Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2020 Issue

Rare Book Hub: into the great beyond: 10,000,551 full text records


Rare Book Hub, nee Americana Exchange on September 3, 2002, began its journey into building a complete record of auction appearances and outcomes of collectible books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera, with no clear idea how far or high this project would extend.   Today we know, and celebrate as the Transaction Database crosses into the never before scale of documentation that scholars, students, dealers, collectors and auction houses have come to rely upon.  In fact, many houses are aggregating their records as a convenience to their customers.


What’s different at the Hub is that we focus on all sources both of collectible books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera in the present while simultaneously continuing to document auction lots going back to 1840 – our goal to in time provide a complete record of auction appearances for assessing rarity, importance, and value, leaving the greatest intangible for owners and sellers to wrestle with – condition.


As to what this means in terms of scale for the future database we leave this to the imagination.

Posted On: 2020-08-01 11:44
User Name: sevinseydi

Yet I keep finding important sales not included. The latest is the Blackmer sale, Sothebys October 1989. The prices fetched can indeed be very misleading, but surely it ought to be there.

Posted On: 2020-08-01 20:10
User Name: adminb

Dear sevinseydi,

The database is large but not 100% complete. We require to have a copy of each original catalogue with whatever documentation is possible for review and confirmation. If and when we obtain by purchase, loan or gift missing catalogues we make their addition to the Transaction Database. And on average we add 3,000 fresh records each day. The Blackmer Sale will be scheduled in mid-September.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> <i>Manhattan Gay Scene Guide 1969, Summer Edition,</i> Mattachine Book Service. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Harvey Milk, 2 autograph letters signed, to Pat Mormon, during US Navy service, 1954. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>“The secret of life is in Art,”</i> autograph quotation dated and signed, 1882. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Daniel Abraham, original art for <i>Stonewall Romances,</i> pen, ink & gouache, 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Antonio Lopez, 9 men’s fashion studies, graphite, 1974. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Susie Gaynes & Amy E. Bartell, <i>March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights,</i> 1987. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> <i>Paris is Burning,</i> photo offset poster by Anne Dutlinger, signed by film director Jennie Livingston, 1991. $400 to $600.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Toyen, pen & ink illustration from <i>Marquis de Sade: Justina cili prokletí ctnosti,</i> 1932. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> David Wojnarowicz, <i>Untitled (Genet with Dog),</i> mixed media collage. $8,000 to $12,000.

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