Americana exchange

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Americana Exchange
Type Private
Founded 2002
Headquarters San Francisco, California
Key people Bruce McKinney, CEO
Industry Retail (Specialty)
Products rare books, antiquarian books, out of print books

The Americana Exchange (or “AE”) is a website for the buying, selling and collecting of rare and antiquarian books. It was founded in 2002 in San Francisco by rare book collector Bruce McKinney with the aim of offering hard to find information about book collecting to the public. From a start of providing a subscription database of bibliographic records, the company now offers many related services, mostly at no charge. The company at first specialized in the Americana book field, but quickly expanded to all types of antiquarian and rare books.


AE Database

The company’s first product, the AE Database includes listings taken from book bibliography and book auction records. Rather than showing scanned pages from bibliographic books, such as used by sites like Google Book Search, records are entered into numerous independently searchable fields, such as author, title and date, to facilitate the search for data. Starting from 151,000 listings in 2002, the database now contains almost 2 million records. Book sales results from around 150 worldwide auction houses are added shortly after the auctions take place.

Book Auction Search

As the company was already searching and compiling listings from book auctions for its database, in 2004 it launched an on site search engine for book auction listings. This metasearch engine compiles listings before the auction takes place, allowing users to search book listings from auctions all over the world in a second. Currently, the only other means of locating books at auction before the sale is to search each auction house’s listings separately.

Books For Sale

In 2006, the company added an online book listing service known as “Books For Sale.” Booksellers enter their books in the Books For Sale database, which can be searched on the site or through major search engines, including Google Product Search. Similar used book listings are available through websites such as, AbeBooks, and Alibris. However, differing from those sites, sales are not conducted on the Americana Exchange site. Buyers are sent directly to the listing bookseller via an email form. Listing booksellers pay a fee of from $240–$400 annually to list their books and gain access to other services such as the AE Database. Since the sales are completed by the bookseller rather than on the AE website, no commissions are charged.


The company offers a book locating service called “MatchMaker.” It conducts automated book searches on a daily basis. Searches are performed on major bookselling sites such as Abebooks, ZVAB, and ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), of book and ephemera auctions on eBay, and of listings from the 150 auction houses followed by AE. Matches of new listings are provided on a daily basis so that buyers can find them before the auctions are completed or the books are sold.

AE Monthly

AE Monthly is an online magazine for book collectors, librarians and those in the book trade. It features articles on collecting and selling books, book auctions, and similar topics, along with general news and features related to books. The second section of AE Monthly contains reviews of recent bookselling catalogues. An archive of past articles is available.


McKinney, Bruce. "AE: It’s on to Year Six". Americana Exchange. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 

Reese, William. "Ernest Wessen and the Midland Rare Book Company". Antiquarian Book Review. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 

Elmer, Michael. "Describing Books – Beyond the Basics". Bookzing. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 

Hogan, Cecilia. "Library Book Sales". Information Today. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 

"Rare Book Review Awards". Rare Book Review. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 

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