College's decision to auction part of rare book collection upsets donor's descendants, faculty

Published February 27, 2015 Associated Press
Information from: The Boston Globe,

WENHAM, Mass. – A decision by a Christian college to auction a portion of its rare collection of Bibles and Shakespeare folios donated nearly a century ago by the family of a railroad executive isn't sitting well with his descendants and some faculty members.

The family of Edward Payson Vining donated the 7,000-volume collection to Gordon College, outside Boston, in 1922 with the condition that it remain intact and with the college.

Gordon, which was thrust into the national spotlight last year when its president joined other religious leaders in calling for an exemption to federal workplace protections for gay and transgender workers, wants to sell about 10 percent of the collection, saying it could generate as much as $2.5 million to help preserve the remainder.

"Simply put, the college believes the best way to honor the larger intent of this collection ... is applying the proceeds of the sale of the 10 percent of the collection to preserve and maintain the larger 90 percent," Gordon spokesman Rick Sweeney said.

The sale has the support of the college's trustees, he said. It originally was scheduled for April but has been postponed indefinitely for an unspecified reason.

Vining's great-granddaughter, 76-year-old Sandra Webber, told The Boston Globe ( ) she was "shocked" when she was told of the sale by a reporter.

"I know his collection would not want to be broken up," she said.

Faculty members say they were left out of the decision-making process.

"The Vining collection is an example of the larger issue of a breakdown between the faculty and the administration," said James Trent, a professor of sociology and social work.

The sale also has disappointed donor Dale E. Fowler, who told the Globe he was considering withdrawing a $60 million bequest. He blamed college president D. Michael Lindsay, who spearheaded the auction.

Officials at Gordon College later insisted Fowler wasn't considering withdrawing his bequest. Fowler didn't return messages from The Associated Press seeking comment or clarification on Thursday.

The collection includes a Ximenes Greek Bible, a first-edition Martin Luther German Bible and "Up-Biblum God," a 1663 Bible translated by the Puritan missionary John Eliot into Algonquin.

Some volumes date to the 1400s and are written in ancient languages from Australia, Southeast Asia and Mexico, said professor K. David Goss, who doesn't want to see the collection broken up.


Princeton Receives Its Biggest Gift, A $300M Rare-Volume Collection

February 17, 2015
By Susan Snyder
The Philadelphia Inquirer via The Viewpoint
Princeton University on Monday announced its largest gift in history: a rare book and manuscript collection — including the first six printed editions of the Bible — valued at nearly $300 million.
The 2,500-volume collection, which includes an original printing of the Declaration of Independence and Beethoven’s autographed music sketchbook, has been housed at Princeton’s Firestone Library since 1959. That’s when alum and Philadelphia native William H. Scheide moved it there from Titusville in Western Pennsylvania, the town where he was reared.

William H. Scheide, in 2002 at Princeton with the first four printed editions of the Bible. Credit Laura Pedrick

William H. Scheide, in 2002 at Princeton with the first four printed editions of the Bible. Credit Laura Pedrick

Scheide, a musician, musicologist, bibliophile, and philanthropist who graduated from the New Jersey university in 1936, died in November at age 100 and left ownership of the collection to Princeton. The vast trove was started by Scheide’s great-grandfather, William Taylor Scheide, who made his fortune in the oil industry in Western Pennsylvania and retired early to pursue his passion of book-collecting. The collection was embellished by his father, John Hinsdale Scheide, and then Scheide himself. “There were three generations of Scheides responsible for building this wonderful collection,” said Karin Trainer, university librarian, “and all of them were very generous about sharing the collection.” William Taylor Scheide and his wife used to allow neighbors in Titusville to borrow the books and take them home, she said.

The collection is the only one outside of Europe to include all four of the first Bibles, according to the university: The 1455 Gutenberg Bible, the 1460 Bible (or Mentelin Bible), the 36-line 1461 Bible, and the 1462 Bible.

