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Blog posts by Susan Benne

Susan has served as Executive Director of the ABAA for 14 years. She collects material on vice and Brooklyn. Susan is focused on making the book trade diverse and equitable.



Carnegie Library Theft

By Susan Benne

In an effort to assist in the recovery of materials missing as a result of the Carnegie Library theft, the ABAA would like to bring to the public's attention the list of items believed stolen. Click this link to view the list. Update 8/20/18: The following list includes more details. 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 flaquatra@alleghenycountyda.us · Det. Perann Tansmore (412) 388-5307 ptansmore@alleghenycountyda.us ` · Det. Lyle Graber (412) 388-5316 lgraber@alleghenycountyda.us Please note, the detectives do not have reason to believe that any... [more]

Please inform Stranraer police if you are offered the ”Treacle Bible” which was stolen from the Old Kirk (Kirk Covenant), outside Drummore village, at the end of June. The bolts were removed from the glass case where it had been displayed for years. Before the King James Bible of 1611 pre-reformation translators were risking their lives if they translated the scriptures from Latin or Greek into English. It was considered heresy, a capital offense punishable by burning. This 1549 edition of the Great Bible has been referred to as "The Treacle Bible" because of a verse in Jeremiah which says, "Is there not triacle in Gilead". “Treacle", variously spelled, is an old English name for ointment or balm. Stranraer Police can be reached at 44 1786 289070. [more]

One of our members recently purchased material bearing the Börsenverein Library's stamp. It seems the library doesn't typically deaccession material and was the victim of looting and related problems during WWII. If you happen to hold or have handled any of this material, kindly contact the person below for further details. Dr. Ramon Voges German National Library Deputy Head German Museum of Books and Writing Deutscher Platz 1 04103 Leipzig Phone: +49 341 2271-315 Fax: +49 341 2271-240 Mail: R.Voges@dnb.de [more]

Many booksellers have insurance policies that protect against loss, damage, and even liability, but what can you do to protect against crime? We asked experts from Risk Strategies and Michals Insurance to give us the low-down. In the case of credit card or check fraud, certain policies can cover loss. Kierstin Johnson of Risk Strategies says that certain Fine Art and Rare Book policies will treat the incident as a theft if the dealer ships the item out prior to the transaction going through, and then cannot collect the money. In essence, the dealer is out the book and the money and a “theft” claim could be filed with the insurance company, as the book has essentially been stolen. However, different insurance carriers take a different view. It is important for booksellers to review the exclusions in their policies. Look for the word ... [more]

The Northern & Southern California Chapters of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America would like to announce The California Young Book Collectors' Prize. Most great collectors started when they were young, and most great collections started with a passion for a particular object or subject. When these objects are books and manuscripts, the collectors are called bibliophiles, or lovers of the book. Curiously, the love of books continues unabated today, despite their increasing rarity and the rapid growth of digital media. Some might even argue that the printed page has taken on a new meaning and cultural resonance in our era of computers and electronic texts. In recognition of the next generation of bibliophiles, we have created The California Young Book Collector's Prize. The competition is open to collectors aged 35 and unde... [more]

A recent discussion on social media illustrates there are some misunderstandings about the cost and application process when a firm has more than one owner or shareholder. Though not all shareholders may want to become ABAA members, for those who do the application process is slightly abbreviated as some components are waived — after all, the viability of the business has already been established. Dues for each additional full member are $250 per year. The benefits of being a full member include the ability to take an active role in the governance of the ABAA through voting rights as well as the ability to serve on the Board of Governors and Committees. The following Q&A aims to answer the most common questions. Second Primary Full Membership What is a Second Primary Member? A Second Primary Member is any additional full member in a fir... [more]

Book Theft, August 2018 The House of Seven Gables in Salem has suffered a theft of a first edition The House of the Seven Gables, A Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Here are the details: · Published by Ticknor, Reed and Fields, Boston, 1851. Stereotyped by Hopart & Robbins, Boston. First printing. 344 pages. · Brown cloth-bound book with cut fore-edges, blocked-in-blind covers, and gilt blocked lettering on the spine, · Written in pen on title page “Jane Howden.” Written in pen on fly-leaf “To Mrs. Carlyle with the kind regards of ? April 1852. From Mrs. Carlyle (Jeanie Walsh) to Jane Howden Maitlandfield.” Written in pencil on first few pages “B90.0.56.” · Dimensions: o 7 3.8” long o 5” long If you run across this book, please notify the Salem Police Department immediately at 978-744-1212. [more]

This morning, the ABAA leadership learned that Greg Priore, former Carnegie Library Archivist, and former ABAA member John Schulman of Caliban Books, have been charged with theft from the library. This is a truly regrettable situation for the larger book community, and one in which the Association shares the public's dismay that such a theft took place. At this point in time, to comment further would be premature, as we support the legal process currently being pursued and will await its outcome. During this period we will continue to closely monitor the developments concerning this serious matter. Sincerely, Vic Zoschak President, ABAA [more]

The ABAA has received a preliminary report of a theft of French literature from a private residence in Hamden, CT within the last two weeks. Here are the details of the missing materials thus far: Finely bound sets of Victor Hugo, Jules Verne, other authors include Gide, Camus, Baudelaire, Balzac. Most in fine bindings, or illustrated and fine press editions. Books were originally purchased in France, some would have prices pencilled in Euros or Francs. Approximately 300-500 volumes missing, presumably stolen, sometime in the last 2 weeks. If you have any information about this or have been offered these books, please contact: Detective Don Remillard Major Crimes Unit Hamden Police Department 203-230-4052 dremillard@hamdenpd.com [more]

On March 11th, the ABAA Women's Initiative hosted a panel discussion on Collecting and Women during the New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory. Elizabeth Denlinger, Sarah Gordon, and Molly Schwartzburg discussed topics relating to representations of women in collections, women as collectors, and women-focused institutions as Nina Musinsky moderated. More than 100 men and women booksellers, librarians, and enthusiasts attended. If you missed it, we have a recording below. Since 2016, we have held networking receptions for women in conjunction with book fairs, and honored Carol Sandberg — a longtime bookseller who has championed women in the trade. This panel is our first foray into programming and we are thrilled to have so many of you here. Please do leave your business cards or add your name to our mailing list so we ... [more]