THE BOOK COLLECTOR is the only journal in the world that deals with all aspects of the book. It is published quarterly and exists in both paper and digital form. It prints notoriously independent opinions on subjects ranging from typography to national heritage policy, from medieval libraries to modern first editions. It has run series on Unfamiliar Libraries, Literary and Scientific Autographs, Author Societies, Contemporary Collectors and many other subjects. Among its features are Stoning Charlotte Brontë, Paper in America, Chapbooks in Nigeria, Some New Light on Sodom, W.G. Sebald, China, Diploma and Espionage and The Sherlock Holmes Society. Every issue contains Obituaries, Sales Reports, Books Reviewed, Exhibitions and Dealers' Catalogues received.
HISTORY The Book Collector was launched by the novelist Ian Fleming in the same year, 1952, that he wrote the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. He was the journal's publisher from its start and the principal shareholder from 1955 until his death in 1964. He was a determined collector of books from an early age, concentrating on first editions of texts that have proved seminal to western civilisation: birth control, X-rays, communism, football, atomic fission, penicillin and suchlike. Nobody had attempted a collection of such intellectual diversity. On his death it was purchased by the Lilly Library, Indiana University. To celebrate the 65th anniversary of its launch, The Book Collector is to publish an Ian Fleming Special in 2017. This will contain unique and original material covering an aspect of Fleming's career that has hitherto been obscured by the James Bond phenomenon.
The journal has had only four editors since it was founded. After the death in 1965 of John Hayward, the friend and muse of T. S. Eliot, it was edited for fifty years by Nicolas Barker, sometime publisher and first head of conservation at the British Library. In 2015 he stepped down and James Fergusson, founding Obituaries Editor of The Independent, 1986-2007, took his place. He's assisted by an Editorial Board meeting four times a year on which sit academics, a librarian, a bookseller and a novelist.
PUBLICATION The Book Collector publishes four times a year in March, June, September and December. Each issue consists of 192pp and is sent to subscribers by airmail, where appropriate. Subscribers also have digital access to every issue of The Book Collector, as printed, since its first appearance in 1952 and to its predecessor Book Handbook, which was published in twenty-eight numbers between 1947 and 1951. There is no restriction for libraries and other institutions on the number of digital users. The Book Collector's website holds its complete archive, meticulously indexed. Subscription rates and all other information, including details of the Ian Fleming Special Issue, is available at www.thebookcollector.co.uk.