Other notable items in the collection, according to the university, are: “Shakespeare’s first, second, third and fourth folios; significant autograph music manuscripts of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Wagner; a lengthy autograph speech by Abraham Lincoln from 1856 on the problems of slavery; and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s original letter and telegram copy books from the last weeks of the Civil War.” An early 14th-century manuscript of the Magna Carta and Emily Dickinson’s recipe for chocolate pudding also are included.

Scheide, who began playing piano at 6 and later took up the organ and oboe, was a Bach scholar, who in 1946 founded and directed the Bach Aria Group, which performed for more than three decades. He majored in history at Princeton — there was no music department at that time — and later earned his master’s in music at Columbia University.

Committed to social justice and a supporter of the NAACP, Scheide also helped pay for the litigation of Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, the case that desegregated U.S. public schools, Trainer noted.

After his mother died, Scheide moved the collection to Princeton and housed it in an addition that replicated the original room his father built.

The collection will continue to be accessible to students, scholars, and the public upon request, Trainer said. The library has begun digitizing the collection to make it even more accessible. The Gutenberg Bible already is online.

Princeton president Christopher L. Eisgruber called the gift “one of the greatest collections of rare books and manuscripts in the world today.”

“I cannot imagine a more marvelous collection to serve as the heart of our library,” he said in a statement. “We are grateful for Bill Scheide’s everlasting dedication to Princeton and his commitment to sharing his breathtaking collection with scholars and students for generations to come.”


Impressive Dürer Art Exhibit Opens at USF

Source: San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) January 21, 2015

The University of San Francisco’s (USF) Donohue Rare Book Room and Thacher Gallery will partner with USF’s Masters in Museum Studies Program to present, Reformations: Dürer & the New Age of Print, an historically important grouping of early European books and prints from the University’s permanent collection. The exhibition opens Monday, Jan. 26 and runs through Feb. 22.


San Francisco’s (USF) Donohue Rare Book Room and Thacher Gallery will partner with USF’s Masters in Museum Studies Program to present, Reformations: Dürer & the New Age of Print, an historically important grouping of early European books and prints from the University’s permanent collection. The exhibition opens Monday, Jan. 26 and runs through Feb. 22.

A collaborative, student-curated exhibit, Reformations: Dürer & the New Age of Print, focuses on the earliest moments of print and printed book culture in Europe, particularly concentrating on the impact of new print technologies and their uses in and around Nuremberg, Germany in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.

This exhibition highlights how the new production and circulation of early prints and printed books, including devotional woodcuts, humanist texts, pamphlets, and fine, collectible prints, reflects and contributed to religious and cultural change during a transformative period in Western history.
At its core, the Reformations exhibit highlights the distinctive character of early sixteenth-century engravings and woodcut prints executed by German-born artist Albrecht Dürer (1472-1528). The exhibition includes Dürer’s complete Life of the Virgin woodcut series (20 prints), the Engraved Passion series (16 prints), the Small Passion woodcut series (36 prints), and a selection of other single Dürer prints: all executed around 1510. These reproductive woodcuts and engravings, donated to Gleeson Library by early 20th-century, German collector and businessman, Reinhard F. Timken-Zinkann, shed light on how Dürer used the new print medium to produce and circulate inventive imagery that appealed to Reformation-era devotees, and helped spread Dürer’s own artistic renown throughout Europe.

In addition to the prints, Reformations also features more than 40 early printed books, most from Germany and northern Italy, c. 1465 - 1525. Highlights include a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, an early printed Book of Hours, a complete copy of the Nuremberg Chronicles, Dürer’s illustrated geometry treatise, and the first, printed edition of Vitruvius’s On Architecture. Rare printings of early humanist texts by Dante, Machiavelli, Desiderius Erasmus, Thomas More, Luca Pacioli, and Virgil are also on display.

Master’s degree students in the USF Museum Studies Program had the opportunity to collaborate and curate this exhibition of 117 historically important objects. As part of the semester-long Curatorial Studies Practicum, the students were significant in the development and execution of Reformations. Student curators developed the exhibition theme, assisted in the final selection of objects, researched and wrote interpretative object labels and didactic panels, designed exhibition layout and displays in both Thacher Gallery and Rare Book Room. The students also wrote and produced online, self-guided tours, and assisted with the installation. In promoting Reformations, students developed the design vision for the exhibition banners, as well as create content and plans for outreach, including social media and the Thacher website.

