My descent into the world of rare books proper began while a doctoral student, strapped to an improbably expensive Linotype flatbed scanner in the windowless loft of a university archive. At the time, libraries were feeding on rich pools of funding offered to institutions willing to digitise their precious papers and make them available to everyone through the world wide web. For almost three years I lumbered through collections of 18th century philosophical manuscripts, Jacobite prints and a trove of photographic negatives. Most likely there was not a special collections reading room in the country that wasn’t operating 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 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.