Passing of Kathy Leab (American Book Prices Current)
Kathy assumed leadership of American Book Prices Current when it seemed that the annual compendium of auction records for books, autographs, and manuscripts might not continue. She guided the publication into the digital era, by producing it on CD/ROM, then on computer-memory sticks, and most recently online. ABPC plans to continue under the direction of Abby Martin.
Kathy Leab had a passion for books and the book world. She approached that passion with humor, editorial skill, and leadership, maintaining a strong international community of friends who shared her love of books and book collecting. She and her late husband, Daniel J. Leab, endowed a fund to support annual awards for excellence in library exhibition catalogs (managed by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries). In the 1980s, when there were several major thefts from rare-book and manuscript libraries, Kathy stepped forward and created and maintained a registry of such thefts so that libraries could alert each other of losses, and thereby help get the word out about such thefts so that booksellers, librarians, and law enforcement agencies could have a better opportunity to track such activities. With her characteristic sense of humor, she called the service Bookline Alert Missing Books and Manuscripts (or, BAMBAM, for short).
"Kathy was a real contributor to the antiquarian book world as I think a great many people will be aware. She will be remembered and missed by booksellers around the world. ILAB pays its respect to Ms Leab and her achievements for the rare book trade.” Sally Burdon, ILAB President
If booksellers wish to send their condolences, please contact David Szewczyk of The Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Company: firstname.lastname@example.org.