There are also many inexpensive earlier titles with helpful advice to those in the book trade. Item 75 is a manual on opening a bookstore circa 1974. It might be somewhat dated, but it’s only $15. For autograph collectors, Item 91 is a 1906 manual for collecting. Any autographs valuable then are likely very valuable today. $20. Oak Knoll has recently published The Pleasures of Bibliography, an anthology of essays printed in the “Book Collector” over the past 37 years. $59.95. For those looking to make a quick buck, there’s The Art of the Faker, which tells all about the “art” of forgery. $35.
For collectors of printings from The Limited Editions Club, Item 266 will be very interesting. It’s a three-page letter from W.A. Dwiggins, explaining how he designed the Club’s Rabelais edition, written to George Macy, founder of the Limited Editions Club. $75.
Oak Knoll offers a wide selection of bibliography in this catalogue. For example, there’s Item 906, Targ’s American First Editions & Their Prices, A Checklist of the Foremost American Firsts. This 1930 title should be helpful to those collecting earlier first editions today. $30. Or, for collectors of Lewis & Clark, Item 776 is a new title, The Literature of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, a Bibliography and Essays. This is a thorough work covering the material related to this major expedition. $75. For collectors simply interested in bibliography, Item 267 is Bibliograhical Essays, A Tribute to Wilberforce Eames. This tribute to one of the most famous bibliographers ever, a major contributor to the Sabin’s Bibliotheca Americana, was printed in 1924. $100.
If you have been watching the updates in the Americana Exchange Database, you’ll find we are entering thousands of records from the Goodspeed’s catalogues. Goodspeed’s was probably the most important bookshop in New England during the 20th century. From it’s founding in the 19th century, until it closed in the mid-1990’s, Goodspeed’s was well-known to collectors in the Boston area. They published hundreds of catalogues during their long run. Goodspeed’s second-generation owner, the crusty George Goodspeed, is something of a legend in Boston. But, how many people still remember his father? Well here he is, in his own words. Item 301 is Charles Goodspeed’s Yankee Bookseller, Being the Reminiscences of Charles E. Goodspeed, published in 1937. $40.
Item 247 is my favorite. It’s Thomas Frognall Dibdin’s Bibliophobia, Remarks on the Present Languid and Depressed State of Literature and the Book Trade. From 1832, it’s a lament on the low prices being paid for books at contemporary sales. Dibdin was hoping to generate more enthusiasm for book collecting and higher prices for books, but we are told that this rebound never came to pass in his lifetime. Too bad Dibdin didn’t live another 150 years to see what’s happening today! He should have purchased a few of those Bodoni specimen books for a few lira. His great-great-grandchildren would be very grateful. I wonder what Dibdin would think if he saw even his lament to the low price of books was now selling for $550?
The Oak Knoll Press can be found online at www.oaknoll.com, or reached by phone at 302-328-7232.