Dr. Catherine Williamson is the Director of the Fine Books and Manuscripts and Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams in Los Angeles. Dr. Williamson joined the book department in 1997 and was promoted to Department Director in 1999. Her areas of expertise include printed books and manuscripts, vintage photography and entertainment memorabilia.
During her tenure at Bonhams, Dr. Williamson has appraised, researched and sold high profile property including a rare manuscript notebook of George Gershwin's, from 1929-1931; the Library of Ayn Rand; and the Private World of Truman Capote - a single-owner collection of manuscripts and memorabilia from one of the 20th century's most important writers. Additionally, Dr. Williamson has successfully handled diverse property from the estates of the descendents of John Hancock, John Steinbeck, Erle Stanley Gardner, Ginger Rogers, Sarah Vaughan, Fred MacMurray, Jennifer Jones, Norma Shearer and Tyrone Power, among others.
In 2001, Dr. Williamson was selected by the National Archives to provide a formal appraisal for their traveling exhibition, American Originals, featuring the Emancipation Proclamation, the Louisiana Purchase convention, the deed to the Statue of Liberty and the Berlin Instrument of Surrender, among dozens of other important historical documents. In 2006, she was again selected by the National Archives to provide a formal appraisal for their new traveling exhibition, Eyewitness, which features such priceless documents as Thomas Jefferson's 1787 letter from Paris describing the storming of the Bastille and Lady Bird Johnson's diary entry recording the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Dr. Williamson continues to provide appraisals for the archive's current traveling exhibition, Discovering the Civil War.
Dr. Williamson has appeared in more than 20 episodes of the HGTV series "Appraise It!," as well as on "The Early Show," "Good Morning America," "The Hunt for Amazing Treasures," "NBC Nightly News," "CNN" and "Fox News." Currently, she is in her tenth season as an appraiser on PBS' "Antiques Roadshow®."
Dr. Williamson received her MA and BA in English from Florida State University, and her PhD in Literature from Louisiana State University. She has six years of teaching experience at the college level, and has published several scholarly articles in leading academic journals. She is also a frequent lecturer on rare books and manuscripts and Hollywood memorabilia throughout Southern California.