Welcome to Ian Brabner, Rare Americana
A fairly brief introduction…
Ian Brabner is an antiquarian bookseller and manuscripts dealer specialized in the field of rare Americana, established 1995.
We keep a small select and ever-changing inventory of rare books and pamphlets from 18th and 19th century America, unique historical manuscripts, historical ephemera (from the same time period), and visual Americana —all of American origin or context.
On our website, through our Short Lists, in our print catalogs, or at our stand at an antiquarian book fair you might find a rare New England imprint, a colonial manuscript sermon by a non-conformist minister, a Revolutionary War broadside, or a handwritten diary of an American soldier in Canada during the War of 1812.
Ian Brabner, Rare Americana
…continued from above
The historical manuscripts, rare books and other items we catalog and offer for sale can be foundational or significant texts, documentary, or visual evidence, proof positive, of the lives of Americans past.
Through rare books, scarce pamphlets and booklets, or handwritten diaries and journals; the 18th and 19th century American lives we seek to identify and present are not just the famous statesmen and military leaders.
We’re also interested in the other Americans—of all genders, ethnicities and ages—the marginalized, farmers, quacks and doctors, housekeepers and the affluent, criminals and learned lawyers, the winners and losers, scientists and inventors and crackpots, merchants, ship captains, children, mayors and presidents, self-liberated slaves and the enslavers.
The teachers, clerics, social reformers and never-to-be-reformed, factory owners and factory workers, shopkeepers prisoners, immigrant laborers, Christians and Jews and atheists, artisans, soldiers and sailors, and even combinations of some of the above–all are of us interest.
We research and catalog items that we believe are worth being collected, studied or enjoyed. This could be a memento of a school for wayward children printed on silk, an archive of letters from a missionary in Indian Territory, a Civil War broadside, a hand-drawn map of a Colorado mining camp, an autographed letter signed from the Texas frontier, or a chromolithographic advertising poster for an important Boston printer and publisher.
Alternative views on American history might be revealed in a pamphlet on women’s rights annotated by an opponent, a photograph of Native Americans visiting Washington, D. C., or a trade catalog for a new railroad car technology that reduces the need for paid labor.
Through this historical material, this “rare Americana,” our understanding (and, hopefully, yours as well) of 18th and 19th century American history writ large, is enriched, modified, clarified.