Bromer Booksellers has occupied its prominent location on Copley Square for over thirty years, collecting “rare and beautiful books” from around world that include private press books, designer bookbindings, literary first editions, illustrated books from the 15th century to the present, children’s books, miniature books, and more. Founded by Anne and David Bromer, the shop issued their first catalog in 1968, while both were juggling other jobs and graduate coursework. The couple was inspired to plunge into the bookselling world after a class field trip to the Williams College Library in 1964, where they encountered medieval manuscripts and early printed books, and “the seeds of a vocation took root.”
The shop has issued nearly 150 catalogs and lists since 1968, and although the physical store has not expanded in size, the growing influence and impact of its work can be seen in other parts of Boston’s literary community. The Bromers have donated over $100,000 to the Boston Public Library to educate the public about the library’s Rare Book Department, whose oldest texts include five Babylonian clay tablets (Cuneiforms) dating from 2350 B.C. In 2012, a $2 million donation to the Boston Athenæum established a fund to support a full-time Bromer Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the library.
In addition to their bookselling work, Anne and David have published several articles and full-length texts about their favorite literary figures and sub-cultures. Anne’s Strings Attached (2001) provides a richly researched biography of book designer Dorothy Abbe, and her Miniature Books: 4,000 Years of Tiny Treasures (2007) traces the history of miniatures with nearly 300 full-color illustrations. David’s 20+ years of research into dystopian writer Aldous Huxley culminated in his comprehensive biography, Aun Aprendo: A Comprehensive Bibliography of the Writings of Aldous Leonard Huxley (2011).