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Rare Books and The World of Theft: $10,000 worth of rare books stolen in the US

 20/02/2019

Last week Baldwin’s Book Barn Philadelphia, United States was subject to a bookseller’s nightmare as 20 different rare books were stolen from their store, including a rare first edition of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and a rare edition of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. The books stolen totalled to the amount of around $10,000. The assistant manager of the store rather heart-warmingly said in a press interview, "Bring them back, bring them back. They’re significant things. If we don’t sell them, we’d just like to have them around. That’s what book people like to do." 
 
Rare book sellers and libraries are often targets of theft, this month two men are on trial over theft and trafficking of rare books, maps, and prints from Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh, United States.  Earlier this year the film “American Animals” was released retelling the true story of a 2004 rare book heist that saw four students steal over $500,000 worth of books from Transylvania University Library, Kentucky United States. 
Unfortunately, these are stories rare booksellers know all too well, often highlighting the necessity of in trade communication in order to keep books safe, ABA and ILAB staff are always available to listen to any reports or concerns. This year,s Provenance Symposium will be entitled “WHO OWNED THIS? Libraries and the Rare Book Trade consider issues surrounding Provenance, Theft and Forgery”. 
 
To learn more about the 2019 ILAB Provenance Symposium head to https://ilab.org/articles/ilab-announces-program-and-panelists-upcoming-provenance-symposium 
 
Full article on Baldwin’s Book Barn https://www.latimes.com/books/la-et-jc-book-heist-baldwins-book-barn-20190214-story.html