Mar 13 2013 4:40pm

The Awesome Doodle That Lets You Know This Book Belonged to Einstein

Einstein ex libris bookplate

Hands off Einstein’s books, sticky hands! Check out this awe-inspiring doodle that comprised Einstein’s ex libris*. The star-encompassed mountaintop dweller in no uncertain terms tells you that this book belongs to someone who isn’t you and that this someone is responsible for defining a ridiculous amount of the physical laws that our universe (and technology) rely upon. Very cool.

*An ex libris is also known as a bookplate and was pasted into books as a sign of ownership.

Michael Laws
1. Michael Laws
And yet at the heart or center of the cosmos-encompassing doodle is (a) man...
Michael Laws
4. FromTheLatin
Ex Libris means: "From the library of..." It doesn't mean "book plate".
Michael Laws
5. Woody Smith
In Latin, "ex libris" meant "from the library of," because Romans didn't have bookplates. In English, the words "ex libris" mean, "a bookplate." Pedants often have the odd idea that time stopped long ago, and meaning has stopped changing with it.
Christopher Bennett
6. ChristopherLBennett
@4 & 5: I'd say, rather, that a bookplate is also called "an ex libris" because it contains the words ex libris, in much the same way that a writ of habeas corpus is called that because they originally had those actual Latin words in them. So it's not so much that the phrase means "bookplate" as that they're two different names for the same object.
Michael Laws
7. Billy D
What makes them think this is a doodle? It looks like a stamp that the artist signed upper left side.
Michael Laws
8. Rules For
Yeah, you can definitely see some other signature at the top left. What's the reason for thinking Einstein doodled this himself? And where did this story/info actually come from? Just curious because it looks cool.
Bridget McGovern
9. BMcGovern
@Rules For: Just to be clear, the post doesn't claim that Einstein drew the illustration himself; I think bookplates were usually crafted by artists/illustrators, although I admittedly don't know too much about it. I was curious, too, but I wasn't able to find much more on this specific design, which has been bouncing about online for awhile--it is mentioned in passing in this 2010 article about a particularly stunning collection of bookplates, if anyone's interested in further reading (I thought it was interesting, at least :)
Michael Laws
10. Lava Infotech
Web Design
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