Dürer & the New Age of Print Events:
Tuesday, Jan. 27: An insider’s introduction and roundtable will take place from 1:30-3 p.m. in USF’s McLaren Conference Center 250, followed by an opening reception from 3-4 p.m. in Thacher Gallery and the Donohue Rare Book Room. The roundtable will feature Susan B. Dackerman (Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University), Elizabeth A. Honig (Professor of History of Art, University of California, Berkeley), Katrina B. Olds (Associate Professor of History, University of San Francisco), two Museum Studies student curators, Sabrina Oliveras and Melissa Zabel, and will be moderated by Kate Lusheck (Assistant Professor, Art History & Museum Studies, University of San Francisco).

Thursday, Jan. 29 at 12 p.m., Thacher Gallery: A special chamber music performance by USF Performing Arts faculty.

There will also be a series of gallery talks focused on specialized topics to accompany the exhibit by USF faculty members. Each of these events begin in the Thacher Gallery.
o Wednesday, Feb. 4 from 1-2 p.m.: Focus on Renaissance Book Culture by Professor Katrina Olds (History)
o Thursday, Feb. 5 from 1-2 p.m.: Focus on Dürer by Professor Kate Lusheck (Art History, Museum Studies, Art& Architecture)
o Thursday, Feb. 12 from 1-2 p.m.: Focus on Printmaking demonstration by Professor Arturo Araujo (Fine Art, Art & Architecture)
o Thursday, Feb. 19 from 1-2 p.m.: Focus on Renaissance Typography by Professor Stuart McKee (Design, Art & Architecture)

All of these events are free and open to the public.

Located in Gleeson Library—Geschke Center, the Thacher Gallery at USF is free and open to the public from noon to 6 p.m. daily The Donohue Rare Book Room is located on the third floor of Gleeson Library and is free and open to the public Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The newest satellite show for New York City Rare Book Week

The newest satellite show for New York City Rare Book Week will feature 60 fine book and ephemera dealers with fresh material. Located less than a mile from the NY Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Ave, Armory.

logo NYC Book Week

Free Shuttle bus drop-off service from this fair to the armory running continuously from 8:15 am - noon.

April 11, 2015
Saturday 8am-4pm
Wallace Hall at St. Ignatius Loyola Church
980 Park AVe. (between 83-84 sts)
New York, New York

Dealer List
Discount Admission Coupon
Space Rental Inquiry
Purchase your ticket online in advance and save $5 off the admission
Purchase Tickets Here


Get ready for the California Book Fair!

The 48th annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair kicks off in Oakland, CA on February 6, 2015.

The event runs for three days (Feb 6-8) and is the world’s largest antiquarian book fair with more than 200 booksellers from the United States and around the globe offering a rich selection of books, manuscripts, maps and other printed materials.

There are several special events planned, including a lecture on Jack London's work as a photographer by London expert Sara Hodson; seminars on book collecting; a lecture by Daniel De Simone, the Eric Weinmann Librarian at the Folger Shakespeare Library; and an exhibition on the special collections at the F.W. Olin Library at Mills College.

This year, the fair moves to historic Oakland, CA -- which the New York Times recently named as one of the top five world destinations to visit! The venue is the Marriott Oakland City Center, easily accessible via the 12th Street BART station. More information about the fair can be found at

Learn more about the CA Book Fair....


The University of Dammam Saudi Arabia Receives an Unprecedented Rare Book Collection

The University of Dammam Saudi Arabia recently accepted a unique and extensive book collection of over 1,000 volumes from the heirs of Sheikh Abdul Rahmaan Bin Abdulkareem Al Aubaeed, may God grant him mercy. Sheikh Al Aubaeed was the Chairman of the Literature Club of the Eastern Provence and had built a rare and extensive book collection over the years. This gracious gift was made by his sons and includes books from a variety of disciplines: Islamic Studies, Arabic Literature, History and Geography.

