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Clare Talbot Papers

Identifier: 1998-0224

Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, papers, articles, reviews, notes, publications, background materials, photos, photocopies, photostats, negatives, and order forms related to Clare Talbot's writings as well as her business activities (her shop and Hilprand Press). A substantial proportion of the collection is comprised of materials relating to Clare Talbot's work on The Bookplates of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.


  • 1751-1985


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


Clare Ryan Talbot was born on August 9, 1899 in Charles City, Ohio to Thomas Joseph and Margaret Ann (Darby) Ryan. She attended St. Mary's Academy and College from 1914 to 1918 and the University of Oregon from 1919 to 1920. She married E.C. Talbot on October 1, 1931, but they later divorced. In 1945, she married the antiques dealer W.R. Bill, who died in 1952.

Clare was an avid bookplate collector and most of her professional and non-professional activities revolved around this interest. She was a collector, appraiser, dealer, writer, and historian of bookplates. Throughout her life, she operated various shops, including Clare's Collector's Books, Wind River Bill Antiques, and Clare's Curiosity Shop: "Antiques and Books About Them", in which she sold bookplates, rare and specialty books, and antiques. She was also the director of the Hilprand Press, which was established in order to publish works about bookplates and bibliographies of bookplate literature.

She wrote a number of different articles and also wrote and delivered several lectures regarding the subject of bookplates. She was the books editor of Western Collector magazine, book reviews editor for Silver Magazine, and contributed regularly to Antiques Journal and several other periodicals. Aside from these shorter pieces, she wrote two published books: In Quest of the Perfect Bookplate (1933) and Historic California in Bookplates (1936; republished 1983). She also wrote several manuscripts for books that were never published, including "Six Centuries of the Bookplate", "Pacific Bookplates", and "Bookplates of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence".

Clare was a founding member of the Society of Ex-Libris Historians, and was a member of a number of different societies about bookplates and other related subjects, including the Bookplate Association International, California Bookplate Society, The American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers, and the American Society of Heraldry. In recognition of her various achievements and contributions to bookplate literature and collecting, she was included in the Who's Who in the West, Who's Who of American Women (3rd edition, 1964-1965), World Who's Who of Women (4th edition, 1978), and the International Blue Book (Who's Who in the World, 1943). Clare Talbot died on October 5, 1981 and was survived by her brother Laurence J. Ryan.


2.6 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, papers, articles, reviews, notes, publications, background materials, photographs, photocopies, photostats, negatives, and order forms related to Calre Talbot's writings, as well as her business activities.


The collection was arranged, when possible, according to the original order in which the material was received.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of bookplates. Also, the Isidore Mendle Collection on the History of Printing located at Washington University [Mo.]. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Clare Talbot Papers
Archives & Special Collections staff
2002 May
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US