About Us

The Raab Distinction

AN INTERNATIONALLY Respected NAME in important historical autographs and documents. We have earned this recognition because of our focus on quality, authenticity, importance, and beauty. Simply put: we search the world, finding important historical documents and bringing them to our historically passionate clientele. This requires an in-depth knowledge of history and decades of experience, as well as relationships with institutions, media, historically important families, and collectors, all built over time.

What began as a passion of one collector developed into a major national name

UNCOVERING IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS; BUILDING GREAT COLLECTIONS. We count among our clients many of the most historically passionate collectors, those forming great private collection, and also collecting institutions, among them the Library of Congress and the British Library. We have handled many of the notable historical documents to reach the market in the past three decades, including:

  • The only original Supreme Court decision, signed by Chief Justice John Marshall, in private hands
  • A letter of Benjamin Franklin signed in Philadelphia in July, 1776, one of just two known to exist
  • The Last Will and Testament of John Brown, signed the day he was executed
  • Abraham Lincoln’s last letter to George McClellan, giving him one last chance before being relieved of duty
  • Theodore Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” letter, in which he first coined the phrase
  • President George Washington’s letter sending the first measure of Congress ever passed
  • Andrew Jackson’s order to the Native Americans to move West, starting the Trail of Tears
  • Thomas Jefferson’s last letter from the White House home to his family, acquired directly from his descendants
  • The only letter of Robert E. Lee written at Gettysburg in private hands
  • Charles Darwin statement that all humans descend from a common, speaking progenitor
  • Several scientific manuscripts of Albert Einstein, with equations in hand
  • Meriwether Lewis' signed pay receipt for the Lewis and Clark expedition
  • The World War II “Ship of State” document signed by both Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill
  • Amelia Earhart’s filled in and executed certificate of landing upon becoming the first woman to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo
  • Napoleon’s original order to invade the Iberian Peninsula
  • Abraham Lincoln's signed order to blockade the South at the start of the Civil War
  • Winston Churchill’s 1942 statement that war’s goal is to cleanse the world of Hitlerism
  • The Original Order to Seize the Rosetta Stone 

We strive to make our name synonymous not with quantity but with quality

REPRESENTING GREAT HISTORICAL FAMILIES. The families of countless famous historical figures have selected us for the sale and preservation of their legacies. This ensures that great pieces of history never before seen find new homes, and also that our clients are partners with us in the ongoing process of historical discovery. Among the families we’ve worked are:

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • James Knox Polk
  • William Henry Harrison
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Gerald Ford
  • Benjamin Harrison
  • Plus many others

We respect the buyer, the seller, and the document, and this means that a generation of descendants have felt they can come to us with their family's treasures.  You can learn more by downloading this PDF.

Alifetime of experience and passion.  Steven Raab, a lifetime collector of historical autographs and documents, is among the nation's leading experts on their authenticity and significance.  He is a noted lecturer and writer, and has authored books on historical documents.  Nathan Raab is a leading consultant to both public and private collectors. He is a regular presence in the media on all subjects related to historical autographs and documents, as well as a contributor to Forbes.com. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and is currently on its Executive Committee.  Karen Pearlman Raab is highly regarded for her ability to build not only historically important and personally intreresting collections, but ones that, through the power of words, are evocative of the central figure's character or capture a great moment in time.  Karen sits on the Director's Council of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, and is the chair of the Founders Award at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.  She is also an active member of Impact100, a nonprofit organization of women supporting charitable initiatives in Philadelphia.  

AN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA PRESENCE. The Raab Collection is the most frequently cited autograph dealer nationwide, having appeared on CNN, NBC Nightly News, CBS Morning News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week and the New York Times, among many others.

Image at the very top: Nathan Raab on Piers Morgan tonight on CNN; Above image: taken in our offices by the Associated Press.

No modern historical document dealer has reached a larger number of media outlets and been relied on by more national journalists

HELPING BUILD NATIONAL EXHIBITS.  Our documents are frequently on display in institutions nationwide, most recently with loans to the National Constitution Center, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, and the National Museum of American Jewish History. In 2008 The Raab Collection created the historical exhibit inside the Democratic National Convention in Denver, the first of its kind.  Below: Andrew Jackson's Trail of Tears letter, discovered by us and sold to a private collector, who generously lent it to the National Constitution Center.

You might be looking at a Raab Collection historical document the next time you go to a museum.