Dr. Abdul Aziz Bin Mohammad Al Suleiman, the Vice President of Library Affairs at the University of Dammam, commented that this donation was done in order to preserve the integrity of this unique and extensive collection. He noted that the collection includes rare works by writers from the Eastern Province as well as authors from other parts of the Kingdom. The Al Aubaeed Collection will be housed in UD’s Special Collections Department and will be made available to scholars and interested students. The President of Library Affairs expressed his gratitude to Mr. Tariq Al Aubaeed and his brothers for this generous donation that will benefit generations of students and scholars to come.
The Dean of Library Affair, Dr. Raeed Bin Mohammad Al Bukaree gave a speech on behalf of HE, the President of the University and presented Mr. Tariq Al Aubaeed with an engraved plaque to commemorate this valuable gift.


New Book about Books and Book People - The Forger by Bradford Morrow.

The Forger, Author Bradford Morrow

Contemporary rare book dealers, antiquarian book fairs, forgers… this book satisfies your craving for an authentic, engaging biblio-mystery. I found myself unable to put it down until It was finished. This is an excellent story told by an excellent storyteller. Enjoy!!!

A rather lengthy quote from The Forger that sums up my thoughts on book collecting very well. I finished the book. It is well worth the read...

"Especially poignant to him was a book that looked just it did on publication day decades or centuries before. Looked just as it did when the author held it in his or her hands for the first time. To possess a pristine copy was to share the author's experience, to virtually exist in another era as a time traveler might, and to join in communion with all those owners down the years who had protected it against time's depravities. That to him was the virtue of condition. Nor did his love of signed or inscribed copies have much to do with ordinary fetishism or pure market investment value, although he was both a good investor and surely a fetishist of sorts. Again, it had to do with the proximity of the author. That the writer's flesh-and-blood hand had touched this title page or that piece of foolscap brought an immeasurable significance to the whole object. Made it distinctive and exceptional, yes, but, perhaps even more important, personal and even intimate. Authorial DNA, the inscribed phrases and tender inscriptions, lifted even the commonest works into a higher category of value, not just monetary but, if you will, spiritual."

One of Amazon's Top 100 Books of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
An Indie Next Pick for November
A LibraryReads Selection for November
A Library Journal Editors' Pick for Fall

“From its provocative opening line . . . Bradford Morrow’s latest novel takes on a knowing, noirish tone, like a crime movie by the Coen brothers. . . . The pleasure of reading The Forgers comes not only from trying to figure out what happened to Diehl but also in deciding, chapter by chapter, how much trust to grant the narrator, who is our only source.”—Miami Herald

“The Forgers is quintessential Bradford Morrow. Brilliantly written as a suspense novel, lethally enthralling to read, and filled with arcane, fascinating information—in this case, the rarified world of high-level literary forgery.”—Joyce Carol Oates

“Bradford Morrow’s The Forgers is a bibliophile’s dream, an existential thriller set in the world of rare book collecting that is also a powerfully moving exposé of the forger's dangerous skill: what happens when you lie so well that you lose touch with what is real? In beautifully controlled prose, Morrow traces the shaky line between paranoia and gut-intuition, memory and self-delusive fiction, hollow and real love. It's perfect all-night flashlight reading—Bradford Morrow at his lyrical, surprising, suspenseful, genre-bending best.”—Karen Russell, author of Vampires in the Lemon Grove and Swamplandia!

