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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade

  • Fälschungen und Täuschungen

    "Und die Moral von der Geschicht, In Zweifelsfällen kaufe nicht!" - Karl Geigy-Hagenbach about fakes and forgers in autograph collecting. His own legendary autograph collection is documented in  “Autographensammlung von Karl Geigy-Hagenbach in Basel” (addenda 1933 and 1939). For J. A. Stargardt’s “Der Autographen-Sammler” Geigy-Hagenbach wrote a series of articles about his passion from 1936 to 1938.

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  • And the Oscar goes to: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

    And the Oscar goes to: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

    "Inspired by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time." As usual the Academy Awards 2012 saw lots of George Clooney and Angelina Jolie, but the secret hero of the evening was: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

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  • A Bookseller’s Adventure in Europe: Part 2

    A Bookseller’s Adventure in Europe: Part 2

    Had to get to Budapest in time for a Committee cocktail hour and dinner with the Hungarians and found that plane travel from Amsterdam directly to Budapest one way cost over $900. I kept waiting for a cheap flight to open up but the cheap airline serving Budapest went bankrupt the week before I made reservations. I finally flew LOT airlines, which is the main Polish carrier. I was served up many a joke by my friends about my chances of arrival in Budapest but they were all totally wrong. The flight to Warsaw and then on to Budapest went without a hitch. We were warned to be very careful taking the taxi from the airport to the hotel and only sign up with legitimate taxis. (This reminded me of Prague.) I found the right one who charged me in the Hungarian currency of Forint (they are part of the Euro zone but have not adopted the Euro). We met that evening with the Hungarian booksellers’ association for a “let’s get acquainted” dinner and had a welcome speech from Adam Bosze, their President, in perfect English and a passionate speech by the dean of Hungarian booksellers, Lajos Borda, in Hungarian. It was a very pleasant beginning.

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  • Bibliographies - Religion

    Online: Biographisch-bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) - The Catholic Encyclopedia - Katalog der Leichenpredigten (Funeral Sermons) -  Bibliotheca theologica, by Enslin, Winer and Löflund

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  • Il mestiere del libraio antiquario

    Il mestiere del libraio antiquario

    La natura internazionale dell’Associazione sta alla base delle regole di comportamento fissate nella Raccolta di Usi e Consuetudini a cui devono fare riferimento i diversi statuti delle associazioni nazionali. Più che del rispetto di codici e codicilli si tratta di un habitus mentale: il libraio antiquario è tenuto a comportarsi in modo irreprensibile dal punto di vista professionale e a cercare sempre, nell’eventualità di dispute, un accordo ragionevole, un gentlemen agreement. L’I.L.A.B. conta oggi circa 2000 membri, di cui circa 120 sono i librai italiani iscitti all’A.L.A.I.

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  • Australia’s Willy Wonka: From Home Candy-Making to Confectionery Magnate

    Australia’s Willy Wonka: From Home Candy-Making to Confectionery Magnate

    The man who introduced chewing gum to Australia came from much humbler beginnings. Macpherson Robertson, founder of MacRobertson’s Steam Confectionery Works, is known for building a true candy empire. An innovative marketer, Robertson published a book about his rise to success. The copiously illustrated volume, entitled A Young Man and a Nail Can, romanticizes Robertson’s rags-to-riches story and offers a glimpse into the world of an ingenious businessman who forever changed the world of confections.

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  • Collecting Music in Hungary

    Collecting Music in Hungary

    I procrastinated writing this text for a very long time, and I spent the last few weeks wondering why it was so hard to write about what I do. After some self-scrutiny it became clear that primarily, it was my laziness that prevented me from doing so. At the same time, I was also forced to realize that I would have to be painfully honest in this article, if I really intended to provide an authentic picture of collecting music in Hungary. It makes sense to start with institutional collections since private clients only rarely spend money on old sheet music, books on music and authographs.

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  • Christmas and The Private Library, Part 1

    Christmas and The Private Library, Part 1

    The literature of Christmas is vast, and any book collector seeking to create a Christmas-themed private library quickly realizes that difficult choices have to be made. Does one collect everything written about or influenced by this holiday? Does one focus only on non fiction books (origins, evolution, secular or religious aspects), fiction (not all of which is cheery), or both?  Does one collect such books as a stand-alone theme, or as an adjunct to other collecting areas (folklore, religion, industrialization, childhood, illustration)? - This is a literary Christmas present by L. D. Mitchell and his famous blog The Private Library

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  • Peering Into the Exquisite Life of Rare Books

    Peering Into the Exquisite Life of Rare Books

    Snippets from Jennifer Schuessler's article on one of the most important institutions for young booksellers and the whole rare book trade: Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.

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  • Rummage in Curzon Street

    Rummage in Curzon Street

    Off to Mayfair again today to take a look at two rather different bookshops perched either side of Curzon Street. On the south side, at no. 46, is the retail showroom of Shepherds, incorporating of course the famous old Sangorski & Sutcliffe bookbinding business.  As you might expect, all the emphasis is on fine bindings – new and not so new. Rob Shepherd, incidentally doing a fine job as the new ABA treasurer, and his colleague Kim Pooley, bemoan the fact that the stock is looking a little thin – they simply sold so many books in the run-up to Christmas and the bindery is already at full stretch.  Nice problems to have, in a sense, but there are plans to move a lot of the gorgeous stationery, bookbinding accessories and so on, over to their new premises in Gillingham Street at Victoria and to concentrate on books here in Curzon Street.

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  • BOOKMEN: LONDON. 250 Years of Sotheran Bookselling - Book Launch at Sotheran's on May 31st, 2011

    BOOKMEN: LONDON. 250 Years of Sotheran Bookselling - Book Launch at Sotheran's on May 31st, 2011

    In his detailed and well-researched work - which is an important contribution to book trade history - Victor Gray explores many aspects of antiquarian bookselling: the lives of the company's booksellers, the financial underpinning of the business, the impact of war on buying habits, and changing fashions in catalogues and advertising. Meanwhile, a cast of curious and colourful characters weaves its way through the long and continuing life of a company which is still, 250 years on, one of the great names in its field, and the oldest antiquarian bookseller in the British Isles, if not the world.

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  • "There will never be another antiquarian bookseller like Peter Howard" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 1

    "There will never be another antiquarian bookseller like Peter Howard" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 1

    It wasn’t long before I determined to pay Serendipity Books a visit. In those days the store was located on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. In the company of my wife, I paid the first of many visits to Mr. Howard’s antiquarian book shop and, in short order, became familiar with the controlled chaos which is the hallmark of this remarkable destination. My first impression of Mr. Howard was that of a keenly focused, and earnest individual who, when engaged by someone in matters pertaining to rare books would speak directly to the issue, often imparting some insight or acerbic observation. He could also be dismissive if so inclined. Before introducing myself, I took ample time to study this tall, self assured person who was clearly the nexus of authority in the establishment. This tentative approach has served me best in all my dealings with Peter over the ensuing years.

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