• <b>19th Century Shop.</b> A patriot who fought with George Washington Superb Daguerreotype of Baltus<br>Stone at age 101 (1846).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Edward Curtis portrait of Honovi, Walpi Snake Priest "Honovi was one of the author's principal informants" (1910).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> The Execution of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators by Alexander Gardner (1865).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Harriet Beecher Stowe, Catharine Beecher, Henry Ward Beecher, and the other siblings with their father Lyman Beecher. By Mathew Brady (1850s).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> From Slaves to World-Famous Entertainers Millie-Christine, "The Two-Headed Nightingale" (c. 1868-71)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Goldfield, Nevada Photograph Collection Fabled Western Mining Boomtown (1905-1906)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Tycoon-Collector Benjamin Richardson poses with his great-grandson as appeared in parade.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Alexander Gardner portrait of Lincoln the only known copy, ex-John Hay (1863).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Magnificent Niagara Falls album with a strong provenance (1867).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Spectacular American West Album From Yosemite to Salt Lake City to San Francisco.
  • <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn. A lovely copy of Twain’s masterpiece.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and <br>the Sea. A pristine copy of this American classic.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland. A high-spot of children’s literature.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Actively seeking famous works of literature.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Cotton Mather, Triumphs of the Reformed Religion, in America. A rare family association copy.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged. An inscribed first edition of Rand’s magnum opus.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> John K. Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces. Easily the most hilarious Pulitzer Prize Winner.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Click here to view our latest catalogues.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Ian Fleming, Casino Royale. First American in the exceptionally rare 1st issue jacket.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> John Donne, Poems. One of the great 17th century works of poetry.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to <br>the Galaxy. Inscribed first edition.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Seeking to purchase exceptional books.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian. Most important work of American fiction from the 1980s.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are.<br>A lovely first edition.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Basis for the beloved 1971 film.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Click here to view our latest catalogues.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24:<br>Art, Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Kelmscott Press, <i>The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer now newly<br>imprinted</i>, Hammersmith, 1896. $45,000 to $60,000.
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Marcel Schwob, <i>Vies Imaginaires</i>,<br>with illustrations by George Barbier & F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1929.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Marc Chagall, <i>Psaumes de David</i>, signed first edition, Geneva, 1979. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24:<br>Art, Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Collection of 84 Weimar-era book jackets, including designs by<br>George Grosz, Moholy-Nagy, et. al., Berlin,1926-32. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Antoni Tàpies, <i>Llull-Tàpies</i>, 75 of 105 copies signed in an edition of 165, Paris and Barcelona, 1985.<br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Black Sun Press, Harry Crosby, <i>Shadows of the Sun</i>, first edition<br>in 3 volumes, Paris, 1928-30.<br>$5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24:<br>Art, Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24:<br>Earl of Rochester [John Wilmot], Sodom: <i>Ein Spiel</i>, illustrated by<br>Julius Klinger, folio, Leipzig, 1909.<br>$3,500 to $5,000.
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Herbert Matter, <i>Trademarks and Symbols</i>, 2 volumes, California, 1960s. $3,000 to $4,000.
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24:<br>H. Boylston Dummer, <i>The Robin<br>Book</i>, 14 typed pages with water-<br>color illustrations, string-bound & hand-painted, Rockport, c. 1925.<br>$300 to $400.
  • Pierre Bergé & Associates in Collaboration with Sotheby's, Personal library of Pierre Bergé, <br>11 Dec 2015.
    Pierre Bergé & Associates in Collaboration with Sotheby's, Personal library of Pierre Bergé, <br>11 Dec 2015.
    Pierre Bergé & Associates in Collaboration with Sotheby's, Personal library of Pierre Bergé, <br>11 Dec 2015.
    Pierre Bergé & Associates in Collaboration with Sotheby's, Personal library of Pierre Bergé, <br>11 Dec 2015.
    Pierre Bergé & Associates in Collaboration with Sotheby's, Personal library of Pierre Bergé, <br>11 Dec 2015.
    Pierre Bergé & Associates in Collaboration with Sotheby's, Personal library of Pierre Bergé, <br>11 Dec 2015.
    Pierre Bergé & Associates in Collaboration with Sotheby's, Personal library of Pierre Bergé, <br>11 Dec 2015.
    Pierre Bergé & Associates in Collaboration with Sotheby's, Personal library of Pierre Bergé, <br>11 Dec 2015.
    Pierre Bergé & Associates in Collaboration with Sotheby's, Personal library of Pierre Bergé, <br>11 Dec 2015.
    Pierre Bergé & Associates in Collaboration with Sotheby's, Personal library of Pierre Bergé, <br>11 Dec 2015.
    Pierre Bergé & Associates in Collaboration with Sotheby's, Personal library of Pierre Bergé, <br>11 Dec 2015.
    Pierre Bergé & Associates in Collaboration with Sotheby's, Personal library of Pierre Bergé, <br>11 Dec 2015.

