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Bernard Amtmann fonds. - 1949-1979. - 29.5 m of textual record and other materials.

Biographical Sketch

Bernard Amtmann, antiquarian bookseller, bibliographer, publisher and founder of Montreal Book Auctions (1967) and the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Canada (1966), was born in Vienna, Austria in 1907. Amtmann immigrated to Canada in 1947 to join his brother William Amtmann in Ottawa where he started a small antiquarian bookselling business, issuing his first catalogue by 1948. He transferred his business to Montreal in 1950 and began to specialize in Canadiana. In 1967 Amtmann founded Montreal Book Auctions Ltd. to further promote Canadiana. Following Amtmann's death in January 1979, Montreal Book Auctions was sold to Canada Book Auctions Ltd. and relocated to Toronto.

Bernard Amtmann was the moving force behind the foundation of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Canada in 1966 and served as its first president. He made a significant contribution to the field of Canadian bibliography, publishing a number of bibliographies and bibliographic tools, most notably his four-volume Contributions to a Short-Title Catalogue of Canadiana (1971-1973), The Arctic Bibliography and Contributions to a Dictionary of Canadian Pseudonyms (1973).

Scope and Content

The Bernard Amtmann fonds includes correspondence, manuscripts and typescripts of catalogues, lectures, the bibliographies, research notes, papers relating to the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Canada and the Erasmus Circle of Montreal, personal papers, photographs and ephemera. The Université de Montréal accession [1993-03] includes the commercial archives of the Montreal Book Auctions, correspondence, financial records, catalogues and client files for the period 1948 to 1979.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: First accession acquired from Bernard Amtmann with additional accessions from Robert Gordon in 1988, from his sister, Johanna Lamberger in 1989; and from Université de Montréal in 1993. [1976-01, 1988-09, 1989-01, 1993-03]

Language: material in the fonds is in English.

Restrictions: some files restricted.

Finding Aid: finding aid available for the first accession; box list available for the Université de Montréal accession.

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