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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade
Published since 23 Apr 2014
This Monday morning, the biggest news to hit the antiquarian book trade in roughly 400 years became public: my colleagues Dan Wechsler and George Koppelman, booksellers in New York City, unveiled a copy of a sixteenth century dictionary which could, quite plausibly, have once belonged to William Shakespeare - complete with annotations possibly in the bard’s hand and many tantalizing, if ultimately circumstantial, linguistic and stylistic links to his plays. I’ll leave it to better minds than mine to make a final determination regarding the dictionary’s provenance. Wechsler and Koppelman have laid out an entire volume of compelling evidence in their just-published book, Shakespeare’s Beehive (a copy of which I’ve just ordered); the Folger Shakespeare Library, the New Yorker, and numerous book bloggers have already begun weighing in, and I’m sure many more scholarly voices will be added to the fray over the coming months and years. I hope it’s years, not months. I hope it’s real, real enough at least to merit many years of scholarship – I really, really do.
Published since 22 Apr 2014
A global "ILAB School" without borders: The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers offers internships to students and beginners in the rare book trade who wish to widen their knowledge through practical learning and to plug into the worldwide network of antiquarian bookselling. All ILAB booksellers are very welcome to join the ILAB Internship Program and to provide young students an opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on experience in the international rare book business at any time and in any place in the world. Applicants are carefully chosen after they have contacted ILAB Vice-President Norbert Donhofer, who has initiated the Internship Program in 2009 together with Eric Waschke (Canada) and Professor Dr. Olga Tarakanowa (Moscow State University of the Printing Arts). Right now ILAB is looking for the following internship:
Published since 13 Apr 2014At the Ordinary General Meeting on 13th April 2014 in Paris the presidents of ILAB’s 22 national member associations voted for Norbert Donhofer (Austria) as new ILAB President. He succeeds Tom Congalton (United States) who served as President from 2012 to 2014; and he will be supported by ILAB Vice-President Gonzalo Fernandéz Pontes (Spain).
Published since 10 Apr 2014
We meet on Facebook, we talk in Tweets. Why bother to travel a long way to meet real people? Why not? Have you ever attended an ILAB Congress? Have you ever met in Bologna, Lucerne, Tokyo, Sydney, Amsterdam, Munich, London, Brussels, New York, Edinburgh, Venice, San Francisco or Scandinavia? No? - YOU MISSED A GREAT OPPORTUNITY! ILAB Congresses and International Antiquarian Book Fairs are the real thing: They offer the chance to meet colleagues, collectors, librarians and real books, and the chance for collectors, librarians and real books to meet us! This is unique.Download file: 1334_Press Release One Week in Paris corrected.pdf
Published since 09 Apr 2014
In the century before cinema and television changed our lives forever, there were other ways of creating moving pictures. One such inventive Victorian method was the zoetrope (from the Greek zoe, ‘life’, and tropos, ‘turning’), ‘a mechanical toy or optical instrument consisting of a cylinder open at the top, with a series of slits in the circumference, and a series of figures representing successive positions of a moving object arranged along the inner surface, which when viewed through the slits while the cylinder is in rapid rotation produce the impression of actual movement of the object’ (OED). You can watch a modern version of one here.
Published since 08 Apr 2014
As if to compensate for the ever-increasing expense and physical difficulty of this event, the material on display this year was better than I've ever seen it. Books, maps, and manuscripts were dazzling. And, not to put too fine a point on it, the bucks were flowing. No one I spoke to had a ruinous fair, and even the people with only "so so" results were talking sums well into five figures. So, for almost all exhibitors at the big show, it was "mission accomplished." ...
Published since 07 Apr 2014
The origins of April Fools’ Day are unclear. Some experts suggest that when the French shifted the New Year to January to correspond with the Roman calendar, rural residents still kept celebrating with the beginning of spring, which often fell around the start of April. They came to be known as “April fools.” This theory, however, doesn’t take into account that the new year would have been celebrated around Easter–which isn’t associated with April first. It’s more probable that our April Fools traditions grew from age-old pagan celebrations of spring, which included adopting disguises and playing pranks on one another. But some pranksters simply aren’t satisfied to confine their exploits to a single day. One of these was Edgar Allan Poe, who was unabashedly fond of hoaxes. He approvingly called his time the “epoch of the hoax.” During his lifetime Poe would attempt a total of six different hoaxes. Most modern anthologies fail to acknowledge that these stories were originally published as non-fiction.
Published since 04 Apr 2014
The first post to this blog in August 2009 was about a book with a peacock feather stamped in gold on the cover, The New Day by Richard Watson Gilder [Scribner, Armstrong, 1876]. It's worth re-reading that story, because there is a connection to Margaret Armstrong, whose peacock designs are below. Here's a photo of that book to refresh your memory. Click it to read the original post. Peacocks and peacock feathers were a pervasive image of the Aesthetic Movement, a symbol of beauty in nature. Whistler's Peacock Room of 1877 was a monumental tribute to this theme.
Published since 02 Apr 2014
This is always a rough week for me. The New York International Antiquarian Book Fair is hauling into view (April 2-6), and there are decisions to be made. What stays? What goes? It's the biggest fair on the circuit and it has the greatest upside in terms of profit potential and meeting new customers. It's also the most expensive of the American fairs, and big city livin' is a real drain on the pocket book.
Published since 01 Apr 2014
This blog post is illustrated with some examples of engraved head- and tail-pieces I have encountered in my old books (all titles present in the Short-Title Catalogue, Netherlands). Although they have never been a special subject on my blog, I will refer to two previous illustrated posts to make as much room as possible for new illustrations here. By the way, about my photo fingers, they are just there to give you an impression of their size (I mean the head- and tail-pieces, not my fingers!).