Rare Book Monthly

New Letter

Letters to the Editor

swy6125u April 09, 2003

sarina wyant wrote:

Dear Ms. Tallmer:

I read the article "Book Descriptions:The Key to Reselling," by Bruce McKinney with great interest. The issue concerning the use of book descriptions as I see it is who owns the intellectual property, the "book
description." The logical and legal answer is the creator of the description or in the case of employees of the dealer firm, the firm itself.

When a person purchases something the person does not own the "ad" generated by the company to sell that item. A book is bought as such: a book. The written descriptions used to establish provenance, hence value, are not inherently part of that book as originally created and should not be implied as being part of the sale of a volume. Rules about citing descriptions to be used in resale should be standardized in the book trade but the transfer of ownership of the intellectual property should not be universally imposed upon sellers. That would not be fair. If the value of the book is enhanced by the seller's description and the new owner uses that description to make a profit selling the book then the creator of the description should receive a royalty resulting from the new sale. To protect the buyer's and seller's interests potential resale, an agreement between the individual seller and buyer, a legally binding contract in the sales agreement establishing use and transfer of ownership of the book descriptions is necessary but should
not be mandatory. The adage buyer (and seller) beware should apply.


Prof. Sarina Wyant

Assistant Archivist and Special Collections

University of Rhode Island Library

LoupGarouB April 09, 2003

Ms. Tallmer,

I've been in the book business since 1977 and have seen how technology has created new issues such as the ownership of book descriptions by the saturating nature of online communication. What is legal vs. what is common practice, however, are two different things. I am not a lawyer, but it seems that even if copyright protection is granted to the creator of the book descriptions, there is nothing in the way of damages incurred should the buyer down the line re-use the description to re-sell the book. (So the re-seller might be acting illegally, but is not likely to be sued.) And we are talking "book," as in a distinct copy, as opposed to a bookseller's description of a title of which s/he has many copies to sell, which puts the buyer of one or more copies in the position of being able to compete. (That's a different and arguable side, especially where booksellers are also publishers, in which case I would vote on the side of copyright protection where damages could be measured.) Or when book descriptions are appropriated by people with competing copies to sell. Or when a reseller marks up the price and creates a drop-ship situation without the original seller's knowledge, another issue altogether.

Those individual copies of collectible books that deserve provenance and enjoy historical importance have traditionally carried with them the descriptions bestowed by previous owners and sellers, as noted in your article. I believe the use of these descriptions should follow the book as it changes hands, although legally the seller should expressly acknowledge authorship and relinquish the copyright. I do not agree with McKinney's idea that credit be given to the creator of these descriptions, although legally this might be the laudable solution. (Should this creator's name have significance that will enhance the value or resalability of an item, a later marketer will broadcast the association loud and clear.) But that this becomes a standard or the lack of its practice a tarnish seems to me too much of a burden, and in some cases subject to abuse by those with similar copies.

What must be noted is that there are now more books on the market than ever before, but the number of individual volumes that deserve olde world attention to detail are drowned by an increasing percentage of proffered dross. Few volumes merit the work, and those that do will remain within that small circle of book collecting elite where tradition and high standards continue to dictate business practices, technology be damned.

I suspect that few of the online booksellers these days have ever handled books important enough to carry provenance. Their pique is raised when someone borrows their overview of the plot or theme, or a tidbit about the author inserted in a 200-word description of a mass-market book listed on ABE or Alibris, in order to sell another copy of the same book. This is a different issue altogether.

Interesting topic. Thank you for the opportunity to voice
an opinion.

Antoinette Graham

Loup Garou Books

P.O. Box 266

Micanopy, Florida 32667



Selling fine books since 1977

DSloan April 09, 2003

Dear Abby,

I am an auctioneer, rare book dealer, and appraiser. I am never bothered when someone "steals" my descriptions. I suppose that I am secretly pleased that someone thought enough of my work to "steal" it.

In his introduction to Guide to the Life and
Literature of the Southwest (1942, 1952, etc.), J. Frank Dobie had printed on
the copyright page: "Not copyright. Anybody is welcome to help himself to any
of it in any way."

I agree with that generous idea. I learned a great deal from others, and if
my work can help anyone else, then I hope that they will feel free to use it. I can only speak for myself and my cataloguing,
but I do not consider my descriptions to be classified as a valuable or sacred commodity that must be protected.

Certainly, acknowledging and quoting another's work is the best and most
courteous way to proceed.

I like the concept of sharing knowledge and believe that it contributes to a more enlightened world.

Dorothy Sloan

RICHLER April 09, 2003

Following the interesting discussion on the
copyrights of book descriptions, I should like to pose another question on copyrights.

Suppose A owns a rare book or manuscript and gives a photocopy to a friend or scholar, perhaps with permission to publish, perhaps without.

A then sells the MS to B. Again, B may or may not be aware that the scholar has a copy.

The scholar decides to publish the text or to give the photocopies to another party.

Does B (the new owner) retain any copyright over the photocopies? Is the scholar free to publish or to give or sell the photocopies to another party or is he obligated to ask the new owner (B) permission to do so?

What if the manuscript is sold to an anonymous

The same question is valid when a library holds microfilm copies of manuscripts from another collection which is later sold.

Benjamin Richler

gsaretzk April 09, 2003

IMHO, a technical description (e.g. octavo, blue cloth, gravure reproductions, etc.) is rather different from a summary of the book's
intellectual content and biographical information about the author written by the bookseller. The former is a statement of fact like "the auto has four wheels." The latter is a creative production and should be protected by copyright but infringement is impractical to enforce unless one
bookseller takes another's book descriptions en masse.

gary saretzky

Saretzky Online: Photo Books

w.barrow April 09, 2003

It would seem to me that any written book
description that is substantial and creative enough becomes the intellectual property of its author and can only be transferred with that author's permission. Should the buyer in particular or the trade in general benefit from being able to pass along these descriptions to succeeding generations
of owners, then either the descriptions need to be purchased (or clearly included in the sale of the books), or the trade needs to designate some minimal level of description to suffice for the purposes of generating a chain of title, which would be passed along with ownership of the book. I suppose one could argue that any description that was originally published may be copied and included with the book, solely as background information, but not re-published for marketing purposes except within the rules of Fair Use. And, since a percentage of
any description may be useful to the original dealer/author if they subsequently obtain another copy, it makes sense for them to retain the ability to re-use their own prose.


Special Collections Librarian

Cleveland State University Library

2121 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 687-6998 (office)

(216) 687-2449 (Special Collections)

(216) 687-9328 (fax)


http://web.ulib.csuohio.edu/SpecColl/ (Special Collections)

Dillonbook April 09, 2003

atallmer@yahoo.com writes:

Whether collectors have the right, with attribution, to re-use these book descriptions when they in turn decide to sell their collections.

Of course they do not. In 1989, for example, Sotheby's sold The Collection of The Garden Ltd. The collection included two Alexander Pope manuscripts acquired from the Houghton sale, Christie's 1980.

When Sotheby's
manuscript-cataloguer turned in his work in 1989, I discovered that he had simply copied the Pope descriptions verbatim from
the Houghton catalogue -- reasoning, as I recall, that he had written them himself while working for Christie's nine years before. I told him, and Sotheby's general counsel told him, that we couldn't possibly print them like that.

The descriptions belonged to Christie's and Christie's alone. Not the seller, not the cataloguer, not the buyer, not successive buyers.

My own modest contributions to the genre, eg




Feynman 1987

can entail days of research, painstaking
correspondence, travel, shmoozing,
tenacity, enthusiasm, the occasional insight, and
sometimes even a fortunate
turn of phrase. My descriptions are not "work for
hire", nor do they become
"work for hire" retroactively when the underlying
goods are sold. (If that
were the case, then PepsiCo could buy a Coke and
then start using Coke's
advertising copy.)

My descriptions are my property. In most cases I
would be amazed if anyone
thought them worth reprinting; but nevertheless they
are my property. One
important collector asked me years ago whether he
might buy my descriptions
as he buys my books, and of course I told him yes;
yet there are other buyers
and other circumstances where I would say no.

Jay Dillon

wklimon April 09, 2003

Suppose A owns a rare book or manuscript and gives a photocopy to a friend or scholar, perhaps with permission to publish, perhaps without. A then sells the MS to B. Again, B may or may not be aware that the scholar has a copy.

The scholar decides to publish the text or to give the photocopies to another party. Does B (the new owner) retain any copyright over the photocopies? Is the scholar free to publish or to give or sell the photocopies to another party or is he obligated to ask the new owner (B) permission to do so?

What if the manuscript is sold to an anonymous purchaser?

The same question is valid when a library holds microfilm copies of manuscripts from another collection which is later sold.

The answers to your questions depend on the
copyright of the underlying works. If the rare book you hypothesize was published before 1923, or if the author of the unpublished MS died before 1933, then in either case the work is in the public domain and anyone is permitted under the copyright law to make copies.

If the book or MS was published or created after those dates, then the question is a bit more complicated and more information would be need to answer it.

William M. Klimon


drhbooks April 09, 2003

Christopher G. Mullin, Dorothy Sloan, and Frank Dobie are to be complemented on their "OPEN SOURCE" policy regarding book descriptions. However, I have to point out that there is more than one way to run a railroad and I would be quite surprised to discover that ALL of Frank Dobie's bibliographical endeavors bear the same
> notice on the copyright page.....
> Trying to force everyone into the same business
> model
> is never easy, and rarely results in good will
> between
> parties.
> As others have pointed out advertising text in the
> world outside antiquarian/used bookselling (even in
> NEW bookselling!) is protected by copyright law.
> There is probably a reason for this. Since I'm not
> a
> lawyer, an MBA, or an ethicist I'll just assume a
> good
> reason and go with the majority of the world on this
> instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and come up
> with even MORE reasons why bookselling is different.
> I have had dealers ask politely if they could use my description after
> purchasing a cataloged book from me,
> and I have always granted permission and felt
> flattered that they appreciated my work. Granting a blanket permission to all including database owners is less appealing.


drscheiner April 09, 2003

Knowledge can not be copyrighted, just one's presentation of it. If after years of research I discover a particular volume to be the first illustrated American edition of a title, and state such in my printed catalog, any one has the right to repeat that information. Courtesy would dictate that
the "discoverer" be credited, as would prudence if you don't want to be personally liable if the "fact" should subsequently be proven to be false.

C.J. Scheiner

wklimon April 09, 2003

What Mr. McKinney has proposed, although he doesn't address the legal issues at all, is a kind of standard license under which dealers would grant a perpetual, though limited, right to use their copyrighted material (catalog descriptions) to the purchasers (and subsequent purchasers) of the dealers' books.

There is nothing legally objectionable about that proposal (although they will most certainly want to raise their prices to reflect the grant of the license). But it would require a large amount of voluntary compliance: in each transaction, each dealer would have to agree to such a license. A dealer could agree in one deal one day, and decline in another the next. And, recall, we dealing with the very idiosyncratic world of book dealers. Short of legislation, there is probably no way to get the critical mass of compliance that would be required to make the whole project work.

William M. Klimon


JBERARD April 09, 2003

Those book descriptions are published work (most are published by the bookseller in catalogs or on websites) and as such
have all the regular protections of copyright.

McKinney acknowledges that the author's carefully worded descriptions add to the value of the book. That person's hard-won knowledge and experience that make the description valuable. It is reasonable that
they expect to profit from this.

To further my point, one should also realize that re-use of a description might affect the author's credibility. The book may have changed condition since last sold, or facts may have become available that would change the description. Despite the buyer's theoretical promise, the description might also be used for another copy of the work.


Jeanette Berard

withheld April 03, 2003

I represent an auction company that has done billions in auction business. If your group could give us leads through your resources we would give back 10% of the gross commissions charged. If you have interest please contact me for further exchange. Thank you,

Name withheld

The Americana Exchange does not accept commissions. We provide objective information about books and accepting commissions could impact objectivity. However, when you are conducting book auctions we will gladly post information and listings in the field of printed Americana for free as this information will be of interest to our members. Americana Exchange

Peter April 03, 2003

Frankly, I found last month's article on ABE to be an appalling puff piece. Corporate propaganda at its worst, disguised as objective journalism. Many of ABE's more professional dealers have been dropping out of their programs. You might have asked them how they added 200-300 new dealers every month and ended up with about the same number of dealers over time.... I'm very displeased with their new management team and their style. They're not book people, they're money people. Corporate punks, making a buck off me because they can, because they have no real competition since Amazon blitzed Bibliofind.
Peter Dast, professional bookseller.

Anthony April 03, 2003

Who owns a books description? You people are part of the modern disaster. You don't own the English language or any other language. Let me know who your opponents are, and I will donate all my spare cash to fight you. You money grubbing jerks!

Dave Anthony

abready April 02, 2003

Letter to the Editor:

Interesting take on what to do about dealer and auction catalog descriptions and one's ability to make use of them later. To put it briefly, the first matter is one of copyright: if the dealer has copyrighted his or her catalog, then direct theft of text is against the rules. But only a few do this. For myself, and for others with whom I have often talked over the past several decades, the general rule is that bibliographical information is for everyone to appropriate: the more accurate, the better. Regarding editorial commentary, we all take some pride in our abilities to ferret out information that somebody else didn't. If someone then appropriates that info for their own entry, this is deemed as recognition of our own talents. It is not a slight, but still an (sadly, often uncited) acknowledgement of the work of another. After all, the information actually came from other sources to begin with (books, newspapers, etc.) which we did not write ourselves. Cataloguing is an art form (albeit a miniscule one), and just about every cataloguer I know takes some pride in what they produce. The catalog gets printed and mailed out and your name (or the firm's name) is attached, so you are judged on your product. I will often mention within an entry a recognition by name of the effort by another that enabled me to write a more complete (or witty) catalog description. I have had my name mentioned by others. The general idea is professional courtesy: we all like to be stroked on occasion. We crib and adopt from all sorts of sources if we think that it will help better sell the product. The information is out there; it is just a matter of finding it. A point to consider: you have compiled a vast database, with extensive bibliographical citations. Who or what gives you the right to list those citations? Did you get written permission from Wright Howes or his heirs to use his entries (which are actually protected by copyright? Do you do it on the premise that they serve as commonly understood fixed points for further discussion and investigation? So it is for those of us in the trade (or at least most of us). What I write is not meant to be selfishly retained; it is to disseminate information. Any goof who thinks that what he or she writes is deathless and his or her own property alone has much more ego than sense. They have gathered their information from the effort of others; what makes them think that others aren't allowed to do what they themselves have done? Granted, the internet sloths who blithely reprint entire catalog entries by another are a pimple on the butt of the profession. They are cheating, both their customers and themselves (since they obviously have not discovered the fun of research). But their customers will quickly learn that purchases are being made from somebody who doesn't know what they are cribbing about, and thus the lazy will either clean up their act or disappear from the field in time. Every profession has those who attempt to make fast bucks on the backs of those who came before, but history also tells us that those who operate in this fashion quickly move on to some other field, because the only way to succeed in any field is to do the homework and know the territory. In short, the operating rules are be courteous, acknowledge the work of others when appropriate, and consider what you have written to be part of the vastness of information. It must be stressed that we are not the ones who actually wrote what we are selling; we make our livings on the writings of others. We don't really contribute; what we do is elucidate. Anybody who confuses the two doesn't deserve the time of day for their complaints about intellectual theft. We provide information much as the dictionary compiler or the newspaper reporter. It is an honor to have one's writings considered significant enough to be snatched and repeated.

It is the commentary and annotations that make writing catalog entries any fun whatsoever. To simply copy somebody else's work is the product of someone who doesn't really enjoy what they are doing, just trying to make a buck or two. I consider it a challenge to condense information obtained from several others into newly phrased and less than purple prose that informs and illuminates and entertains at the same time. If my name is on the catalog, then I better feel good about what I have written. If others don't have as high a standard, well, too sad for them. They are missing out on the fun. All that said and done, the theft of ideas are a different matter entirely. In his latest book, Nicholas Basbanes quotes a book dealer at length regarding a concept (which will remain unmentioned because the particulars are unimportant). The lengthy quote is one that I made directly to the credited dealer, and was entirely of my own conception. When I read the passage I stood up and snorted, stomped around the room for several seconds, and then sat back down and had one of the best laughs I've had for quite a while. If someone takes your ideas for their own, what greater compliment can you receive? You've come up with something that someone else actually agreed with. Remember, charity and good humor will always triumph.

Yours in correctness,

Chris Bready
Baltimore Book Auctions

Editor's Note: AE licenses Howes Usiana from the Newberry Library.

faroid April 01, 2003

Hello Bruce,

I was at the Boston Antiquarian show where I received your card with the two week offer, I have one of the best Golf Libraries in the world, and was a bit disappointed to see not to many offerings on golf books, especially where you are from San Francisco where Pacific Book Auctions are and I know that they have had around five or six Golf Sales since 1996 and this would be enough to get me really enthused also with along over 300 of my golf collector society members and also my British golf collector friends......also if you could have the database for the major golf auctions every year, Sotheby's, Christies, Bonham's, Phillips, that really have many golf books in them this would be one Killer database......you should really look into it.....you would get many members.....Jim Espinola

kfermoyle April 01, 2003

Bruce McKinney's article advocates plagiarism, pure & simple - something
generallly considered by only reprehensible but illegal!

As a professional writer, editor & journalist for more than 50 years, my writing is a marketable product and is protected by copyright. It can only
be used by others with my permission, which usually involves a payment for
such usage. A professional bookseller who spends time researching &
writing a book description is entitled to the same protection. Henceforth,
any book descriptions I write will carry a specific copyright notice.
Anyone who uses such a description will be liable for penalties under copyright law.


JeromeP8 April 01, 2003

Bookseller descriptions are covered by law. Descriptive material is owned
and protected. What you are suggesting with the 'sale' of the description
passing with the sale of the book is wrong!

diivinedbl February 01, 2003

Dear Bruce,

You were kind enough to email me when I tried to sign up for a trial
subscription on the ad you ran in Booksource Monthly which I subscribe to.

I just received another email from you. Congratulations on passing the one
thousand mark for subscribers.

Bottom Line: whoever figures out how to set up, what I think you're trying
to set up, will not only make a financial fortune but will do for the book
world what the New York stock exchange did for the capital markets almost
two hundred years ago and what the Nasdaq further did in the last decade.

Namely, to provide a universal and open and widely used medium for both auction and negotiated exchange of goods.

Up until now the bookworld continues in it's quirky, semi-subteranean world of operating in the secretive, ill-informed murky shadows of a third world bazar of haphazardly ferreting out buyers, sellers and information in the most obfuscated methods imaginable.

You're on the right track but you still have a helluva lotta work to do and there are twenty other people all trying to do the same thing.

As as a buyer and collector of books all I can say is that abebooks has the format but I think they're going to drop the ball. They
remind me of Commodore Computers twenty years ago or maybe Amiga. Same with E-Bay. Both had the beginnings of a magnificent platform but not able, for whatever reasons of corporate lack of foresight, to see the
bigger picture.

Are you the Steve Jobs of books? I certainly hope so. I hope, and know, that out there one of you is going to figure it out.

As I see your problem now, you have the vision but you're getting bogged
down pretty quick now in HOW you're putting it into effect. And please, though it's wonderful you now have a thousand subscribers, don't delude
yourself, as abebooks and e-bay have, into thinking that because you're finally making some money and creating a niche that you've answered to and found out the real solution to the big picture and are genuinely filling
that need.

Stay with it, keep soliciting ideas, keep revising the plan and tweeking it. I think, while aesthetically pleasing to look at, your web-site is missing a lot of 'meat' that's needed to fuel this puppy of an idea that your nurturing.

Well, I care about books and so took the time because you seem to really on some level be able to grasp what's needed in this book market so hope you found my comments if not helpful then at least interesting.

If I may be of further help, please let me know... all the best to you in
your endeavors, I hope you create what we all need.......and I hope this
e-mail makes it to you.

Kind regards,

Bill Brazz

e-mail at: divinedbld@comcast.net

hhurt December 03, 2002

To: catchall@americanaexchange.com

Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2002 09:56:40 -0800


Dear Ms. Tallmer--

Thank you for the article on e-Bay. Let me add an experience that I've
had that surely is not unique. On three occasions that I have documented,
I have received what appeared to be good-faith queries from individuals
asking me to provide scans of high-end books. I have done so. Then
normal back-and-forth discussions have ensued about possible discounts,
questions about the books' condition, shipping, etc. In the cases noted,
I have then seen the scans of my items (absolutely identified by small
mars on the books in the scans) appear for sale on e-Bay at starting
prices far above my asking price. Clearly, the e-Bay seller was offering
my books and then, if he had a successful buyer, he would then consummate
the purchase from me. (The e-Bay seller's name in each case was seemingly
unrelated to the person I thought I was dealing with.) At first, this
angered me as simply wrong. In each case, I ceased negotiations with the
fake buyer. My complaints to e-Bay were received indifferently. I did
begin to watch the patterns of what appeared to be similar sales (always
very high-end books) and realized that the practice was certainly not

In any case, as a bookseller I find e-Bay a good place to buy certain
books, but I've never tried to sell anything--except through these
operators I've just described.

