For one hundred years, a modest dynasty of imprimeur-libraires printed, published, and sold books in Paris with three generations of women at its core. The story of this family shows, first, how women often played hidden roles in the print and book trade, occasionally revealed when a widow inherited the firm, a son-in-law took over, … Continue reading One dynasty, three names
The private manuscript library catalogue of Anne-Julie-Françoise de Crussol d’Uzès, duchesse de La Vallière (1713-1797?) documents a fairly typical eighteenth-century French aristocratic library, composed of mainly contemporary literature in small formats on a wide range of topics (history, travel, novels, etc.). The catalogue does, however, bear one curious feature that has interested me since I … Continue reading Aristocratic Identity Erasure in the Private Library Catalogue of Madame la duchesse de La Vallière, ca. 1787
Books have power – they can convey information and experience readers would otherwise not have access to. Inevitably, then, booksellers sometimes run afoul of the law when they attempt to sell to the general public works the government deems dangerous (the subject of a later post) or obscene. In some cases, the defiance of local … Continue reading Avery’s Gang: the Seamy Side of Bookselling
John F. Fleming, Inc. sales receipt letter head. From John F. Fleming Records, 1952-1987, box 45: Rosenbach Records Sales Record Book, 1954-1956 The Grolier Club Library counts itself fortunate to act not only as steward of our memorable rare book collection but also of our manuscript and archive collections. Along with our own institutional records … Continue reading From the archivist’s table: John F. Fleming, Incorporated Records, 1952-1987
Between January 2017 and October 2018, the Grolier Club received a generous gift of several hundred antiquarian bookseller catalogues, dating to the late 19th and 20th centuries, from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. The gift was facilitated by fellow Club member, David Whitesell, Curator in the Albert … Continue reading Grolier Club Library Receives Large Gift of Antiquarian Bookseller Catalogues from UVA
Recent exposés on the Grolier Club from both The New York Times and the Spectrum cable news channel New York 1 highlight a “secret door” in the library. The door is a bookcase that swings out from the wall to reveal a spiral staircase leading to a mezzanine level. The library was designed by its … Continue reading The “Secret” Bookcase Door in the Library
New York, March 19, 2019 The Grolier Club has acquired an important archive documenting the development of Jacques-Charles Brunet’s Manuel du libraire et de l'amateur des livres in its later editions, consisting of Brunet’s own interleaved and heavily annotated copy of the fourth edition; publisher Ambroise Firmin-Didot’s own copy of the fifth edition, with notes … Continue reading Grolier Club Acquires J.-C. Brunet Archive
The private library inventory catalogue of Samuel Petit (1594-1643), published in Paris in 1645, is one of the earliest printed inventory catalogues produced in France. According to Pollard and Ehrman, it was preceded only by the library inventories of Thomas Blaise (1641) and Jean des Cordes (1643). Petit was a French Huguenot priest, orientalist, classical … Continue reading The Library Inventory Catalogue of Samuel Petit across the Channel.
Maison Charavay was founded by Antoine Charavay, who came to bookselling late in life. After fighting under Napoleon in Egypt, he spent 30 years selling silk stockings like his father and grandfather before him. But after the workers' revolts in 1831 and the death of his wife, he opened his first bookshop in Lyon on … Continue reading Maison Charavay
Please note: The Grolier Club will be closed on Monday, October 8th, for the Columbus Day holiday. We will re-open at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 9th.