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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 - John Milton, Political Activist and Poet

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - John Milton, Political Activist and Poet

    We celebrate literary giant John Milton, author of Paradise Lost. His poetry profoundly influenced English literature and in particular the works of William Wordsworth, William Blake, Alexander Pope, and John Keats. Now, over three centuries since his death, Milton remains one of the greatest of all English poets.

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  • On the Blog – Treasures of the Library Podcast: Dr Margaret Connolly Describes the Roll of Kings

    On the Blog – Treasures of the Library Podcast: Dr Margaret Connolly Describes the Roll of Kings

    In the podcast of the University of St. Andrews researchers and library staff report about their work in the library and with the library’s rich treasures. This week Dr Margaret Connolly describes the Roll of Kings, a 15th century genealogical roll of the English monarchy, with a brief vernacular chronicle.

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  • Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Two from the The Archangel Press

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Two from the The Archangel Press

    This year I finally tracked down a copy of Abraham Lincoln Gillespie's The Shaper, which is as far as I know is not only the first separately published work by the poet, but also the only work published in his lifetime. The Shaper was published by the Archangel Press, a press I know nothing about, but which published another one of my favorite books of visual poetry - Kenneth Lawrence Beaudoin's 6 Eye Poems. Today I got to put the two works, which are presented in a uniform format, side by side. Both are among the strangest, most overlooked works of visual poetry that I know of, and represent a little documented strand of visual poetry in the United States.

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  • Selling Civilization

    Selling Civilization

    It isn’t easy being a bookseller these days. We are being assaulted from every side, by what seems to be progress, or at least that’s what people call it. A few years ago I referred in print to the current explosion of instant world-wide communication technology as the Electronic revolution, comparing it to the Industrial revolution of the 19th century. I continued by pointing out that just as people living in the midst of that industrial explosion of mass manufacturing could hardly have foreseen the long-term effects of that major cataclysm ...

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  • “The Precious Unprinted Contents of Books” – Handwritten notes, flowers and other things you find in rare books

    “The Precious Unprinted Contents of Books” – Handwritten notes, flowers and other things you find in rare books

    Open an old book and find – a flower, or better: a bank note, photographs, letters, notes scribbled on the pages, exhibitions tickets. Even if a book is boring you may find something interesting between the lines or pages, if it is an old book, not a Kindle. The Guardian Book Blog muses about “marginalia and forgotten mementoes” in the age of the internet.

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  • A Significant P. G. Wodehouse Letter on his Controversial Wartime Broadcasts

    A Significant P. G. Wodehouse Letter on his Controversial Wartime Broadcasts

    The Times is featuring an article on P. G. Wodehouse’s  radio broadcasts from Berlin during the Second World War, based on information in newly released MI5 files. We currently have in stock an important letter by Wodehouse, one that shines light on the difficulty he faced in trying to restore his reputation following the war.

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  • Analyzing Literature by Words and Numbers

    Analyzing Literature by Words and Numbers

    How often do words like “God,” “love,” “work,” “science” or “industrial” appear in British book titles from the French Revolution in 1789 to the beginning of World War I in 1914? Thousands? Millions? What do you guess? Dan Cohen and Fred Gibbs, historians at George Manson University, try to find the exact answer by means of statistic analysis. 

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  • One should not miss this chance to learn and to collect! – Michèle Noret’s Catalogue 11

    One should not miss this chance to learn and to collect! – Michèle Noret’s Catalogue 11

    One year after her glorious Catalogue 10 Michèle Noret has published a new catalogue, again a wonderful collection of  remarkable picture books and illustrated children’s books of the 20th century.  Collectors and antiquarians who know the market, also know, that it is absolutely no matter to bring together such a richness and variety of book-art. Michèle Noret obviously has a good nose for this sort of books, but it is not only her resourcefulness, that helps her, it is her great knowledge and competence and her aesthetic intelligence which lead her to find these wonderful books and graphic art -  and(!) to describe them in an adequate and always informative way. Looking through her catalogues always means to get in touch with important names, styles, developments of book-art, specialties of illustrative art. The series of her catalogues (happy the collectors who kept them!) is like an international compendium of modern artist’s books for children, indispensable for an intensive knowledge in this field, a real source book thanks to the many coloured illustrations. (A desideratum would be an index of titles and artists which comprehends all of the catalogues.)

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  • Bibliographies - Places of Printing

    Bibliographies - Places of Printing

    Online: Emil Ottokar Weller, “Die falschen und fingirten druckorte" - CERL Thesaurus - Graesse, Orbis Latinus - Cathedral Libraries Catalogue - Latin Place Names 

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  • The Unavoidable: The Restoration of Books

    The Unavoidable: The Restoration of Books

    A quick look at the shelves or the show cases of exhibitors at antiquarian fairs shows how well books can withstand the bite of time. Whether the property of collectors or of libraries, many incunabula have braved the centuries without a wrinkle.

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  • Collecting Authors' First Books

    Collecting Authors' First Books

    Authors' "firsts" -- first appearances, first books, first works of fiction, first novels. The fame of the authors included herein varies widely: some are names virtually everyone has heard; some are writers that few people know of yet. What they share in their first or early appearances in print is that, at the time, they were almost all both relatively young and relatively unknown. The works had to stand on their own merits rather than on their authors' reputations.

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  • Wanted! ILAB Internship!

    Wanted! ILAB Internship!

    A global "ILAB School" without borders: The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers offers internships to students and beginners in the rare book trade who wish to widen their knowledge through practical learning and to plug into the worldwide network of antiquarian bookselling.  All ILAB booksellers are very welcome to join the ILAB Internship Program and to provide young students an opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on experience in the international rare book business at any time and in any place in the world. Applicants are carefully chosen after they have contacted ILAB Vice-President Norbert Donhofer, who has initiated the Internship Program in 2009 together with Eric Waschke (Canada) and Professor Dr. Olga Tarakanowa (Moscow State University of the Printing Arts). Former interns spent six to eight weeks in Austria, Netherlands, Germany and Hungary  (Alena Lavrenova and Anastasya Zhikhareva),  Australia (Pavel Chepyzhov and Maria Rodionova), the United Kingdom (Valentina Rudnitskaya), the United States (Julia Kulyamzina), and in Spain (Ksenia Batueva). Right now ILAB is looking for the following internship:

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