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The organization was founded in 1999 in Wisconsin, and has members throughout the world.

Tom Folio

The name Tom Folio is taken from Joseph Addison's The Tatler.

"Tom Folio is a broker in learning, employed to get together good Editions, and stock the Libraries of great men. There is not a Sale of books begins till Tom Folio is seen at the door. There is not an Auction where his name is not heard, and that too in the very nick of time, in the critical moment, before the decisive stroke of the hammer. There is not a Subscription goes forward, in which Tom is not privy to the first rough draft of the Proposals; nor a Catalogue printed, that doth not come to him wet from the press. He is a universal Scholar, so far as the Title-page of all Authors, knows the Manuscripts in which they were discovered, the Editions through which they have passed, with the praises or censures which they have received from the several members of the learned world." (April 13, 1710) [1]

According to the Penkapog Papers by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, the reference is to Thomas Rawlinson (1681-1725),nicknamed Tom Folio, a lawyer and bibliophile whose accumulation of books at his residence in Gray's Inn was said to have compelled him to sleep in a passageway. When Rawlinson's collection was sold at auction, it required sixteen sales over twelve years, each sale taking from two to four weeks.

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