Collecting Counterculture


Collecting Counterculture
The July 2012 seminar in the  book-collecting series organised jointly by the Institute of English Studies (London University) and the ABA Educational Trust was given by Carl Williams of Maggs Brothers, one of the rare book trade's most engaging and offbeat characters – and one of its brightest. (Photograph of  Carl Williams by Jess Gough).

Carl is a former runner and rare book dot-commer who studied Sociology and, later on, Diplomatic History at the LSE. He also worked as a curator on secondment to the Ludlow Santo Domingo Library in Geneva for about three years. He now trades in counterculture and its origins – i.e. beat, subversion, extremism, psychedelia, situations, the demonstrative, the errant, the proscribed, the carnivalesque, madness, the concrete, the macabre, protest, the occult, erotica, the primitive, surreal, marginal, punk, sounds, modernism and po-mo and the absurd by the RAF, Timothy Leary, Guy Debord, Chelsea GirlsBlack Panthers, Alex Trocchi, William Burroughs, Living Theatre, Cobbing, Brion Gysin, Aleister Crowley, AO Spare, Sex Pistols, Derrida, RD Laing Artaud et al. – for Maggs Bros. in Berkeley Square. He occasionally curates art shows of punk, agitpop and related stuff in the Maggs Gallery.

For some examples, here is the Maggs Counterculture Blog

The seminar was held at 6pm on Tuesday 10 July 2012 at Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. 

All the seminars are aimed at a broad audience including book-collectors, book-dealers, historians of all kinds, librarians, indeed at anyone with an interest in collecting any sort of text from the sixth former to the retired professor. The atmosphere is informal, as are the presentations. Many of the talks are illustrated by actual examples.

The seminars are held in the University of London’s Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, and run from 6.00 to 7.30 pm, usually on the second Tuesday of the month.