Thanks again for your article.

Henry Hurt.

Shadetree Rare Books

Al November 15, 2002

Good Day,

Please sign me up for a year. The temporary trail period has already produced Lewis and Clark books at upcoming auctions that I would have not found otherwise.

Happy Trails,


George December 01, 2014

I look forward every month to reading AE Monthly. Why lessen the enjoyment by including leftist political orthodoxy into otherwise delightful articles. 

The latest offender::

"He continued through life to support political candidates who were focused on helping the needy, rather than those who sought to reduce taxes on the wealthy…" 

—The Greatest Book Collector Dies at 100 

Had the collector's forebears been of like mind, the collection receiving accolades likely would never have been formed.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Davies, John, of Hereford. <i>Wittes Pilgrimage</i>. London, [1605?]. $10,000-15,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Rowley, Samuel. <i>When you See Me, You know Mee</i>. London, 1632. $3,000-5,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: <br>Ariosto, Lodovico (John Harington, trans.). <i>Orlando Furioso in English Heroical Verse</i>. (London, 1591). $90,000-120,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Marlowe, Christopher. <i>The Famous Tragedy of the Rich Jew of Malta</i>. London, 1633. $40,000-60,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Caius, Joannes. <i>Of Englishe Dogges</i>. London, 1576. $30,000-50,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan, <i>Or The Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth</i>. London, 1651. $25,000-35,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Missal, Use of Sarum. <i>Missale ad usu[m] insignis ac preclare ecclesie Sar[um]</i>. London, [1512]. $15,000-20,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Bacon, Sir Francis. <i>Instauratio Magna [Novum Organum]</i>. London, 1620. <br>$20,000-30,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Walton, Izaak. <i>The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative man's Recreation</i>. London, 1653. $70,000-100,000
    Sotheby's NY December 2-4:<br>Milton, John. <i>Poems</i>. London, 1645. $25,000-35,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Baldwin, William. <i>A Myrroure for Magistrates</i>. London, 1559. $100,000-$150,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Newton, Isaac. <i>Opticks</i>. London, 1704. Presentation copy given by the author to Edmund Halley. $400,000-600,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Shakespeare, William. <i>Poems</i>. London, 1640. $150,000-200,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Chaucer, Geoffrey. <i>Canterbury Tales</i>. London, 1526. $200,000-$300,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Donne, John. Autograph letter signed to Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, presenting a first edition of <i>Pseudo-Martyr</i>, London, 1610. $150,000-200,000
  • Bloomsbury Auctions London, 9th December Western Manuscripts
    Bloomsbury Dec 9: Lot 19, Extracts from various authors on demons<br>and demonology, [France, 13th c.] Est.: £3,000-5,000
    Bloomsbury Dec 9: Lot 3, Leaf from an illuminated monastic Missal, [southern Germany, 10th c.]<br>Est.: £3,000–5,000
    Bloomsbury Dec 9: Lot 23, Large cutting from an extremely early <br>copy of Gratian's <i>Decretum</i> [northern France or Low Countries, 12th c.] Est.: £2,000-3,000
    Bloomsbury Dec 9: Lot 47, Christ holding a book and blessing, within a mandorla supported by two angels, [northern France, 11th c.]<br>Est.: £25,000-35,000
    Bloomsbury Auctions London, 9th December Western Manuscripts
    Bloomsbury Dec 9: Lot 56, Animal initial with a bear and a griffon,<br>from a monumental illuminated manuscript Bible [France, 12th c.]<br>Est.: £8,000-12,000
    Bloomsbury Dec 9: Lot 57, Animal initial with two dogs, from a monu-<br>mental illuminated manuscript Bible [France, 12th c.] Est.: £7,000-9,000
    Bloomsbury Dec 9: Lot 61, Cutting showing the murder of a youth, [northern France (Paris, 14thc.]<br>Est.: £6,000-8,000
