London - Shapero Rare Books selected as the rare book specialist by NASA for their Space Shuttle program

One of London's leading antiquarian dealers is excited to announce that they have been formally nominated by NASA to send rare books into space. Following a chance meeting at the art and antique fair TEFAF Maastricht in March, Bernard Shapero is heading to the White House to help make a selection for the mission in 2020.

Will alien life appreciate Dickens?

Since the dawn of the Space Age in 1957, thousands of artifacts have been flown into space. Following President Trump’s bill authorizing $19.5 billion in funding for NASA, Congress will be funding the construction of a Space Launch System rocket to send man to Mars together with a communications satellite that will serve as a testament to human existence as a species - including rare books.

A chance encounter at TEFAF Maastricht

Selecting books to outlast humanity is not easy, and NASA called on the help of Shapero Rare Books after a chance encounters with one of their representatives at the art and antiques fair TEFAF Maastricht in March.

One of the highlights on Shapero's stand was a series of lithographs of the solar system, and following a mutual appreciation for the aesthetic wonders of the universe and Harry Potter over complimentary glasses of champagne, the outgoing Bernard Shapero is delighted to have been invited to the White House to help make a shortlist of rare books to take into space.

Although tempted to suggest the complete works of Dickens finely bound in crushed gold morocco, the founder of Shapero Rare Books has many alternatives in mind suitable for a mission that will preserve great works of literature indefinitely and possibly be encountered by intelligent life elsewhere.

Bernard Shapero says; "I am looking forward to working with NASA and President Trump on this exciting project. It is really far out."

We need your feedback

The Shapero team have decades of experience in buying and selling rare books but selecting just one masterpiece for this mission is a huge undertaking. Please let us know your thoughts by emailing We will keep you updated on our progress.