements and supplementary books.


Thematic then alphabetical. Arranged in 5 series: Series 1. Book-plates Engraved by Edwin Davis French. Series 2. Book-plates by Other Artists. Series 3. Correspondence. Series 4. Periodicals, Catalogs, and Advertisements. Series 5. Supplementary Books.

Collection of book-plates by Edwin Davis French and others.
Edited Full Draft
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Repository Details

Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository

50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA