AE Monthly

Articles - May - 2012 Issue

The New York Book Fair - a great success

Berg

Robert Berg, Antiquariaat Berg

To this I’ll add a suggestion.  For many reasons pamphlets, broadsides and ephemera are, to quote my astrologer, ascending.  For the next generation of collectors as well as for collectors adjusting to the new possibilities today a database of all material on display would add immeasurably to the efficient use of time.  Some will argue that knowledge of what’s available will deter a few from coming.  The answer for a year or so is to have a complete database of what’s on the floor available for searching at the show and to provide terminals in the hall for guests to search.  Thus armed with a printout and map they can then walk around the fair to see the examples.  It turns out that rarer than a Gutenberg these days is the acquirer who has time to browse every booth and ask just the right question to elicit the “I have that right here.” 

Certainly dealers have become adept at contextualizing their material but the material in 213 booths, taken together, is too daunting to fully examine, much less to read the lengthy descriptions.  Bottom line, if I could have run searches I would have bought more.

So the show was a win all around and next year the smart folks who shoe-horned an extra dozen exhibitors in will certainly be asked to relive the Jesus, fishes and loaves parable and feed an even larger crowd.  I’m now expecting a second floor.

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