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

  • [+] More Online Sales – Getting Rid of the Middleman 

    Online Sales – Getting Rid of the Middleman
    Published since 18 Jan 2016
    The vast majority of ILAB booksellers sell through the Internet. This does not mean that they have given up selling through more traditional methods (paper catalogues, book fairs, open shops, direct offers to customers, etc.); selling through the Internet is just another means of working. Whereas the vast majority of ILAB booksellers would definitely refuse selling all their wares through a middleman at book fairs, through their catalogues, etc., they find it very natural to do so online. The question is why?
  • [+] More ILAB Website – Archived by the Bavarian State Library (BSB) 

    ILAB Website – Archived by the Bavarian State Library (BSB)
    Published since 19 Mar 2014

    Open your browser, click on the OPAC catalogue of the Bavarian State Library (BSB) and search for: ILAB.  The Bavarian State Library (BSB) as one of the largest research libraries in Europe administers a digital long-term archive in cooperation with the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre. This archive also stores websites of scientific relevance. Updates of the selected websites are added every six months, so users of the library will be able to see how the internet offers have changed, which content has been added over the years – and most of all: they will have the opportunity to get to know of the articles published in the internet which might otherwise be lost. The archive launched by the Bavarian State Library shows that websites and their content can be of permanent worth and become a part of scientific research.  All archival copies will be permanently stored, indexed in the catalogue, and made available for open access. Further long-term preservation measures will be carried out if necessary, including, for example, format migration into newer formats.

  • [+] More University of Oxford – Podcast on book historical topics 

    University of Oxford – Podcast on book historical topics
    Published since 11 Mar 2014

    The Centre for the Study of the Book at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, is now offering podcasts on book historical topics. The series is hosted by Adam Smyth. His interviews with Oxford and visiting researchers like Willi Noel and Tiffany Stern highlight the current research on the material history of the book. The first podcasts include:

  • [+] More Computers, or: the tough life of an antiquarian bookseller, part 1 and 2 

    Computers, or: the tough life of an antiquarian bookseller, part 1 and 2
    Published since 11 Mar 2014

    My new computer is scheduled to arrive sometime next week. Maybe. Meanwhile I’ve been making do. The big screen in the illustration above is the monitor for my mortally ill computer, which can only run filemaker. So I catalog my books on that one, but slowly, or it’ll freeze up. The little netbook is my Internet access – google, OCLC, ViaLibri and the like – also done slowly, since it’s only got 2 megs of ram. (Just by way of comparison, my new machine will be delivered with 8 gigsof ram.) And the droid, of course, is for quick emails, texting, and other attempts to reach out from computer hell. - Greg Gibson about the tough technical life of an antiquarian bookseller.

  • [+] More Algorithmic book pricing and its implications 

    Algorithmic book pricing and its implications
    Published since 19 Feb 2014

    I was recently asked to offer comments on the issue of algorithmic book pricing for the newsletter of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association.  The issue where the comments appear has now just arrived in the mail.  Since the ABA newsletter reaches only a limited audience and has no online version I thought I should reproduce the text here, in case it might be of interest to others. Comments from readers who have actually used these services will be eagerly received.

  • [+] More Can Your Kindle Do This? 

    Can Your Kindle Do This?
    Published since 16 Dec 2013

    John Ledyard is a strange and fascinating American original. In 1772 he attended Eleazer Wheelock’s Indian School, which would later become Dartmouth College. Unhappy there, he went off with the Indians. When spring rolled around he built himself an Indian-style dugout canoe, threw a bearskin around his shoulders, and sailed down the Connecticut River to his people in Hartford. Several adventures later he accompanied Captain Cook on this third voyage and was present when Cook was killed in the Sandwich Islands.

  • [+] More Searching For Books In The Digital Age 

    Searching For Books In The Digital Age
    Published since 15 Oct 2013

    Disruption came to the world of book searching and the result, for the consumers at least, was a dramatic change for the better.  What was once impossible became possible. What was once difficult became simple.  What was once costly became cheap.  And the vast availability of books online, coupled with new and powerful tools to search for them, enabled serious bibliophiles to pursue their interests in ways that were unimaginable two decades before.

  • [+] More Searching For Books In Days Of Yore 

    Searching For Books In Days Of Yore
    Published since 10 Oct 2013

    Back in April, when I launched this blog, I was pleased that my first post managed to elicit a nice comment. One particular point made by this commenter has been banging around in my head ever since.  On the suject of want lists, he wrote: Electronic book-collecting tools are all focused on “dealer push” — a vendor essentially saying, “Here’s what I  have. Are you interested.” The tools aggregate and push this information. We know that many large booksellers do not have the time or inclination to post all of their inventories. It would be nice to go back to the old days of  “pull” — posting want lists in magazines to let dealers and fellow collectors know what we are interested in and looking for. It’s a service I would readily pay for within the context of a strong collector community like ViaLibri. It was an interesting suggestion, even without the hint of additional revenue.  It made me wonder. I am always surprised at how easy it is to forget the ”old days” of antiquarian bookselling, before the internet changed everything.

  • [+] More A World Much Changed - Laurence Worms in Conversation with Jim Hinck and Anne Marie Wall 

    A World Much Changed - Laurence Worms in Conversation with Jim Hinck and Anne Marie Wall
    Published since 06 Sep 2013

    Time now to go and have tea with some booksellers. Anne Marie Wall and Jim Hinck (Hinck & Wall) are booksellers specialising in garden history and landscape architecture, early horticulture, and architecture and town-planning in general. Americans both, they have settled in Cambridge after a spell in Paris (where they retain a pied-à-terre). It’s an absorbing story. They realised, much earlier than most of us, that with the advent of the internet, the book-trade’s traditional staples – the good, solid and essential books on any subject that everyone needs – were about to become a rapidly diminishing asset. As Jim puts it in a thoughtful recent post on his viaLibrian blog (required reading), “the pool of findable books exploded”. Their customers, often in American institutional libraries, were no longer going to want books they could find anywhere at the click of a mouse. The correct deduction was made that they would continue to want the rare and the unique, and that American holdings would generally be weakest in early non-English language material. To Europe they came to find just that material.

  • [+] More To Google Or Not To Google? - Arachnophobia 

    To Google Or Not To Google? - Arachnophobia
    Published since 16 Aug 2013

    This recollection leads me to wonder what I ever did – when I absolutely had to know something –  before Google? That godly search engine and its equally marvelous repository of information, Wikipedia, have become so pervasive in our lives it’s hard to remember what the world was like without them. But if I think about it really hard (this is precisely the sort of answer I cannot Google), long shelves of encyclopedias come to mind. The Americana and the Colliers sets of my youth were sources of lots of cool info, like how to make gunpowder, but they were woefully short on facts about girls and sex.