Antiquarian book trade in the United States

Antiquarian Book Trade In The United States

Antiquarian book trade in the United States

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The antiquarian book trade in the United States is an aspect of book collecting and publishing. The term antiquarian, in general, refers to antiquities and collectible items usually considered old and rare, usually in reference to books, but is not limited to books. The word antiquarian could also be used to describe a person who collects rare books or other antique items.

Two key figures who have written a great deal on the U.S. antiquarian book trade specifically are Leona Rostenberg (1908–2005) and Madeleine B. Stern (1912–2007), both of whom were also in the business of collecting and selling rare books. Other histories having covered the topic include Isaiah Thomas, writing in 1810 his History of printing in America; Henry Walcott Boynton’s Annals of American Bookselling, 1638-1850, first published in 1932; Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt’s The Book in America: A History of the Making, the Selling, and the Collecting of Books in the United States (1939).

The antiquarian book trade has roots in Colonial America, and may be considered in the study of American history and literature, print culture, and book history. Antiquarian book fairs have long been an important aspect of the trade. Today, the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) is the primary organization of the trade in the United States. Other organizations include the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP). The Rare Book School at the University of...
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