Travis McDade

Curator of Law Rare Books
Associate Professor of Library Service

Professor McDade, curator of Law Rare Books, received his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University and his M.S.L.I.S. from the University of Illinois. He is the country’s foremost expert on crimes against rare books, maps, documents, and other printed cultural heritage resources. His first book on the subject, The Book Thief: The True Crimes of Daniel Spiegelman, highlighted the federal judicial recognition of books as cultural objects whose value cannot be adequately captured by market price. His most recent book, published by Oxford University Press, is called Thieves of Book Row: New York’s Most Notorious Rare Book Ring and the Man Who Ended it. Articles about this book have appeared in publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Chronicle of Higher Education.

Professor McDade teaches Legal Research at the College of Law and Rare Books, Crime & Punishment at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. He serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Art Crime and Library and Archival Security. He has lectured extensively, including radio and television appearances, on the subject of book crime and is a regular commentator on the radio program, Legal Issues in the News, on WILL Illinois Public Radio. Professor McDade gave the 2013 Rare Books Public Lecture at the University of Melbourne Law School, “The Book Theft Century: A Lament.”