We are lovers of history and printing. We search the world for early
James and I (Devon) began collecting books. We quickly learned that
our seeking and finding yielded many more books than our collection
could hold. The books in different fields were the easiest ones to
part with, and people wanted to buy them! The business of buying books,
cataloguing them, and selling them was born. As an undergraduate, I
studied at the Houghton Library, learning descriptive bibliography,
the history of printing, and graphic processes. James is a born salesman,
and lover of ideas with a background in anthropology and archeology.
Together we discovered that we could find many interesting books, assess
their qualities and value, write catalogue descriptions, and exhibit
at book fairs, selling books to private collectors, dealers, and university
Because our speciality limits us to books from before 1700 in all fields,
everything you will find at our shop is at least 300
Our retail shop in Harvard Square, Cambridge,
Massachusetts is open
to all: the neo-phyte bibliophile, the experienced collector, the professional
scholar and librarian. We take great pleasure in sharing our artifacts
from the late middle ages, the renaissance, and the seventeenth century.
We can have first-person contact with the very objects produced and
used by scholars, thinkers, important religious figures and historians
from these periods. Our stock features highlights from the history
of English literature: Milton, Donne,
Dryden and Chaucer, and the obscure ‘lowlights’ too.
You can also find the works of the ancient classical authors in Greek
and Latin, edited by renaissance and early modern classicists. Our
period also finds us in the company of important early scientists:
Bacon, Descartes, Kircher, Willis, and others. We also carry works
in all fields of history. In fact, conventional twenty-first century
subject categories are too confining to contain the range of works
found in this period of history.
We also have a reliable stock of books that were produced in the first
generation of printing. Nick-named incunabula, these books were created
during the period immediately following Gutenberg’s pioneering
use of movable type in Europe in about 1440. We usually have a dozen
of these books, all printed before 1500.
We provide early printed books to scholars, institutions, and private
collectors. All books that we handle are carefully assessed and catalogued,
researched and guaranteed. Over the past fifteen years we have provided
books to every major rare book library in the country, and private
collectors have found us helpful, attentive, and reliable.
Read more about J&D Gray in