The Raab Collection Celebrates 35 Years of Buying and Selling Rare and Important Historical Documents

To mark the occasion, Raab will launch “35 for 35,” an exhibit and unveiling of 35 newly discovered historical treasures, including some not offered for sale in a century or longer 

Founded by Steven S. Raab, the firm helps institutions and individuals build world-class collections


The Raab Collection this year marks its 35th anniversary in the business of discovering, buying, and selling important historical documents and autographs. Founded in 1989 by Steven S. Raab, an attorney and collector, the company has since grown into an international firm, serving both private collectors and major institutions around the world. To celebrate this milestone, Raab has updated and refreshed its notable website, and throughout this season will curate a collection and exhibition, “35 for 35,” that celebrates its role in uncovering pieces of history and unveils some documents never before offered for sale and others last on the market a century ago or more. It will also feature periodic articles on the history of the business written by Steven. 

The Raab Collection Gallery

35 for 35: Historical Discoveries 

Historical discovery is a key part of what we do at Raab. Much of what we offer has been acquired from prominent historical families, including descendants of presidents, Revolutionary War and Civil War figures, scientific greats, owners of old European chateaus, great generals from America and Europe, and Civil Rights trailblazers. Many of these items have not been on the market in a century, or, in some cases, have never before been offered for sale.

With a nod toward this, we’re marking our anniversary with the launch of “35 for 35”: A selection of historical discoveries we have introduced in the past year, as well as some that will be revealed for the first time during the anniversary celebration. These remarkable documents include signed letters of John Adams (pictured below), George Washington, Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, Ernest Hemingway, Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, the negotiators of the Oslo Peace Accords, and many others.

John Adams autograph letter signed
In this autograph letter signed, John Adams writes to John Jay from The Hague in 1782 relaying the momentous news that the Dutch will recognize American Independence, and the British would begin negotiations on America’s terms. $72,000

Over the next five weeks, we’ll reveal selections from “35 for 35” in our appointment-only gallery, in our email newsletter, and online.

Raab History

The Raab Collection was founded by Steven S. Raab, who had been collecting historical documents and artifacts since 1960. When he left his law practice to become a dealer of historical autographs and documents, he sought mentors in established experts like Neale Lanigan.

For a logo, Steven chose an illustration of an eagle from Civil War-era stationery to inspire the Raab eagle, which has remained a consistent presence ever since. Our new 35th anniversary logo retains the storied eagle while saluting the company’s years of experience and accomplishment.  

Susan Raab, Steven’s wife, soon joined the business, taking charge of catalog production. Together they launched the company’s website in 1996. 

Raab Collection early advertisement
An ad placed by Steven S. Raab in the firm’s early years.

In 2005, their son Nathan joined the firm as a principal, followed in 2015 by his wife, Karen Pearlman Raab. All four continue to hold leadership positions. In 2020, Nathan published the widely acclaimed, bestselling book, The Hunt for History (Scribner), which shares fascinating tales from the life of an expert autograph hunter. 

To learn more about Raab, check out Raab History and the pages linked below: 

Nathan Raab, president of The Raab Collection, is available for interviews.

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