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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 - Carried Away

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Carried Away

    People tend to get carried away by the romance of old books and paper, and it's easy to see why. The thrill of the hunt, the joys discovery, and the marvelous stories locked up in dusty old letters, journals, and books provide a perfect escape – an antidote to the stresses of our daily lives. Unfortunately, overworked librarians and book dealers often find that their interaction with books and manuscripts devolves into an insistent time/money proposition. As much as we'd like to linger over an ancient text, or just sit down and read the damned thing, we've got to get that bugger cataloged and shelved. There's work to be done! We wind up stressing out over the very things that should be affording us relief. So it's a delight when, every once in a while, something comes along that is so arresting and charismatic that it commands our complete attention and gobbles up our time, productivity be damned.

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  • Collectors’ Favorite Authors: Saul Bellow

    Collectors’ Favorite Authors: Saul Bellow

    “A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life.” So spoke Saul Bellow, one of the greatest American authors of the twentieth century. Rare book collectors have consistently been interested in Bellow’s works, and that interest will only grow as his books get more scarce over time.

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  • A Conference on the Occasion of the Publication of Ina Kok: Woodcuts in Incunabula printed in the Low Countries

    A Conference on the Occasion of the Publication of Ina Kok: Woodcuts in Incunabula printed in the Low Countries

    Hes & De Graaf Publishers, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands (KB) and the Dutch Book Historical Society (NBV) are organising a conference on 12 April 2013 on the occasion of the publication of the long awaited revised edition of Ina Kok’s widely admired and groundbreaking dissertation on the woodcut illustrations in incunabula printed in the Low Countries between 1475 and 1501. The conference will be held at the Aula of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, The Hague.

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  • Why ILAB?

    Why ILAB?

    Have you ever wondered what ILAB is all about - other than a logo that appears against some dealers' trading names?  The answers are to be found in this weeks’ issue of Sheppard’s Confidential, featuring an article by Norbert Donhofer, in which he asks “Why ILAB?” and sets out the main benefits of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

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  • Don’t Call It A Comeback, Or, The Bookseller Returns

    Don’t Call It A Comeback, Or, The Bookseller Returns

    There are various reasons, many of which are interesting only to me.  One of the reasons that is worth mentioning to the book-loving readers of this blog is that if there is to be a next generation of book collectors, we who sell books must first encourage a generation of book lovers, of people who understand that reading a printed book is a different experience than reading a back-lit screen.  Many antiquarian booksellers worry about whether the generation coming up - a generation raised on the digital device - will, when they come of age, bother with something as archaic as book collecting.  Some even wonder if they’ll bother with something as archaic as book reading.

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  • “Redheads are Poison” – Collecting Pulp Fiction: H. W. Perl (1897-1952)

    “Redheads are Poison” – Collecting Pulp Fiction: H. W. Perl (1897-1952)

    The artist H. W. Perl is chiefly known to aficionados of British post-war pulp fiction.  He was one of the most prolific artists in that genre, working for almost all the leading publishers – and he was quite simply one of the best – one of only a handful of pulp artists remembered and collected in his own right.  He is one of only a few artists who, at least at his best, could truly be said to rival Reginald Heade as the best of the entire bunch.  While it is true that Perl’s work can be very uneven in quality, this is also true to some degree of his colleagues and chief rivals – Heade himself, David Wright, John Pollack and Brab (Oliver Brabbins) – and likely to derive from sheer pressure, pace of work, and hammering deadlines than any real failings in technique.

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  • Bibliographies - Women Writers

    Online: Woman Literature in Germany 1700 - 1900 - A Celebration of Women Writers - Women Writers Database

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  • 38th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair - November 14-16, 2014

    38th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair - November 14-16, 2014

    From Copenhagen to Chelsea (London) to Toronto to Boston: Collectors and dealers will be traveling a lot during the next two weeks. After the International Antiquarian Book Fairs in Copenhagen (6-8 November), Chelsea (7-8 November) and Toronto (7-9 November), booklover will celebrate their annual fall gathering in Boston. A record-breaking 134 dealers from the United States, England, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Russia and The Netherlands will exhibit at the 38th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair at Hynes Convention Center from 14 to 16 November, 2014. There will be 15 first-time dealers and 27 international dealers at this year’s show, bringing a wide and diverse selection of items of interest to the serious collector or the curious shopper, including rare, collectible and antiquarian books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, modern first editions, photographs, fine and decorative prints.

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  • Il mestiere del libraio antiquario

    Il mestiere del libraio antiquario

    La natura internazionale dell’Associazione sta alla base delle regole di comportamento fissate nella Raccolta di Usi e Consuetudini a cui devono fare riferimento i diversi statuti delle associazioni nazionali. Più che del rispetto di codici e codicilli si tratta di un habitus mentale: il libraio antiquario è tenuto a comportarsi in modo irreprensibile dal punto di vista professionale e a cercare sempre, nell’eventualità di dispute, un accordo ragionevole, un gentlemen agreement. L’I.L.A.B. conta oggi circa 2000 membri, di cui circa 120 sono i librai italiani iscitti all’A.L.A.I.

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  • Why Did Charles Dickens Write Ghost Stories for Christmas?

    Why Did Charles Dickens Write Ghost Stories for Christmas?

    Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has become a beloved part of the literary canon – and for many an indispensable part of the holiday season. The story embodies the goodwill associated with the Christmas season – and it has the Victorians’ favorite elements of a good Christmas story: ghosts. Dickens wrote other Christmas tales that also incorporated phantoms and ghosts, as did his Victorian cohorts. But why this obsession with ghosts at Christmas time?

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  • The poem that gave us Santa Claus

    The poem that gave us Santa Claus

    The poem that gave us Santa Claus as an American tradition was first published anonymously in the Troy (NY) Sentinel in 1823. For generations, the poem was attributed to Clement C. Moore, a wealthy Manhattan biblical scholar. Then about a decade ago, a literary sleuth from Vassar College advanced the notion that the famous poem was actually written by Henry Livingston Jr., a  gentleman poet from Poughkeepsie. The literary landscape at Christmas time has never been the same since.

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  • Scandinavian Antiquarian Book Fair – 6-8 November, 2014, at Copenhagen’s Beautiful Round Tower

    Scandinavian Antiquarian Book Fair – 6-8 November, 2014, at Copenhagen’s Beautiful Round Tower

    In November 2014, professional antiquarian booksellers from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, England, Austria, France, and Hungary will gather in Copenhagen for one of the biggest antiquarian book fairs ever held in Scandinavia. The Danish Antiquarian Booksellers Association, ABF, is excited to be hosting the annual fair, which alternates between Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. Apart from the many books on all subjects and in all price-ranges which will be offered for sale by the antiquarian booksellers, private book collectors will present treasures from their libraries in a number of exhibtions, featuring for example:

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