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Book Collecting 101

Book Collecting 101, rare books, bibliophile

Source: Campden FB


This is a rather large excerpt from an excellent article on book collecting and book collectors. I strongly suggest you follow the link next to Source to read the article in its entirety.

For almost a century people had walked through the library of one New England family every day without ever really thinking about the books on the shelves. Over generations a large collection of antique books had been accumulated, but had mostly remained in the library of the main family home.

“It was my great-grandfather’s collection,” says the Massachusetts-based bibliophile, who chose to remain anonymous so that he could speak freely about his family’s collection. “When I was in my early thirties I remember flicking through them and having the sudden realisation that they represented hundreds of years of thought.”

Over the course of a summer weekend’s browsing, he quickly began to realise the significance of collection – both in terms of value and personal meaning.

“Our family business was originally in manufacturing and our great-grandfather – the founder – had quietly amassed a considerable collection of rare books about our industry. Some were first editions – many of them signed by the authors. Quite a few of them dating back to the 1700s. Our family had either never known about the collection or forgotten over the generations.”

The great-grandson, then working in the family office and now pursuing his own interests, felt drawn to the collection and began collecting himself. He began by cataloguing the library, finding out along the way that it wasn’t insured for anything near its real value. He has since built on the collection considerably, keeping faithful to the same initial theme as his forebear.

“Caring for the same books as he did makes me feel much closer to my great-grandfather. I think it makes me more respectful of the legacy he created,” he says. “Building the collection further gives me great personal satisfaction and a feeling I am continuing that legacy.”

How then do books compare as a collectible? What is the market in first editions and rare books like? Can books be acquired for reasonable prices, or are they as astronomical as art?

One for the books
Based in New York, Thomas Lecky heads up the books and manuscripts department of auction house Christie’s. He was a literature major in school and was always fascinated with books.

In any given year, Lecky might see several centuries of history pass across his desk, from a range of fields as diverse as children’s literature, scientific texts, medieval manuscripts, French comics, or literary classics.

In his first year at Christie’s, Lecky was contacted by an adviser who was working with a descendent of John Quinn, a renowned lawyer and collector in the late-19th and early-20th century. Quinn’s descendent had in his possession a hitherto unknown manuscript of a section of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

“The manuscript had been passed down through the family, yet no one else knew that it existed. It was a great ‘working’ manuscript, showing Joyce diligently changing, revising, and moulding his language. It was exciting to see this ‘lost’ manuscript.”

In 2001, Lecky was fortunate to be a part of the Christie’s team that handled Jack Kerouac’s manuscript for On The Road. “This is a touchstone piece of American literary history. To see it so informally for the first time in a casual situation was humbling.” And last year his team sold George Washington’s annotated copy of the Bill of Rights. “It was a true privilege to work on it.”

In the book world, certain sales resonate more than others. The Cornelius Hauck collection was one such collection. The bibliophile had come from a German-American family of brewers that had called Cincinnati home since the mid-19th century. Between 1924 and his death in 1967, he amassed a collection of almost 4,000 books and manuscripts, dating from as early as the first century BC, all celebrating the book as an object, and containing many unique examples.

In 2006, Christie’s received an inquiry from the Cincinnati Museum Center seeking to sell the Cornelius Hauck ‘History of the Book’ collection, as it was known. “The names and titles on the list they initially sent to us weren’t much to go on. They weren’t necessarily that interesting texts, either.” But as Lecky read through further, and when he and his colleagues at last flew out to Cincinnati to view the collection, his reserved manner turned to quiet excitement.

UVA Rare Book School Director Nominated to National Council on the Humanities

Source: NBC29 –


Michael Suarez. Photo by Terry Doran, courtesy of

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Aug. 6, 2015 — President Obama last week nominated Michael F. Suarez, director of the Rare Book School and University Professor at the University of Virginia, to serve on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The council comprises 26 distinguished private citizens appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, with each member serving staggered six-year terms. Suarez is one of four nominees.

Suarez, director of the Rare Book School since September 2009 and also a Jesuit priest, holds four master’s degrees (two each in English and theology) and a D.Phil. in English from the University of Oxford. Before coming to U.Va., he held a joint appointment at Fordham University and as a fellow and tutor in English at Campion Hall at Oxford.

