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

  • Bibliographies - Watermarks

    Online: Piccard Online - Watermarks in incunabula printed in the Low Countries (WILC) - Digital Catalogue of Watermarks and Type Ornaments Used by William Stansby in the Printing of The Workes of Beniamin Jonson (London: 1616)

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  • Like "the library labyrinthe in Eco’s “The Name of the Rose" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 3

    Like "the library labyrinthe in Eco’s  “The Name of the Rose" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 3

    Peter B. Howard bears a remarkable resemblance to the crotchety old bookseller in Michael Ende’s The Never Ending Story  - “Your books,  are safe, my books are real” - and his premises  are probably the closest I’ve  seen to those in   the library labyrinthe  in   the filmed version of  Umberto Eco’s  “The Name of the Rose," although I have yet to encounter  any arsenic-laced incunabula except, perhaps, from the tongue of the proprietor.   And Serendipity  is the operative  word  for both the premises;  in their vast inventories  and ever changing denizens.  The minotaur himself  and  his long suffering assistant, Nancy Kosenka, are the only two constants in this ever evolving and serendipitous  landscape.    And  those premises are a bit like the various lands of Oz,  although not nearly as neatly ordered and likely full of a lot more surprises.

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  • The Girolamini Thefts in the Press: Tale of Big International Book Theft Gets a New Chapter

    The Girolamini Thefts in the Press: Tale of Big International Book Theft Gets a New Chapter

    “Any American book collector who recently bought an Italian book from the 15th to the 17th centuries should take another look at the purchase. If it bears a red library stamp with a Madonna in the center, the collector may get a visit from U.S. Customs agents assigned to recover stolen artworks.” The Washington Times summarizes the recent news concerning the thefts from the Girolamini Library in Naples, which the newspaper calls “the biggest book thefts in history”.

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  • Ben Barrett-Forrest: The History of Typography, in Stop-Motion Animation

    Ben Barrett-Forrest: The History of Typography, in Stop-Motion Animation

    Built with 2454 photographs, 291 letters, and 140 hours of his life, Barrett-Forrest’s animated short is a delight.  As he guides us from the lowly beginnings of Guttenberg’s printing press, all the way to the computer age, it becomes apparent that the art of type is a corollary for history. Like architecture and fashion, typography is a reflection of the world in which it’s created. Barrett-Forrest explains his interest in type and the genesis of the project in an interview below.

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  • The Rare Book Trade - Hit Me Again, Please

    The Rare Book Trade - Hit Me Again, Please

    Thus the inadequacies of the general used book store concept, circa 1980, led to the development of specialties at Ten Pound Island. Thus the failure of those specialties to meet the economic demands of an escalating real estate market drove Ten Pound Island out of the retail trade in 1993. Thus the computer and the fax machine put an end to TPI's flourishing postcard-driven nautical book search operation, which itself - owing to the need for a place to store the thousands of books accumulated in the course of this evolution – put TPI back in the retail business. Thus the rise of the Internet and the degradation in the value of low end maritime books, which had hitherto been Ten Pound Island's stock in trade, resulted in TPIs penultimate exit from the retail trade. Thus the paradoxical combination of rising cost and increased availability of rare books drove TPI into manuscripts, ephemera and documents. Thus the failure of provincial book fairs, which had hitherto been a major source of sales and stock, forced TPI into further dependence upon the Internet and the cultivation of institutional customers. Thus sales at TPI dwindled from thousands of mid range transactions to hundreds of larger ones. Thus the intervals between cash infusions increased. Thus the owner of TPI woke up one morning at 3 am with his hair on fire, recalling theorem #1 and thinking, “I've got to get more low end stuff out there on the market, to fill in the gaps between big hits.

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  • Yale Law Library - Rare Books Library Tour on Video

    Yale Law Library - Rare Books Library Tour on Video

    The Lillian Goldman Law Library possesses one of the world's finest collections of printed legal materials. These collections are complemented by access to a growing array of online sources, as well as the collections housed nearby, including the Sterling Memorial Library and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.Yale Law School Rare Book librarian Mike Widener takes bibliophiles on a tour of the history and unique collections of rare books at the Yale Law School. Kaitlin Thomas, Office of Public Affairs, organized the project and conducted the interview.

