The world of rare books reflects the complex ways that information, sellers and buyers interact today. Twenty years ago the printed catalogue dominated the trade. Today electronic commerce determines. Listing sites provide enormous aggregated searches and individual houses, through their sites, windows into their personality, style and listings. Throughout this period as the paper catalogue has declined in importance eCatalogues have increased theirs.
This holiday season RBH members have posted almost 20 traditional catalogues and forty eCatalogues. Such documents continue to play an important role because concentration and intensity help readers better understand the subject and the dealer.
It’s fair to say that what was once a very defined field is now one very much in flux. Shops close and shows soar, listings surge and printed catalogues decline. No one knows what the field will look like in a decade but it is certain that these dealers who issue catalogues will contribute to the emerging outcome.
And as contributors they deserve our support. They are of course focused on selling works on paper but they are also helping us define the catalogue/collector relationship for the next generation.
If among these catalogues you find some material of interest we encourage you to contact these dealers directly. Most offer on their websites links to join their email and regular mailing lists.