Sophie Schneideman Rare Books
London, UK. Member of ABA, PBFA
Several areas of book collecting, the main focus being the Art of the Book, ie book illustration, private presses, fine binding, fine printing, calligraphy and artists’ books, particularly of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This includes prints and artwork by important illustrators and graphic artists.
I have been an international rare book and print dealer for over 26 years, serving a long apprenticeship at Maggs Bros, an eminent book firm in Mayfair, and dealing as Sophie Schneideman Rare Books since 2007. Having set up my own business 10 years ago I hope I could give an aspiring bookseller some sort of assistance in getting started and getting on in the book trade - fairs, catalogues, cash flow, finance, marketing, customer relations etc. I am also lucky enough to be on the faculty of the York Antiquarian Books Seminar which gives an excellent grounding to would be booksellers as well as a bit of guidance to those who are already trading but who feel their strategy needs tweaking. Having been lucky enough to have received help and wisdom from some superb dealers over the years, perhaps it is best to think of me as a conduit for some of the best advice around.
Simon Beattie Ltd
Chesham, Buckinghamshire, UK. Member, ABA
European (cross-)cultural history, music, Russia. Printed books, manuscripts, ephemera.
Simon has been in the book trade since 1998. After almost a dozen years in London working for Bernard Quaritch and Simon Finch Rare Books, he set up on his own in 2010, specialising in European (cross‑)cultural history. When he became a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association in 2011, the ABA Newsletter described him as ‘a dealer to watch’: his catalogues have won seven design awards to date, on both sides of the Atlantic, and in 2012 he was included among the winners of the Smarta 100 Awards for ‘the most resourceful, original, exciting small businesses in the UK’. Simon has been on the faculty of the York Antiquarian Book Seminar since it started in 2014, where he teaches sessions on bibliographical description, cataloguing, and selling to libraries.
“In the relatively short time that I have been working for myself, I have shown that it’s possible to run a successful international business with a very small stock. I never have more than about half a dozen shelves of books at any one time."
Ash Rare Books
London, UK. Member of ABA. Laurence Worms is a former Honorary Secretary and a former President of the (British) Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association and a former rare book trade representative on the (British) National Book Committee.
Specialities: Nineteenth & Twentieth-Century Literature
Laurence Worms has owned and run Ash Rare Books in London since 1971, always with an emphasis on first edition literature, but dealing in books across a wide range (as well as maps and prints). He is a former Honorary Secretary and a former President of the (British) Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association and a former rare book trade representative on the (British) National Book Committee. He is also a former member of the Council of the Bibliographical Society and continues to serve on the Council of the London Topographical Society. His “Bookhunter on Safari” blog is widely followed in the rare book trade.
He issued his first modern literature catalogue (1,000 items) in 1975, the first in a series which has included such highlights as Catalogue 50 (Seamus Heaney) 1998, Catalogue 57 (T. S. Eliot) 2000, and Catalogue 75 (Barbara Jones) 2004. He is a contributor to “The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain” (Vol 4, 2002), the “Oxford Dictionary of National Biography” (2004), the “Oxford Companion to the Book” (2010), and the ongoing “History of Cartography” being published by the Chicago University Press, etc. He is the co-author, with Ashley Baynton-Williams, of “British Map Engravers: A Dictionary of Engravers, Lithographers and Their Principal Employers to 1850” (2011) and is also the author of a booklet on “Cataloguing for Booksellers” (2015).
Nowadays working from home, he continues to issue regular catalogues and also writes and lectures on various aspects of the history of the book and map trades. He has lectured at the universities of Cambridge, London, Reading and Sheffield, as well as at the Bibliographical Society, the British Library, the Royal Geographical Society, the Warburg Institute and at Gresham College. He teaches annually at the London Rare Books School (Institute of English Studies, University of London), where he has been a course tutor since its inception ten years ago.
