Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2007 Issue

AE: It's on to Year Six

Year.six

Embrace the future. You'll get fewer splinters!


By Bruce McKinney

At the stroke of midnight over the evening of September 2nd as the second hand plows on into the 3rd in San Francisco, in Australia it's already late afternoon, rush hour in Europe and 3 am of New York. The sweep of the second hand carries the Americana Exchange into the first moments of its sixth year. We came up on the morning of September 3rd, 2002, green as grass and naïve as a Nebraska farmer in Hollywood. Well Toto, five years later our eyes are wide open. The Yellow Brick Road is still shrouded in darkness but we now tread the path toward what the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi might call enlightenment. It's been an interesting trip. This day approaches on the wings of angels and the fingers of the inquisitive and enlightened who increasingly prefer to fly rather than walk to their research destinations. It has been interesting to be early and a privilege to work with so many advocates of the emerging electronic world. These days we approach our 10,000th member with gratitude and expectation. We frankly thought the flight would be more like a rocket than a kite but we are nevertheless grateful to be airborne.

We began with 151,000 records in the online Americana Exchange Database [AED] and auction notices based on categories. In 2003 we added the sequential keyword search in the AED, the auction calendar and the first version of MatchMaker. In 2004 we added the unified search of upcoming documented auction lots as well as Footnotes, a documentation tool for the serious description writer. In 2005 we added the International Bookseller's Directory and "Get Current Estimate" to convert older priced records in the AED into present value. In 2006 we added the Books for Sale database for our premium members to list their material for sale on a commission-free basis. We also added the interactive Book Fair List and the Book Fair Calendar. This year, in a separate article in this issue, we discuss cell phone access to the AED using a separate set of reduced size internet pages. It was officially released on September 1st. The AED today is 1,634,528 records and of course always growing.

The internet is a writhing mass of possibilities, an intellectual Bronco Billy that requires constant commitment to change by evolution and revolution. For the past five years we have delivered a surprising series of innovations in the field. In the next five we will be striving to provide more of the same.

Finally, for the unconvinced we offer you this: our favorite reasons for not subscribing. They're fun.

Over the years we have heard some crazy reasons. No one ever quoted them all. Such a person [for their sake] hopefully does not exist. I have heard four of them quoted by one dealer and I wish him well. He needs our sympathy. Here then are ten of the more interesting reasons we have heard for not signing up for AE and the AED.

  1. It's too cheap. At that price it can't be any good.
  2. I'd rather not know.
  3. I need the exercise so I'll look it up in my references.
  4. I'd rather subscribe to more than one hundred auction houses' sales catalogues. Okay, get your credit card ready because they are expensive. And I bet you won't always receive or read them early enough to bid!
  5. I prefer to travel with my reference library in tow. That's a nice tandem trailer you have.
  6. I have total recall. Just remember to take your meds..
  7. I'm waiting for someone to tell me I need to do this.
  8. I like to overpay because it makes the books more valuable. And every book seller and auction house has your picture on a poster. You of course know what it says: Wanted!
  9. I am not really serious about the antiquarian book business.
  10. The newest reason. I don't need cell phone access. I don't even own a phone.
Truthfully, we no longer hear so many silly reasons for not subscribing. And it is a good thing. There are bargains to be bought and great clients to be found. To find the material and each other you simply need to be part of this online community. If you are already a member, please accept my thanks for your membership and support. If you are not, give yourself the chance to experience books, manuscripts and ephemera with us. It's very worthwhile.

Thank you.

Rare Book Monthly

  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown SOYUZ-3 space navigation indicator with unflown on-ground transformer. <br>US$ 30,000-40,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Original Gemini 133P Trainer Assembly Five Part Electrical System & Attitude Maneuver ... US$ 60,000-90,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Orbiter I. The first image of the earth as seen from the moon. Gelatin silver print. August 23, 1966. US$ 2,500-3,500
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION, Chicago, 1968). <i>Collection of papers of John M. Bailey, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, concerning the convention</i>. Various places, 1968.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (ARMSTRONG, NEIL.) VERNE, JULES. <i>A Trip to the Moon.</i> New York: F. M. Lupton, September 9, 1893. Signed by Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.

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