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Benevolent Fund

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Benevolent Fund is a non-profit charity fund established by the ABAA in 1952 as the "Charles Grand Memorial Fund" to benefit any antiquarian bookseller in time of personal need.

The Charles Grand Memorial Fund was established in 1952. We thank Rusty Mott for permission to use the following material.

"I quote, in full from my father's contribution about my uncle Charlieto Antiquarian Bookman, August 4, 1951, and as reprinted in Swann Auction Galleries sale of The Collection of the Late Charles Grand,NewYork City, September 26/27, 1951."

CHARLES GRAND, 1901-1951
by Howard S. Mott

"On April 3, 1951, there died, at the age of forty-nine, a man of unusual scholarship and impeccable taste. The name of Charles Grand has long been a byword throughout the country among antiquarian booksellers, print, painting and antique dealers for scrupulous dealing and unerring taste.

He attended evening sessions at City College, while holding down a fulltime job during the day, graduating in 1926 with honors in English and German. He continued his studies with graduate work in English and journalism at City College and Columbia.

Such was his character and personality that he had the fullest confidence of all he knew ( and his acquaintance was very wide). His welcome was everywhere warm and there was considerable eagerness to see what he had to sell.

In his hands was left the disposal of portions of the libraries of Heman LeRoy Edgar and I. N. Phelps Stokes, the latter containing important material. Through Charlie Grand's hands passed many fine individual pieces, such as the eleventh known copy of The Murders in the Rue Morgue; the second of two known copies of Poe's X-ing a Paragraph; important Gutenberg leaves; manuscripts by William Goddard,the early Maryland printer, relating to freedom of the press; as well as many other items now viewed with pride by collectors and librarians.Worth noting as an illustration of the diversity of his knowledge is the fact that he had a large part in forming the famous Horace W. David Collection of American Primitive Painting.

It is hard to capture on paper the special qualities that made Charlie Grand such a beloved figure. The important things in life to him were his friendships, books, and pictures and the theatre. He was a well-rounded person with a wide variety of interests. He tried to impress nobody. He was a quiet, modest guy doing what he wanted to do in a way he wanted to do it. His fellow members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and the Old Book Table will not forget him.

One of the outstanding characteristics of Charlie Grand was his every-ready aid and generosity to friends in need, even when his own pockets may have been at times pretty threadbare. A group of his friends have decided to set up in his memory a special fund, to be used for loans or outright grants to persons in the book trade who are in need of aid. A goodly amount of money has already been pledged to such a fund, and details are now being planned, pending attorney's opinion as to proper and legal methods. It is interesting to note that a number of collectors and librarians have requested permission to contribute to such a fund, which will probably be administered by trustees appointed by the ABAA."

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Book Collecting Contest

Elisabeth Woodburn Fund

The Elisabeth Woodburn Fund was established in 1990 with a bequest from former ABAA President Elisabeth Woodburn.  The Woodburn Fund, which is overseen by the Trustees of the Benevolent Fund and the Executive Director of the ABAA, gives financial assistance for scholarly research and education relevant to the antiquarian book trade, such as scholarships to the Colorado Antiquarian Bookselling Seminar and the California Rare Book School, contributions to the ILAB Bibliographical Prize, and support of the Bibliographical Society of American and the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. 

The Elisabeth Woodburn Fund also houses the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest Fund created to encourage and educate new book collectors and to support the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest cosponsored by the ABAA, the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies, and the Center for the Book and Rare Book and Special Collections Division in the Library of Congress.  Those wishing to support the Contest should make donations payable to the Elisabeth Woodburn Fund and note “Contest” at the memo line.

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