“The Forgers is remarkable. Bradford Morrow is remarkable. The Real Thing, which is rare on this earthly plane.”—Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours and The Snow Queen

“Delightful to read.”—

“Bradford Morrow illuminates the seamy side of the rare-book trade in The Forgers.”—Vanity Fair

“In The Forgers, Bradford Morrow hits the sweet spot at the juncture of genre crime fiction and the mainstream novel with an almost mystical perfection. Readers of either form will be gratified and impressed, and those who are readers of both will be thrilled. In its deep knowledge of books and those who trade in them, and in its thousand vivid, unexpected turns of phrase—its depth of both subject and language—The Forgers could have been written only by Morrow and at only the rare and striking level of mastery he has now achieved.”—Peter Straub, author of A Dark Matter and Ghost Story

“[A] consistently unnerving mystery. . . . The best moments in The Forgers come . . . from its intimate knowledge of books, details about signatures, ink, bindings, the slant of Arthur Conan Doyle’s handwriting . . . creating an ambience of old-fashioned gothic suspense that bibliophiles in particular will enjoy.”—USA Today

“With The Forgers, Bradford Morrow has masterfully combined an exquisitely thickening plot, an informed appreciation of the antiquarian book world, and a deep understanding of what makes the obsessive people who inhabit this quirky community do the sort of impassioned things they sometimes do, up to and including the commission of horrific crimes. Morrow has hit the ball out of the park—The Forgers is a grand slam, in the bottom of the ninth, to boot. This is a bibliomystery you will want to inhale in one sitting.”—Nicholas Basbanes, author of A Gentle Madness and On Paper

“The Forgers . . . stuns from its first line. . . . Morrow offers a suspenseful plot that coexists with gritty characters and ominous imagery.”—Fine Books Magazine

“[An] artfully limned suspense novel. . . . The insights Morrow offers into the lure of collecting, the rush of forgery as a potentially creative act, and underlying questions of authenticity render the whodunit one of the lesser mysteries of this sly puzzler.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The Forgers is a reader’s dream: intelligently written, with beautiful details paid to the use of inks and stationary, pen pressures and hand flourishes. Bradford Morrow has created in Will a character rich in criminal indignation.”—Bookreporter

“As Morrow pulls back the curtain to reveal the murky world of book sellers and buyers and ushers readers into the mind of a forger for whom falsifying the perfect signature is a thrill, he also draws us deeper into the puzzle . . . Morrow writes with a sure, clear voice, and his prose is lush and detailed. . . . Recommended for readers who enjoy atmospheric literary thrillers such as Caleb Carr’s The Alienist.”—Library Journal

“Will, the narrator of Morrow’s seventh novel, is a fine creation. . . . A pleasurable study of the lives of book dealers. . . . Morrow’s well-researched passages on the collector’s art meshes well with Will’s romantic longueurs about the life of fakery he left behind.”—Kirkus Reviews

“So well written, The Forgers will take some time to finish as readers might want to reread every sentence.”—Jean-Paul Adriaansen, Water Street Books, Indie Next selection


“les Essais de Montaigne” Sells at auction for $9,600

A rare book “les Essais de Montaigne” garnered strong interest from many antiquarian book dealers and was finally hammered down at $9,600 at Kaminski Auctions Sale.




Pre sale estimate - Les Essais de Michel Seigneur de Montaigne, Abel L'Angelier, Paris, 1595, 19th century rebinding, all three books in one volume, bound in full red kid leather with inner gilt borders and marbled end pages, the spine lettered in gilt with five raised bands, gilt page edges, 13 1/4"h x 9 1/4"w. Provenance: From a Massachusetts estate.

EST: $3,000 - $5,000

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New Business Directory Available on This Site

I have a new Business Directory available on my site. I have recently begun a business Directory where you can list links to and information about your business. You can even include a link to your sales listings. I only have 3 listings so far but as you can see, it is possible to include a lot of information about your business. I will keep an eye on it so spammers will not take it over. You may post your listing and find information on other business at: There is no charge for the listing. My readers tend to be collectors and dealers along with some academics. Just look for the business Directory at the top of the page and go there to enter your information.


Long-lost letter that inspired Kerouac's On the Road to go up for auction

Written by friend and muse Neal Cassady, the Joan Anderson Letter was believed lost after the poet Allen Ginsberg tried to get it published in 1968
American Beat writer Jack Kerouac leans closer to a radio to hear himself on a broadcast, 1959. Photograph: John Cohen/Getty Images

Source: The Guardian (USA) Associated Press in Los Angeles
Sunday 23 November 2014 12.03 EST

It’s been called the letter that launched a literary genre – 16,000 amphetamine-fueled, stream-of-consciousness words written by Neal Cassady to his friend Jack Kerouac in 1950.

