My descent into the world of rare books proper, began while a doctoral student, strapped to a workbench in front of an improbably expensive Linotype flatbed scanner. At the time libraries across the country were feeding on rich pools of funding available to institutions willing to digitise their precious papers and make them available for everyone to view on the web. For almost three years I paid the rent by working my way through box after box of 18th century philosophical manuscripts, hundreds of Jacobite prints and a trove of 8x10 glass plate negatives. Most likely there was not a special collections reading room in the country at that time that wasn’t operating (consciously or otherwise) to the background hum of one or more of those machines.
In 2000 I moved to the United States where my wife took up a post at Harvard Medical School (ten a penny in those days) and I, fascinated by its product and its processes, spent over a decade working in the antiquarian book trade. I was privileged to work with some extraordinary material and extraordinary people; acquiring, researching and placing rare books and manuscripts, appraising documents and collections, and collating important archives in a number of fields - all the while developing my own particular specialism in 20th Century art, photography, design and architecture.
I continued to focus on those disciplines when I returned to the UK in 2012, and now work directly with a smaller group of institutional and individual clients whose collecting interests mirror my own. I issue catalogues, appraise material in my area of expertise, lecture, and act as an agent in the institutional placement of archives.
I live in the lawless border country between Surrey and Hampshire with my wife, Jenny and daughter Megan.