He teaches in U.Va.’s Department of English and has written widely on 18th-century English literature, bibliography and book history. He delivered the annual Lyell Lectures in Bibliography at Oxford earlier this year. He was invited by U.Va. students to deliver a “Last Lecture” and participate in the student-organized Flash Seminars several years ago.

Since 2010, Suarez has served as editor-in-chief of Oxford Scholarly Editions Online. His recent books include “The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, Volume V, 1695-1830” (Cambridge University Press, 2009), co-edited with Michael Turner; and “The Oxford Companion to the Book” (Oxford University Press, 2010), a million-word reference work co-edited with H. R. Woudhuysen. “The Book: A Global History,” also co-edited with Woudhuysen, came out in 2013. In 2014, Oxford University Press published his edition of “The Dublin Notebook,” co-edited with Lesley Higgins, in the “Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins.”

Suarez has held research fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

About Rare Book School

Rare Book School provides continuing-education opportunities for students from all disciplines and levels to study the history of written, printed and digital materials with leading scholars and professionals in the fields of bibliography, librarianship, book history, manuscript studies and the digital humanities. Founded in 1983, the Rare Book School, a not-for-profit educational organization, moved to U.Va. in 1992.


Harper Lee’s Book Ready to Publish – Read First Chapter in Wall Street Journal

Harper Lee after publication of To Kill A Mockingbird

Harper Lee after publication of To Kill A Mockingbird. image by DONALD UHRBROCK/THE LIFE IMAGES COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

Harper Lee’s controversial book Go Set A Watchman (written before To Kill A Mockingbird) will be released on July 14. With just days to wait for its release, you can read the first chapter in The Wall Street Journal. As you must know (everybody knows, don’t they?) To Kill A Mockingbird is the only book published to date by Harper Lee. It won a Pulitzer Prize and was made into an Academy Award winning movie staring Gregory Peck as the lead character, Atticus Finch. Ms Lee has always said she did not want to publish another book. The new book, Go Set A Watchman, was supposedly “discovered” in 2015 but controversy surrounds that claim as a rare book dealer was brought in to evaluate the value of the manuscript along with a Southeby’s auction house employee. Ms Lee is currently living in an assisted living facility. Her sister, who is recently deceased, was Ms Lee’s protector. The first printing will consist of two million copies (yes, folks – that is 2,000,000 copies). The unprecedented quantity of first editions will make this an unlikely book for collectors to find attractive.

Wikipedia tells us: “The title comes from Isaiah 21:6: “For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.” It alludes to Scout’s view of her father, Atticus Finch, as the moral compass (“watchman”) of Maycomb.”

To read the first chapter (or to hear Reese Witherspoon read the first chapter) go HERE.

This combined set of To Kill a Mockingbird with Go Set a Watchman (Dual Slip-cased Edition) can be purchased by clicking on the image below.


The 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winners Fiction

Pulitzer PrizeThe 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winners Fiction

On Thursday, May 28, 2015, the 2015 Prizes were awarded at a luncheon ceremony at Low Library on the Columbia University campus in New York City. The names of the Prizewinners had been announced on April 20, 2015.

For distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr (Scribner), an imaginative and intricate novel inspired by the horrors of World War II and written in short, elegant chapters that explore human nature and the contradictory power of technology.


Also nominated as finalists in this category were: “Let Me Be Frank with You,” by Richard Ford (Ecco), an unflinching series of narratives, set in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, insightfully portraying a society in decline; “The Moor’s Account,” by Laila Lalami (Pantheon), a creative narrative of the ill-fated 16th Century Spanish expedition to Florida, compassionately imagined out of the gaps and silences of history; and “Lovely, Dark, Deep,” by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco), a rich collection of stories told from many rungs of the social ladder and distinguished by their intelligence, language and technique.


18th-century book stolen in Rome recovered in Argentina

Source: Malay Mail Online

BUENOS AIRES, April 24 — An 18th-century book on the history of Saint Peter’s Basilica that was stolen last year in Rome has been recovered at a bookstore in Buenos Aires, officials said yesterday.

18th-century book stolen in Rome recovered in Argentina

A rare book ‘Rari e Preziosi’ (Rare and Precious) at Vittoriano museum in Rome on February 20, 2008. Argentinian officials have now recovered another valuable 18th century book stolen from Rome last year. — AFP pic – See more at:

The 1748 book, which was lifted from a private library in the Italian capital, had been offered for sale online at a price of US$3,500 (RM12,600).

