About Us

Michael R. Thompson Rare Books was founded in 1972 by Michael R. Thompson. Michael came to bookselling after having been a graduate student in philosophy at the University of Texas. He moved to California in 1967 to work for the legendary rare book dealers, Zeitlin and Ver Brugge, and remained there for nearly six years. From an early date, he developed a specialty, catering to the needs of libraries, especially in the areas of special collections and rare books. Library collection development has remained a strong focus of the firm, though we also have many fine private clients.

In 1985, the business became a partnership, when Michael was joined by Kathleen D. Thompson and Carol Sandberg. Kathleen came to the firm with a long history of working for Los Angeles rare book sellers, including Universal Books, Royer Art Books, and Zeitlin and Ver Brugge. Carol's previous experience included eleven years working at Heritage Book Shop, the preeminent firm in Los Angeles for several decades. Prior to that, she earned a Master of Library Science degree at UCLA, with a specialty in rare books.

We are active members in the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. Michael has served as Chair of the Southern California Chapter, and was a member the ABAA Board of Governors for many years. Carol has also served as Chair of the Southern California Chapter. Both have served on numerous book fair committees, and Michael is the current chair of the Southern California Chapter Book Fair Committee, which is hard at work planning the ABAA fair in Los Angeles in February of 2010.

In addition, we are actively involved in several library organizations. Notably, Michael and Carol are members of the California Rare Book School Advisory Committee. The three of us are also members of the Directors' Advisory Council of UCLA's William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.

We are also active in several prominent book collecting clubs. Michael and Carol both belong the Grolier Club, the oldest and most prominent American bibliophilic organization. Both are also members of the Book Club of California, and Michael has served on the board of this organization for many years. In addition, Michael is a member of the Roxburghe and Zamorano Clubs.

In short, book collecting is our lifelong passion, as well as our livelihood, and are always happy to meet and serve kindred spirits!
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