    Bloomsbury Dec 9: Lot 74, Leaf<br>from a finely illuminated manuscript Missal with an almost nude man and two men's heads [Italy, c.1290]<br>Est.: £4,000-6,000
    Bloomsbury Auctions London, 9th December Western Manuscripts
    Bloomsbury Dec 9: Lot 105, Fragment of a Sefer Torah (Genesis 28:7-47:3), [Sephard (perhaps c.1300)] Est.: £30,000-50,000
    Bloomsbury Dec 9: Lot 115, Bernard of Botone, <i>Glossa ordinaria</i> on the Decretals of Gregory IX, [Italy, c. 1300] Est.: £30,000-50,000
    Bloomsbury Dec 9: Lot 125, The Hours of Gabrielle d'Estrées, Use of Paris, [northern France, c. 1480]<br>Est.: £8,000-12,000
    Bloomsbury Dec 9: Lot 118,<br> The Astronomical Compendium of San Cristoforo, Turin, including Regiomontanus, Calendarium [northern Italy, (perhaps c. 1474)] Est.: £40,000-60,000
  • <b>Christie's London, December 1: Valuable Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Christie's London Dec 1: </b> Lot 144. BLOCH, Marcus Elieser. [Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische:] 12 parts in 9 volumes, comprising 6 <br>text vols. Est. £40,000-£60,000 .
    <b>Christie's London Dec 1: </b> Lot 77. JOYCE, James (1882-1941). <i>Ulysses</i>. Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1922. Est. £50,000-£80,000.
    <b>Christie's London Dec 1: </b> Lot 1. THE THREE MARYS AT THE SEPULCHRE and THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. Est. £150,000-£200,000.
    <b>Christie's London, December 1: Valuable Books & Manuscripts</b>
    <b>Christie's London Dec 1: </b> Lot 164. VALTURIUS, Robertus (1413-84). <br><i>De re militari</i>. Edited by Paulus Ramusius, Junior. Verona... <br>Est. £35,000-£45,000.
    <b>Christie's London Dec 1: </b> Lot 171. [POTTER, Beatrix (1866-1943), illustrator]. Frederic E. WEATHERLY. <i><br>A Happy Pair...Illustrated by H.B.P.</i><br> Est. £5,000-£8,000.
    <b>Christie's London Dec 1: </b> Lot 181. CAO, Junyi (fl. 1644). <i>Tianxia jiubian fenyie renji lucheng quantu.</i><br>Est. £300,000-£500,000.
    Arader Nov 21: Lot 93. A Mapp of Ye Improved Parts of Pennsylvania in America... Description: Thomas Holme (1624-1695). Est: $15,000-$20,000
  • <b>Bonhams Dec 9th: </b> Lot 113. EINSTEIN, ALBERT. 1879-1955. Autograph Manuscript Signed<br>("A. Einstein") on final page.<br>US$ 80,000-120,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec 9th: </b> Lot 10. BURNS, ROBERT. 1759-1796. Autograph Revised Manuscript, <i>Monody on Maria<br>R._________</i> US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec 9th: </b> Lot 100. WOOLF, VIRGINIA. 1882-1941. Autograph Letter Signed ("AVS"), 4 pp recto and verso, 8vo. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec 9th: </b> Lot 28. DICKINSON, EMILY. 1830-1886. Autograph Note Signed ("Emily"). US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec 9th: </b> Lot 79. REVERE, PAUL. 1735-1818. Autograph Note Signed ("Paul Revere"), 1 p, oblong 16mo. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec 9th: </b> Lot 22. DARWIN, CHARLES. 1809-1882. Autograph Letter Signed ("C. Darwin"), 2-1/2 pp, 8vo. US$ 8,000-12,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec 9th: </b> Lot 58. OYCE, JAMES. 1882-1941. Autograph Letter Signed ("James Joyce"), December 5, 1920. US$ 8,000-12,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec 9th: </b> Lot 249. MATISSE, HENRI. 1869-1954. MALLARMÉ, STEPHANE. Poésies. Lausanne: Albert Skira, 1932. US$ 40,000-60,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec 9th: </b> Lot 229. STOKER, BRAM. 1847-1912. Dracula, 1899. <i>First American edition, inscribed by the author</i>. US$ 12,000-18,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec 9th: </b> Lot 241. GAUGUIN, PAUL. 1848-1903. [Noa Noa, Vojage de Tahiti. 1893-1894.] US$ 15,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec 9th: </b> Lot 233. CHAGALL, MARC. 1887-1985. Poémes. Geneva: Cramer Éditeur, 1968. 124 pp. Poems. US$ 20,000-30,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec 9th: </b> Lot 20. CUMMINGS, EDWARD ESTLIN. 1894-1962. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("E.E. Cummings"), headed "Poem". US$ 5,000-8,000

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