Book Collecting Now | Mechanics' Institute

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Book Collecting Now
with Spencer Stuart

This event will be held online. Please register below to receive online event credentials.


Join Collections Advisor and author of Contemporary Issues in Rare Book & Manuscript Collecting, Spencer W. Stuart as he discusses case studies from his professional practice as well as the past to chart the life cycle of collections and the collectors who build them.


Through these examinations he will touch on important things collectors should consider at key moments of their collecting such as motivations that move one to collect, how to maintain perspective while actively collecting, and finally the legacy of a collection as well as deaccessioning strategies.


Referenced throughout are the recent structural changes that have taken place in the fine art photography, rare books and printed material markets, resulting in a more transparent ecosystem to participate in as a collector as well as the emergence of tendencies Spencer has observed with new collectors that he feels are redefining notions of who collects and what influences their focus.


Collecting is a journey. Executed with foresight, it can be a source of both self-exploration and understanding of the world. Through his talk, Spencer seeks to inspire new collectors and reinvigorate those with an established focus.


This discussion will be facilitated by Myles Cooper, MLIS, Mechanics' Institute Library Manager.


About Spencer W. Stuart


Spencer W. Stuart is an experienced Collections Advisor. He works with new, expanding, mature, and deaccessioning collections throughout the world both in private and institutional contexts. Spencer’s work is focused on aiding to facilitate collection development, cataloguing, and deacquisition strategies.


In tandem with his advisory work, Spencer has delivered 20+ sessions on collecting management to more than 500 collectors from 12 collecting organizations. His articles have appeared through Rare Book Hub, The Book Collector, Amphora, and Manuscripts. He also occasionally appears on CBC Radio to present segments on Book History.


Spencer holds a master’s degree in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute in London, England (recipient of the Director’s Award). Upon graduation he took a position with Bonhams Auctioneers where he worked closely with the North American Rare Books and Manuscripts department in Toronto and New York.


He is an alumnus of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminars and has completed course work through the Rare Book School (University of Virginia).


Visit Contemporary Issues in Rare Book & Manuscript Collecting to purchase.


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