ABOUT WORLDWIDE BOOKS
For nearly 60 years, Worldwide Books has served academic, museum and public libraries as a specialized source for art exhibition catalogues issued by museums and galleries throughout the world. For the past three decades, Worldwide has also offered comprehensive coverage of new books on art, architecture, photography and design published by hundreds of leading American trade and university presses. Serving as a centralized source for a wide range of scholarly art books and exhibition catalogues, Worldwide is uniquely positioned to assist and guide art libraries in careful and efficient collection development.
Each year Worldwide selects some 6,000 new titles to offer our clients, including foreign-language exhibition catalogues and other scholarly titles not widely available from other sources. In addition to newly published titles, Worldwide also maintains an unparalleled inventory that encompasses more than 30,000 backlist titles published since the 1960s, among them thousands of hard-to-find and now out-of-print exhibition catalogues. This unique inventory allows us to readily assist libraries interested in compiling retrospective collections or needing to fill gaps in their holdings.
Worldwide’s experienced staff diligently and systematically monitors the publishing activities of hundreds of museums, commercial publishers and university presses, carefully evaluating thousands of newly released titles each year. The exhibition catalogues selected for inclusion in our approval plan programs are ranked according to their relative importance, and are carefully catalogued and indexed based on subject matter and other criteria. Worldwide offers various standard approval plans designed to meet the needs of a wide range of libraries both large and small, and we also routinely work with clients to devise highly customized plans tailored to meet collection development needs that may be unique to a particular institution.
Although Worldwide’s services are structured to accommodate first and foremost the needs of our library clients, Worldwide also welcomes orders from individuals and other non-library customers interested in purchasing items from our inventory.
Worldwide Books was established in New York City in 1962, and moved to Boston in 1969. In 1978, Worldwide was acquired by the Kraus-Thomson Organization (later the Kraus Organization Ltd.), a company with family ties to esteemed antiquarian bookseller H.P. Kraus (1907-1988). Over the years, the Kraus Organization also acquired the Bettmann Archive (later sold to Corbis), Bernan Press and Productivity Press. In 1987, Worldwide Books moved to Ithaca, New York. In 2007, the Kraus Organization was dissolved, and Worldwide Books was acquired by Singapore-based businessman and bibliophile John Koh, who also owns Bernard Quaritch Ltd, a leading antiquarian bookseller and specialist publisher established by Bernard Quaritch in London in 1847. In 2018, Worldwide Books was purchased by MARCnow and subsequently moved to its present location in Interlaken, New York, in 2020.
Worldwide Books routinely exhibits at the annual conference of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA), which is held in a different city each spring.
Librarians interested in speaking with Worldwide representatives during the conference are invited to contact us in advance to schedule an appointment, or they may simply stop by our booth in the exhibits hall where we will have on display a wide range of recently received titles to underscore the depth and breadth of our coverage. We look forward to this annual conference as an opportunity to meet with existing clients, to confirm that their approval plans are functioning as intended, and to discuss new projects and services we are developing. We also welcome this opportunity to discuss Worldwide’s services with new clients who may be interested in establishing an approval plan or in making use of our firm-order services.
For more information on the conference, visit the society’s Web page.