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. 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.

The 2010's were a difficult time for our business. Kathleen died in 2017, and Michael died in 2018. We are now a sole proprietorship, operated by Carol Sandberg, with her able assistant, Javier Ortega, a recent Scripps College graduate with several years experience working at the Denison Library there.

We are active members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. Carol has served as Chair of the Southern California Chapter. She has served on numerous book fair committees, including the current one, planning the California International Antiquarian Book Fair.

In addition, we are actively involved in several library organizations. Notably, Carol is a member of the California Rare Book School Advisory Committee and a longtime Friend of UCLA's William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.

Carol is also active in several prominent book collecting clubs, including the Grolier Club, the Zamorano Club, and the Book Club of California.

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