A reference for Used and Rare Books, Periodicals, and Paper Ephemera
courtesy of an International Co-Op of Independent Dealers.
Welcome to TomFolio.com, a website for reference materials related to
used, rare, and collectible books, ephemera, and periodicals.
This website is owned and operated by A Book CoOp, which is a cooperative
legally incorporated in the state of Wisconsin. As a cooperative, our site
is jointly and equally owned by independent member booksellers.
A Book CoOp began in 1999 as a small discussion group of independent
booksellers. We wanted to develop a bookselling site that would not be
vulnerable to the kind of corporate interference that can dictate selling
terms or reap undue profit from our efforts. We wanted a Code of Ethics
that requires professional standards of our sellers. We wanted to be able to
guarantee the highest quality service to our customers, and to be able to
deal with our customers directly. We wanted a database that would, in
short, be bookseller and bookbuyer friendly.
A cooperative was our answer. We hired an attorney experienced in the laws
regarding cooperatives. We incorporated, and made our Charter Member stock
offer late in December of that year.
For over 17 years, the TomFolio site operated as a site where independent booksellers
could offer their wares free from the constraints and ever-changing functionality of
the mega-bookseller sites. In late 2016, the selling features of the site were shut down but the
valuable reference material has been retained. These reference materials were developed
over the course of many years, representing hundreds/thousands of hours, by dedicated bookseller members.
Over the next few weeks, and months, all the reference materials will be made available on this site.
The TomFolio site has been moved to a new home and it will take time to make all the materials available once again.
There are no plans, at present, to restore the selling features of the TomFolio site. The new site is dedicated to
preserving the substantial reference materials developed over the years.
The name of our website is taken from an 18th Century literary reference: 'The Tatler'
TOM FOLIO (from The Tatler, April 13, 1710, by Joseph Addison)
"Tom Folio is a broker in learning, employed to get together good
Editions, and stock the Libraries of great men. There is not a Sale of
books begins till Tom Folio is seen at the door. There is not an Auction
where his name is not heard, and that too in the very nick of time, in
the critical moment, before the decisive stroke of the hammer. There is
not a Subscription goes forward, in which Tom is not privy to the first
rough draft of the Proposals; nor a Catalogue printed, that doth not
come to him wet from the press. He is an universal Scholar, so far as
the Title-page of all Authors, knows the Manuscripts in which they were
discovered, the Editions through which they have passed, with the
praises or censures which they have received from the several members of
the learned world."
Footnote: The reference is to
(1681-1725), a lawyer and
bibliophile whose accumulation of books at his residence in
Gray's Inn was said to have compelled him to sleep in a
passageway. When Rawlinson's collection was sold at auction, it
required sixteen sales over twelve years, each sale taking from two
to four weeks.