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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.


ABAA Member Peter Kraus remembers bibliophile, collector, and seller Colin Franklin. I was lucky enough to have not one, but two, truly great booksellers as mentors. The first, and most important, was my cousin, Hans Kraus. From my mid teens on, he initiated me into the world of rare books, Teaching me how to use a bibliography and exposing me to everything from Egyptian Books of the Dead to a first edition of Ulysses. However, In 1967 I was lucky enough to meet Colin when he was still working at his family publishing house of Routledge and Kegan Paul, which had been the publisher of a book by my great grandfather, and I was working for the Kraus companies. We hit it off immediately, and he invited me to pay a visit to Culham, which was then his country house. There he proudly showed me his latest purchase, a complete set of Kelmscott Pre... [more Remembering Colin Franklin]

The ABAA recently learned of new developments in the criminal case regarding the Carnegie Library thefts. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Greg Priore and John Schulman pleaded guilty to theft yesterday. The full article is here: https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2020/01/13/carnegie-library-rare-books-theft-greg-priore-john-schulman-guilty-plea/stories/202001130088... [more Updates in Carnegie Library Theft Case]

Passages Bookshop (in Portland, Oregon) was broken into last night). A first rough estimate is that 100-150 books were stolen from smashed display cases. Most of the books are rare and signed editions of poetry, literature, photography, and modern art. I have only begun to identify the missing titles; a first shortlist follows, and we'll send an update with additional details when possible. In case anyone suspects that they are offered material from this incident, the police contact is: Officer Anthony Hill, Portland Bureau of Police 503-545-3436 Case number 20-1394 My phone numbers are: Cell: 503-233-4562 Shop: 503-388-7665 Thank you very much, David Abel Books stolen from Passages Bookshop, 1/2/20. List revised 2/12/20. Complete and uptodate lists also at: www.passagesbookshop.com/stolen-books-1-2-20 www.passagesbookshop.com/stolen-book... [more Large Theft from Passages in Portland, OR (UPDATE Feb 12th, 2020)]

We've recently been made aware of the theft of this important item in NYC. Details and some photos follow. Please contact us or Detective Rodriguez if you are offered or know the whereabouts of this item. On 7/22/2019 a police report was filed for the theft of the 1927 script of The Jazz Singer by Samson Raphaelson. The book was a personal copy of Jack Warner and it may be attempted to be sold as such. The theft occurred sometime between 7/16 - 7/22. The police report number is 2019-018-5906. Detective Hector L. Rodriguez New York City Police Department Major Case Squad Main: (646) 610-6910 Fax: (646) 610-6185 Cell: (917) 417-3074 [more Missing: Jack Warner’s copy of The Jazz Singer script]

If offered the following item, please contact William Kalush at (212) 594-1033. RINGELBERG, JOACHIM FORTIUS Opera, quae proxima pagina enumerantur. IDEM. Compendium de conscribendis versibus. Lyon, Sebastien Gryphius, 1532-1531. 2 parties en 1 volume petit in-8 (156 x 100 mm) de 687 pp., marque d'imprimeur sur le titre coloriée, pour Opera; 29 pp., 1 f.n.ch. (blanc) pour Arithmetica; veau raciné, dos lisse, tranches mouchetées (reliure du XIXe siècle). Mortimer, French, 460; Baudrier, VIII: 60; Smith, Rara Arithmetica, 166-7; Adams, R-560; Lynn- Thorndike, V, 152; Vitry, 728. Édition originale. Les Opera portent la date de 1532 sur la page de titre, le dernier feuillet indique la date de 1531, comme celle du Compendium, relié à la suite comme c'est souvent le cas (selon Mortimer). "Presumably inspired by Viator but far from being c... [more Missing in Transit to NYC: 16th Work by RINGELBERG, JOACHIM FORTIUS]

TALES OF THE WILD AND WONDERFUL ; ; ; . Tales of the Wild and Wonderful.London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., 1825. $3250. Octavo, measuring 7.75 x 4.75 inches: x, , 356. Original drab paper boards, blue cloth spine, publisher's printed spine label, text block uncut. Early ink owner signature to front pastedown, early bookseller description (misattributing authorship to George Borrow, as formerly believed) laid in. Joints cracked but holding, spine chipped, scattered foxing to first and last pages. Housed in a custom clamshell box. First edition of this anonymously published collection of weird tales, one of only two books by Walter Sholto Douglas, born Mary Diana Dods, who would later live as a man with the help of Mary Shelley. This collection includes five tales in the gothic and fairy tale traditions, among them “The Prediction,” a da... [more Missing en route to England: Tales of the Wild and Wonderful]

The ABAA has launched a program where seasoned ABAA members act as mentors, i.e. business advisors and guides, to novices in the rare book field and/or those not currently in the trade but whose background and interest in the vocation would make them good candidates to enter the field. The goals of this program are to: • Provide dealers early in their careers with the opportunity to advance their professional development • Build a recruitment pipeline for the Association that enhances the number of qualified applicants and diversifies the membership • Afford mentees the opportunity to build a relationship with an ABAA member • Educate potential candidates about a career in the trade (for example, graduate students looking for a profession outside of academia) Structure ABAA Headquarters is responsible for coordinating and implemen... [more ABAA Launches Mentorship Program for Novice Book and Manuscript Sellers]

Missing, presumed stolen from HANSONS AUCTIONEERS and VALUERS LTD, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6LS: Inscribed WWII edition of Winston Churchill's My Early Life. Images of the book and inscription are attached. Please contact Marc Kuritz, if offered: churchillbookcollector@gmail.com Churchill Book Collector, ABAA | ILAB | IOBA San Diego, California, U.S.A. / 619.384.7992 [more Missing from Derbyshire, UK: Inscribed WWII edition of Winston Churchill’s My Early Life]

JAMES CUMMINS BOOKSELLER of New York City is seeking an experienced antiquarian bookseller and rare book cataloguer familiar with the full range of material handled by the firm: printed books from incunables to modern literature, as well as manuscripts, autographs, archives, ephemera, and illustration art. The ideal candidate will have strong writing skills, as well as practical, demonstrable knowledge of descriptive cataloguing (including collation, bibliography, and knowledge of reference sources) from an antiquarian bookselling perspective, with suitable foreign language skills (at least one classical or modern European language beyond English). Sales experience is essential, including the ability to engage new customers (private and institutional), conclude sales, and maintain relations with existing customers. The ideal candidate wil... [more Position Opening at James Cummins Bookseller]