RBMS Security Committee: Theft Reports 1987-1996

This is a list of incidents reported in the public media and on open listservs, such as Exlibris. The "Incidents of Theft" list was begun in 1987 and is updated by a member of the RBMS Security Committee. Although known to be incomplete, the list does provide an indication of the extent and variety of reported and alleged thefts. For reports in the Exlibris electronic discussion list since April 1991, consult the list archives.

The following list contains notices of thefts that occurred or were reported from January 1999 to December 2000. For additional coverage or for information on how to report notices for possible inclusion on the list, please consult the cumulative index.


December 1996

Gilbert Bland sentenced to an additional 4 1/2 months in prison in North Carolina for thefts in the news in Dec. 1995. Earlier had been sentenced to 8 months in prison and order to pay $70,000 in restitution to the Univ. Of Virginia.

Raleigh (NC) News and Observer, Dec. 22, 1996

Zollars Library at Phillips University, Enid, OK, in November discovered 24 items missing from their rare book room and archives collection, including autographs and 16th and 18th century books as well as a 17th century map.

Daily Oklahoman, Dec. 13, 1996, p.1

Dmitry Yakubovsky, of St. Petersburg, Russia, was found guilty on two counts of theft and sentenced to 5 years in prison and confiscation of his property. Had stolen medieval manuscripts from the Russian National Library in Dec. 1994.

Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press, Dec. 11, 1996

November 1996

Thieves broke into the Adams National Historic Site in Quincy by sawing through a wooden door. It was reported that 4 books were stolen, including 3 bibles, that had been lying on a large, oval table near the library entrance.

Boston Globe, Nov. 3, 1996

The theft was reported to have been four crates of rare books. (Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 6, 1997)

The FBI and Quincy (MA) police published a color illustrated 21 pp. Catalog of items taken in the theft.

Exlibris, Nov. 22 1996

Two of the Bibles were found in a knapsack at a New Hampshire gym.

Boston Globe, Jan. 16, 1997

Peter L. Stern & Co., Boston, reported the theft of Hemingway's The Old Man and the sea, 1952, 1st edition. Serendipity Books reported the theft of Joyce's Ulysses, 1922, 1st edition.

Press Club of San Francisco reported between 100 and 150 books to have been stolen; there was no list of holdings. Subjects included California and San Francisco history,biographies, and some Civil War. Stamped with 'Press Club...' or "Union League Club.' Contact John Loftus, SFPD, 415/553-9131.

Two volumes on the Golden Fleece, published in 1491 and in 1562, were reported stolen in Belgium.

ABAA Pink Sheet, Jan. 1997

October 1966

Joseph Anastasio of New Haven received three years on probation for stealing Lincoln letters and other documents from the University of Bridgeport library between April 1991 and October 1993 while he was employed there as a security guard. Thefts were discovered during a cleanup in late 1994. The school retrieved the documents from collectors in Texas, Missouri, and Philadelphia.

Hartford Courant, Oct. 17, 1996

Some 170 volumes were reported stolen from a National Trust Property (Phillips House, Dinton, Salisbury, GB) between October 1995 and February 1996. Most have markings from either Alexander Popham or William Wyndham. Contact D.C. Hope of the Wiltshire Constabulary 01722411444ext.525, crime report no. A/6516/96.

Cambridge University Library reported 19 17th and 18th century volumes missing from their shelves. Several deal with Johann Keppler or Isaac Newton. Contact B. Jenkins, tel: 01223 333122; fax: 01223 33160.

ABAA Pink Sheet, Nov. 1996

September 1996

Public Library of Cincinnati (OH) and Hamilton County reported two rare Mormon publications had been stolen: Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants..., 1835 [the thief substituted a facsimile for it]; and the Book of Mormon..., 1837. Contact David Takach, Supervisor, Safety & Security, 513/369-6080.

Exlibris, Sept. 26, 1996

David Holt, a bookdealer of Napier, New Zealand, offered specialist dealers rare books at a fraction of their value but asked for prepayment to be sent to him in Napier. Obtained a large sum ofer a few months for books never in his possession. Targets ABAA members. Lately working out of Latvia.

ABAA Pink Sheet, Nov. 1996

Twenty drawings were reported lost while in transit from the United States Military Academy. Primary topics were Native Americans west of the Mississippi, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Came from Bourke Drawings and the Pope Ledger. Contact: Alan Aimone, 914/938-2954, fax: 914/938-3752.

The Connecticut Historical Society reported 19 volumes missing and presumed stolen sometime between mid-1994 and early 1996. Included several 17th century American publications, TS. Eliot first editions, and Thomas Paine items. Contact Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

ABAA Pink Sheet Oct. 1996

Monks at a Benedictine monastery near Barcelona helped catch thieves posing as researchers who had stolen 9 rare manuscripts from the monastery's library. The thieves returned on Sept. 2 to do more research; the monks asked them to wait outside and called police.

New York Times, Sept. 10, 1996

On Sept. 30 a rare 10th century manuscript was stolen from a church museum in Seu de Urgell, a remote mountain town in Spain.

New York Times, Oct. 14, 1996

New York state law enforcement personnel reported findina a copy of Cicero's Rehetoricorum, 1569, probably taken from a location in the U.S. or Canada in 1993 or 1994.

Exlibris, Sept. 20, 1996, reported by Susan Allen

Kraus reported 7 books purchased at Sotheby's June 1986 (sic) sale were stolen from a delivert truck in NYC. Were printed in the 15th, 17th and 18th centuries. See Exlibris archives for a list.

Exlibris, Sept. 9, 1996

August 1996

More than 1700 rare books, maps and other items stolen from two Harvard libraries over a 2 1/2 year period were recovered in cooperation with Spanish police.

Boston Globe, Aug. 30, 1996

Summer 1996

Alleged book theft operation uncovered in California. Two Northern Calif. libraries were among purchasers of books from John Capman, owner of the Writer's Bookstore in San Francisco, and later learned the volumes had allegedly been stolen.

Library Journal, Nov. 1, 1996, pp. 12-13

Two bookstore owners helped catch thieves who annually shoplifted books from their store worth more than $100,000. A bookstore owner and a flea-market book merchant were arrested in a sting operation.

Publishers Weekly, Sept. 2, 1996

July 1996

Deborah Grandt, Arlington Heights, IL, was charged with felony theft and theft from a library. More than 1100 missing items valued at more than $25,000 were found in her home. She had been a part-time clerk at the library.

Chicago Tribune, Jul. 18, 1996

Walter Crane poem written in 1896 at the death of William Morris was discovered to be missing when preparing for the Morris centenary. Possibly had been stolen late in 1992.

Bromer Booksellers reported another missing miniature book from their gallery: Epictetus (Glasgow, 1751).

ABAA Pink Sheet, July 1996

June 1996

Artwork by Michal Hague, illustrator of children's books, reported stolen. Was for a new book about a bunny and a toy kangaroo. $10,000 reward offered. Contact: reisler@clark.net.

Exlibris, June 11, 1996

Michael G. Lorenzen wrote 'Security Issues of Academic Libraries,' a master's seminar paper, Ohio University, ED396765. Examines and evaluates security issues.

May-June 1996

A University of Arkansas English professor well known as a dealer in rare documents was indicted for felony document theft by grand juries in two Texas counties, Clay and Navarro. Southwestern Archivist, v.19(3), p.33; Contact Tom Dillard at the University of Central Arkansas

May 1996

Some 8000 books, many signed by theircentury British authors, were donated to Chicago by the British after the Great Chicago Fire, 1871. All but 343 are missing.

Chicago Tribune, May 17, 1996

March 1996

Jerry Blaz posted a report from Michael Thompson about an antiquarian book dealer who was under investigation for theft and possession of stolen property.

Exlibris, March 26, 1996

Stephen Womack received the maximum sentence of 7 to 10 years, plus 10 years probation after release, for stealing and defacing hundreds of thousands dollars' worth of books from Harvard's Widener and Northwestern's Snell libraries.

American Libraries, June/July 1996, p.26

Robert H. Smith of North Little Rock, Arkansas, was arrested in connection with the theft of manuscripts from university libraries in Kansas and Arkansas. His focus was on outlaws, Civil War guerrillas, "Hanging Judge Parker", Albert Pike, presidential letters, and Martin Luther King, as well as Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot.

Exlibris, March 4, Alexandra Mason; March 7, Michael Dabrishius

Smith was sentenced to 11 months incarceration, concurrent with a previous sentence in Arkansas. All but 1 manuscript from Kansas University were recovered; several additional ones are awaiting owner identification.

Exlibris, April 17, Alexandra Mason

Smith pleaded guilty June 27 to felony theft from the Univ. of Ark. Libs. Sentence: 15 years in prison and pay $33,440 in restitution, some $ to go to dealers he duped. Also suspected of theft from several other libraries in Arkansas and Mississippi. [A review by U. of Ark library staff of ca 48,000 items in 64 boxes revealed 125 items, not 49, missing; about 100 recovered so far.]

Exlibris, June 29, Michael Dabrishus

Twenty museums in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma were reported to have encountered a string of thefts since January 1994. Among the missing items are John Brown memorabilia and indian artifacts. "There was the feeling we should not publicize this, but after some reflection, we decided against that. The more people know about these thefts, the more people can keep their eye out."

AP, in Stillwater (OK) News Press, March 3, 1996

February 1996

Jim Hess, Miami, FL, reported his rented car had been broken into while parked in a public lot and $65,000 worth of maps had been taken.

Exlibris, Feb. 28

Maps reported stolen in February from Jim Hess in Miami were returned. Theft was apprehended when tried to sell them to a Miami dealer, who had seen them listed as stolen. Sentence was 6 months probation and 50 hours community service.

Exlibris, May 3, 1996, reported by Jim Hess

A Lincoln manuscript discovered missing in Jan. 1995, which belonged to the University of Bridgeport (CT), was recovered from a collector in MO who had purchased it at an auction in Beverly Hills in 1993 for more than $7000.

Exlibris, Feb. 25, 1996, reported by Everett Wilkie

The Folger Library reported that 15 of the 18 items reported stolen from them in June 1995 had been recovered. Still missing: Bayly, The practice of piete..., 1635?ius, Orbis sensualium pictus..., 1685; A direction for the English Traviller, 1677?. The suspect plead guilty and was sentenced to 3 years probation on Feb. 2, 1996.

Exlibris, Feb. 15 and 21, reported by Richard Khuta

Florida State University underwent a 3-day string of fire attacks set by an arsonist. On Feb. 2 one was lit in the periodicals section. 50 periodicals had to be rebound.

C&RL News, March 1996, p. 130

January 1996

Simon Heighes, music lecturer at the Queen's College, was sentenced to two years in prison for stealing books and manuscripts from the lbirary.

Spectator, Jan. 20, 1996, pp. 15-16

A woman with metal leg braces claimed her braces set off the alarms when she exited the Brigham Young University Library. It was learned she was stealing books and the alarm was picking up the signal from the security strips. She and a co-hort faced third-degree felony charges.

Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 12, p. A5

Norwich University student, Michael Kimmel, charged with stealing rare books from the university library. Tried to sell several in Boston.

Boston Globe, Jan. 16, 1996

Stephen Blumberg was released on Dec. 29, 1995, and returned to his family home in Minneapolis. He did not appear in Des Moines for a meeting with his probation officer on Jan. 4 and a warrant was issued for his arrest. On Jan. 9 he turned himself in to authorities in Minneapolis. On Jan. 17 he was ordered returned to Iowa, where he underwent psychological testing and was declared competent. A hearing to determine the terms of his probation was held April 25, which included an official notification of identification he is to present upon entering any library or bookstore.

Exlibris, Jan. 4,8,9,18, April 9,26, May 3


December 1995

A Dutch newspaper reported that an American in a Dutch jail on suspicion of trading stolen manuscripts [from Columbia University Library] is also a suspect in relation to the Oklahoma City bombing. [Name may be Daniel Spiegelman or Daniel Kikabidze.]

Exlibris, Dec. 30, 31, reported by Alexandra Mason and Piet Wesselman

Robert Bermeo was found guilty of the theft of more than $1 million worth of materials from the UCLA Library. He was a student assistant from October 1990 to June 1992, and was arrested in June 1994.

Exlibris, Dec. 11, 1995

On Dec. 7 Gilbert Joseph Bland, Jr., using the alias James Perry, was apprehended removing maps from 18th century books at The Johns Hopkins University Library.

Exlibris, Dec. 8, reported by Cynthia Requardt

On Dec. 11 John Carter Brown Library reported Perry had registered there and that 2 pages were missing from a book he used.

Exlibris, Dec. 11, reproted by Daniel Slive

In reaction to the Dec. 7 posting, the University of Virginia Library checked their records and collections and found 3 volumes used by James Perry on Dec. 5 and 6 were mutilated.

Exlibris, Dec. 18, reported by Kathryn Morgan

The University of Chicago reported two volumes used by a James Perry were missing a total of 12 pages with maps.

Exlibris, Dec. 26, forwarded for Alice Schreyer

Duke University reported 9 volumes containing maps that were mutilated had been used by James Perry between July 1994 and December 1995.

From lsolist (Jan. 5, 1996) via ABAA pink sheet, Jan. 1996

With assistance from members of the ABAA, the FBI learned that Gilbert Joseph Bland, Jr. operated an antique maps shop in Tamarac, FL. In response to learning of warrants for his arrest, Bland turned himself in to Coral Springs, FL, police on Jan. 4, 1996. The warrants were issued by the University of Virginia and Duke University. [On advice of their legal counsel, Johns Hopkins University accepted restitution rather than pressing charges.] In late June it was reported that he had pled guilty. Sentencing will be in October; prosecutors will recommend the minimum sentence because of Bland's cooperation in recovering 140 rare documents valued at $200,000. He faces similar charges in Delaware. At least nine libraries in addition to those already mentioned above were impacted by his activity.

Exlibris, Dec. 19, 23, 1995; Jan. 5, June 26, 1996;

ABAA memo, Jan. 23, 1996

Bland was relocated to a jail in Chapel Hill to await court appearance re theft from Univ. of North Carolina.

Exlibris, June 30, Charles McNamara

November 1995

A congressional hearing was held on Nov. 25 that focused on theft and mutilation of books in the Library of Congress's collections, and related security measures.

American Libraries, Jan. 1996, p. 14; Library Journal, Jan. 1996, p. 15

LC Information Bulletin, Dec. 11, 1995

A file with maps of Africa printed in 1787 was stolen from the Argosy Book Store in NYC several weeks ago; a week later a folder with maps of Sicily disappeared.

Reported to ABAA Nov. 28, 1995, and in its pink sheet, Jan. 1996

18 volumes of Americana were reported stolen from a private collection.

ABAA pink sheet, Jan. 1996

October 1995

Several Bowdoin College Library books containing plates were mutilated over the weekend of Sept. 30-Oct. 1. Discovered by 2 student staff, reported immediately to local officials. Titles included ten 19th century volumes on medieval and renaissance architecture. About 850 unmarked plates were removed.

ListServ; posted to several library related lists

More mutilated books discovered in the Bowdoin College Library Oct. 17; primarily illustrations razored out of nineteenth century books in the natural sciences. List of titles is available.

Contact: Dianne Gutscher

EXLIBRIS, Oct. 19, 1995, by Susan Allen

Volumes reported missing from the Uzielli Aldine Imprints Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center Library, in 1992. Not found in repeated searches: Il Petrarcha, Venice: 1514; Florilegium diversorvm..., Venice, 1503. Contact Richard Oram, 512/471-9119

EXLIBRIS, Oct. 7, 1995, by Susan Allen

Private party had a valuable Bible that belonged to a famous New England preacher and had his annotations; was approached by a "parishoner" at another church to lend it for exhibition; did so; was not returned; other church knew nothing of parishoner or exhibit.

EXLIBRIS, Oct. 3, 1995, by Everett Wilkie

September 1995

Discovery of security breach and loss of unknown quanity of early printed books and manuscript drawings from the Lloyd E. Cotsen Collection of Children's Literature reported by Justin Schiller, Ltd., NY. Some were identified as having been sold... seller: male, early 30s, well-dressed, stylish, light brown hair, claimed to have inherited books from Europe. More details available from Schiller or Mr. Cotsen's Los Angeles librarian, Mrs. Ivy Trent, at 310/441-0104, who has a 2300-entry database file describing the collection.

EXLIBRIS, Sept. 8, 1995; ABAA Pink Sheet, Nov. 1995

Some 10,000 books, periodicals, maps and ephemera on Persia/Iran, most of which have the lion bookplate of F. DIBA, reported stolen in London on Sept. 22, 1995. Contact Maggs Bros Ltd, 50 Berkeley SQ, London W1X 6EL, tel 0171 493 7160.

ABAA Pink Sheet, Nov. 1995

Art work was removed from mats at Claremont (CA) Books & Prints; 2 items damaged in the process were not taken. "'Candidate': white male, 40's, 5'6-8"; hair short, maybe curly, brown with gray; thin guild, glasses. Cheerful, upbeat guy."

ABAA Pink Sheeet, Nov. 1995

August 1995

Library of Congress (LC) theft probe deepens, as Librarian strips LC's police force of investigative authority in effort to deal with problem of stolen and mutilated books.

Washington Post, Aug. 17, 1995

LC's problems with security as related to loss and mutilation of books was possibly to be on the agenda of the Joint Committee on the Library in November.

NCC Washington Update, Oct. 26, 1995

June 1995

Theft of early printed books from Folger Shakespeare Library; some items sold locally in June recovered by FBI, four 17th century volumes remain missing. Contact: Richard J. Kuhta, 202/675-0327, <khuta@mail.folger.edu>

EXLIBRIS, July 17, 1995

June 1995

Wife of president of Guatemala's national archive (General Archive of Central America) arrested in Manhattan; charged with selling 16th century manuscripts, etc., stolen from the Archive. Some 19th and 20th century foreign treaties with Guatemala were sold at auction in 1993 and 1994. Swann Galleries assisted in apprehending the suspect.

New York Times, June 28, 1995; reported to EXLIBRIS July 5, 1995

Dutch police arrest Daniel Spiegelman in the theft of 22 rare manuscripts from Columbia University in 1994.

New York Times, June 17, 1995

May 1995

"Professor queried in Vatican theft: pages stolen from ancient text." Art history professor, Ohio State University, asked rare book dealer to sell two handwritten, illustrated pages. Appeared to be cut from a medieval book; corresponded with missing pages from Petrarch's copy of ancient Roman treatise on farming in the Vatican Library. U.S. Customs officials are investigating.

Stillwater (OK) NewsPress (AP), May 23, 1995;

also topic on NPR, weekend of June 17-18, 1995

Newsweek, June 5, 1995; People Weekly, June 19, 1995

Anthony Melnikas ws sentenced Nov. 15, 1996, to 14 months in prison.

National Catholic Reporter, Dec. 13, 1996

Portrait and signature of Theodore Roosevelt stolen from Penrole Memorial Library, Whitman College. Contact: Marilyn Sparks, 405/527-5915

ABAA Pink Sheet, July 1995

4 dozen titles reported missing from Christ Church Library, Oxford. 9 possibly stolen in 1989/90, others were known to have been in the library in 1993. Primarily 17th century, with a few 15th and some 18th.

ABAA Pink Sheet, July 1995 [list]

Engraved portrait and autograph of President Theodore Roosevelt taken from exhibit case, Penrose Memorial Library, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA. Contact: Henry Yaple, 509/527-5193; <yaple@whitman.edu>

EXLIBRIS, 6/15/95, by Susan Allen

Memorial Day weekend "Historia General de los Hechos de las Castellanos en las Islas I Tierra Firme del Mar Ocenano" (1726-1730) stolen from University of New Mexico General Library. The loss was publicized. On June 10 the volumes were returned anonymously.

EXLIBRIS, 5/31/95, 6/13/95, by Susan Allen and Linda Lewis, UNM

5 items, apparently dealing with Jewish history, sent "priority mail" via the U.S. Postal Service on May 9 failed to arrive at their destination, Los Angeles.

ABAA Pink Sheet, Aug. 1995

Volume of late 14th century religious text in Latin was stolen from a museum in Chile.

ABAA Pink Sheet, Jan. 1997

April 1995

Complete set of "The Christmas Books" by Charles Dickens reported stolen from Imperial fine Books, NY.

ABAA Pink Sheet, July 1995

"Bomb explodes in Rutgers library." Small bomb exploded about midnight; was followed by three telephoned bomb threats. Bomb damaged ceiling and destroyed a few books in one room. Chronicle of Higher Education, April 14, 1995

"University Library target of bombings: second device found at Rutgers in wake of earlier explosion." Bomb exploded about midnight April 3 and caused about $100 damage to 10 books. 4 days later staff found a 2nd explosive device. Library Journal, May 1, 1995, p.14

April 1995

ABA (International) circulated "Stolen Book Chain Messages" regarding books reported since Oct. 1994. Included a "Book of Hours" ca 1495, not that stolen in France. Also: Missing from Welbeck Gallery: more than 200 plates of birds and flowers.

ABAA "Pink Sheet", April 1995

Charges against John Hajicek, accused of stealing The Book of Mormon (1830) from the State Historical Society of Missouri, were dropped on 4/21. Mr. Hajicik's attorney had raised questions about the evidence. Charges involving a book allegedly stolen in Lamoni, IA, were dropped on 4/20.

Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune, 4/22/95 and 4/24/95
[Note: a perpetual calendar indicates that the "Thursday" when charges were dropped in the Lamoni, IA case was April 20.]
For information from Mr. Hajicek on this matter see: http://www.mormonism.com/Outrages.htm.

4 books recovered in U.K. believed to belong to a U.S. dealer.

ABAA "Pink Sheet", April 1995

University of Bridgeport (CT) announced 7 titles as missing that were last inventoried/appraised in January 1992. Value in excess of $22,000. Contact: Karen Smiga, 203/576-4740.

ABAA "Pink Sheet", April 1995

Graceland College, Lamoni, IA, discovered 9 titles in their Mormon Collection were missing, some possibly for a long time and others only a short time. For details or communication, contact: Francis Acland, 515/784-3708.

WESTAM-L, via EXLIBRIS, 4/25/95, by George Miles

March 1995

Book dealer in Boston became suspicious when someone allegedly tried to sell him several rare books; man was arrested.

Boston Globe, March 5, 1995

Slasher in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, CA, reported to have been slicing the text from poetry books, leaving the casing (spine and covers) on the shelf. About 150 titles in more than a dozen libraries were vandalized. Vandal still at large.

EXLIBRIS, 3/28/95, via Chicago Tribune, March 26, 1995, via San Francisco Chronicle

also: Chronicle of Higher Education, April 7, 1995 (200 vols, 19 libs, last 2 mos.)

and: Library Journal, May 1, 1995, p. 15

Columbia University Library reviewed collections following major theft discovered in 1994. Found 2 boxes of documents relating to development of telegraph and its network (1860-1903) missing from the Thomas Alva Edison Collection. Contact: Jean Ashton, 212/854-2232, <ashton@columbia.edu>

EXLIBRIS, 3/22/95, by Susan Allen and Jean Ashton

"Codex Argenteus," aka The Silver Bible, a 6th century mss, was stolen from the Uppsala (Sweden) University Library on March 5. Two men broke the safety glass of an exhibit case with nine blows by a big hammer. Contact: Dr. Thomas Tottie, phone: +46 18 18 39 10 or Mr. Lars Munkhammar, +46 18 18 30 30.

EXLIBRIS, 4/27/95, by Susan Allen

INTERPOL reported the theft in France of "A Book of Hours," handwritten in Latin ca. 1400, on Aug. 29/30, 1994. Detailed description available. Contact: Angela Meadows, 202/616-9000.

EXLIBRIS, 3/14/95, by Susan Allen

February 1995

Dimitry Yakubovsky charged with theft of ancient manuscripts from the Russian National Library; faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press, Feb. 15, 1995

Recently 123 incunabula stolen from Bibliotheca Fardelliana, Trapani, Sicily; primarily Italian, with some German items. Details available from ABAA.

ABAA Pink Sheet, February 1995

"A History of Texas" by a Resident Emigrant (1844) reported stolen. Contact Steve Mauer, Bookmine, Old Sacramento, CA, 916/441-460?, <bkmine@ns.net>

Two books reported by Sumner & Sullivan, Yarmouth, ME to have been lost in transit: "Poems" by Thomas Chatterton (1877) and "Endymion" by John Keats (1818).

ABAA "Pink Sheet" April 1995

Two Edison items (calendar and cabinet photo) were stolen from a private office in New Haven, CT, between Sept. 1, 1994, and Feb. 24, 1995.

EXLIBRIS, 3/22/95, by Susan Allen

Tulsa City-County Library learned that a recently deceased patron had about 1300 library books among his belongings, some checked out and some not. The man's family contributed the books he legitimately owned to the library.

ODL Source, march 1995

AL noted that Stephen Womack was awaiting trial in early February. Charged with stealing and defacing several hundred thousand dollars worth of books from, and writing extortion letters to, Harvard and Northeastern University libraries in Boston. Was employed at Harvard as a stack attendant 1990-91; had a prior record for library theft.

American Libraries, 3/95, pp. 210-11

In February 1996 he was found guilty of malicious destruction of property.

Exlibris, March 2, from the Boston Globe, March 2

January 1995

Interpol (Ankara Office?): Theft in Poland, from National Archives Department of Jelenia Gora. Missing: 56 original manuscripts relating to Jelenia Gora (Hirschberg) and its region, each with wax seals, and 31 books. Contact: Angela Meadows, Art Program Analyst, Interpol, 202/616-6769 or 202/272-8383.

(EXLIBRIS, posted by Susan M. Allen, 1/24/95)

St. Petersburg [Russia]: Reported theft of manuscripts from the Russian National Library: ca. 89 ancient mss from Eastern and Western Europe (13th to 18th centuries, and earlier); and other items. Contact: Angela Meadows, Interpol, 202/272-8383, ext. 66.

(EXLIBRIS, posted by Susan M. Allen, 1/12/95)

Theft Report: France, manuscript stolen between Jan. 1993 and May 1994: dated 1532, in Latin on parchment; bears signature of Charles V (Holy Roman Emperor), a wax seal, and a stamp of the library in Arles. 34 x 75 c.m. Contact: Angela Meadows, Interpol, 202/272-8383.

(EXLIBRIS, posted by Susan M. Allen, 1/10/95)

"Northeastern U. student charged with book thefts." Stephen Womack arrested in December for slashing and stealing hundreds of thousands worth of library books from Harvard (1990) and Northeastern (1994). Extortion notes helped crack the case.

(Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 6, 1995)

37 items were reported stolen from a library in London. Descriptions are available in: ABAA Pink Sheet, Aug. 1995


December 1994

"The Garden of Health..." by William Langham (1633) misdelivered or lost by UPS in Brooklyn, NY, Dec. 27, 1994.

ABAA "Pink Sheet", April 1995

Stephen Womack and his activities in Boston, including thefts from Harvard and Northeastern, were brought to somewhat of a halt by Northeastern Library staff. See "College Bomb Threats Charged", Boston Globe, Dec. 16, 1994, and "Hub Student is Accused of Making Bomb Threats", Boston Herald, around same date. (Gary L. Menges, U.ofWash., 1/95) 6 books reported by Simon Finch Rare Books, London, to have been stolen while in transit during a stop at an airport in Malaysia on a return trip from Japan. Included Hortus Sanitatis, 1491, and 18th and 19th century titles.

ABAA Pink Sheet, February 1995

Broomer Booksellers, Boston, reported theft of 4 books, including 3 19th and early 20th century children's books (2 by Beatrix Potter).

ABAA Pink Sheet, February 1995

Eastern Monroe Public Library received a stolen volume of "Le Pittore Antiche d'Ercolano", vol. 5, Naples, 1779. Possibly owned by a library in New York State. Contact EMPL: 3mpl@hslc.org, or 717/421-0988.

(EXLIBRIS, posted by B. Kaiser, 12/8)

A book thief alert [no named city, but assume Sacramento]. ID card: [name] from Illinois, shoulder length salt & pepper hair, moustache, ~50 years old, 6 feet, intense eyes. Allegedly attempted to steal a $1500 book from one dealer, was thwarted, left, returned an hour later with a stolen book from another local bookstore. Bookstore staff did a citizen arrest, called police; police said probably wouldn't be worth the hassle and he might countersue for false arrest. (EXLIBRIS, posted by Inci Bowman, 12/2) November 1994

Warning: If offered a copy of the AMS of "The Raven" by E.A. Poe, inscribed to Dr. S.A. Whittaker of Phoenixville, you may to compare it to the mss in the Gimbel Poe Collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Contact: Martha Repman, Head, Rare Book Dept., 215/686-5416; BM.Y01@rlg.stanford.edu.

(EXLIBRIS, posted by Cornelia S. King, 11/22)

37-year employee admits $70,000 materials theft from the Upper Arlington (Ohio) Public Library. Took more than 5,800 items over some 20 years. Library had hired a security consulting firm to find out why books shown as available on the computer were not on the shelves. Caught employee leaving building with material that had not been checked out.

American Libraries, 11/94, p. 905

November 1994

Southern Methodist University reported that the map of the North-Eastern Parts of the United States and 118 engraved plates by W.H. Bartlett had been cut from an 1840 copy of "American Scenery" by N.P. Willis. Notify SMU if you see a number of Bartlett plates available.

(EXLIBRIS, posted by David Farmer, 11/11)

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire reported 3 maps missing. Last time two were seen was at an open house in April when they sere displayed on an open table in Special Collections. Wisconsin & Minnesota, 1895; Upper Territories of the U.S., 1818; Accurate Map of the Present seat of War, 1776. Contact: Lawrence D. Lynch, 715/836-2739

ABAA Pink Sheet, February 1995

October 1994

Between 75 and 100 books ranging in value from $200 to $1500 were stolen from Sam Weller Books (Zion Book Store) in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the night of October 24/25. Books were in two boxes labeled "Joshua Moses Bennett - Gospel of the great Spirit" and included a Frank Lloyd Wright portfolio of drawings, Thomas Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" (1st ed.), Stephen King's "Peter Straub" and "The Stone" (limited editions), and some other volumes, including some first edition William Faulkner titles and some other titles and some new books. (Later note: The thieves apparently were not knowledgeable about old books and the book market. Police contact: Detective Jim Pryor, 801/799-3104 (case No. 94-153856); Store contact: Tony Weller, 800/333/7269.

(EXLIBRIS, posted by Brad Councilman, 10/25, 11/11)

A hearing on Stuart Adelman's parole violation (see June 1994 note) resulted in his being sentenced to an additional 14 months in federal prison. And, Carol Miller of the free Library of Philadelphia reported that Mark Lawrence Bilus, wanted on a fugitive arrest warrant issued last spring, was in custody in New York City.

(EXLIBRIS, posted by R.H. Doggett, 10/17)

Associated Press reported the discovery in July at Columbia University of the theft of European manuscripts and books from the 14th and 15th centuries and some 19th century Arabic manuscripts. Estimated value was given as $350,000. Later it was announced that a list of the missing 22 items could be obtained from Columbia University's Special Collections. (A complete list was posted on Exlibris on Oct. 11.) The FBI Special Agent assigned to the case was Catherine A. Begley, 718/459-3140.

(EXLIBRIS, 10/10, 10/11)

See also American Libraries 12/94, p. 910; New York Times, Sat. Oct. 7, 1994

September 1994

Interpol's Ankara, Turkey, office reported the theft of three books from libraries in April and May: "Marifetname" and "Cihuannuma" and "Et-Teshil Fi Serhi Letaifi'l-Isaret." More description in e-mail message.

(EXLIBRIS, posted by Susan M. Allen, 9/21)

August 1994

Interloc "Missing and Stolen Books" database now offered as a free service. e-mail address: interloc@shaysnet.com.

(EXLIBRIS, 8/30)

Interpol's office in Ankara, Turkey, reported seizing parchment document with Latin writings concerning the obedience of Hungarians to Austria. Seeking owner or provenance.

(EXLIBRIS, posted by Susan M. Allen, 8/31)

A "bait and switch" book theft scam was apparently first reported from the Dallas Public Library system. Trick: remove tattle tape from a thin book, put book back on shelf; take tape and put on their person. Check out several books and put in bag on top of target book. Bring out wallet when security sounds. Walk out with target book.

(EXLIBRIS, posted by D.M. Roth, 8/23)

Stolen from Geoff Chesters, Polesworth, England: 500 maps and prints.

Stolen from Burgess Browning: Janssonius Novus Atlas Absolutissimus, vol. I, pt 1, England and Wales, Amsterdam, 1647

From Bath College: Romanian handmade book, made in 1971, written on Japanese Ink Paper; artist Jan Bitzen.

ABAA 8/24/94

The Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, reported the theft of a large number of comic books. Several hundred remained uncovered; they are primarily from the 1970's and 1980's and have no visible marks of ownership.

(EXLIBRIS, posted by David Sullivan, 8/23)

Stolen from a NYC taxi 8/16: Angelo Rosis, A new book of ornaments, London, 1753; contact Charles B. Wood, Cambridge, Mass. 617/868-1711

ABAA 8/24/94

A felony theft charge was refiled against John Hajicek for allegedly stealing an 1830 first edition of the Book of Mormon from the historical society library on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. The alleged thief had identified himself to library staff as Jeff Bridges. When they searched Hajicek's business, MU police did not find the Book of Mormon, but they did find what they believed to be the 1856 Book of the Law of the Lord, which had been reported missing from the Graceland College library in Lamoni, Iowa, in April 1993. (Charges were later dropped. See entry for April 1995.)

Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune, 8/12/1994
For information from Mr. Hajicek on this matter see: http://www.mormonism.com/Outrages.htm.

Reported missing from Neman collection in the library at the Oratory, Birmingham" COCI (Roberti, ie Robert Cook), Censura Quorundum...., 2d ed, London, 1623

ABAA 8/1/94

July 1994

First printing of Gatsby missing from Renaissance Bookshop in Milwaukee, with "sick in tired" on line 9 of p. 205, and other descriptions. ABAA 8/1/94

June 1994

Houghton Library at Harvard reported more than 60 titles bereft of views, costume plates, or maps (many in color). date span 1741-1903, bulk: 1825-1880.

ABAA 8/1/94

On June 4 the television program "America's Most Wanted" featured Stuart Lee Adelman, who was convicted of stealing manuscripts from the Folger Library and violated parole by leaving this country. He was taken into custody in Toronto the week of June 13th.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 6/16)

May 1994

Algonquin IL police recovered about 80,000 stolen comic books from a Carpentersville home.

Chicago Tribune, May 13, 1994

Stolen from D.M. Beach, Salisbury, England, 5 May: Birds, by Morris, vol. 5; Mayer's Universium, vol. 1, 1833

Several items lost in transit in England and Europe

List of 33 titles missing from the Pembroke College Library, May 1994 List of 4 titles stolen from Thomas A. Goldwasser Rare Books, San Francisco, including 2 Jack London titles: Scorn of Women, 1906, and Theft, 1910.

ABAA 8/1/94

John J. Hajicek, of Independence, MO, was arrested in Independence and charged with theft from the State Historical Society of Missouri of the first edition of the "Book of Mormon" (1830). The alleged Missouri theft occurred in April 1993. (Charges were later dropped. See entry for April 1995.)

Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune, 5/13/1994
For information from Mr. Hajicek on this matter see: http://www.mormonism.com/Outrages.htm.

April 1994

Stolen from a private address in London over Easter weekend: M'Mahon, Bernard. The American gardener's Kalendar. 1st ed. Philadelphia, 1806

ABAA 8/1/94

Transylvania University Library in Lexington, KY, reported more than 40 titles were not received after the estate of Clara S. Peck of NYC was settled in 1986. Among the missing items are Alken's "The Natural Sports of Great Britain" (1821, 50 folios) and Bodmer's "Voyage in the Interior of North America (1832-84, 19 folios). For further information contact Caroly Denton at TU, 606/233-8225.

(RBMS Newsletter, 4/94)

Charles Merrill Mount, convicted for theft of documents from the Library of Congress Manuscript Division and the National Archives, was released from prison in April. For further information contact Carol Miller at the Free Library in Philadelphia.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 4/13,4/20)

The FBI announced that a fugitive arrest warrant has been issued for Mark Lawrence Bilus (AKA Mitchel Bilus, Mark Lawrence, Mitchell Jay, Mark Amory, Lai Rivera), of Woodlawn, NY. He is accused of stealing ten rare books which were locked in cases at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC and trying to sell them in Philadelphia. He was identified in December when trying to sell the books, was charged with grand larceny and transporting stolen goods across state lines,, and confessed in his cell to being a bibliomaniac. He was released on bail and failed to show at a December 23 hearing. For further details, contact Carol Miller at the Free Library in Philadelphia.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 4/12; Maine Antique Digest, Feb. 1994)

Stolen from dealer in York, England: Rowlands, Henry, Mona Antiqua Restaurata, J. Knox, 1766; A history of the Island of Anglesey, suppl. to Rolands book, J. Dodsley, 1775.

ABAA 8/1/94

March 1994

Personal items of "ephemera" that were on display in a public library (probably in the Northeastern U.S.) were reported stolen. The items were unmarked and the collector and the library preferred not to go too public with the theft. Apparently the thieves cased the site before breaking in. For further details, contact Everett Wilkie at the Connecticut Historical Society.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 3/23)

Stephen Blumberg sent a letter to Creighton University Library stating that upon his release he planned to request the return of the approximately 3,000 books placed there by the FBI.

American Libraries, June 1994, p. 488

An unstated number of books were reported stolen from the University of Kansas Libraries around March 4; they were offered for sale in Cincinnati around March 15. For further information and person/s possibly involved, contact Alexandra Mason at KU.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 3/28)

Reported stolen from the Antiquarian Shop, Scottsdale, AZ (602/947-0535): 3 documents, signed by Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, and by Madison and Monroe; and first editions of Huckleberry Finn, Cicero's Cato Major printed by Ben Franklin, and the Art of Riding by John Astley. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman ) Associated Press reported the theft of a folio book (100x68cm) containing 105 colored plates by Julius Bien of Audubon's 1860 "Birds of America" from the Norman Williams Public Library, Woodstock (VT) on March 21. If encountered, contact Angela Meadows,, Art Program Analyst, National Central Bureau, 202/272-8363. [Reported recovered, Exlibris 8/25/94)

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 3/28, 5/4)

Everett Wilkie, Connecticut Historical Society, reported that Interloc, a computer service, has a "Missing & Stolen Books" database among its various files. For further information, contact Richard M. Weatherford, Interloc, Inc., PO Box 5,, Southworth, WA, 98386,, 206/871-3617.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 3/8)

February 1994

William Witherell, on probation for the theft of Benjamin Franklin imprints, convicted the California Antiquarian Book Fair in Los Angeles. For information about him, contact Carol Miller at the Free Library, Philadelphia.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 3/4)

U.S. Park Police, New York, advised the USNCB (United States National Central Bureau?) of the theft of a 1802 Hebrew Bible from Ellis Island National Monument between February 11 and 14, 1994. The bible is 5 3/8" x 1 3/4", has a silver hasp on its side and four animals resembling lions on its face. For further details, contact Angela Meadows, Art Program Analyst, at 202/272-8393.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 3/14)

De Fer Wall map 1696/1739, of North and South America "Amerique Septentrionale et Meridionale...", 42" x 62.5", lost in transit by UPS. Contact Richard B. Arkway, Inc., NYC. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman) Everett Wilkie, Connecticut Historical Society, reported the FBI has closed the Blumberg case and no longer has a list of the books retrieved. For further details, contact Everett.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 2/17)

38 rare books were reported stolen from restricted areas in the London Library, possibly over a period of several months; subjects included architecture, costume, and botany. All contain plates and should have a London Library label on the front cover and other markings, but no markings on individual plates. For a list, contact Susan Allen at Kalamazoo College Library.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 2/17,4/12; The Times, 2/14,p.5; ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman [includes list]) Interpol reported sixty art books, most of which were printed in Russian in early 20th century, were stolen from a bookseller in Copenhagen in early July 1993. For a list send a SASE to Susan Allen.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 2/14;

ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman [includes list])

A graduate student at the University of Akron was found to have a carrel full of books from several area libraries that had not been checked out. The student apparently was successful at getting the libraries not to press charges, although the College of Wooster did assess a fine of $1,500.

(American Libraries, 2/94)

February 1994

Increase in theft of library materials in area northwest of Boston.

Boston Globe, Feb. 20, 1994

January 1994

Editorial cartoon: library security guard reading as books are stolen behind back; responding to Boston-area public libraries' problem with theft and mutilation.

Boston Globe, Jan. 23, 1994

Public libraries in Boston area losing as many as 10 percent of collections each year due to theft, mutilation and returned books.

Boston Globe, Jan. 23, 1994

Vast number of thefts reported at law libraries each year.

Washington Post, Jan. 31, 1994

Phillip Weiss wrote an article, "The Book Thief--A True Tale of Bibliomania," that was based on interviews with Stephen Blumberg. It appeared in the January issue of "Harper's Magazine."

Harper's Magazine, January 1994

In "Vanishing Archives" Glenn Anthony May described the disappearance of priceless documents and old books from the Philippine National Library during the last two decades.

Far Eastern Economic Review, v.157(4), Jan. 17, 1994, pp. 34-35.


80 rare books from a locked display were stolen from Powell's on Hawthorne in Portland, OR, on January 9. Items included first editions of fiction and poetry. For further information, contact Tammy Stotik or Alan Thomas (800/345-5957, 503/235-3802). (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman ) December 1993

As part of its "All Things Considered" National Public Radio conducted an interview with Phillip Weiss concerning his interviews with Blumberg. A text can be obtained from NPR.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 2/28/94)

Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms", 1929, first edition, first state, stolen between Dec. 21 and 29 from The Booksellers, 310 E. Market, Charlottesville, VA. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman) Illinois State Archives reported a missing Abraham Lincoln holograph note clipped from Deed Book HH of Sangamon Co., IL. Contains text: "Satisfied in full this 29th day of November 1852. Witness my hand and seal A. Lincoln [L.S.]" Contact Karl Moore, 217/785-1266. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman) The Science Library at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, reported that someone had systematically gone through their QE (geology) classification and either removed plates or volumes for 46 titles. Most were published in the 19th century; one was late 18th century. Several were 19th century Geological Surveys for different states and territories. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman) November 1993

Howard D. Michlow, 44, of Auburn Indiana was arrested and charged with stealing 27 rare books from the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Michlow gave back several of the books when arrested; additional books were returned by David L. Grimes of Maumee River Books in Antwerp, Ohio who had purchased them from Michlow. Grimes was not implicated in the theft. Contact: Steven Fortriede, Allen County Public Library, (219) 424-7241.

(Antique Week, 12/7/93)

Raymond Hobin, 35, of Scarborough, Ontario, was sentenced to four years in prison for possession of stolen property. Police believe he was responsible for art (especially prints) and rare book thefts in eastern Canada and London beginning in 1991 and continuing until his arrest in the late summer of 1992. He will be eligible for parole late this year (1993?). (Art Business News, n.d., accompanying ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman) Dakota County, Minn., Judge Gerald Kalina on Nov. 10 ordered Gerald Lapre not to enter any public library for two years. After that he may visit the library only under adult supervision. The sentence also included 4 months of electronic home monitoring, counseling sessions, medications, payment of restitution, and 10 years' probation. (American Libraries, January 1994) A 10-month spree of mysterious intrusions into the Moffitt Library at UC-Berkeley was believed solved when five campus police officers were caught after hours viewing a videotape in the media room. According to the police department, this was a training exercise.

(American Libraries, February 1994)

The Arthur Rackham Fairy Book, with design binding, was reported stolen from the Craft and Folk Art Museum at Fort Mason, San Francisco. It is believed the theft occurred late in 1992. Contact: Margaret A. DeMouthe, Hand Bookbinding & Bookbinding Tools, 1215 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94702, 510/849-4445, or 415/391-8700, ext.260. [Note: Reported returned as of 2/21/94.) (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman) The Chicago police arrested a husband-wife team, Kenneth Johnson and Sandra Lanning, for stealing 1650 books worth more than $24,000 from several branches of the Chicago Public Library between Oct. 1992 and Oct. 1993.

(Library Journal, v.119(1), Jan. 1994, p. 30; Chicago Tribune, Nov. 21, 1993)

Two large reference works with security strips were stolen from the Reading Room of the History & Special Collections Division of the UCLA Library, the Oxford English Dictionary (1989, 20 vols) and Paulys Realencyclopaedie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft (1893-1989, 68 vols.). Contact Katharine Donahue. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman, and RBMS Newsletter, 11/93) October 1993

The State University of New York, Stonybrook, reported 26 titles missing and alerted book dealers to contact the ABAA if they were offered any of them for sale. Several were published in the 16th and 17th centuries; there were also some from the 18th and 19th centuries and as late as 1977. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman, and RBMS Newsletter, 11/93) Howard Frisch Antiquarian Books, Livingston, NY, reported that Thomas Hood's Whims & Oddities had been stolen on September 4th. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman) Greek bible, copy of 1699 text, with certificate of sale in 1930's from Russian dealer stolen from residence. Contact R. Palmer, Montrose Book Shop, 713/522-1713. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman) The Virginia Historical Society reported 27 titles bearing the bookplate of Joseph Lyon Miller and the Richmond Academy of Medicine were missing. All had publication dates in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman, and RBMS Newsletter, 11/93) San Francisco's Botanical Gardens reported 22 plates removed from Robert Thornton's Temple of Flora (1799-1807). Most plates were removed between July 1992 and May 1993; the loss was discovered on Aug. 25, 1993. Plates were not individually marked. Contact Barbara M. Pitschel, Head Librarian, Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, 415/661-1514, for additional information. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman) Interpol put out an alert for 16 stolen manuscripts in Arabic and 1 in Turkish. Date was given for only one, 1194. Contact Ron Lieberman. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman) July 1993

Carl Alexander was apprehended when leaving the University of California/San Diego library with covers he had removed from 34 issues of Time Magazine, 1953-1960. He allegedly was working on contract with a dealer in collectibles and had a "shopping list" of desired covers with notes of possible source libraries. Plea bargaining resulted in Alexander agreeing to make restitution of $2,616 for damage to 24 bound Time volumes. Libraries that discover such thefts should contact Nancy Beale, assistant head of Access Services for the UCSD Library, 619/534-1271. (American Libraries, September 1993) June 1993

Security measures instituted by the Library of Congress in 1992 were the focus of a hearing held by the Congressional Joint Committee on the Library June 15. The committee chair, Rep. Charlie Rose (D-N.C.) suggested that a special statute be created for stealing rare materials from LC, since the penalties for this "unusually heinous activity" struck him as too light. Members of the Library of Congress Professional Guild AFSCME 2910 and the Congressional Research Employees Association, along with some independent researchers, protested the increase in security measures. (American Libraries, July/Aug. 1993) May 1993

Gerald Lapre, a St. Paul, Minnesota man in his 40s was arrested for stealing 30,000 library books worth $500,000 over the past decade. The books were stolen from libraries in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area and were stored in his apartment and rented storage lockers. In the late 1980s, Lapre was a student library worker at the College of St. Catherine. Library Director Rocky Ralebipi confirmed that some 2,000 books owned by many libraries were found in his dorm room when he left.

(UPI, 5/6/93 and American Libraries, 6/93)

To reward efforts by librarians at Creighton University to locate owners of the books stolen by Stephen C. Blumberg, the FBI has announced that it would donate 3,000 unclaimed volumes to the school. (American Libraries, 5/93)

The original typed manuscript of the screenplay of On the Waterfront by Budd Schulberg, with the author's personal notes and other typed and handwritten material relating to the author's research and writings was stolen from the author's home on May 17 along with other personal items. Contact: Rebecca Meyers at AB Bookman's Weekly, (201) 772-0020. (AB Bookman's Weekly, 5/17/93)

April 1993

A first edition Book of Mormon was stolen from the State Historical Society of Missouri in Columbia, on April 29. Description: white male, 20-24 yrs, 6', 170, medium build, dark brown hair, light complexion, clean shaven, used alias of "Jeff Bridges". Contact the University of Missouri Police Department, 314/882-7201, or Laurel Boeckman of the State Historical Society of Missouri, 314/882-7083, if you have information or need a sketch or sample of handwriting. (Wanted Poster 93-856, from Ron Lieberman) Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Co., 215/744-6734, reported in Feb. 1994 loss of a book at the New York ABAA Book Fair: Johannes Cogler's "Imagines elegantissimae 9qvae mvltvm lvcis ad intelligendos doctrinae Christinae locos adferre possunt...", 1558. (ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Ron Lieberman) March 1993

Patrick Moffatt who was arrested for stealing $11,000 worth of books from Parker Books of the West in Santa Fe, has been charged in San Diego with burglary , crossing state lines with stolen property, and fencing stolen property. Authorities are working on a plea bargain in which Moffatt would give them a list of places from which he has stolen. Federal charges, including impersonating a federal officer, are still pending. (see below 2/6/93) (EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 3/4/93)

Approximately one hundred 19th century volumes were stolen from a private residence in Mountain View, California. Many of the volumes have a Frank W. Van Reynegom bookplate or autograph. Contact: Mountain View Police Dept., Detective Division, (415) 903-6348, case number 93-2729.

(ABAA 'Pink Sheet' Report from Florian Shasky)

February 1993

Patrick Moffatt of Alaska was arrested in San Diego for allegedly stealing $11,000 worth of books from Parker Books of the West in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When arrested he had one of the most sophisticated sets of lock-picking tools the San Diego police officers had ever seen. Moffatt is described as 6 feet, 1 inch tall, weighing 220 lbs., with reddish hair and red, scraggly beard. He had visited the Parkers' store for nearly a week and had even spent $700 for books there before the theft.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board 2/23/93 and BQ/SQ News, 2/93)

January 1993

Everett Wilkie has offered to serve as a clearinghouse to resolve some of the ownership problems remaining after the FBI's final disposition of Blumberg materials. To report unfilled claims or receipt of books belonging to other institutions, contact Everett Wilkie, Connecticut Historical Society, 1 Elizabeth St., Hartford, CT 06105; Fax: (203) 236-2664: E-mail: everett@CHS.ORG

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board)

Thomas Congalton, of Between the Covers Rare Books in Haddonfield, New Jersey, reported an encounter with Michael B. Carty, who admitted stealing books from some 30 book dealers in Boston and the New England area, Denver, San Francisco, Baltimore, New York City, and London. Carty had sent some of the stolen volumes to his father in Ireland and still had a number in his car. However, as no known crime had been committed in New Jersey, police were unable to detain Mr. Carty after he turned over the stolen books to Congalton to be returned to their owners. Carty is 5'11"-6'0", 30 yrs though looks older, thin, longish blonde hair sometimes in a ponytail, soft spoken and gentle-seeming, with a mild Irish accent, and was eager to avoid prosecution. (Letter from Thomas Congalton to ABAA) William March Witherell began serving an additional eight-month sentence in federal prison. Upon release, Witherell will be on parole until August 1994. (see below 12/92, 11/92, 6/92 and 1/23/91)

(American Libraries, 2/93)


December 1992

The Blumberg trial transcript is available from Petersons Court Reporters in Des Moines. The cost is $.75 per page if ordered individually and $.25 if ordered in bulk (8 copies or more). The transcript amounts to almost 1,000 pages. (EXLIBRIS Bulleton Board, 12/1/93)

"I figured a book was a silent source of wisdom, and if I illegitimately obtained it from neglect, of mainly the government, I was to use it, guard, and preserve it for others, which I did, plus share with the underprivileged youths...None of these teenagers would ever be allowed access to some of these books at a university library. They couldn't talk the language even to get in the place. I couldn't bring myself to sell even one ill-obtained copy".

(Excerpt from Blumberg trial transcript quoted by Ron Lieberman, ABAA Newsletter, Winter 1993)

William Witherell has been sighted recently in Wilmington, Delaware and Atlantic City, New Jersey. (see below, 11/92) (EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 12/7/92)

The Newberry library reported that five early 16th century Paris imprints may have been stolen as long ago as the early 1980s. Contact: Mary Wyly, Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St., Chicago, IL 60610, (312) 943-9090; Fax: (312) 266-6039; E-mail: c/o ten Hoor, 76636,3506@Compuserve.COM

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 12/3/93)

November 1992

William March Witherell was stopped at the Canadian border with books from the University of Alaska Special Collections. He was not detained by Canadian authorities. A warrant for parole violation was subsequently issued. (see below, 6/92 and 1/23/91) For a photograph contact Carol Miller, Free Library of Philadelphia Security, (215) 686-5366 (American Libraries, 1/93)

A rare outline for a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. will be auctioned on November 7, 1992 in Beverly Hills, CA, despite a lawsuit by his heirs which contends that the six-page document was stolen. (Los Angeles Times, 11/7/92)

October 1992

An individual who allegedly used a razor blade to remove pictures and drawings of children in various states of undress from hundreds of art and medical books was apprehended by police in the Atkins Library at the University of North Carolina/Charlotte. The arrestee was a white male from Tennesee who was neither a student nor an employee. Libraries that have experienced similar acts of vandalism are asked to contact Lt. Gibson or Director of Police and Public Safety Joseph M. Johnson at (704) 547-2282; fax: (704) 547-3217. (American Libraries, 12/92)

U.S. District Judge Gerhard Gesell sentenced Fitzhugh Lee Opie to six months in prison for stealing books from the Library of Congress. Opie was ordered to pay $1,200 restitution. (see below, 3/7/92) (Washington Post, 10/1/92)

September 1992

FBI Special Agent Robert Bazin is attempting to establish ownership of 3 volumes which were allegedly stolen by Stuart Adelman (see below, 7/92): Isaac Newton. Philosophia naturalis principia (Geneva, 1739 and 1740) [vol. 1 and 2] and Mme. de Lussan. Histoire et regne de Charles VI (Paris, 1753). Contact: (215) 829-2742 (EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 9/23/92)

The FBI is investigating possible losses of material, primarily modern manuscripts, attributable to Lenore C. Israel (also known as Lee) of New York City. She is supposedly working on a project to investigate the relationships between modern writers and alcohol. Contact: Special Agent Carl Burrell, (718) 459-3140. (EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 9/28/92)

August 1992

Eric Duane Starbuck, a 19-year-old temporary employee in the Library of Congress Law Library was arrested and charged with book theft. (American Libraries, 11/92)

July 1992

Stuart Lee Adelman has been apprehended by the FBI for the theft of four manuscript items from the Folger Library. The manuscripts have been recovered.

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 7/1/92 and Washington Post, 7/3/92)

T.E. Lawrence items were reported stolen in Orange, New Jersey from Paul F. Helfer, a private collector. All but two of the items have been recovered. Still missing are a plaster maquette of T.E.L.'s effigy in Arab dress by Kennington and a framed poster of a man and a woman in stylized black and red bedouin dress. Contact: (213) 787-0362; FAX: (212) 580-0184

(AB Bookman's Weekly, 7/20/92 and EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 8/25/92)

The authenticity of a 25th anniversary edition of Orson Welles' Citizen Kane screenplay which was sold at auction in July has been questioned. Anyone possessing similar material or pertinent information is requested to contact Jennifer S. Larson, 882 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108.

(AB Bookman's Weekly, 11/2/92)

The three unions that represent Library of Congress staff have filed an unfair labor practice charge against the library for implementing new security measures restricting staff access to the stacks. (American Libraries, July/Aug. 1992)

Bronzed life masks of Abraham Lincoln's face and hands were stolen from the library of the Glessner House Museum in Chicago. The reproductions have been recovered but the mystery of their disappearance remains unsolved. (Chicago Tribune, 7/12/92 and 7/13/92)

Carolyn F. White, a former secretary at the Washtenaw County (Mich.) Public Library has been sentenced to as many as 14 years in prison after she pleaded no contest to charges she embezzled over $200,000 from the library. (American Libraries, July/Aug. 1992)

"The Little Mermaid", "The Emperor's New Clothes" and two other original manuscripts by Hans Christian Andersen were stolen from the Andersen Museum in Denmark. (New York Times, 7/23/92)

June 1992

After serving less than a year for stealing two rare books from the University of Pennsylvania, William March Witherell was paroled. (see below, 1/23/91)

(American Libraries, Jan. 1993)

Two Shakespeare quartos reported missing from a recent gift to Ohio State University Library were later recovered. (EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 6/1/92 and AB Bookman's Weekly, 6/22/92)

Rare Russian historical documents valued in excess of $1 million taken from Columbia University's Lehman Library have been recovered. Vyacheslav Ivanov, a 60-year-old Russian emigre, has been arrested and charged with the theft. (New York Times, 6/26/92)

A Philadelphia judge will hold a status hearing to determine whether a three-year probationary sentence is a stiff enough penalty for confessed rare map thief Charles Lynn Glaser. A multiple offender who has been incarcerated twice for stealing rare library materials, Glaser was sentenced March 31 for the Feb. 18 theft of 1628 map of the Americas from the Free Library of Philadelphia's Rare Book Dept. Because Glaser pleaded guilty, the library was not notified of his sentencing date beforehand and had no input into the judge's original decision. (see below, 4/21/92)

(American Libraries, June 1992)

A signed and inscribed photograph of Harry and Bess Houdini was stolen from the John Hay Library at Brown University. Contact: Jennifer Lee, (401) 863-1511; FAX: (401) 863-1272

May 1992

Alerted by employees at the campus bookstore, security officers of the University of Wiscconsin-Milwaukee have arrested two men alleged to be responsible for the theft and resale of more than $100,000 worth of textbooks over a two-year period. The thieves acquired the books from more than 19 publishers by posing as bookstores and using fake mail drops.

(Publishers Weekly, 8/24/92)

John Kelleher, a library assistant in the Amherst Library for 10 years, was sentenced to 3 years probation for the 1991 theft of over 300 rare books from the library. (see below, 4/25/91)

(Library Journal, 5/15/92)

April 1992

A New Jersey book collector reported the theft of a first-edition copy of Moby-Dick purchased from Bauman Rare Books. Joseph Rainier of South Jersey was arrested for the theft in a sting operation set up by Philadelphia police with the cooperation of the Baumans and David Szewczyk of the Philadelphia Rare Books and Manuscripts Company to whom Rainier had tried to sell the stolen copy. (AB, July 6-13, 1992)

Ownership of an ancient Egyptian tomb ornament, stolen from Lafayette College (Easton, PA) in the late 1970's and bought several years later by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has been resolved. The agreement calls for the museum to keep the ornament after paying the school an undisclosed sum. (New York Times, 4/11/92))

Stephen Crawford, 46, a former Stanford University security guard was arrested for the theft of dozens of sculptures and artifacts and some 200 rare books stolen from the campus more than 20 years ago. (Los Angeles Times, 4/29/92))

April 1992

Charles Lynn Glaser was discovered in the Lehigh University stacks wearing surgical gloves and carrying a hammer in a briefcase. Mr. Glaser alleged that he is researching early American history. The Bethlehem (PA) police released him after questioning, deciding that there was some possibility that he had gained access to the stacks legally. Subsequently this incident led Mr. Glaser's probation officer to ask that his sentence for a Feb. 18 theft be reconsidered. Contact: Special Agent Robert Bazin, Philadelphia FBI, (215) 629-0800

(EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board and American Libraries, 6/92)

A federal appeals court upheld last year's conviction of Stephen Blumberg who was sentenced to 71 months in prison and fined $200,000. (Los Angeles Times, 4/14/92)

Seventy-one year-old June Shankin, director of the public library in Audubon, New Jersey for 32 years prior to her 1990 arrest and guilty plea to charges of stealing $20,000 from the library was sentenced to 4 years probation and ordered to perform 500 hours of community service.

(American Libraries, 6/92)

March 1992

Laurence Feldman, a professional librarian at the University of Massachusetts Library was revealed to be a middleman in the book theft from the Amherst College Library (see 4/25/91). Feldman admitted to facts sufficient to warrant a guilty finding, was fined and put on a year's counseling notice. (Library Journal, 5/15/92)

Chicagoan John Conley was charged with the theft of a Benedict Arnold Revolutionary War Journal. (Chicago Tribune, 3/8/92)

An agreement has been reached for the return to Germany of millions of dollars worth of art works and manuscripts which were "inappropriately removed" in the final days of World War II by Joe T. Meader, an American Army officer. (AB Bookman's Weekly, 3/9/92)

Maryland attorney Barry M. Goldman was sentenced to 6 months in a community correctional center for stealing $200,000 worth of documents from the Library of Congress. He was also sentenced to two years probation, to run concurrently. Goldman has lost his job as an attorney for the General Accounting Office and is expected to lose his license to practice law. His attorney claimed that Goldman was driven to steal by severe personality disorders that were now safely under treatment. (see below, 11/22/91) (Washington Post, 3/31/92)

Radiologist Harry R. Katz was sentenced to 5 years probation and a $10,000 fine and was ordered to pay $65,605 in restitution for stealing art, photography and mathematical material from the Library of Congress on at least 50 occasions. Katz claimed "diminished mental capacity" as a defense and will be required to keep up an extensive program of community service and psychiatric treatment. (see below, 12/6/91) (American Libraries, 5/92)

Alexandria VA book dealer Fitzhugh Lee Opie was arrested and charged with mutilating government property after he left the Library of Congress Law Library with two Pacific Railroad Survey maps under his sweater. He was sentenced to six months in prison in September.

(Washington Post, 3/13/92 and 10/1/92)

February 1992

A leatherbound diary was removed from the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Crow Agency, Montana. The diary had been carried by its owner, Lt. McIntosh, during the battle and has a prominent bullet hole. (Archivists Bulletin Board, 3/3/92)

Some 10,000 books and other materials seized two years ago by the FBI as evidence in the prosecution of book thief Stephen Blumberg remain unclaimed. The fate of these materials is uncertain. They may be donated to a library or returned to Blumberg. (see below, 7/31/91)

(American Libraries, 2/93)


December 1991

Harry R. Katz, a Rockville, Maryland radiologist, pleaded guilty to one count of depredation of government property. From approximately May 1990 to his arrest on May 6, 1991, Katz used as many as 30 aliases and fictitious addresses on call slips. (see below, 5/11/91)

(Library of Congress Gazette, 6/30/92)

November 1991

Barry Goldman pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property. Goldman is accused of stealing presidential papers and Civil War documents from the Library of Congress between July 1990 and June 24, 1991. All of the items have recovered from Goldman or from dealers to whom he sold them. (see below, 6/24/91) (Library of Congress Gazette, 1/3/92)

September 1991

A collection of historical letters and documents, including autographs from 13 English monarchs, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln and original scores by Rossini, Schumann and Verdi are missing after the safe holding them was stolen from a warehouse in Pudsey, near Bradford, West Yorkshire. The documents belong to a local businessman. (Times (London), 9/25/91)

September 20, 1991

Sheila Marie Maurine Campbell, 45, was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing more than $8,000 worth of books and other materials from the Springfield-Greene County, Library Distric, Missouri. Campbell used at least 30 aliases to check out some 700 books which were never returned.

(American Libraries, 11/91)

August 1991

Peter Lawson, 44, of Stepney, east London, a trainee bookbinder with an obsession for books was put on probation for two years after promising that he would stay away from bookshops. Admitting stealing three books from a central London bookshop, he said, "I don't miss them as long as I don't get a whiff of them". (Times (London), 8/1/91

July 1991

Stephen Carrie Blumberg was sentenced to 5 years eleven months in federal prison and fined $200,000. (see below, 6/13/91)

Peter Kenny pleaded guilty to charges of smuggling stolen goods - Irish artifacts including grave slabs - into the U.S. Kenny had tried to sell the artifacts to Boston College Special Collections.

(AB Bookman's Weekly, 10/21/91)

Summer 1991

George Skinner, former head librarian at the University of Arkansas Law School Library, pleaded guilty ot one count of felony theft of property. He received one year's probation for stealing and selling books for personal profit and was ordered to pay $19,043 restitution.

(CAN, No. 47)

June 1991

Barry Marc Goldman, 36, an attorney for the U.S. General Accounting Office, was seized in connection with thefts of historical letters, signatures and photographs from the Library of Congress.

(American Libraries, July/August 1991)

Robert Willingham began serving a 15-year prison sentence for conviction in the theft of rare library materials from the University of Georgia. (see below, 9/8/88)

(Maine Antique Digest, 11/91)

Sentencing of Stephen Blumberg postponed until July 31, 1991.

(David Oxler, FBI Special Agent, Des Moines, Iowa)

J. Douglas Hummer, a.k.a. Martin Loreman, was arrested on April 15, 1991, on charges that included receiving stolen property. Anyone who has conducted business with Hummer since 1986 is requested to contact Police Officer James Agnew of Hellam Township, PA at (717) 252-3714. Previous complaints sent to AB about Hummer have already been sent to Officer Agnew.

(AB Bookman's Weekly)

May 1991

Dr. Harry Robert Katz, 44, a physician, was arrested at the Library of Congress for theft of materials valued at over $60,000. Katz pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

(CAN, No. 47 and American Libraries, July/August 1991)

Spring 1991

Kathleen Wilkerson of Philadelphia was sentenced to seven years of psychiatric probation for the theft of $1.8 million worth of rare books, including 17th century editions of Shakespeare, from the University of Pennsylvania's Van Pelt Library. Wilkerson pleaded no contest to the charges.

(CAN, No.45)

Nearly thirty-eight hundred rare books and historical documents were reported missing from the Wroclaw University Library in Warsaw. Officials say the materials, dating from World War II and before, were apparently stolen, smuggled out of the country and sold at undetermined prices.

(CAN, No.45)

April 1991

Amherst Police expect to interview today a man suspected of removing books worth thousands of dollars from Amherst College's Frost Library over the past three months and selling them to at least one local book dealer. The man, an Amherst College employee whom Detective Sergeant Michael Kent would not identify, is suspected of taking, since February or before, books and magazines the college had not yet catalogued into its library. (Daily Hampshire Gazette, 4/25/91)

A large number of 18th century English caricatures by James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, reported missing by the Huntington Library in the February 11 issue of AB Bookman, have been recovered, according to William A. Moffett, the director.(AB Bookman's Weekly, 4/15)

March 1991

Richard Shryrock was arrested at his home where police recovered over $30,000 worth of antique maps which had been cut from 16 large bound volumes in three Lower Merion Township (suburban Philadelphia) libraries and the historical society. The thefts are believed to have taken place over as much as a two year period. (Library Hotline, 3/18)

February 1991

Three academic libraries in South Central New York State have discovered significant losses of monographs and serials on Dutch masters' paintings and drawings. They are SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY and SUNY Binghamton where the complete holdings of Oud Holland are missing along with other volumes. (EXLIBRIS Bulletin Board, 2/19)

A federal jury in Des Moines convicted Stephen Blumberg, 42, of charges relating to the theft of more than 21,000 rare books and manuscripts - valued at $20 million - from hundreds of libraries across the U.S. He had pleaded insanity with defense lawyers painting him as an eccentric living in a 'time warp'. (see below, 3/20/90) (USA Today, 2/1/91)

January 1991

Charlton J. Matovsky, a former graduate student at Florida State University, was sentenced in federal court in Louisiana to eight months in prison and fined $10,000 for stealing nearly 400 books from the university library. He was also ordered to pay $4,480 in restitution to Florida State.

(Chronicle of Higher Education, 1/23/91)

William Witherell was sentenced in federal court in California to one year and one day in prison for stealing rare books from the University of Pennsylvania. He was sentenced over his lawyer's objections that he was mentally ill. (Chronicle of Higher Education, 1/23/91)

Kathleen Wilkerson pleaded no contest November 2 to charges that she stole rare books and documents worth some $1.8 million from the University of Pennsylvania's Van Pelt Library over a five-year period. (American Libraries, 1/91)


August 1990

William Witherell was convicted in Philadelphia in federal court of two counts of interstate transportation of stolen property - two books written and printed by Benjamin Franklin.

(Los Angeles Times, 8/17/90)

June 1990

Ron Meyeres of Cedar Park, Texas, was being held on a third-degree felony charge after his arrest by University of Texas police Wednesday. He is accused of stealing one of the first editions of Darwin's On the Origin of the Species. (American Statesman, 6/15/90)

The Alabama Dept. of Archives and History has recently learned that certain manuscript dealers in the Northeast have been dealing in early 19th century court records from Lawrence County, Alabama. These records are believed to be part of a group removed illegally in the 1970s.

(From a letter signed by Mark A. Palmer, Archival Services, 6/14/90)

May 1990

Charlton J. Matovsky, a history student working for his doctorate at Texas A & M University, has been charged with stealing nearly 600 books worth more than $500,000 from universities in Texas, Florida, and Louisiana. (UPI, 4/24/90)

A rare manuscript haggadah may be returned to the Jewish Community of East and West Berlin more than 50 years after its confiscation by the Nazis, in accordance with a recent ruling by the Geneva Supreme Court. (AB Bookman's Weekly)

March 28, 1990

Fred Lamauna was placed on one year's probation in Cook County, Illinois, and sentenced to perform community service to atone for library thefts estimated at nearly $10,000.

March 20, 1990

Stephen Blumberg was arrested and charged with interstate transport of stolen property which included more than 20,000 rare books, letters, and manuscripts valued at $20 million. (see below, 4/88)

February 28, 1990

Kathleen Wilkerson, part-time library employee at the University of Pennsylvania Library, was taken into custody by police in conjunction with the recovery of stolen books from the University's Van Pelt Library.

February 2, 1990

Theft at ABAA California Book Fair, Los Angeles, California

January 17, 1990

William Witherell turns self in. The FBI recovered books he had taken from more than fourteen libraries.

January 1990

Emil Frey, former director of Moody Medical Library, U. of Texas, was indicted on charges of stealing five medical texts valued between $750 and $20,000. In mid-May 1989, some 80 rare books had disappeared from the library.


December 29, 1989

William Witherell was arrested at the Free Library in Philadelphia. He was released the next morning.

October 1989

Fifty volumes, some scarce and quite rare were recovered by the University of Michigan Library through the vigilance of John W. Todd, bookseller.

October 12, 1989

Richard Lunnin was sentenced for stealing approximately 11 cases of books from the Boston Book Fair last year.

September 15, 1989

Sixty miniature books, property of a private collector, being installed for an exhibit by the collector, were found to have disappeared at the Cleveland Public Library.

August 16, 1989

William Witherell removed two Franklin imprints from Special Collections, University of Pennsylvania.

August 1989

Lower Merion Police, Ardmore, PA, recovered a number of plates removed from works illustrated by Pierre-Joseph Redoute.

August 10, 1989

Peter Lubin, convicted of the theft of a large number of books and maps from Harvard libraries, was banned from the Harvard libraries.

June 29, 1989

A rare complete copy of the Venetian Hagadah, printed in 1599, estimated at $12,000-18,000 was returned to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America by Swann Galleries. The library was unaware that the book had been taken.

February 14, 1989

David J. Ziurmett removed $4,000 worth of memorabilia from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

January 1989

Gustav Jerry Hasford, a screenwriter, was sentenced in connection with the theft of about 2,000 books from 77 libraries, including 24 on college and university campuses. The books were stolen mostly from West Coast colleges.


September 8, 1988

Robert (Skeet) M. Willigham, Jr., former University of Georgia rare book curator, was convicted of the theft of rare library materials.

August 1988

Investigations into book store losses at the University Co-op, Austin, Texas, revealed $600,000 losses for 1987. Stolen books were sold to other local book stores.

July 1988

Archibald Land-Hammond, former Kentucky State University philosophy professor, was arrested following the seizure from his apartment of some 2,000 books belonging to Kentucky State University, the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives, Louisville Free Public Library, and the University of Virginia libraries.

July 1988

Ronald Redmond, a 23-year-old University of North Carolina/Greensboro student, was arrested for the theft of some 700 books valued at $23,000 from the UNC/G Library.

July 1988

A dozen incunabula were burned by burglars after an apparent burglary attempt at the LaPlata National University Library in Argentina.

April 1988

Stephen C. Blumberg (aka Mathew McGue) was arrested in Special Collections, University of California, Riverside, in a closed area after hours. He has a history of library thefts - 1968 and 1973.

February 1988

A suspicious individual who used the name Mathew McGue was found in a non-public space at UCLA's Clark Library. Keys were found missing shortly afterward.

February 1988

The University of Oregon Library recently announced the theft of late 19th century rare books and manuscripts documenting Oregon history, valued at more than $200,000. The items in question were missing from the Special Collections of the University Library.


Date? 1988/87

Washington State University - the theft of library books valued at $225,000 was reported.

July 1987

More than 30 incunabula and significant Western Americana holdings, including important and rare travels and voyages, were discovered missing from the Special Collections department, Honnold/Mudd Library, The Libraries of The Claremont Colleges, Claremont, CA.

Go to Cumulative Index of Theft Reports