Stephen Bloomberg — The Greatest Book Thief In History

(feature crime article)

For twenty years, Stephen Bloomberg has stolen more than 20,000 rare books and about 11,000 ancient manuscripts, he consistently bypassed 268 libraries at major universities in the United States and Canada. The total value of the stolen publications exceeded $ 20 million.

This man with sticky fingers suffered from schizophrenia and a manic addiction to books: he kept his collection in closets at home and constantly took up reading one or another book. He probably viewed his activities as a kind of quest, and this confirms the wealth of methods by which Bloomberg stole publications. He stole and forged documents, rubbed into the confidence of the library workers, picked up keys to the vaults and even got into them through ventilation shafts and elevator shafts.

He did not spoil or sell any of the stolen books, and at the time of his arrest, his house looked like a warehouse of a large publishing house. After Stephen became a regular reader of the prison library for a long time, the FBI and book experts were faced with the task of thoroughly identifying all stolen books – many libraries did not even suspect that some of the funds were missing. In 1995, all the books from the so-called “Bloomberg Collection” were entered into The Book Return database, and only after a few months of intensive work did all the libraries receive the stolen books back. Along with the books, a small documentary about Bloomberg also came to the libraries – one copy of the film in each. I do recommend watching it to all librarians of the world, including Ukraine…

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