After graduating from St Andrews University in 1994 with an MA Honours degree in English Literature and Medieval History, I joined the leading London firm of Pickering & Chatto Ltd as an apprentice to the Head of the Science and Medicine Department. After succeeding the role in 1998 and enjoying many years of successful trading, I set up Deborah Coltham Rare Books in July 2006.
I have extensive experience of developing collections, having worked closely with major libraries, institutions, and individual collectors both in the UK and world-wide. I hope to continue and develop future relationships with collectors, helping to locate much sought after volumes, or share the thrill of finding the unknown and unexpected.
My aim is to stock rare and important books (together with occasional manuscripts and ephemeral items) in a range of scientific and medical subjects, primarily in first or early editions, and both in the original language or translation. An emphasis will be placed on books of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, though this will not be a rigid criterion of selection. Books relating to the Social Sciences and history of ideas will also be sourced, with books by or about women a particular area of interest.
I try to issue regular catalogues and lists, all available upon request and which can be sent by email. A selection of stock will be available to view on this site. Being close to London enables me to view and bid at auctions on your behalf, and I am also happy to discuss options for working on commission. I exhibit at a number of major international book fairs, including California, London and New York. Not all the books that I have in stock are listed on this website. If there are any books or subjects that you are particularly looking for please do not hesitate to contact me. Images of any books may be sent upon request.
I am a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, and the Provincial Booksellers’ Association, and since 2017 I have been a member of the ABA National Council and am currently the Membership Secretary. I currently organise and sit on the judging panel of the ABA National Book Collecting Prize, and am a faculty member at the annual York Antiquarian Book Seminar.