Second Story Books Opens New Web Pages to Search Books by Collections


Second Story Books, the oldest used and rare bookstore in the Washington DC metro area, announces a unique way to build your library or collection:  Searching the collection of others for unique works on particular subjects.

The new platform, available through their website, presents collections they have acquired from other collectors alongside collections that have been carefully curated by the Second Story staff around specific topics.

Law, Political Science, and Economics

See the collection. First editions, signed volumes, rare books, autograph letters, and ephemera. Foundational works in the history of law and political philosophy, including books that influenced the American and French Revolutions.


See the collection. First editions, autograph manuscripts, signed volumes, and other rare books. Classic works of fiction, poetry, and drama, including British and American literature and Works by Women and African American authors.

Science, Medicine, and Mathematics

See the collection. First editions, signed volumes, rare books, and ephemera relating to the history of science, medicine, and mathematics.

The Huntington Collection

See the collection. A selection of works from the library of the late John C. Huntington, a leading expert on Asian art, including manuscripts, works of contemporary scholarship, and significant works by earlier scholars.

Black American Perspectives

See the collection. A catalogue of 19th and 20th century books, photographs, and manuscripts by Black writers, artists, and cultural figures.

Books as Art

See the collection. A collection of fine bindings from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, including bindings from such firms as Birdsall, Chambolle-Duru, Derome, and Zaehnsdorf.

Books and Their Provenance

See the collection. A selection of antiquarian volumes, limited edition works, and first editions bearing a range of provenance marks, from a tender inscription between a husband and wife to a copy of Hamlet bearing the bookplate of actor Cary Grant.

Special Collections

See the collection. Second Story Books is proud to present a diverse and growing array of special collections, which are available to view in person at either our Dupont Circle or Rockville locations. Please contact us if you would like to confirm the location or would like to arrange a visit.

According to Allan Stypeck, Second Story Books owner, searching the collections of others is a unique way to find books that are frequently overlooked. “The collector has often become an expert in their areas of interest, so they have found works that are important to particular subjects. It makes complete sense to keep these books together. Even when they are sold individually, they remain viewable for other collectors to peruse.”

Stypeck says that even works when sold will remain part of the curated collections viewable online.

From Shakespeare to Steinbeck and constitutional law to space exploration, these unique collections of iconic works in more than two dozen subjects feature rare and collectible works from the 16th to the 21st centuries. The books are culled from the more than 30,000 books Second Story has online.

The staff-curated collections will be updated on an ongoing basis as Second Story Books sells and acquires new material. Collectors can always expect to be surprised by what they find.

Second Story Books is the iconic Dupont Circle bookstores with inventory that stretches deep into six figures. In a city of landmarks, Second Story Books is a DC landmark of its own making.  2024 marks the 50th anniversary of Second Story Books. Second Story also hosts a warehouse location in Rockville, MD, for the true bookhound.

Online, Second Story Books can be found at