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

  • Bibliographies - Women Writers

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

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  • Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Thomas Pynchon

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Thomas Pynchon

    Pynchon's first three books are by far his most collectible. His first, V. (1963) shows up with some frequency, but is usually either spine-faded, or price-clipped (the price is placed well into the front flap, so clipping it leaves an even more than usually unsightly loss), or both. There also exists an Advance Reading Copy in wrappers that seems to wear easily - we look for copies that are relatively square, as it seems to cock or slant very easily.

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  • The Girolamini Thefts in the Press: August 2013 to January 2014

    The Girolamini Thefts in the Press: August 2013 to January 2014

    More than a year has passed since the discovery of thefts from the Girolamini Library in Naples (Italy). The former library director, Marino Massimo de Caro, has been convicted to seven years in prison of being primarily responsible for the thefts. He now is under arrest in his house in Italy. Meanwhile a second issue has been brought to public attention: the dissemination of forgeries throughout the international antiquarian book market. In several official statements the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and the Italian Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ALAI) expressed their concern about these two major issues which bring up the prospect that books from the Girolamini Library or forgeries may surface on the market for years to come with little or no warning that they have been stolen or forged. A survey of press articles about the Girolamini thefts and the forgeries published between August 2013 and January 2014:

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  • Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Kerouac: The road, the books, the people

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Kerouac: The road, the books, the people

    Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922. He died in St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg 47 years later. In the intervening years, he went to Columbia University, did a stint in the Merchant Marines, joined the Navy twice, hitchhiked across America, wrote 19 novels as well as books of poetry and other works, and drank - a lot. He hung out with the likes of Beat poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder and Gregory Corso, writers Williams S. Burroughs and Herbert Huncke, and editors Robert Giroux and Lucien Carr. An eclectic selection of Kerouac's writings is in the collection of rare and unusual books at Lighthouse Books, ABAA. Among them: Visions of Gerard, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, Vanity of Duluoz, Pomes All Sizes and Pic. Another slim volume, The Kerouac We Knew, contains essays by people who had met Kerouac at various stages in his life.

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  • Rare Books - When is an inscription not an inscription?

    Rare Books - When is an inscription not an inscription?

    Two folks identified the key elements of this month’s crocodile mystery in their comments: Misha Teramura correctly noted that the inscription in the middle of the page - “pp. 184-190 refer to the progress of religion westward toward America” - refers to George Herbert’s final poem from The Temple, “The Church Militant.” And David Shaw noted that the other inscriptions - “8652″ on the top left and “A176″ on the bottom right - look to be an accession number and a shelf mark. But let’s back up for one moment to understand why I find these marks interesting. The book in question is a first edition of George Herbert’s The Temple (STC 13183). It’s an interesting work, and a popular one in the 17th century. And as you can see from the notations on the front pastedown and the recto of the first free flyleaf, it’s a work that was prized by later collectors.This particular copy was owned by Sir Leicester Harmsworth before it came into the Folger Shakespeare Library collection, and its value is shown in part by the blue goatskin binding signed on the bottom turn-in by Riviere and Son. Its value is more obviously indicated by the inscription on the pastedown, “a copy sold in the Terry sale in Dec 1935 for $3600.”

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  • Worth a Visit! Engel & Co. - Beautiful, Old, Rare and Precious Books in Stuttgart

    Worth a Visit! Engel & Co. - Beautiful, Old, Rare and Precious Books in Stuttgart

    Mention the city of Stuttgart anywhere, and the first thought is „Mercedes Benz“, „Porsche“ or perhaps „Robert Bosch“. What is less well known is that Stuttgart is one of the big “book cities” in Germany. When Leipzig lost importance after the war, many publishers and book distributors moved here. It has always been a reading town, not for nothing does Friedrich Schiller hail from here. Friedrich Hölderlin and Hermann Hesse lived and suffered nearby. The philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and the publisher Johann Heinrich Cotta were born in Stuttgart,  where a century later Mies van der Rohe built the famous “Weissenhofsiedlung” on the hills that surround the city centre.

    Stuttgart is also a centre of anthroposophy in Germany. The first Waldorf School was founded here, by Rudolf Steiner himself. So it does not come as a surprise that the oldest and largest bookshop specialised on anthroposophy is located here: Engel & Co. It has had several names during its history, but the basic premise has never changed: to purvey anthroposophic literature in particular and a select stock of good literature in general.

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  • FREE ENTRY TO THE PARIS FAIR AT THE GRAND PALAIS ON 23 APRIL, UNESCO WORLD BOOK AND COPYRIGHT DAY!

    FREE ENTRY TO THE PARIS FAIR AT THE GRAND PALAIS ON 23 APRIL, UNESCO WORLD BOOK AND COPYRIGHT DAY!

    The International Rare Book & Autograph Fair at the Grand Palais in Paris, now in its 28th year, is one of the most prestigious fairs in the world, attracting nearly 200 exhibitors and over 20.000 visitors who enjoy the opportunity to browse, buy and admire more than 100.000 historical documents, rare books, manuscripts, autographs, prints and ephemera from all centuries. In 2016, this international high-class event becomes even greater as the French antiquarian booksellers will join in ILAB’s celebrations on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day by granting FREE ENTRY TO THE FAIR ON SATURDAY 23 April.

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  • Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Isaac Asimov, Legendary Author of Science Fiction

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Isaac Asimov, Legendary Author of Science Fiction

    Isaac Asimov, legendary author of science fiction, celebrated his birthday on January 2. Born Isaak Yudovich Osimov in Petrovichi, Russia around January 2, 1920, Asimov immigrated to Brooklyn, New York with his family. Asimov would always retain a strong New York accent, a feature just as distinctive as his legendary mutton chops. The author is less well known for his flying phobia and using the  nom de plume  Paul French.

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  • Franklin Victor Spellman (1945-2015) – An Obituary

    Franklin Victor Spellman (1945-2015) – An Obituary

    Franklin Victor Spellman was born August 15, 1945 in Stamford, Connecticut, moving to the Bronx, New York, at 8 years. He is named in honor of Franklin Roosevelt and his middle name was in celebration of V-J day. Although Jewish, he was born in a Catholic hospital where the nuns prevailed upon his mother to give him a middle name of Victor. He was not a fan of Roosevelt, but Franklin did love his name. He has an older brother Douglas Spellman, and a younger sister, Jill Polan.

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  • Seattle – Is there a better place to show cool books on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2015?

    Seattle – Is there a better place to show cool books on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2015?

    Here in Seattle, Washington local ABAA/ILAB booksellers Ed Smith, Taylor Bowie, John Lang, and many others, as well as at least one representative from the Northwest Copyright Society of the USA, will be on hand to present a display and sale of antiquarian books, maps, and prints, as well as ephemera. Recognizing the important place that books hold in the dissemination of knowledge, they will continue the work of their colleagues around the world to fill a "virtual bookcase" as participants and visitors donate money to buy books for schools in South Sudan. Informal "pop-up" talks on the items on displace will fill the evening, starting at 4 pm, at the beautiful Sorrento Hotel, a Seattle icon, that offers personalized service, Italianate architecture and a warm, welcoming feel that makes you want to stay even longer.

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  • Bibliographies - Iceland

    Online: Antique maps of Iceland

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  • The Finer Print - Growing Concern Over Facsimile Jackets

    A few weeks ago a longtime collector sent us a few books to sell on consignment. His is a major collection of twentieth-century literature, including a healthy number of the desirable high spots acquired from many of the most respected dealers in the trade.

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