Western History & Genealogy Blog

Found in the Archives: Ina Zager Bookmark Collection

United States Bicentennial bookmark, 1976
American Cancer Society bookmark, 1964
Danielle Steel bookmark, 1982

Bookmarks Hold a Place in Our History.

Long before a “bookmark" was a shortcut to a spot in an eBook or a link to a favorite website, it was an actual object—a treasured placeholder to mark one’s progress in a paperback or hardcover book.

Should we someday forget just what these artifacts are, rest assured that DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department houses the Ina Zager Bookmark Collection (WH1588), a set of bookmarks accumulated during the latter half of the 20th century. This collection features bookmarks made of paper, yarn, wood, leather, pewter, and even what appears to be a coconut shell.

The Ina Zager Bookmark Collection illustrates the many ways bookmarks have been used to promote products, places, and causes. As one might imagine, many of the bookmarks endorse the virtues of reading, the services of the local public library, and the release of new books and movies. Some bookmarks are public service announcements, warning of the dangers of smoking cigarettes or playing near power lines. Others are simply souvenirs of vacations gone by.

Check out a sampling of the Ina Zager Bookmark Collection below or visit DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department at the Central Library to see more!