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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade
Published since 26 Nov 2013Only three issues of Theo were published, but it still took me a couple of years to track down a complete set. I'd been fascinated by the magazine ever since I first ran across a copy of number 2, which has a rather unique design; the covers are stapled off center, so that the fore edge is layered; the front wrap ends before the first leaf, so that the name of each contributor is visible, and the rear wrap extends past the text block.
Published since 15 Nov 2013
Robert Frost wasn’t much of a farmer but he loved living on a farm. Though he was born in the city (San Francisco), some of his formative years were spent on his grandfather’s farm in Massachusetts. Indeed, much of his poetry seems influenced by his rural life.
Published since 21 Jun 2012
"If you keep an open mind in this business, you learn something new every day." Greg Gibson on collecting the unusual: "Fire insurance mapping began in London in the 1700s, but it had never been applied with a systematic approach. In 1867 Daniel Alfred Sanborn, a surveyor from Massachusetts, saw the need for such a service, and quickly occupied that niche. By the late 1800s he had offices spanning the continent, sending out thousands of surveyors to record the footprints and construction details of buildings in American cities. Insurance companies could then use this information to write accurate policies, based on potential fire risk as documented by Sanborn’s company."
Published since 18 Jun 2012
"One of the most unusual bindings one is likely to encounter among books purchased at yard sales, garage sales, friends-of-the-library book sales and the like is papier mâché." L.D. Mitchell on Papier Mâché and The Private Library.
Published since 11 Jun 2012
Should I cover my tattoos and piercings before a job interview? Should I throw a divorce party? These questions are considered in the 18th edition of Emily Post’s famous book on “Etiquette”, revised and updated by the author’s great-granddaughter. If you want to learn how to have a love affair or a cup of tea in high society during the 1920s, read the original edition, or Jack Lynch’s collecting tip! Jack Lynch ist English professor at Rutgers University in Newark and the author of “You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf from Babylon to Wikipedia”. In his blog “You Could Look It Up” he introduces (no: he presents) useful, classic, amazing, funny and extraordinary dictionaries of all possible subjects and from all centuries.
Published since 03 Jun 2012
Here's an interesting idea for a private library: collect nothing but titles that have been penned by prisoners. If you think such a book collection might contain mostly accounts of prison life, think again ... some of the world's greatest, as well as some of the most influential, literature ever written was penned by prisoners.
Published since 25 May 2012
Given that the first book printed from moveable type in Western Europe, the Gutenberg Bible, contains numerous references to wine, and given that the technology for printing that first book may itself have been modeled upon the screw press used to extract wine from grapes, this writer has always found it puzzling that the cultivation, processing, distribution and consumption of wine is rarely a major thematic element in works of fiction.
Published since 18 May 2012
It’s that time of year when many of us begin to get that itch to get away. Summer is right around the corner, and with it the mystical promise of summer travel. If you’re stuck at home this holiday season, or looking for a little inspiration for this year’s travels, you may find help from a seemingly unlikely source: Mark Twain. That’s right: this titan of American literature got his start as a travel writer.
Published since 15 May 2012
For many years L.D. Mitchell's blog The Private Library showed collectors that it is possible to build a collection without the benefit of much money. He published numerous articles on every imaginable subject of book collecting, he wrote about the most beautiful, the most important, the most common, the most attractive, the most unusual, the most interesting, the most extraordinary, the most amazing ... books one could read, buy, collect and simply enjoy. The Private Library has become an irreplaceable resource for all booklovers. Since April 2012, it is a static archive. L. D. Mitchell will no longer post new original content. ILAB is very grateful that he has given permission to publish some of his best articles and collecting tips from The Private Library on the ILAB website. Thank you very much, L.D.
Published since 11 May 2012
Best story of the week was Ed Bayntun-Coward’s recollection of his encounter with a glamorous woman at a party. She asked what he did for a living. Ed replied smoothly that he was an antiquarian bookseller – “What a contraceptive”, she responded, immediately turning on heel and walking away.