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

  • Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Jenny Lind in London

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Jenny Lind in London

    I like to try and find material relating to the history of performance, both in music and the theatre, and my library customers in particular are always looking for things they can use for exhibitions, for teaching, or to attract researchers.  In other words, the unique.  Here is one such book. Bound in black morocco by W. S. Johnson, it is a careful contemporary record of the 1849 season at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London.

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  • Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction and The Private Library

    Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction and The Private Library

    One of the most popular components of a private library is the mystery genre, which comprises a vast array of sub-genres such as detective fiction.  The genesis of the detective fiction sub-genre may be traced to a short story penned by Edgar Allan Poe in 1841 titled The Murders in the Rue Morgue.  All the elements of what we today recognize as the essential characteristics of the sub-genre are found in this short story: a brutal murder; baffled police; an independent investigator that solves the case through superior intelligence, humbling the police in the process.

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  • Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Bread & Roses: The Strike That Changed Everything

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Bread & Roses: The Strike That Changed Everything

    Needless to say, few strikes in American history have generated as much literature, music or folklore as did Lawrence. Given our interest in the art and literature of social movements, we’re unavoidably drawn to this material, as are our customers – it tends to come and go with some regularity. Here are a few recent acquisitions that are still with us, each interesting for its own reasons.

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  • Buch Wien – Book Festival and International Book Fair in Vienna, November 2015

    Buch Wien – Book Festival and International Book Fair in Vienna, November 2015

    From 9th to 15th November 2015 the Austrian capital Vienna will be the final destination for book lovers. With over 450 lectures, discussions, performances – and an International Book Fair – “Buch Wien” will be the greatest Austrian book festival and one of the most important bookish events in Europe. For the first time in 2015, the antiquarian booksellers will be a prominent part of it.

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  • 49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, 12-14 February 2016

    49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, 12-14 February 2016

    From February 12 to 14, 2016, thousands of book lovers, rare book dealers, and scholars will converge at the Pasadena Convention Center for the 49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair. Recognized as one of the world’s largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the Book Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, photographs and more. The 2016 edition of the Book Fair will also include a special exhibit marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

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  • The Silver Squirrel Prize for the Hungarian Rare Bookseller Ádám Bősze

    The Silver Squirrel Prize for the Hungarian Rare Bookseller Ádám Bősze

    Ádám Bősze, President of the Hungarian Antiquarian Booksellers Association (MAE), was awarded the Silver Squirrel Prize bestowed by the National Association of Hungarian Journalists for his outstanding professional achievements and for promoting and bringing about the membership of the MAE in the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

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  • Just what has been going on Down Under? Part II: Partnership is the way…

    Just what has been going on Down Under? Part II: Partnership is the way…

    Melbourne Rare Book Week was, and is, a stroke of marketing genius! It has transformed how ANZAAB members feel about our book fairs, made our Melbourne Book Fair a very successful event and heightened ANZAAB's profile enormously - but it was not something we all "got" at the beginning …

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  • Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 12: Marketing Experiments

    Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 12: Marketing Experiments

    Another example of this synergy between the publishing and antiquarian businesses was brought about by an interesting request for bookbinding titles that we received from Marianne Tidcombe, noted English author (though American-born). Marianne told me that she was working on a project to honor Bernard Middleton, the pre-imminent English bookbinder. Important bookbinders around the world would be asked to contribute a gold-tooled binding on a copy of Middleton’s memoirs that had been printed by hand by Henry Morris at his Bird & Bull Press. Twenty-five binders would be chosen and they would be paid for their work when (or if) the collection of bindings would be sold. I was asked to help find the binders, plan an Oak Knoll Press title describing this project which would be accompanied by full color plates of the bindings produced, and then sell the collection as a whole if possible, or piecemeal if it could not be sold as a collection. What a combination of antiquarian, new book, and publishing goals!

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  • The Curse of St Clements - or, A Tale of Peril and Redemption

    The Curse of St  Clements - or, A Tale of Peril and Redemption

    When Leslie asked me to talk to you about books, and my bookselling career – if bookselling can be called a career – I decided that, this being the Osborne Collection, I should confine myself to children’s books This will not be hard to do, because children’s books have always had a central place in my life I should warn you though, that tonight you are going to get less of my daring adventures as a bookseller, and more of my conclusions about books, especially children’s books, gained from 40 years experience of bookselling

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  • Collecting Nobel Prize in Literature Winners

    Collecting Nobel Prize in Literature Winners

    With the Frankfurt Book Fair coming up this week and the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Leah Dobrinska of Books Tell You Why focuses on a very special book collecting theme: “Awarded each year since 1901 (except in 1914, 1918, 1935, 1940, 1941, 1942, and 1943), the Nobel Prize in Literature is an obvious litmus test for exceptional writers. While there have, of course, been a fair share of “snubs” in the past 100+ years, many of the greatest authors in recent history bear the title "Nobel laureate." As a result, collecting Nobel Prize winners makes good sense: there’s a list to follow; a new author is chosen each year from all around the globe, allowing for an eclectic reach (many congratulations to the 2015 winner from Belarus, Svetlana Alexievich!); and your collection will be filled with the best of the best.” Read more:

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  • The Syndicat de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne, a hundred years young

    The Syndicat de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne, a hundred years young

    The Syndicat de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) was founded in 1914. Its long history shows that the field of bookselling was quick to adopt a collective vision of its role in transmitting written heritage. Promoting and even defending antiquarian books and the reading thereof requires the combined efforts of the numerous players in the field of bookselling, each specializing in a given field but all contributing to achieving the same objective.

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  • A Kindlier Dozen for All

    A Kindlier Dozen for All

    That’s got that schmaltz out of the way … It’s 2012! If you’re of an excitable bent, then it’s the year the world ends according to the Mayan Calendar (or more likely when the Mayan Calendar ends according to the world). If you’re literary then it’s 200 years of Charles Dickens; the man who brought you Bah! Humbug!, spontaneous human combustion, a series of character archetypes that for good or ill (or as is more usual, both) have endured (and been endured) for a good century and a half, and a new, disturbing and moving understanding of what it might have been like to be poor and deprived at the height of the British Empire’s prosperity.  Oh, and jolly fat people with odd names, can’t forget them.

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