MatchMaker - A Month Old

- by Bruce E. McKinney



Unlike a collecting guide or a bibliography that is written once and committed to paper and is therefore always the same to whoever uses it, the ÆD is constantly evolving and constantly being used to create fresh perspectives on collecting. And of course the basic data in the database is always being increased. A library may use the ÆD to create a list of imprints printed in a particular county in Idaho while a collector may, at virtually the same time, be creating a list of material about guns but only within a specific data range and perhaps limited only to material printed in Connecticut. This is simply an extraordinary tool.

This month I purchased 4 books in my collecting area – the Hudson Valley.

I bought, for $39.00 delivered, an extremely nice copy of The Catskill Mountains and the Region Charles Rockwell, printed in New York and dated 1869. This copy is very clean, includes many illustrations and a fold-out map.

The Life of the Late John Elwes, Esquire;...printed in Poughkeepsie in 1815 by Paraclette Potter. At $35.00 this was an easy decision. The book may be readable but my interest is in it as a Poughkeepsie imprint.

Reminiscences of the Revolution, or, Le Loup’s Bloody Trail from Salem to Fort Edward, printed in Utica in 1859 and listed in Howes as R-164 for $70.00. In the mid-19th century many accounts of Indian depredations, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 were printed in out-of-the-way places. This looked interesting.

The Confession of Jesse Strang, who was convicted of the Murder of John Whipple, at a Special Court of Oyer and Terminer, held in and for the County of Albany, on the Fourth Day of August 1827. This is a 35 page pamphlet and looked particularly interesting. The cost was $140. I’m looking forward to reading this one.

The last two items were purchased from Michael Brown of Philadelphia. The first two came from MatchMaker. Later this year we’ll begin to include just released dealer catalogues in the Æ Database. We’re looking now at how to identify such material to potential buyers as very fresh and potentially available.

Building a book collection in this way is certainly different from the process I’m used to using in the past. I used to read auction catalogues continuously, do various searches on ABE regularly and of course read the many dealer catalogues I’ve been fortunate to receive. MatchMaker is making it much easier for me to find interesting material. It is quite simply the most powerful book collecting tool in the world.