Stuart Bennett Rare Books
South Carolina, USA. Member and past president ABAA, ILAB Executive Committee
Books from the British Isles printed before 1840, especially poetry, fiction, philosophy, social history, and literary controversies. Specialized catalogues issued since 1980, including several of early English and American children’s books and, beginning in 1985, books by and about women.
Stuart started life in the rare book world as a cataloguer trainee at Sotheby’s in 1974. He went on to become an auctioneer at Christie’s, founding his own business in London in 1980 and returning to the United States in 1989. He has helped instruct rare book cataloguers on both sides of the Atlantic and has lectured widely on antiquarian themes. His book Trade Bookbinding in the British Isles 1660-1800 was published in 2004, and his bibliophilic novel, The Perfect Visit in 2011. He says: “I must have catalogued at least 20,000 books in the last forty years, and I don’t think there are too many issues I haven’t run up against. I can also help with the practical issues of running a book business day-to-day, exhibiting at book fairs – all of that. But if you’re looking for tech-savvy, I’m not it, although I did learn to send and receive texts sometime last year.”
Between the Covers Rare Books, Inc.
New Jersey, USA. Member and past president, ABAA; past president ILAB
Books and manuscripts in many subject including, but not limited to literary first editions, genre fiction, books by and about women, African-American literature and history, vernacular and fine art photography, author archives, ephemera, and sports.
Tom has been a self-employed full time antiquarian bookseller since 1986. In additional to selling antiquarian and other collectible books, he also has nearly a quarter of a million used books listed for sale online. He employs a staff of about a dozen employees. He taught at the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar, and also teaches at Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. He says “I’m happy to help younger booksellers with strategies for navigating the ever evolving world of antiquarian books, but probably the best advice for success in the trade is tenacity and hard work.”
Oregon, USA. Member ABAA
Ephemera, pictorial maps, all forms of printed materials with graphic interest including illustrated books and magazines
Elisabeth’s principal interest is the use of graphic material in historical research. A particular focus is travel related ephemera and pictorial maps, particularly from the early to mid-twentieth century. Her article on the influence of the cartographic style of British artist and designer MacDonald Gill was published in the Spring 2009 Journal of the International Map Collectors’ Society. Elisabeth can offer one perspective on working within the field of paper ephemera and provide an opportunity for discussion of some of the challenges of dealing in non-mainstream materials and developing a market.
David M. Lesser
David M. Lesser, Fine Antiquarian Books LLC
Woodbrige CT, USA. ABAA [former Board of Governors Member], ILAB, SNEAB [Southern New England Antiquarian Booksellers], Grolier Club, American Antiquarian Society, Ephemera Society
Established in 1989, the Company specializes in the social, political, and cultural history of the Americas. Areas of concentration include Colonial America, the American Revolution and Federal period, American imprints of the 18th century; Afro-Americana, slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the American South; law and economics, commerce, banking, trade, industry, canals, railroads, agriculture, urbanization; the American West; political campaigns and issues, presidential politics.
David began adult life as a law student, became a lawyer in 1967, and practiced law full-time for nearly 25 years. In 1993 David became a member of ABAA. David’s life as a bookseller has been most satisfying—he enjoys the hunt for books, researching and cataloguing them, and selling them. The travel that the work requires is normally a great pleasure. He likes associating with other booksellers all over the country [Europe has not been a fruitful destination for this Americanist], and he has made many friends among them.
Alameda CA, USA. ABAA
First Editions, Rare & Collectible Books with a Special Focus on Charles Dickens
Tavistock Books is a generalist Antiquarian Shop, established in 1989. It has been in its Alameda location since the summer of 1997. The firm’s founder, Vic Zoschak, is much interested in bookseller education, having personally been, since 1998, to over 20 ‘bookish’ courses at Rare Book School and elsewhere. Further, in 2012, he founded the Tavistock Books educational scholarship [details on the RBS website], and, employing his 3000 volume reference library, annually hosts a gratis day-long workshop for ‘newbie’ booksellers on the continued relevance & use of reference books.
Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller, Inc.
Santa Monica, CA, USA. ABAA member since 1976. I have served 3 terms on the National Board of the ABAA, and twice as President of the Southern California Chapter of ABAA.
Really general antiquarian, with an emphasis on books printed before 1800, all subjects and all languages.
I sold my first book in 1967 to my university library. I did an almost five year apprenticeship working for a major general antiquarian dealer. I received my Master degree in Library and Information Science at UCLA, where my emphasis was rare books and manuscripts.
I have worked in this profession for a long time, keeping a shop/office, exhibiting at bookfairs, and issuing printed catalogs. As a generalist I look at everything. I now have a stock of approximately 2,000 books for sale.
I serve on the advisory boards of the UCLA and UCSB Libraries, the William Andrews Clark Library, and the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. I am currently a Director of the Book Club of California, and have memberships in The Grolier Club, The Roxburghe Club and The Zamorano Club.
No business website.
Musinsky Rare Books, Inc.
New York, USA. ABAA
Continental books and manuscripts from the 15th- to early 19th century; Renaissance & Baroque literature; rare illustrated books; bindings; popular printing; sometimes early books for, about, by women.
I have worked in rare books for the past 35 years. After college and a few years bumming around, I thought I would become a rare book curator, and after getting a library degree at Columbia University I worked in Paris in the Réserve of the Bibliothèque nationale (as a very small fish in a magnificent pond) for a couple of years. After that I ended up managing / cataloguing a couple of private rare book collections in Paris and New York, which led me unexpectedly to a job at Christie’s New York in the Book Department. I left Christie’s after ten years, worked for a year or so with the well-known rare book firm H. P. Kraus, who then closed (not because of me), and set up on my own in 2003.
I have a small one-person business and am a terrible businesswoman, so it would not be much help coming to me with questions about productivity and efficiency – but I have handled a lot of books, I like researching and describing early books, and am happy to help with knotty bibliographical or research questions, questions about bindings or illustrations, and, I admit, advice on dealing with customers (assuming you have at least one) and how to survive if not thrive as a one-person business.
Michael Ginsberg Books, Inc.
No. Easton MA, USA, ABAA
I, Michael Ginsberg am the President and founder of Michael Ginsberg Books, Inc. I started my career in the antiquarian book trade in 1956 at the age of sixteen at J. S. Canner & Co of Boston, Mass and worked there from 1956 to 1967. I specialize in Americana, church history, Americana literature, Canadiana, periodicals, government publications and manuscript material.
In 1967, I founded Western Hemisphere, Inc. with my former superior at J. S. Canner & Co. This business specialized in similar material. I left that partnership in 1975 to form my own business which has been operating for the past forty years.
I have served as President of the New England Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America for two terms, and sat on the Board of Governors of our national organization, twice. I am a member of the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Mass.
I have dealt extensively in Japan and Europe as well as North America, and enjoy an excellent reputation in the international rare book trade.
I am the former director and faculty member of Book Seminars at Colorado College. I have also guest lectured at Columbia University, Emory University, Brigham Young University, Simmons College and Historic New Orleans Collection.
For over fifty years, I have been appraising books and manuscripts for many prestigious institutions as Brigham Young University, University of Utah, Historic New Orleans Foundations and American Antiquarian Society.
Donald (Rusty) Mott
Howard S. Mott, Inc.
Sheffield, Massachusetts. Member, and past board member of ABAA
Specialities: We buy and sell rare books, first editions, and manuscripts in a variety of fields: English and American literature, 16th to 20th century; Americana, 17th to 19th century; West Indies (especially Lesser Antilles) the earlier the better, but before 1850; the spread of printing through unusual imprints from around the world; printing on silk; early juveniles and, essentially anything that takes our fancy. The more unusual the better. We have always been strong in early pamphlets and broadsides. My wife, Veta, is a bookbinder, and we have a bindery on site, so questions on that subject can be addressed as well.
I am a second generation antiquarian book and manuscript dealer. Our business is a family business, begun by my late father Howard S. Mott, in New York City, in 1936. My mother, Phyllis Mott, joined the business in 1953 to handle autographs and manuscripts, and I joined in 1970. I tell people we are antiquarians, and antiquated as well. In our 81 year business history we have never had a shop, and currently we don't have a website, nor have we ever sold anything online. We issue periodic printed catalogues, welcome visitors by appointment, and quote our customers directly. Much of our business is with special collections libraries. We don't do searches for libraries, but quote our favorite librarians when we feel we have something they might like.
We are charter members of the ABAA, of which my father was one of the founding members in 1949. My parents were among the 23 founders and participants of the ABAA New York Antiquarian Book Fair in 1960. In the past we exhibited at all the major rare book fairs in this country and for 25 years we exhibited in London,, where I first helped out in 1962 when my parents were the first Americans to exhibit at the London book fair. Presently we exhibit only at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair every November, and are one of just a half dozen firms to have exhibited at all 40 editions of that fair. We have taken part in a dozen biennial ILAB congresses, from Austria to Australia.
On how to run an open shop, I would be of no help. On how to run a digital, tech-savvy operation, I would be of no help. On being self-employed and running a book business, doing productive research, cataloguing rare books and manuscripts, and other similar sorts or things, I have something to offer. I am always happy to share the use of our extensive reference library, which numbers somewhere between 7000 and 8000 volumes, not counting several thousand book auction catalogues dating from the beginning of the 20th century, our holdings from 1936 until about 2006 being especially strong.