Between 1995 and 2004, 62 older and very valuable books from the National Library of Sweden (KB) were stolen by the then head of the unit for manuscripts. Today ten of them are returned to KB, made possible by a generous donation. The returned items' lineage spans three centuries and have previously belonged to both royalty and great book collectors before being incorporated into the library's collections. The extensive thefts at KB are well known to many. Media interest has been considerable and the crimes have even been portrayed in documentaries and fiction. For the library, this event was a tragedy and the theft of the 62 books – the bearers of hundreds of years of history – a great loss for our common cultural heritage. After the thefts were discovered in 2004, the police conducted a preliminary investigation, but the case was dropped two years later. In 2011, KB was able to locate and bring home the first of the books, Cornelis von Wytfliet's atlas from 1597. At the same time, KB published a comprehensive list of all the stolen books on their website, with the plea: Help us find the books! That call was answered by Tomas Söderblom, a doctorate historian and successful entrepreneur, who took up the challenge. He contacted KB and took the initiative to donate ten of the stolen books, which today are returned to the library. “A fantastic day for culture and society” - This is a fantastic day, not only for KB but for culture and society in its entirety. We have all... [more Ten Stolen Books Returned to the National Library of Sweden, More Still Missing]

The eleven documents were part of a fifteen item lot sold by Charles Hamilton from his catalogue 15 in 1966, and they were not discovered missing until 2010. They consist mostly of legal documents signed by Mark Twain and his business manager Ralph Ashcroft. A link to a list of the documents with full descriptions and a full account of the matter can be found at the Twainquotes website: If you have handled any of these documents or recall seeing any of them in the market at any time since 1966, please contact Barbara Schmidt who operates the Twainquotes website (, or ABAA member Kevin Mac Donnell ( [more Possible Theft of Eleven Important Mark Twain Documents from the Detroit Public Library]

We asked the winners of the 2021 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest to introduce themselves, and learned about some fascinating books and collections along the way! First place: Jessica Camille Jordan (Stanford University): Could you give us a brief description of your collection? My collection is comprised of works that bear the illustrative or graphic design work of husband/wife duo Leo and Diane Dillon, whose career together spanned six decades. Most of the objects in my collection are books, but there are also comics, records, posters, and more. The earliest items I have are science fiction pulp magazines from the 1950s, and the most recent is a 2019 picture book called Love and the Rocking Chair, an autobiographical story they were working on at the time of Leo's death in 2012, and which Diane later completed. What first interested you in Leo & Diane Dillon? Although I didn't know it at the time, their artwork graced some of my favorite books as a young reader, including Wise Child by Monica Furlong and Sabriel by Garth Nix. Later on, I learned more about their fascinating lives and career, and I felt it was important to try and create a comprehensive bibliography of their work. But I have always been really drawn to and moved by the beauty of their art, and that's where the initial interest came from. What currently has pride of place in your collection? Probably the Reader's Digest Condensed Books installment that contains their illustrations for a condensed v... [more Meet the 2021 NCBCC Winners]

We are pleased to announce that for the fourth year the Northern and Southern California chapters of the ABAA will be jointly awarding a prize for the best young book collectors in California. As with prior years, three prizes will be awarded, and the top collection will be exhibited at the upcoming 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair to be held in Oakland this coming February. Submissions are due December 1, 2021 and winners will be notified by December 20, 2021. Complete details are found here. [more Announcing The Fourth Annual California Young Book Collector’s Prize]

Missing in Transit to NYC: Dodgson, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, New York, Appleton, 1866, finely rebacked, boxed with: Dodgson, Through the Looking-Glass (ink presentation to Rose Franklin, Christmas, 1871) Emerson, Essays 1st & 2nd Series, 2 vols., Boston, 1841, 1844, Estelle Doheny copies, boxed Emerson, Nature, Boston, 1836, boxed Poe, Eureka, New York, 1848, cloth, spine ends repaired, boxed Wharton, Decoration of Houses, 1897, boxed Wharton, Italian Villas, 1904, boxed Wilde Reading Gaol, London, 1898, trade first, slipcase Wilde, Ravenna, Oxford, 1878, half morocco, wrappers bound in Wilde Poems, London, 1881, vellum Wilde Soul of Man, London, 1895, boxed Wilde, Salome, London, 1894 Harpo Marx bookplate Wilde, Children in Prison, London, 1898, boxed Wilde, De Profundis, London, 1905, cloth box If offered, please contact: Henry Wessells James Cummins Bookseller 699 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10065 tel 212.688.6441 cell 917.561.8890 [more Missing in Transit to NYC: Alice, Through the Looking-glass, plus Poe, Wharton and Wilde Titles]


2021 NCBCC Winners

By Rich Rennicks

The ABAA is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. First: Jessica Camille Jordan (Stanford University) for "Six Decades of Leo and Diane Dillon." Second: Read W. Brown (New York University) for "The Serious Business of Fun: A Collection of Books on the Video Game Industry." Third: Shannon D. Bohle (Johns Hopkins) for "Life through Space and Time: A Personal Journey through Modern Science, Collecting Hand-signed Autographs, Manuscripts, and First Editions." Essay Award Joseph E. Hiller (Duke University) for his essay "Como un detective salvaje: Gathering Small Press, Experimental, and Untranslated Latin American Literature." The National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest is jointly administered by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), the Grolier Club, and the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division (the Library of Congress) Congratulations to all the winners of the 2021 National Collegiate Book Collecting Competition! [more 2021 NCBCC Winners]

