For bibliophiles there's nothing lower than a bookthief. Charlie Davis passed along an article and blog with the latest on the case of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh employee and a local bookseller charged with stealing $8 million worth of rare volumes. Thanks. As noted earlier the library does hold a significant collection of numismatic literature, but it is not known if any of those books are involved. The photo below shows librarian Greg Priore at the library in 1999.
A library archivist and an antique bookseller are charged with stealing millions of dollars' worth of rare books, illustrations, maps and photographs from a Pittsburgh library over a 20-year period.
Authorities Friday charged former Carnegie Library rare books manager Gregory Priore and bookstore owner John Schulman with theft, conspiracy and other counts in the disappearance of hundreds of items. Detectives put the estimated value of the materials stolen or damaged at US$8 million.
Prosecutors say Priore would sometimes use an X-Acto knife to cut maps and bookplates out of some books.
They allege Priore walked out of the library with the items and took them to the bookstore a block away. They say the bookseller paid Priore up front and then pocketed the cash from items he could unload.
To read the complete article, see:
Archivist, bookseller charged in US$8M rare book theft scheme
Here's an excerpt from a lengthy Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article. Larry Dziubek also pointed this out, which was a front-page item in the print edition.
It ranks as one of the largest library thefts in history.
Greg Priore, 61, of Oakland, who worked as the sole archivist and manager of the library’s rare book room since 1992, is charged with theft, receiving stolen property, conspiracy, retail theft, library theft, criminal mischief and forgery.
John Schulman, 54, of Squirrel Hill, who owns Caliban Book Shop, is charged with theft, receiving stolen property, dealing in proceeds of illegal activity, conspiracy, retail theft, theft by deception, forgery and deceptive business practices.
Both men turned themselves in Friday morning at City Court in Downtown Pittsburgh. Court records show that both were released on their own recognizance following an afternoon arraignment. A preliminary hearing for them is scheduled for Aug. 1.
In total, $1.1 million worth of stolen items have been recovered through the efforts of Pall Mall, the DA’s office and the art collecting community, the complaint said.
The most valuable item stolen, which has been recovered, is Isaac Newton's "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica," valued at $900,000.
The most valuable item still missing, according to the complaint is, "The Journal of...," by George Washington, listed as being worth $250,000.
Other evidence detailed in the complaint included an email Mr. Schulman sent to the operator of an online search engine for old, rare and out of print books for sale worldwide. Mr. Schulman sent the operator an email in May 2017 in which he asked that the “ghost record’ for a book he once sold be removed from the site so it would no longer appear in future Google searches.
According to the operator, the item for which Mr. Schulman requested records be deleted was “Newton's Principia Mathematica,” which he sold, the complaint said, for $95,000 jointly to Bartleby’s Books and London book dealer Peter Harrington on July 15, 2013.
To read the complete article, see:
Two men charged with stealing more than $8 million in rare books from Carnegie Library
Tom Fort reports that AbeBooks.com has pulled the listings of Caliban book shop.
I don't know what odd interpretation of laws brought the situation about, but apparently readers in the E.U. will not have direct access to the Post-Gazette article. But Charlie passed along a link to the Vialibri blog which posted a copy.
Unfortunately, the Post-Gazette website is completely blocked to visitors in the European Union, making access to these latest details difficult for anyone on this side of the Atlantic to obtain. We have, however, been sent a PDF copy of the online version of the newspaper story and are thus able to provide it here.
To read the complete blog article, see:
Charges filed in Carnegie library theft
The Post-Gazette article helpfully embeds a 13-page spreadsheet listing of the items known to have been stolen.
As noted earlier, two obscure numismatic items are on the list. Be on the lookout for these:
Charles Henry Hart, Catalogue of the Engraved Portraits of Washington, New York: Grolier Club, 1904; Of 425 copies (est. $800)
Lorado Zadoc Taft (American, 1860 - 1936), Medal Struck in Celebration of the Sixty-Sixth Anniversary of the Birth of James Whitcomb Riley, 1916; #219 of 500 (est. $500)
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
CARNEGIE LIBRARY NUMISMATIC LITERATURE
LIBRARY RARE BOOK ROOM
CARNEGIE LIBRARY OF PITTSBURGH RARE BOOK THEFTS
CARNEGIE LIBRARY RARE BOOK THEFT DEVELOPMENTS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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