What is the largest rare book dealer in Mississippi?
March 11, 2006 11:58 PM   Subscribe

Rare Book Dealers in Mississippi? (Help a student librarian!)

I'm in my first semester of library school and for one of our assignments, we have to answer a hypothetical reference question. I've chosen "What antiquarian bookseller in Mississippi has the largest stock?"

I'm finding information about rare booksellers in both print (ie. Sheppard’s Book Dealers in North America - 15th Edition) and online sources (ie. relevant section of Mississippi Yellow Pages online) but can't find that definitive answer that says "This is the one with the largest stock."

I'm not asking anyone to answer the question for me but would love any guidance as to what I may be missing (or even if there is a source that will give a definitive answer. I doubt it's a trick question but it could be.)

I don't think that using AskMF is against the assignment guidelines anyhow. They say we can use online sources and even though they probably think most of the class will use Google and maybe a subscription database or two, I doubt they expect us to use more community-based tools like AskMF (even though, I suspect reference librarians use tools like this with increasing frequency just as they're as likely to ask colleagues and other non-print sources some of the time.)

Thanks in advance!
posted by Jaybo to Education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are 15 Mississippi booksellers on Abebooks (select the state in dropdown), the primary online marketplace for rare books. No indication of their stocks, but maybe counting up what they have listed online (browse each store by category...) would give you an indication of who are the big ones, and you could proceed from there.
posted by teg at 1:13 AM on March 12, 2006

Call Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi. They aren't a rare book dealer, but they may know who is.
posted by tayknight at 8:57 AM on March 12, 2006

Best answer: Choctaw Books in Jackson, Mississippi might be in the running. It is certainly the place I go to for used books when I am in Mississippi. They would also know what other places might be in the same league.

My guess is that finding the difinitive "largest" might be difficult, since many dealers don't computerize their whole inventory. The ABE listings might help, but my experience is that most B&M book dealers only list some of their inventory there.
posted by Tallguy at 10:00 AM on March 12, 2006

Lemuria in Jackson has a small selection of rare/first edition books and is in general a great little shop. Staff is also knowledgable and could probably point you to more resources.
posted by thebrokedown at 11:24 AM on March 12, 2006

Oh, here's the Lemuria link. . .
posted by thebrokedown at 11:26 AM on March 12, 2006

My girlfriend, who has worked for a major rare book dealer, suggests that you look at the ABAA website if you haven't already. Most major dealers will be on there. By the way, there's a significant difference between used and rare/antiquarian books. Some rare book dealers might not even have an open shop.
posted by advil at 12:14 PM on March 12, 2006

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