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Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Where's Waldo image? Owner, John Durham amid his treatures, Bolerium Bookstore, San Francisco

GUEST BLOG / By John Durham, owner, Bolerium Bookstore--

Established in 1981 in San Francisco, we specialize in books and ephemeral materials related to the history of Labor and other social movements, including the struggles for Black and Chicano equality, the Gay liberation movement, Feminism, and Asian-American activism, as well as the Far Right. In recent years Bolerium has expanded into materials in non-western languages, and has also placed more emphasis on ephemera, with tens of thousands of original leaflets, pamphlets, and posters in stock. Bolerium is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA).

While our entire catalogued stock is searchable on our website (, we also have a large amount of material in storage and “in process” that can be searched for items of interest. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to consult about your areas of interest.

We are open to the public Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 6 PM, and Saturdays from noon to 6 PM. Located at 2141 Mission, suite 300, we are in the heart of the Mission District and only a block and a half from the 16th / Mission BART station. Read More

Building Collections
A large proportion of Bolerium’s business is with institutional libraries and archives. Working together with librarians in our fields of specialty, we tailor offerings- from individual titles, to lists, to entire archival collections - to round out existing collections and expand the possibilities for research at your institution. The basis of our firm’s longevity has been our focus on offering unusual and historically significant material, knowledgeably described, with service that takes into account the distinctive needs of our library clients. Among the collections we have helped to build at major libraries are a monumental assemblage of ephemera reflecting all aspects of the AIDS crisis and the social movements that have emerged around it, a wide-ranging collection of materials related to the Chicano Farmworkers’ movement, an important Black Panther archive collection, and numerous other ongoing projects at libraries in the US and abroad.

Many of Bolerium’s specialties, such as gay studies and ethnic movements in the United States, have emerged from marginalization to rank among the most active arenas of academic research in recent years. We are virtually unique among book dealers in the depth of contemporary and ephemeral material that we offer from the formative stages of these movements. Our clients, whether institutions or libraries, can sign up for automatic weekly updates listing new acquisitions in any of dozens of categories. For our institutional customers we are happy to place items on hold, to accept purchase orders, and otherwise find ways to meet your particular requirements.

We are also happy to buy or trade duplicate or superfluous materials from archives. A number of local organizations consign duplicate or unneeded material through us, so that it can reach other institutions, researchers or collectors.


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