BORG ANTIQUARIAN is an outgrowth of years of collecting by yours truly, James M. Borg, Ph.D.
As a lifelong collector (b.1943), I know how important it is to have excellent working relationships with clients.
My boyhood collecting began with comics; then advanced to mysteries and Sci-Fi.
During high school in Wisconsin, My Life as a Bookworm exploded into war stories.
At the University of Michigan, I became enthralled by Literature, Existentialism (it was the Beat Generation), Religions, and History (classical through modern).
Then came law school and business.
After serving as an Army officer during the Vietnam War, I earned my MA and Ph.D. in English Lit from Northwestern. My dissertation was on Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I collected her, RB, and other authors from the Elizabethans to Moderns. Later, I also added a major in history and several teaching certifications.
Such scholarly and collecting interests led to acute “Bookaholism.”
During the 1970’s and 80’s, as “James M. W. Borg, Inc.” - with indispensable and talented assistants - we sold rare books and manuscripts to many happy collectors. scholars, and major libraries. I was gratified to sell my large collection of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning rarities to the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University.
We handled many remarkable items: a folio of Shakespeare; an unpublished vellum document signed by Queen Elizabeth I; major collections of Charles Dickens (even his traveling writing desk); cartoons of India drawn by Rudyard Kipling; a bejeweled Kelmscott Chaucer; important letters by Women of Letters; detail-filled and poignant civil war letters (including Mary Surratt's last prison letter); manuscripts by John James Audubon; an unpublished manuscript poem by Emily Dickinson; an illustrated Greenland notebook by Rockwell Kent; and remarkable association copies by major modern authors (a presentation copy with a flying nude drawn by Steinbeck flitters into mind).
Financial pressures during the mid-80’s caused me to enter the corporate world. I became a management consultant and appraiser for Fortune 500 corporations. My book adventures went onto a “Back Burner” but remained a constant love.
Periodically, I taught literature and business communications at Northwestern and DePaul Universities. More recently, I've been lecturing on historical subjects from Stonehenge and Ancient Egypt to Benjamin Franklin and the Civil War.
Now, in what is supposed to be my “Retirement,” I again have the pleasure of bringing exceptional books, manuscripts, and collectibles to our clients!
As a bookish senior, I'm increasingly amused by Ben Franklin’s epitaph:
The body of
B. Franklin, Printer
(Like the Cover of an Old Book
Its Contents torn Out
Stript of Its Lettering and Gilding)
Lies Here, Food for Worms.
But the Work shall not be Lost
It will (as he believ’d) Appear
In a New and More Elegant Edition
Revised and Corrected
By the Author.