Randall House Rare Books, which has been an iconic part of the Santa Barbara culture since 1985 will be permanently closing the doors at the historic, National Landmark the Gonzales- Ramirez, 1825 Adobe located at 835 Laguna Street on July 26th.
Owner Ron Randall has had an extensive career in books and literature. His father was David A Randall who ran the rare book department at Scribner’s Rare Books in New York City for 25 years. He then helped put together and directed the famous Lilly Library at Indiana University.
Ron began his own calling at the prestigious John Howell Books in San Francisco; he then partnered with John Windle at Randall & Windle in 1975, founded Randall House Rare Book’s in1979 and in 1985 moved to Santa Barbara where he began a forty year relationship with the Santa Barbara community and the Adobe. Ron established himself as one of the pre-eminent rare book businesses in the country. He was widely known internationally and the bookstore became a haven for collectors of books, manuscripts and fine art bookmarked by such important works as the Coverdale Bible, leafs from the Gutenberg Bible including the Ten Commandments page, “fine bindings” and “fine press.” Also, there was fine art to include the likes of James Audubon, William Merritt Chase, Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth. Ron was a member of the AABA, ILAB, IOBA and always was there to support the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and other organizations in Santa Barbara.
Stewarding Randall House in so many ways and for so many loyal years has been bibliophile Pia Oliver. And, in recent years Siobhan Mc Cleary, Ron’s so very trusted assistant.
Time to turn the page to another chapter. Randall House Rare Books is closing and Ron is headed to the redwoods of Northern California to be with his family. He plans to relax, read his books, spend time with his grandchildren and enjoy life. The book community will miss his contributions, his extensive knowledge, congenial manner and his character. And, Ron will miss Santa Barbara, which he adored.