Book Nook: Thieves of Book Row, by Travis McDade

Aug 6, 2013

Nearly a century ago, during The Great Depression, there was rash of rare book thefts from libraries in New England and across the Midwest. Book thieves were stealing obscure treasures and then selling them to unscrupulous book dealers. The book sellers would try to conceal the provenance of these rarities by removing identifying markings so that they could then resell them to collectors. Some of these merchants operated in Manhattan in an area where there was a heavy concentration of rare book dealers. This area was known as Book Row.

Travis McDade recounts the history of these thefts and the people who eventually curtailed it. One of the rare books that was taken was an early book by Edgar Allan Poe. This rarity was purloined from the collection of the New York Public Library. This account will appeal to bibliophiles and book lovers everywhere.