UPDATE (Feb 9, 2022): An arrest has been made in connection with the theft of nearly 5,000 missing items from FSU Libraries' Robert M. Ervin Jr. Collection. The investigation remains open and ongoing, and FSU Libraries are still awaiting details on the items that have been recovered. As they learn more and gather information about what was recovered and what remains missing, they will continue to update the spreadsheet below. This spreadsheet and notice detail materials stolen from Florida State University. 4,996 items from the Robert M. Ervin Jr. Collection were stolen from FSU Special Collections & Archives between March 17th, 2020 and February 10th, 2021. The Robert M. Ervin Jr. Collection consists of comic books, serials, and containing and related to superheroes, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Publications include those by Marvel Comics, DC Comics, underground comix publishers, foreign-language titles, pulp magazines, and Big Little Books. Over 1200 serial titles are represented, predominantly from the 1950s through the 1970s. Other works include monographs and serials related to comic book collecting, history, and criticism as well as posters and prints featuring comic book characters and art. Please contact Katie McCormick if you have info concerning the missing items: Katie McCormick Associate Dean of Libraries for Special Collections & Archives (she/her/hers) Florida State University Libraries 116 Honors Way, Rm 110D Tallahassee, FL 32306-2047 Tel: (850) 644-6... [more UPDATE: Items Stolen from Florida State University’s Robert M. Ervin Jr. Collection]

It is with great pleasure that the Northern California Chapter (NCC) of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) announces the winners of the 2021 George Robert Kane Memorial Scholarship, Nicholas Pillsbury and Cecelia Shaw. This year, we had two exceptional candidates who were quite similar. Both were highly recommended, both are currently working as booksellers, and both want to continue in the librarian/special collection field. Because the scholarships combined were less than we normally expend due to the courses being online, we decided to offer both of them a scholarship as they were both so deserving. Nicholas is currently working at Bad Animal Books, a combination bookstore / wine bar / restaurant in Santa Cruz, CA, and is handling all of the rare books online. His experience as a librarian and his M.L.I.S. education has been helpful in the business and he exemplifies the store brand very well. He wants to work as a bookseller for a few more years before possibly working in archives or special collections. Nicholas would like to attend Cal Rare Book School. Cecelia is currently working at Bolerium Books in San Francisco, CA. She is a relatively new employee and is hard working and well-liked by all. She is very interested in the bookselling trade and wants to work at Bolerium for a few years before continuing her academic pursuits. Cecelia used to be a librarian and is fresh out of college, UC Berkeley. She loves the book store and going on sales cal... [more 2021 George Robert Kane Memorial Scholarship]


New ABAA Members

By Rich Rennicks

Meet the latest antiquarian booksellers accepted as members of the ABAA. Full Members: Victoria Dailey, Dailey & Turner Rare Books & Ephemera, Los Angeles, CA Victoria Dailey has rejoined the ABAA as a full member after being an Emeritus Member for a short time. In other news, Victoria has recently been named the Deputy Editor of The Book Collector. Daniel Moyer, Daniel / Oliver Gallery, Brooklyn, NY Dan Moyer is one half of the Brooklyn based gallery Daniel / Oliver (along with co-owner Ollie Lott). Daniel / Oliver handles photographic material and other works on paper, primarily unique collections and comprehensive archives, which chronicle American stories. Dan Moyer is also a playwright and screenwriter. His play “Half Moon Bay” premiered at the Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC and he has written for the Facebook Watch show “Limetown.” Michael Pyron, Michael Pyron, Bookseller, Conshohocken, PA Michael Pyron has been a bookseller for 20 years and has been binding and repairing books for nearly as long. He has been a reader most of his life, but was introduced to the idea (and reality) of the “antiquarian book trade” at Black Swan Books where he worked for more than a decade from 2001-2012. It was also at Black Swan Books where he was introduced to conservation and bookbinding and was offered a steady supply of books that required attention and a boss who gave him plenty of latitude to learn by trial and error—a remarkable gift for someone learning a craft. In Novem... [more New ABAA Members]

The 2021 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest is now accepting entries! Established in 2005 by Fine Books & Collections Magazine to recognize outstanding book collecting efforts by college and university students, the contest is now sponsored by The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), the Grolier Club, and the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress. The contest aims to encourage young collectors to become accomplished bibliophiles. Book-collecting competitions are held at more than three dozen colleges and universities across the United States, and some of these contests have been conducted for many decades, dating back to Swarthmore College's first competition in the 1920s. All college or university prizewinners are encouraged to enter. Student collectors whose institutions do not offer a book collecting contest may also enter. The contest rules can be viewed here... Applications may be submitted here, and all entries for the 2021 competition must be submitted by June 15, 2021. The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America promotes ethical standards and professionalism in the antiquarian book trade, encourages the collecting and preservation of rare books, and supports education and research. The Fellowship of American Bibliographic Societies was formed in 1993 as a national organization of member book collecting groups. The C... [more National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest 2021]