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

  • [+] More Book Restoration - Presentation by David H. Barry 

    Book Restoration - Presentation by David H. Barry
    Published since 04 Apr 2013

    One of our faithful contributors, book collector Maureen E. Mulvihill, sends news of a forthcoming guest presentation in St Petersburg, Florida, by Welsh-trained book restorer, David H. Barry.

  • [+] More Chelsea, November 2012 - All the Fun of the Fair 

    Chelsea, November 2012 - All the Fun of the Fair
    Published since 12 Nov 2012

    And indeed it was fun last week at the Chelsea Book Fair.  Over eighty exhibitors, fabulous books, huge attendance figures, smiling faces all round and very healthy sales. Slight disappointment that the record sales of the first day didn’t quite carry through to the Saturday – but a large sale or two made or not made, reported or not reported, can (as always) so easily distort the picture.  Still pondering over whether one figure in a crabbed hand read £1,500 or £7,500 (only the lower figure included in the totals).  But make no mistake, this was a hugely successful fair – well advertised, excellent press coverage, outstanding sales for some exhibitors.  Leo Cadogan and his team, supported to the hilt by Marianne Harwood, the rest of the ABA staff, and exclamation! pr are to be thoroughly congratulated – all the more so as Leo had a fraught week trying to get back from storm-tossed New York in time for the opening.

  • [+] More Protecting Your Rare Books: Maintaining the Right Environmental Conditions 

    Protecting Your Rare Books: Maintaining the Right Environmental Conditions
    Published since 07 Sep 2012

    Regardless of where you live, maintaining the ideal environmental conditions in your personal library presents specific challenges. Conservation of rare books requires keeping your library at a certain temperature and humidity. Paper products are hygroscopic, meaning that they easily absorb and release moisture. This means that your rare books respond to even the most minute variations in temperature and humidity by contracting and expanding. If temperature and humidity aren’t controlled over time, visible damage like warped covers and flaking ink can occur. The paper itself also begins to break down more rapidly.

  • [+] More Preserving Your Rare Books: Setting up and Maintaining Your Home Library 

    Preserving Your Rare Books: Setting up and Maintaining Your Home Library
    Published since 20 Feb 2012

    As a collector of rare books, your goal is to keep your collection in optimum shape. You’re careful with dust jackets and protect fragile books with clamshell cases. Even the way you shelve your rare books can impact their condition. It’s important that your home library provides the support and protection that rare books need.

  • [+] More Is It More Than “Old Book Smell”? 

    Is It More Than “Old Book Smell”?
    Published since 06 Dec 2011

    We all know that aroma. Perhaps it evokes trips to the library as a child, or the cozy ambience of a grandfather’s study. It’s the distinctive scent of old books. Scientists say that “old book smell” is more than just mustiness; it contains hints of grass and vanilla.  That’s because all the compounds used to make the book release distinctive odors as they break down. For example, lignin, which is present in all wood-based paper, is closely related to vanillin. As it breaks down, the lignin grants old books that faint vanilla scent.

  • [+] More Win the Battle against the Bookworm 

    Win the Battle against the Bookworm
    Published since 05 Dec 2011

    Mother Nature can wreak havoc on rare books. Sunning, water damage, and humidity can all cause damage to your collection. Another enemy of your books may also be lurking on your shelves: the dreaded bookworm.  They’ll tunnel right into the block, riddling the book with countless gullies and channels.

  • [+] More White Gloves: Functional or Fashionable? 

    White Gloves: Functional or Fashionable?
    Published since 15 Mar 2011

    A few years ago, as Sotheby’s sold J. K. Rowling’s handmade book, "The Tales of Beedle the Bard", one of the auctioneers displayed the book for the gathered crowd while wearing white gloves. Gloved hands turn the mundane act of touching a book into a ritual - and a photo op for media coverage of bookish events. While wearing gloves may have been de rigueur for rare books at one time, more and more special-collections librarians now favor clean, bare hands over cotton gloves.