Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2005 Issue

Bauman Rare Books Moves to New Location

Sunbuilding

Bauman's new Philadelphia location


By Bruce McKinney

Bauman Rare Books recently moved its Philadelphia operations into the 19th floor penthouse suite at the Sun Oil Building which was completed in 1929. The building is located at 1608 Walnut Street, a stone's throw from Benjamin Franklin's printing office. The Baumans' top floor space was originally the private office of the president of Sun Oil. The space is unusual, rich in history and paneled - an appropriate setting for fine books.

Bauman Books, owned by David and Natalie Bauman, has been in business for 32 years. The company started, as many booksellers do, from home and in 1982 opened their first Philadelphia location. Since then they have developed a continuing New York presence, first at the Waldorf Astoria and more recently on Madison Avenue. The company specializes in Americana, history and literature, the history of ideas, first editions: the great landmark books in almost every field. The firm also maintains high quality collections in music, children's literature and photography. Inventories are maintained at both locations.

Many new customers who encounter Bauman Rare Books meet them on the internet. According to Brian Parkhill, over the next several months their web site https://www.baumanrarebooks.com/index.html will be undergoing significant updates. To an outside observer it's already quite good.

In Philadelphia, after sixteen years at 1215 Locust Street, they recently consolidated five floors of material occupying 9,000 sq. ft. into a single floor of 12,000 sq. ft. with views in every direction. Small cosmetic work continues but the space is now fully occupied. Because the space is 19 floors above the street Bauman's in Philadelphia is now more of a destination retailer. Casual walk-ins will inevitably be fewer and determined visitors hopefully more. Appointments are encouraged. In the history of Philadelphia bookselling change has been the constant.

New visitors encountering Baumans on the web will find their Showcase of Landmark Books particularly interesting. It contains important books across the entire spectrum of their holdings. Recently their Landmark Books included first editions of John Donne's Poems, the Four Pooh Books by A. A. Milne, John Burgoyne's "A State of the Expedition from Canada," George Anson's "A Voyage Round the World" and Carson McCullers "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter." There are in total 120 unusual and important items in the Landmark Books section and it is frequently updated. Currently more than 5,800 items are catalogued in their online database.

Natalie Bauman describes the firm as "a specialist in collection building" and encourages beginning and experienced collectors to consult them for advice. "Our collectors rely upon us for expert judgment. We have a team of experts that cover the spectrum of 'printed' collecting to help translate personal interests into well thought-out collections. For many, such stewardship is the essential ingredient in their decision to develop important collections." Find Baumans on-line at https://www.baumanrarebooks.com/index.html, call them in Philadelphia at 800-99-BAUMAN [1-800-992-2862] or visit one of their locations: 535 Madison Avenue [between 54th and 55th], New York or 1608 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

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