Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2018 Issue

ABAA Calls For Help Locating Material Taken from the Carnegie Library


The ABAA is seeking help finding books missing from the Carnegie Library.

The ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America) has issued a call to the public to help locate books missing from the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh. Recently, the Carnegie Library's rare book librarian and a local bookseller were charged with a two-decades old scheme where the librarian would take books from the library and hand them to the bookseller, who would sell them in the trade. An estimated $8 million worth of books, plates, and maps were stolen from the Carnegie Library.


While some items have been recovered many more remain missing. Most likely, they reside in the hands of innocent buyers who have no idea what they purchased was stolen. To help people who may possess, or know where some of these books may be, the ABAA has issued a statement which contains instructions on who to contact, and a link to a pdf containing a list and descriptions of the items missing. Here is their request, issued by ABAA President Vic Zoschak, Security Committee Chair Brad Johnson, and Executive Director Susan Benne.


"In an effort to aid in the recovery of materials missing as a result of the Carnegie Library theft, the ABAA requests the assistance of the pubic in bringing its attention to the list of items believed stolen. A downloadable pdf of same can be found here:




"Should any member of the public identify having purchased or otherwise having knowledge of the disposition or current location of any items from the Carnegie Library—whether on this list or not—please contact one of the following detectives from Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office:



· Det. Fran Laquatra

(412) 388-5305



· Det. Perann Tansmore

(412) 388-5307



· Det. Lyle Graber

(412) 388-5316




"Please note, the detectives do not have reason to believe that anyone who may have purchased any of these items was necessarily aware that the material had been reported stolen.


"The ABAA appreciates your attention and assistance with respect to this grave matter. Please check our post from March for further details, including additional information on collection markings: www.abaa.org/blog/post/pittsburgh-area-thefts."


The link to the pdf list of missing items mentioned in this statement may be found at www.abaa.org/images/newsletter_pdf/Detailed_Damage_Loss_Report_Carnegie_Library_of_Pittsburgh2..pdf.


The next hearing in the case of the two suspects, rare book librarian Gregory Priore, and co-owner of Caliban Books John Schulman, was postponed from August until October 12. Schulman was successful in convincing the court to lift a freeze of his bank accounts that was initiated by the prosecution. The lifting of the freeze enables Caliban to continue in business, paying its employees, rent, electricity and other business expenses, and trading in books not related to those taken from the Carnegie Library. However, no funds from the accounts may be used to pay profits to the principals.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions