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

  • [+] More Scholarship for Young Antiquarians - Report by Jennifer Johnson (ABAA) - My universe just got a whole lot larger. 


    Scholarship for Young Antiquarians - Report by Jennifer Johnson (ABAA) - My universe just got a whole lot larger.
    By Jennifer Johnson Published since 18 Oct 2016

    The opportunity to travel to distant lands opens up new worlds for anyone. I am no exception. This particular adventure to attend the International League of Antiquarian Bookseller’s Congress in Budapest was so much more meaningful to me on a larger scale.

  • [+] More The Art of Book Cataloguing - British Bottoms 


    The Art of Book Cataloguing - British Bottoms
    Published since 11 Aug 2016

    The differences between paper and digital catalogs are obvious, but some of the results of those differences continue to surprise me. For example, in the old days orders from my paper catalogs would dribble in over a period of weeks. I used to mail them all first class, in three staggered mailings, hoping to achieve some kind of evenness in delivery, but customers were always complaining that their catalogs arrived late, and demanding exclusive previews. Others, more laid back, would wait for moments of leisure to read their catalogs, and some overworked acquisitions librarians required days or weeks to claw through the pile of incoming mail to discover where my list of treasures was buried. Digital catalogs, on the other hand, play out in an eyeblink. Everyone gets their catalog announcement via a Mail Chimp email blast within the same hour or so. Those who are highly motivated know that they must read it and respond immediately. Consequently, most of the orders arrive by email within the first few hours of the catalog’s life. Maritime List 238 was posted Sunday night. By Wednesday even the laid back orders had arrived.

  • [+] More Booksellers on Tour – The Rare Book Trade in Iran 


    Booksellers on Tour – The Rare Book Trade in Iran
    Published since 21 Jul 2016

    Does anyone know of any antiquarian booksellers in Iran? Follow Hugh Myers, cataloguer and researcher at Hordern House (Sydney, Australia), on his amazing trip through the country.

  • [+] More Blogging and the Trade - War and… Peace 


    Blogging and the Trade - War and… Peace
    Published since 30 Jun 2016

    Hard to believe, for me anyway, but we’ve just shot past the sixth anniversary of Bookman’s Log. Yes, I should have written this entry after the fifth anniversary, and I don’t know why I didn’t. The post dated June 8, 2015 is about my dimwitted attempt to sell rare maritime books through an eBay store. (Results for the 6 months I tried it were one sale and two offers, both for less that 50% of what I had listed the book for.)

  • [+] More Italian Borders Closing On Rare Books 


    Italian Borders Closing On Rare Books
    Published since 30 Oct 2015

    News from Italy: With local authorities no longer in charge of heritage protection, it is now illegal to export from Italy any book printed before 1965. Until August 2015, under Italian law, anyone owning a book older than 50 years and wanting to export it from Italy, was required to apply for an export license to the competent regional authority. On August 6th, the Italian Parliament approved a law on the reorganization of local governmental departments. The law 125/2015 repeals the paragraph of the Italian Heritage Code granting Regions the authority to carry out heritage protection on books and manuscripts; and provides for such authority to be "subject to specific agreements with the State". Alas, no specific agreements have been made so far and nobody can tell when, where and how these agreements will be finalized.

  • [+] More The times they are a-changin' in the rare book trade 


    The times they are a-changin' in the rare book trade
    Published since 22 Oct 2015

    Moved by this conference in Lucca, I had the chance of dealing with some incunabula belonging to Martini, whose library is considered one of the richest private collections of Italian literature in the world. Reconsidering them one year after Norbert’s presentation at Lucca, invites me to consider how our profession has been changing. As there has been enough talking of stolen books, forgeries, laws and export licenses, I would like to reflect on the evolution of the booksellers’ job along the 20th century.

    Download file: 1714_UMBERTO times.pdf
  • [+] More Joint Catalogue – 80th Anniversary of the Dutch Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (NVvA) 


    Joint Catalogue – 80th Anniversary of the Dutch Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (NVvA)
    Published since 20 Oct 2015

    A “Fair-Less” Year: For the last ten years, this catalogue was issued on the occasion of the Antiquarian Book Fair at the Passenger Terminal in Amsterdam. Members of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers Association presented their treasures through the catalogue but also referred to the Fair, where one could view and touch books and prints in tangible form.

  • [+] More Every Dealer’s Nightmare - A Flooded Bookstore 


    Every Dealer’s Nightmare - A Flooded Bookstore
    Published since 19 Oct 2015

    Imagine - you live in an area where no flooding has taken place for 38 years and your stock is held in a professional storage area surrounded by some 200 other units. Sounds a good bet? . . . Read on. Here is one dealer’s first-hand experience. Bon Summers was hit by a flash flood and it took her 20 day’s solid hard work in temperatures exceeding 90°F with high humidity to recover the remaining stock.  This is her account.

  • [+] More Buying Antiquarian Books in Oslo, Norway 


    Buying Antiquarian Books in Oslo, Norway
    Published since 08 Oct 2015

    If you find yourself in Oslo and are thinking about looking for antiquarian books, we can point you in the right directions. Norway isn’t home to the largest remaining selection of antiquarian bookstores in Scandinavia (shops in Denmark and Sweden seem to have fared better than others), but there are still quite a few in which visitors can spend many hours scanning shelves and boxes.

  • [+] More Thanks, Bruce McKinney! 


    Thanks, Bruce McKinney!
    Published since 22 Sep 2015

    Every once in a while we encounter events that we know will be benchmarks in our careers as antiquarian book dealers. The first shop, with its smell of fresh cut pine shelving, the first big buy, the first book fair, the biggest book fair, the biggest buy, the luckiest find, the first whale (dealer slang for a big buyer) … all these things will be chapter titles in the book of our days in the trade, written out as memoirs, or only recollected as memories. To their number must be added appraisals (for those of us who engage in such shenanigans) – the first one, the biggest one, the one that was challenged by heirs or IRS. The best one. I spent last week on a new chapter in my book of memories. It will filed in my memory bank as “Appraisals, Best.”

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