Description : An unlikely bookseller in New York City became the leading dealer in rare Western Americana for most of the twentieth century. After working in western-U.S. and South American gold mines at the turn of the twentieth century, Edward Eberstadt (1883–1958) returned to his home in New York City in 1907. Through luck and happenstance, he purchased an old book for fifty cents that turned out to be a rare sixteenth-century Mexican imprint. From this bit of serendipity, Eberstadt quickly became one of the leading western Americana rare book dealers. In this book Michael Vinson tells the story of how Edward Eberstadt & Sons developed its legendary book collection, which formed the backbone of many of today’s top western Americana archives. Although the firm’s business records have not survived, Edward and his sons, Charles and Lindley, were all prodigious letter writers, and nearly every collector kept his or her correspondence. Drawing upon these letters and on his own extensive experience in the rare book trade, Vinson gives the reader a vivid sense of how the commerce in rare books and manuscripts unfolded during the era of the Eberstadts, particularly in the relationships between dealers and customers. He explores the backstory that scholars of art history and museology have pursued in recent decades: the assembling of cultural treasures, their organization for use, and the establishment of institutions to support that use. His work describes the important role this key bookselling firm played in the western Americana trade from the early 1900s to Eberstadt & Sons’ dissolution in 1975. From Yale University and the American Antiquarian Society to the Newberry Library and the Huntington Library, the firm of Edward Eberstadt & Sons has left its mark in western Americana repositories across the nation. Told here for the first time, the Eberstadt story reveals how one family’s business and legacy have shaped the study of the American West.
Description : This book provides a basic guide to the study of the printed matter which has been produced in the United States. The great bulk of research in this field has occurred during the last half century, yet no comprehensive attempt has been made to record it. Recognizing the need for an up-to-date guide to such investigations, G. Thomas Tanselle has compiled a listing of the principal material dealing with printing and publishing in this country. In his introduction Mr. Tanselle surveys the research which has attempted to trace the history of printing and publishing in America from its inception to the present and explains how this material can be utilized effectively. In nine carefully arranged categories he covers bibliographies of imprints of particular localities; bibliographies of works in particular genres; listings of all editions and printings of works by individual writers; copyright records; catalogues of auction houses, book dealers, exhibitions, institutional libraries, and private collections; retrospective book-trade directories; studies of individual printers and publishers; general studies of printing and publishing; and checklists of secondary material. From the mass of material, an appendix selects 250 titles. Although the work is arranged so that the reader may easily locate relevant sections, a comprehensive index provides further aid in finding individual items. "A successful checklist," writes the author, "is not merely a work to be consulted for information but also a nucleus around which additional information can be gathered in a meaningful way; it provides a framework into which the community of workers in a field can place further references in an organized fashion." Guide to the Study of United States Imprints is a reference tool designed to serve both as a guide to research and as a practical manual for use in identifying, cataloguing, and recording printed matter. It will be of enormous value to scholars in American literature, history, and bibliography, to librarians, typographers, and bibliophiles, and to antiquarian book dealers and book collectors.