Barry H. Landau: Held in Document Theft, ‘America’s Presidential Historian’ Faces New Scrutiny


History Buzz

Source: NYT, 7-16-11

Barry H. Landau, author and well-known presidential memorabilia collector, displayed his connections like pearls on a necklace.

Baltimore Police Department, via Associated Press

Barry H. Landau

Photographs of him with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin and Martha Stewart adorn his Web site, adding celebrity credentials to the title he has given himself: “America’s presidential historian.”

So it was all the more noteworthy when Mr. Landau, 63, who is based in New York City, was arrested last Saturday at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore and charged with stealing historical documents, including ones signed by Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. Landau’s lawyer, Steve Silverman, said he expected Mr. Landau would plead not guilty. He criticized the decision to hold Mr. Landau without bail, and said he had filed a habeas corpus petition to have the ruling reconsidered.

“It’s outrageous,” Mr. Silverman said. “He’s somewhat of a public figure. He’s been on TV shows, and his picture is posted all over the media. There’s little to no risk of flight.”

As the F.B.I. continued to investigate — Mr. Landau had not been arraigned as of Friday — other historical societies were checking their records to see if he had ever visited. Laura Washington, a spokeswoman for the New-York Historical Society, said that he had, and that staff members were going through the records to determine how often.

Lee Arnold, senior director of the library and collections at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, said that Mr. Landau had visited 17 times between December and May, along with Jason Savedoff, 24, who had been working with Mr. Landau and who was arrested with him last weekend….READ MORE

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  1. Barry Landau: Professional Hobnobbing Historian Siezes Art From Maryland | History Musings…
  2. History Buzz February 7, 2012: Barry Landau: Professional Hobnobbing Historian Seizes Art From Maryland | History Musings…

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