Booksellers' and Auction Catalogs

Another collection important to the history of the American book trades is that of booksellers' and book auctioneers' catalogs which include examples from the beginnings of the American wholesale and retail book trades. Catalogs issued through 1840 are fully cataloged online. Those that appeared to the present are not cataloged and are filed alphabetically by firm name.

Recently, a good deal of interest has been expressed in making these voluminous and almost impenetrable sources of book history better available through compiling and filming of complete runs of a firm's catalogs.

The Society published Robert B. Winans's Descriptive Checklist of Book Catalogues Separately Printed in America, 1694-1800 in 1981. It also expects to publish Winans's companion work, a checklist of book catalogues printed in newspapers. His work and George L. McKay's American Book Auction Catalogues, 1713-1934 (New York, 1937), introduced by Clarence S. Brigham, provide annotated guides to AAS holdings.

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