The Bookseller “spurred me on”: The deeply troubling Carnegie Library theft January 17, 2020 – Posted in: Bookselling / Collecting, bookshops, Content, Special Collections
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