New Blood in an Old Trade: Elizabeth Svendsen – Walkabout Books

- by Susan Halas

6.river shary

View of the River Shary from ... Africa 1822-24 ... published London 1826.

An image showing a view of the River Shary is a good example of how far away places looked to the English speaking world of the period. It comes from item #35, a first edition Denham and Clapperton’s two volumes in one Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa in the Years 1822, 1823, and 1824, London: John Murray, 1826 with an asking price of $1,000. Other prices in the Africa catalog range from about $40 to about $3,500 (for a Kilimanjaro mountaineering title naturally).

If you’re a dealer or collector from an earlier age wondering what will become of the antiquarian trade as the world of print turns digital and the market for actual books shrinks chances are you’ll find Svendsen’s outlook reassuring.

Even more upbeat is her assertion that she is not alone. There is a next generation and she contends that there are many motivated younger people who see the antiquarian trade as a vocation with a future.

She suggested AE readers take the time to browse her own offerings and those of some of her peers.

Elizabeth Svendsen,

Walkabout Books – ABAA

Xenia, Ohio

Exploration & Travel

And a few of her colleagues in the next generation for recommended browsing:

Gabe Konrad

Bay Leaf Books - ABAA

Sand Lake, MI

Used and Rare Generalist

Adam Davis and Kate Schafer

Division Leap - ABAA

Portland, OR

Hip, ‘Zines, Ephemera, Mimeo Revolution

Jonathan Smalter

Yesterday’s Muse - IOBA

Webster, NY


Kara McLoughlin,

Little Sages Books - IOBA

Antiquarian –hard to find books & ephemera

Cooper City, Florida

Zhenya Dzhavgova

ZH Books– IOBA

Freemont, California

Eastern Euro-Slavic Languages,

Links to the Book Schools

Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar

August 4-9, 2013

Rare Books School,

Charlottesville, VA

2013 summer and fall courses in Charlottesville, New Haven, Philadelphia & Washington, DC

California Rare Books School

August through November 2013 in various California locations


ABAA San Francisco Book Fair, Feb 15-17, 2013


Reach Susan Halas at