Upon reading them, Kerouac scrapped an early draft of On the Road and, during a three-week writing binge, revised his novel into a style similar to Cassady’s, one that would become known as Beat literature.

Kerouac said shortly before his death that the letter would have transformed his counterculture muse Cassady into a towering literary figure, if only it hadn’t been lost. It turns out it wasn’t lost, says Joe Maddalena, whose southern California auction house Profiles in History is putting the letter up for sale on 17 December. It was just misplaced, for more than 60 years.

The letter is being offered as part of a collection that includes papers by ee Cummings, Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Penn Warren and other prominent literary figures. But Maddalena believes the item bidders will want most is Cassady’s 18-page, single-spaced screed describing a drunken, sexually charged, sometimes comical visit to his hometown of Denver.

“It’s the seminal piece of literature of the Beat generation, and there are so many rumors and speculation of what happened to it,” Maddalena said.

Kerouac told The Paris Review in 1968 that poet Allen Ginsberg loaned the letter to a friend who lived on a houseboat in northern California. Kerouac believed the friend then dropped it overboard.

“It was my property, a letter to me, so Allen shouldn’t have been so careless with it, nor the guy on the houseboat,” he said.

As for the quality of the letter, Kerouac described it this way: “It was the greatest piece of writing I ever saw, better’n anybody in America, or at least enough to make Melville, Twain, Dreiser, Wolfe, I dunno who, spin in their graves.”

It turns out Ginsberg apparently was trying to get it published when he mailed the letter to Golden Goose Press in San Francisco. There it remained, unopened, until the small publishing house folded. When it did, its owner planned to throw the letter in the trash, along with every other unopened submission in his files.

That was when the operator of a small, independent music label who shared an office with publisher Richard Emerson came to the rescue. He took every manuscript, letter and receipt in the Golden Goose Archives home with him.

“My father didn’t know who Allen Ginsberg was, he didn’t know Cassady, he wasn’t part of the Beat scene, but he loved poetry,” said Los Angeles performance artist Jean Spinosa, who found the letter as she was cleaning out her late father’s house two years ago. “He didn’t understand how anyone would want to throw someone’s words out.”

Although she knew who Kerouac and Cassady were, Spinosa had never heard of the Joan Anderson Letter, the name Kerouac gave it for Cassady’s description of a woman with whom he had a brief romance.

“It’s invaluable,” historian and Kerouac biographer Dennis McNally said. “It inspired Kerouac greatly in the direction he wanted to travel, which was this spontaneous style of writing contained in a letter that had just boiled out of Neal Cassady’s brain.”

It was a style he would put to use in the novels On the Road and Visions of Cody, which featured Cassady, thinly disguised under the names Dean Moriarty and Cody Pomeroy, as their protagonists. He would continue to use it in such books as The Subterraneans, The Dharma Bums and Lonesome Traveler, cementing his reputation as the father of the Beat generation.

Cassady would gain some small measure of fame as Kerouac’s muse and, later, as the sidekick who drove novelist Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters bus across the country.

Meanwhile, about a third of the Joan Anderson Letter, copied by someone before it disappeared, became well-known to students of Kerouac.

When Spinosa discovered she had the whole thing, she took it to Maddalena, a prominent dealer in historical documents and pop-culture artifacts, to authenticate it. He is reluctant to estimate what it might sell for. Although the original manuscript of On the Road fetched $2.4m in 2001, everyone knew that existed. It is much harder to estimate the value, he said, of something no one knew was still around.

For her part, Spinosa says, she is just happy her father rescued the letter from the trash. She is hoping whoever buys it will give the public a chance to see it.

“The letter is so good, and you see why these guys loved him,” she says of Cassady’s fellow Beats. “The writing, it just breathes off the page.”