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Bernard Amtmann (1907–1979), antiquarian bookseller, bibliographer, publisher and founder of Montreal Book Auctions in 1967 and the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Canada in 1966, was born in Vienna, Austria in 1907.
Amtmann immigrated to Canada in 1947 to join his brother William Amtmann in Ottawa where he started a small antiquarian bookselling business, issuing his first catalogue by 1948. He transferred his business to Montreal in 1950 and began to specialize in Canadiana. In 1967 Amtmann founded Montreal Book Auctions Ltd. to further promote Canadiana. Following Amtmann’s death in January 1979, Montreal Book Auctions was sold to Canada Book Auctions Ltd. and relocated to Toronto.
Bernard Amtmann was the moving force behind the foundation of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of Canada in 1966 and served as its first president. He made a significant contribution to the field of Canadian bibliography, publishing a number of bibliographies and bibliographic tools, most notably his four-volume Contributions to a Short-Title Catalogue of Canadiana (1971–1973), The Arctic Bibliography, and Contributions to a Dictionary of Canadian Pseudonyms (1973).