Heather O'Donnell grew up in the library stacks and bookstore aisles of suburban Delaware. In 1989, she moved to New York City, where she studied English at Columbia, and held down a series of bookish jobs on the side: working the cash register at the Strand, shelving photobooks in the Avery Library, sifting the slush pile at Grand Street. While writing her doctoral dissertation in the Yale English department, Heather worked as a curatorial assistant at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
From 2001 to 2004, she joined the Princeton Society of Fellows, then left academia to pursue the rare book trade full-time. For seven years, she worked as a bookseller in the New York gallery of Bauman Rare Books, dealing in a wide range of material, from incunabula to modern firsts. In the fall of 2011, she launched Honey & Wax Booksellers in Brooklyn. In 2016, she helped to found the Women's Initiative of the ABAA, and in 2017, she and Rebecca Romney established the annual Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize for young women book collectors. She is featured in The Booksellers, the 2019 documentary on the New York book trade, and served on the ABAA Board of Governors from 2018 to 2022.
Heather is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), the Bibliographical Society of America (BSA), the Grolier Club, and the Caxton Club. She is a graduate of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar and Rare Book School. She currently serves on the faculty of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS-Minnesota), the Nominating Committee of the Bibliographical Society of America (BSA), and the Yale Library Associates Trustees.
You can reach Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebecca Romney, now of Type Punch Matrix, was a principal of Honey & Wax from 2016 to 2019, and a co-founder of the Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize. She remains an independent partner in the administration and judging of the prize.