Keeping one’s place

From CCC.54

The bookmarks collected by Catherine Cooke are particularly enjoyable to study. Such flimsy ephemeral items would rarely survive without the specific efforts of collectors like Cooke. The five bookmarks on display, all produced in Leningrad in the 1950s, celebrate various holidays and bodies on their illustrated sides, with their versos recommending relevant titles. The left-most bookmark, for example, is designed for the New Year holidays (celebrated in the Soviet Union with the present-giving and decorated tree standard for Christmas elsewhere). The book shown in the illustration wishes the reader a Happy New Year, and the reverse of the bookmark recommends as a present a heavily illustrated album dedicated to the architecture of Leningrad (held by the University Library at 9400.a.732).

The four remaining bookmarks celebrate (left to right): May Day, the 37th anniversary of the October Revolution, the Soviet Navy, and the Soviet Army. The navy and army were annually celebrated on 23 February, the Day of the Defender of the Fatherland, so the books recommended on the backs of these bookmarks would likely have been intended as gifts to be given to friends and family members who had served in the forces.

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