“I am more than happy to try and pass on to a new generation some of the things I have learnt over a lifetime in books, but there are severe constraints on what can be done at long distance, and would prefer, where possible, to work face-to-face with people here in London – within reach of the books themselves and surrounded by examples of everything we might need to talk about”.
Dorset, U.K., member ABA, ILAB and PBFA.
Specialities: English and continental books and manuscripts, largely pre-1850, especially literature, history, philosophy, and books written for, by and about women and children. I'm a particular fan of books with interesting ownership histories - whether important or merely incidental.
Tom started in the English book trade aged 14. After working as the Saturday boy in an old fashioned second-hand bookshop for several years, he founded Antiquates Ltd whilst still at University. As well as producing printed catalogues, selling via the internet and exhibiting at local, regional and national book fairs - indeed running the 100-exhibitor strong Oxford PBFA fair - Tom has recently opened an antiquarian bookshop in Wareham, Dorset. He says: "Having just turned 30, what I might lack in age I hope to make up for in exuberance. In the last decade I've benefitted hugely from unofficial mentoring from several ILAB members, and hope now to be able to pay that forward".
York, U.K., member ABA, ILAB and PBFA
Specialities: Modern first editions, literature, children’s books, signed and inscribed / presentation copies, manuscripts, counter culture, archives, original artwork, rock n roll.
Trading since 1993, my early days were spent scouring bookshops and auctions the length and breadth of the country buying the books that various dealers advertised as wanting in the back of hugely popular monthly publication The Book And Magazine Collector. When I wasn’t travelling I would spend hours buying and selling on the internet, then in it’s infancy in terms of bookselling but rich in quality stock and contacts if you looked hard enough. As my knowledge and stock built we exhibited at bigger bookfairs, first in the UK and after joining the ABA (at the time, I was advised that I was their youngest member by approx 15 years!) we were able to exhibit at bookfairs worldwide introducing us to institutional buyers and high end collectors. Back at home I took space in a local antiques centre, which went pretty well, so we opened a bricks and mortar shop, took on staff and have continued to grow, expand and branch out ever since (not without the occasional hiccup: in Dec 2016 we were flooded out of our Fossgate shop). We are involved in organising the PBFA York National Book Fair in September (one of the biggest Antiquarian Book Fairs in Europe) and for several years organised the smaller January one day fair. In the last few years I have done a little media work including being the “rare books expert” for BBC Radio York on a quarterly live phone-in.
As the trade is constantly changing the need to adapt with it is essential. Whilst my start in this business could be considered non-traditional (little in the way of academic qualifications, no apprenticeship served with an established firm) an entrepreneurial spirit, a deep passion and enthusiasm for what we do and the generosity of colleagues has enabled me to build a career and business that continues to stimulate and challenge on a daily basis.
Roger J. Treglown Antiquarian and Rare Books
Macclesfield, Cheshire, UK. Vice-President of the ABA (2017-), ABA Council Member for 17 years, Chairman ABA Chelsea Book Fair Committee for 13 years, ABA Olympia Book Fair Committee for 8 years, ABA Hon. Librarian 13 years
Roger has been an antiquarian bookseller for 35 years working on his own as a sole trader, specializing principally in pre 1900 material, including printed ephemera. He sells to many libraries and institutions the world over as well as his private clients. Coming in to the business from an engineering background, he engaged on a second apprenticeship as a bookseller under the passing tutelage of a number of “old hands” in the trade. This led to his passion for the correct cataloguing and the research of material offered for sale. These experiences have qualified Roger to offer his help and mentoring skills to others starting out in this difficult but highly satisfying and rewarding business.
Justin Croft Antiquarian Books
Faversham, UK. ABA
Justin has been in rare book business since 1990 and has been proprietor of Justin Croft Antiquarian Books since 2005. He specialises in English and French books, with a special emphasis on manuscripts and the manuscript book. He issues lists both in print and online. He is a member of the York Antiquarian Book Seminar faculty and a contributor to the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow