ReadInk Rare Books Proprietor Outs His Secret Job March 8, 2010 – Tags: , , ,

Howard Prouty, home on the range
at the Margaret Herrick Library
where he wrangles and corrals collections.

Our friend and colleague, Howard Prouty, of ReadInk books, has had a day job for around twenty-five years, one that I presumed he wished to maintain a low profile about.

A private man, he may be uneasy but a recent Oscar®-related newspaper feature discusses it

Today, the Omaha World-Herald features a high profile feature about Howard and his job as acquisitions archivist at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library.

As the story notes, “Prouty spends lots of time in dead people’s homes, attics, garages, backyard sheds, barns, wine cellars and storage units.

“’There’s a lot of dirt and bugs involved. I don’t wear a suit and tie. Stuff just needs to be plunged into, to find what’s worth preserving, extract it and try to make sense of it.’”

In other words, he’s a rare book dealer.

As far as being the international man of movie history mystery from the rare book world’s perspective, now outed (though if someone Googled Howard they’d be able to put two and two together) Howard remains shy about fame, however minor or transient.

We’re pleased to give the Nebraska native this shout-out. I can now reveal what I was hesitant to relate at the time of our coverage the 43d California Antiquarian International Book Fair and its acclaimed From Author to Oscar® exhibition: It was Howard, with the generous support of the staff at the Herrick Library, who made it all possible despite the stressful workload of the Oscar® season. The man’s a prince.

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