Authorities seized it after tracking it down at a bookstore in the Argentine capital’s upscale Recoleta neighborhood, the attorney general’s office said on its website.

The book is a history of the famous Vatican basilica’s dome and the work to restore it — full title: Memorie Istoriche Della Gran Cupola Del Tempio Vaticano, E De’ Danni Di Essa, E De’ Restoramenti Loro Divisi In Libri Cinque. Alla Santita Di Nostro Signore Papa Benedetto XIV.

The title roughly translates to “Historical Memories of the Great Dome of the Vatican Temple, and the Damage to It, and Its Restoration, Divided in Five Books. To His Holiness of Our Lord Pope Benedict XIV.”

It was written by academic and architecture expert Giovanni Poleni and published by Stamperia del Seminario in Padua.

It was part of a stolen collection of 120 antique volumes valued at more than €1 million (RM3.89m).

The operation to recover it, carried out by the Division for the Protection of Cultural Heritage at the Argentine office of Interpol, was launched after Italian police requested international help.

The book is in Interpol custody pending a formal request from Italian authorities for its return. — AFP

– See more HERE


9th Annual St. Louis Fine Print, Rare Book & Paper Arts Fair
Now in its ninth year, the St. Louis Fine Print, Rare Book and Paper Arts Fair set for May 1 to 3, 2015, is attracting participants from around the country with its growing reputation for quality dealers, enthusiastic crowds and a wonderful setting.

St. Louis Book Fair

St. Louis Book Fair

Organizers anticipate up to 1,000 art, rare-book and ephemera collectors at this year’s fair, presented by the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

“We are delighted to welcome back all of the premier dealers who’ve helped build the fair over the past eight years as well as seven new dealers,” said Julie Dunn-Morton, curator of fine art collections at the Mercantile Library. “The expanding roster insures that the fair is new and exciting for all our visitors each year.”

Among the returning national dealers are New York’s Susan Teller Gallery featuring American art of the 1930s and ’40s, and The Old Print Shop specializing in 19th-century prints and maps. Kiechel Fine Art from Nebraska features 20th-century regional art, especially the work of Thomas Hart Benton; Stevens Fine Art from Arizona offers 19th- and 20th-century American art; and the Philadelphia Print Shop’s two locations in Pennsylvania and Colorado include 18th- and 19th-century prints and maps among their offerings.

Prominent local dealers are regulars at the fair, including Anthony Garnett with his antiquarian, first-edition and international book titles; Judith Haudrich Antique Prints specializing in 17th- to 19th-century botanical and historical subjects; Kodner Gallery featuring 19th- and 20th-century paintings and prints; and McCaughen & Burr specializing in paintings and prints by regional and Missouri artists.

Barbara Martin Smith Watercolors of St. Louis and Murray Hudson Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Globes from Tennessee will be returning for a second year, while new dealers include Two Ponds Press, a fine press located in Maine, and Aaron Galleries, featuring the work of 19th- and 20th-century regional and Ste. Genevieve, Mo., artists.

Among this year’s highlights is a two-hour appraisal event on May 2 for prints, paintings and maps. Sponsored by Leslie-Hindman Auctioneers, the appraisal is free with fair admission, but visitors are required to pre-register (314-516-7248) to secure a timeslot.

Proceeds from the fair benefit the Mercantile Library collections acquisition and conservation funds. Visit or call 314-516-6740 for tickets and more information.

St. Louis Mercantile Library at UMSL
1 University Blve
St. Louis, Missouri
About St. Louis Mercantile Library at UMSL

The St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri St. Louis is the oldest cultural institution in Missouri and the oldest library in continuous existence west of the Mississippi River. Founded by philanthropic businessmen in the 1840s as a subscription library, the Mercantile is a library of American history and culture whose collections include manuscripts, books, maps, and art. It contains the largest research collection in North America on railroad history and inland waterways heritage, as well as one of the largest collections of rare and documentary photographs, historic newspapers and archives in the state of Missouri.

Press Contact:

Julie Dunn-Morton
St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis
P: 314-516-6740


Ten million dollar rare Bible and artifact display now open and free of charge

rare bible


Princeton Receives Its Biggest Gift, A $300M Rare Volume Book 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.”


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


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

UoD Receives an Unprecedented Rare Book Collection

UoD Receives an Unprecedented Rare Book Collection

UoD 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.