Norman Bolotin and Christine Laing formed The History Bank in 1979, having worked together in publishing beginning in 1973. Husband and wife nearly as long, they developed and produced more than 200 books on a very broad list of topics. In 1993 the National Trust for Historic Preservation contracted with them to write an exhaustive history of the World’s Columbian Exposition, which was issued in hardcover and in a $150 limited edition. In 2017 they wrote the definitive history of the Midway Plaisance for the University of Illinois Press, which has also published the Columbian History in softcover since 2002. While the hardcover is out of print, The History Bank has an inventory of books for sale.
Since the 1980s Bolotin has consulted to a variety of museum throughout the country. In Chicago he consulted to several museums and also taught for five summers at the University of Chicago. With more than forty years of research and study of the Columbian Exposition, Bolotin and Laing have been acknowledged as the foremost authorities on the fair.
Their blog, worldscolumbianjournal.com, provides information on all aspects of the Exposition. In late 2018 they were retained by the family of the late John Kennel to inventory, catalog and sell his exceptional Exposition collection. This online sale represents just the smallest portion of his 5,000-piece collection.
The History Bank Store continues to grow and evolve. While the company specializes in Columbiana, you will find items from a variety of other world's fairs (including the very first in London's Crystal Palace in 1851 to Seattle Century 21 "Space Age" fair in 1962).
Together, Bolotin and Laing wrote and published seven Civil War books with a combined sales of more than 600,000 copies and The History Bank sells books, relics, tokens, documents and other Civil War items. You will alsp find items here from many other categories, including U.S. coins, medals and tokens and other historical artifacts from up to the 1960s and Baby Boom toys and ephemera...with the occasional item from the Roman Empire and other early periods of world history.