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  • Jimi Hendrix’s Delinquent Bar Tab – 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, 6-8 February 2015

    Jimi Hendrix’s Delinquent Bar Tab – 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, 6-8 February 2015

    The world’s  preeminent celebration of the written  and printed word returns to Northern California at a new venue in downtown  Oakland. The 48th California  International  Antiquarian  Book Fair will run  from  Friday, February 6 through Sunday, February 8, 2015 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and the International  League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB),  the three-day event is the world’s  largest antiquarian book fair with  200 booksellers from the United  States  and around  the globe. The annual fair features a rich selection of books, manuscripts, maps and other printed materials, including incunabula, literature  from  all centuries and nationalities, fine bindings, children's and illustrated books, ephemera, and antiquarian books on dozens of topics – from Jimi Hendrix’s delinquent bar tab to the first English-Language Sex Manual, a 19th Century 3-D children’s book, a lock of Franz Liszt’s hair from 1884 and handwritten letters by Charles Bukowski.

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  • The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril: Theft, Retrieval, Sale and Restitution of Rare Books, Maps and Manuscripts

    The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril: Theft, Retrieval, Sale and Restitution of Rare Books, Maps and Manuscripts

    Do we need more drastic measures to prevent the theft of books, maps, manuscripts and other art on paper? On 26 June 2015 internationally renowned experts – librarians, archivists, lawyers, auctioneers and rare book dealers – discussed one of the global problems of the antiquarian book trade in the 21st century: the theft of books, manuscripts and prints from public collections such as, in recent years, the Girolamini Library in Naples, the National Library of Sweden, the Danish Royal Library in Copenhagen and, right now, from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. “Thefts of rare books, maps and manuscripts from libraries are a growing, global problem”, the Art Newspaper summarizes. “The portable nature of these works and the fact that many libraries lack up-to-date catalogues of their sizable collections - some of which were assembled centuries ago - make them prime targets. Two weeks before the conference, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France announced that several 16th- and 17th-century engravings by Brueghel as well as atlases dating from the 16th to 18th centuries had been stolen from its collection. An investigation is currently underway.“ ILAB President Norbert Donhofer was invited to speak at the conference at the British Library, which will be followed up by another international meeting in New York in 2016.

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  • If there is a heaven for rare books, it's like Serendipity Books - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard

    If there is a heaven for rare books, it's like Serendipity Books - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard

    "There are rare books all the way up to the ceiling, so absurdly far up (like 27 feet or something) that they are almost guaranteed to never come down. In addition to the shelves, both fixed and (apparently) movable, there are piles of books. Everywhere. There are paper bags and paper bags and paper bags filled with books, on the floor and in the aisles, and there are cabinets filled with prints and folios and ephemera and beetles and god knows what else...” “This is the single most amazing place I have ever been! When I dream about getting lost in a maze of forgotten books... this is what it looks like.”

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  • Descartes Letter Found, Therefore It Is

    The story of a spectacular robbery and its happy ending 170 years later is published in the New York Times, by Patricia Cohen

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  • The World Arrives in London for Book Fair Week 8–16 June 2013

    The World Arrives in London for Book Fair Week 8–16 June 2013

    SEVEN FAIRS displaying rare books, maps, photographs and ephemera have come together to set up the first London Book Fair Week from Saturday, 8th to Sunday, 16th June 2013. This is the first time all the fairs organisers have joined together to create a major event for both trade and public by holding all the major summer fairs in one week.

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  • Collector Spotlight: David A. Williamson - Enhancing a Collection with Signatures and Artwork

    Collector Spotlight: David A. Williamson - Enhancing a Collection with Signatures and Artwork

    Part two of our interview with David A. Williamson, one of the largest Stephen King collectors in the world. In 2009, he bought Betts Books and one of his greatest joys is helping other King collectors find that “special” collectible for their own collections. He lives in Fairfield, CT, is married and has three children.

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