Early in 2014, Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts transitioned to a mail order and by-appointment format. We continue to be generalists, always on the lookout for interesting material in the best condition, whether books, autographs or ephemera. First editions, signed books, pamphlets, documents, and a vast autograph inventory are eminently browsable at our new location, and we welcome you by appointment.
Where Bill and Yolanda take care of business
The Book Room, where you can browse all the books you see on this site.
The Book Room door, created by Bill
We created our "book door" collage by arranging the detritus every bookseller ends up with -- beautifully colored printed book covers from unsalvageable copies -- with 19th century marbled endpapers. Covers on the door range from a first edition of U.S. Grant's Memoirs and L. Frank Baum Oz titles to a Jo Daviess County ledger book.
From 1994 to 2013, MSFB operated as an open shop on historic Galena’s Main Street. We met lots of great folks, many of whom made us their destination year after year. While we miss the satisfaction that comes from meeting new collectors face to face, we are now able to devote more time to collection development and providing more personal service.
We opened the doors to MSFB in 1991, from this small storefront that housed Galena’s first bookseller in the 1830s. Our shelves were loosely packed on opening day, with more than a few books displayed sideways to take up space and, we hoped, fool the eye. Books beget books, however, and soon we were seeking larger quarters.
Elected members of the
- Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA)
- International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)
Members of this organization must adhere to a strict code of ethics whose bottom line is professional conduct in the marketplace. When you do business with ABAA dealers, you can buy with confidence.
- Midwest Antiquarian Booksellers Association (MWABA)
- The Manuscript Society
- Universal Autograph Collectors Club
Galena made its fortune from mining in the early to mid-1800s, thriving and growing into a major steamboating port while Chicago was still largely swampland. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has placed the town on its list of "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations," in recognition of its abundance of pre-Civil War architecture. Galena is also famous as the adopted hometown of U.S. Grant and for having contributed nine generals to the Union cause. Museums, art galleries and specialty shops line the charming downtown shopping district. Want to know more? Here's a place to start: