Harold Ballew is a well-known authority in the field of antiquarian books and has been in business for over 35 years in Atlanta, Georgia. A native of South Carolina, he received his Bachelor’s degree from Furman University and his Master’s degree from Clemson University. He married and moved to Atlanta in 1963 to work with the Centers for Disease Control as a Diagnostic Virologist, and traveled extensively for the next 25 years. He retired from CDC in 1986 to pursue his interest in antiquarian books.
Harold’s love of early printed books grew during his travels with CDC, and he accumulated a large collection of rare books on a variety of subjects. He often purchased libraries from estates as they became available, including the partial library of Joseph E. Brown, Georgia’s Civil War Governor.
Accumulating a vast reference collection over the past 35 years, he is often asked to give talks on the evolution of books and specializes in first editions, Americana, history, cartography, renowned book binders, and noted book illustrators. Highly respected for his expertise, he has appraised numerous libraries for estates and schools, including rare books for the University of Georgia and Emory University.
Harold’s passion for fine books influenced him to help create the Georgia Antiquarian Book Association where he served as President for several years. He also helped start and participates in their annual fall book fair. Harold directs his clients, as well as other scholars and collectors, as they develop their collections and advises them on the proper care of rare books to maximize their investment.
Early books in fine condition have increased in value 20 – 35% in the last couple of years because of their scarcity. Many of the early printed books were lost due to ignorance, neglect and poor storage making those in fine condition a very good investment.