Michael C. Dooling

Rare Books & Manuscripts, LLC

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The World of Rare Books



About the Speaker

Michael has been a rare book collector for over thirty-five years.  His areas of interest are primarily Americana, early printing, fine bindings, local history, nautical, science & medicine, travel & exploration, and original handwritten diaries and manuscripts.  He has also turned his avocation for rare books into historical writing, using his book collection for much of his source material.  He is the author of five books:

  • Seaworthy Timber: The Life & Times of New England Sea Captain Aaron H. Wood (2014)

  • The Haunting on East 27th: A spirit investigation conducted by William Channing Russel, Esq. in 1862 based on his original journal (2014)

  • Clueless in New EnglandThe Unsolved Disappearances of Paula Welden, Connie Smith and Katherine Hull  (2010)

  • Milford Lost & Found (2009)

  • An Historical Account of Charles Island (2006)

He has also authored dozens of historical articles published by Connecticut Explored, The Log of Mystic Seaport, Writer's Digest, Naval History, Sinclair Lewis Society, Republican-American, etc.







The Presentation

The field of rare and collectible books is a fascinating one, touching upon every aspect of human culture.  Michael will present an overview of the rare book world and will bring several books & manuscripts as examples of books from various periods, different bindings, illustrators, etc.

Copious use of illustrations will be made in the presentation to show a wide variety of manuscripts and books from the Vulgate Bible written in the 13th century to a selection of 20th century Hardy Boys dust jackets showing how they changed over time.

A typical talk consists of a well-illustrated PowerPoint presentation and lasts about an hour and a half.  Questions from the audience are encouraged.








Medieval Manuscripts

Vellum & Paper

History of Printing

First Editions

Types of Bindings

Book Terminology

Color Plates & Maps

Illustrators and Illustrations

Dust Jackets

Fore-Edge Paintings

Rare Book Libraries

What Makes a Book Collectible?