Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller Pty Ltd


Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller Pty Ltd
The Essendon Treasure Chest was established on May 28, 1965, at 127 Buckley Street, Essendon. It began as a joint venture between my parents, Les and Muriel Craddock, and myself – Kay Craddock. Our opening stock was a combination of secondhand books, bric-a-brac and handcrafts, and on our first day in business we sold twenty-six books for £28.00. These included a seven-volume set of Macaulay’s History of England, Darwin’s Origin of Species, Davidson’s The Great Pyramid, Revolt in the Desert by T. E. Lawrence and Why We Behave Like Human Beings by Dorsey. It did not occur to me, on that first day in business, to record the details of each book sold but I do remember they were all lovely copies. My father died on August 10, 1965, leaving me in a partnership with my mother.

In 1972 I was accepted as a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (International), and Muriel and I became foundation members of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB), which was formed in 1977. In 1987 I became the third President of ANZAAB (1987-1989) and on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday in April, 2002, Muriel was made the Association’s third Life Member.

In 1996 I had the honour of being the first bookseller from the Southern Hemisphere elected to the committee of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), becoming its President from 2000-2002.

Our first city shop was opened in 1967, at 569 Bourke Street, between King and William Streets. Over the years we have had many moves. In 1990 we opened our current premises in the Neo-Gothic Assembly Hall building, at 156 Collins Street. Our shop has an impressive, but informal, salon style and an open-door policy. It is situated in the heart of Melbourne’s premier street. We welcome browsers, but are equally happy to provide personal service when required. In particular, we take great pride in offering experienced assistance in the selection of gifts for all occasions, including corporate, graduation, christening, wedding and other anniversaries.

We have a large and varied stock of antiquarian and secondhand books, dating from the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries, and covering most subjects and price categories. In 2003 we became the Australian distributor for the Oak Knoll Press, of New Castle, Delaware, USA, and the publishers they represent. These new publications are devoted to books about books, including book arts and history, bibliography, publishing history and book collecting, and they complement our large stock of secondhand and antiquarian books in these subjects.

We regularly exhibit at the annual ANZAAB Book Fair, held in either Sydney or Melbourne, where we enjoy meeting many of our customers from other states and overseas. In recent years we have also shared exhibition booths with some of our ANZAAB colleagues at International Book Fairs held under the auspices of the ILAB.


 156 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3000