However, the other day I was walking down Hawthorne, and saw a flyer for a private library being sold off. There were 4000 books, with fixed rates between $2-$3, depending on the type, and a breakdown of the number in each subject. I looked at the number on Russian history, and did a double take- it would be extremely difficult to have a Russian history library that large, which included a lot of pre-revolutionary history, and not have a significant number of rare books. The west just wasn't as interested in Russia up until the soviet era.
I was not disappointed when I went with Veronica. While I didn't find anything ultra-rare in the history section, I did find a number of Imperial Russian history books which I've been wanting for myself, and could never have afforded otherwise.
I also did find something which, though I haven't verified it yet, may be reasonably rare for my own collection. I'll have to check up on it to see exactly what it is. However, there was a copy of The Three Musketeers, obviously old, but in good condition. It had a number of little mistranslations in it, of the sort that you see a lot of in French books being translated to English for the first time. Some of the early Jules Verne translations are good examples of this. At any rate, I love Dumas, so I picked it up.