The Bookseller “spurred me on”: The deeply troubling Carnegie Library theft

One was the sole archivist for and head of the rare book room at the Carnegie Library. The other was an antiquarian bookseller and proprietor of Caliban Books. They both recently pleaded guilty for their part in one of the biggest library heists on record, stealing millions of dollars worth of material from the Carnegie library.

For pretty much as long as they were at the helm of their respective workplaces Greg Priore and John Schulman were engaged in ongoing criminal activity. That’s a whopping 25 years of deceit!

Priore, the Carnegie Library archivist, says  ‘I should have never done this…greed came over me. I did it, but Schulman spurred me on,’” He alleged that Schulman ‘goaded’ him on and that Schulman made significantly more money than he did in the sale of the items”.


Schulman hasn’t spoke publicly but has issued a legally watered-down statement through his attorney taking “responsibility for his association with books under circumstances whereby he should have known that the books had probably been stolen.”

“Mr. Schulman has dedicated much of his life to contributing to the bookselling trade and regrets that today’s guilty pleas negatively reflected upon the antiquarian book industry, his family and clients.”


Please, this man served on the Ethics and Standards Committee for the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) during his crime spree, a committee that consists only of members of the Board of Governors. It now seems he dedicated as much of his life to selling stolen material as he did “contributing to the book trade”.


These are dark days for the antiquarians.

The Pittsburgh Gazette, the paper of record for this story, has a poll going asking if “you think the potential maximum sentence of 16 months would be appropriate in this case”

Sentencing is set for April 17.

More from the Pittsburgh Gazette on the bookselling life of the owner of Caliban Book Shop


Storefront image via reddit

In the Stacks: Medicine and Madison Avenue

The Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History  at Duke University  holds an extensive collection of more than 3 million items that document the history of sales, advertising and marketing throughout the past two centuries.

From that massive archive comes the digital collection Medicine and Madison Avenue. A gathering of close to 600 advertising items and publications illustrating the rise of consumer culture and the birth of a professionalized advertising industry in the United States. Enjoy this sampling of familiar products, and who knew one could “Minimize the After-Effects of Tobacco” with Phillips Milk of Magnesia.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Nature is Stingy with tooth enamel, 1937. Woman’s Home Companion magazine.

 2.  Is “Smoker’s Fag” Beginning To Get You?, 1931. Saturday Evening Post

 3. When Peter Pain hits with neuralgia pains…, 1946. Appeared in This Weeks newspaper

4. Women Look for cleanliness – even down the drains, 1932. Saturday Evening Post

5. Mothers Welcome New Heinz Strained Meats Babies enjoy their flavor! First In Glass Jars, 1954.  Every Woman’s magazine


View entire digital exhibit here

In the Stacks archive

A university in the UK unveils what just might be the oldest known fragments of the Qur’an

Last November we reported that a German University had discovered what was then one of the earliest known copies of the Qur’an. The folks at the Coranica Project, part of the University of Tübingen, had placed a manuscript of the Qu’ran to between 649-675 AD.

Now researchers at the University of Birmingham have unearthed a copy that according to radiocarbon testing was written on parchment that originated between 568-645 AD, making it easily one of the oldest known fragments.  It is quite possible that the author of these fragments actually knew the Prophet Muhammad.

The first Qur’an collected in book form was completed in about 650.

The manuscript is part of the Mingana Collection of more than 3,000 Middle Eastern documents gathered in the 1920s by Alphonse Mingana, a Chaldean priest born near Mosul in modern-day Iraq.



Much more at BBC News: ‘Oldest’ Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

Previously on Book Patrol: German university unveils what may be the world’s oldest Qur’an