September 2015 Luncheon Meeting

  • 09/11/2015
  • 11:30 AM
  • Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson, Chicago


  • Event Administrator

Registration is closed

Speaker: Travis McDade

“The Thieves of Book Row”

For a fascinating tale of libraries and larceny, Travis McDade, author of Thieves of Book Row, will reveal how New York booksellers recruited practiced pilferers to loot libraries large and small of their treasures … and of how library detectives emerged to stop them.

The 1920’s were a golden age of book buying and selling, fueled by the record-setting auction of composer Richard Kern’s remarkable collection. Outside the auction houses and the estate sales another group was at work, beguiling librarians, gaining access to stacks, and stuffing their specially designed overcoats’ pockets with libraries’ treasures. Who done it and who stopped them will be the subject of a fast-paced and generously illustrated talk by Travis McDade, author, curator of law rare books at the University of Illinois in Urbana, and a leading expert on crimes against rare books, maps, documents, and other printed cultural heritage resources.

Oversized coats, outsized characters, and the art of catching book thieves in the days before electronic surveillance and tracking will make for a crackling good story.

Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson Boulevard. Luncheon buffet (Room to be announced) opens at 11:30 am; program (Room to be announced) 12:30-1:30. Please reserve and cancel reservations by the preceding Wednesday for the Friday lunch. Reserved nonattendees will be billed.


c/o The Newberry Library
60 W. Walton Street
Chicago, IL  60610

Tel: +1 (312) 255-3710