Showing posts from September, 2009

Books in the news, 1799

In the early days of the United States, one of the most prominent booksellers in the state of Connecticut had to be Hudson & Goodwin of Hartford. I assume this because of their ability to run a full-page ad on the front page of the Connecticut Courant announcing new books recently added to their stock. It helped that they also owned and published the Connecticut Courant. The edition I have here was published Monday, December 9, 1799 and displays a full-page list of new stock: Hudson & Goodwin, Have for sale at their Store opposite the North Meeting-House, Hartford, the following BOOKS, which they have lately received from London, Dublin, and elsewhere--VIZ. There must be several hundred books listed by the following subjects: Divinity and Ecclesiastical History; Law; Medicine; Biography, History, Voyages and Travels; Novels Poetry, Arts and Sciences; Languages and School Books; and Miscellanies. Taking a back seat, or second page, to the front page news about a bunch of new boo

Geo. E. Littlefield - Boston book dealer, 1894

Here is an ad cover from 1894 advertising the business of rare book dealer George Emery Littlefield of Boston. Littlefield lived from 1844 to 1915 and, in addition to selling rare books, he published many catalogues of rare Americana and genealogy. He also published in 1900 a volume of bookseller history, Early Booksellers of Boston 1642-1711 . There is surprisingly little else on Littlefield that turns up on the Internet, especially considering that two book were written about him, neither of which I can find: An Old Boston Bookseller: George E. Littlefield as I Knew Him , by Frank Jones Wilder and George Emery Littlefield, A.B. , by John Woodbury. When I bought this cover, I knew I would learn more about Littlefield by consulting my copy of Yankee Bookseller (Houghton Mifflin, 1937), the Charles E. Goodspeed bookseller autobiography. Goodspeed was a later contemporary of Littlefield, having entered the Boston bookselling scene in 1894, the year of the Littlefield cover shown above.

Books in Israel

A couple of items from the Middle East today... I recently acquired a box of bookseller catalogs from around the world and found one from Jerusalem that ties in with another piece of ephemera from Israel acquired in a separate lot. The bookseller's catalog is from Ludwig Mayer of Jerusalem. The catalog is titled Export List No. 16 . Its size caught my eye first, the unusual dimensions of 8.5 by 13 inches. All titles advertised are for Hebrew language books unless indicated otherwise, but the listings in this catalog are described in English. The book shop that Mayer started in 1908 still exists and has been in the same location since 1935. According to the shop's Web site, Mayer Books (Jerusalem) Ltd (its full name today) is the oldest book shop in Jerusalem. Their specialty is in academic publications with a special attention to the humanities. They stock books in Hebrew, English, German, and French. The second piece, from about the same period, is a 1965 postal cover adverti