Collecting the Abbey Press

Date: 8 July 2015
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: UVA Special Collections
Lecturer: Kenneth Karmiole - Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller, Inc.

In this lecture, Ken Karmiole will comment on his time in the antiquarian book business over the past forty years, and briefly talk about building collections, one of which started in 1980 when he bought about 100 books published by the Abbey Press of New York, 1900–1903. The Abbey Press was the first American firm that was principally a “vanity” publisher, producing books at the expense of their authors. Ken will discuss about what is known about the Abbey Press, our knowledge of which is much diminished due to a suspicious fire in February 1903 which destroyed the company and its business records.

Ken will comment on building his collection of Abbey Press books in the days before the Internet, and how this has changed over time. Using this collection as evidence of a change in the marketplace, he will discuss the supply and demand for Abbey Press books (which has not changed markedly) and pricing sensibilities, which have shifted dramatically due to the Internet.

Sponsored by the Southeast Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA).