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

  • Marie Curie - A Woman of Firsts

    Marie Curie - A Woman of Firsts

    Marie Sklodowska Curie, the chemist and physicist famous for her pioneering work on radioactivity, was the first person awarded two Nobel Prizes (for chemistry and physics); the first female professor at the Sorbonne; and the first woman to be entombed in the Paris Panthéon for herself.

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  • Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Original “Big Book”

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Original “Big Book”

    In the “random” (this week’s nomination for a word that’s been misused to death) way typical of buying trips, last week’s journey through  Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia yielded some interesting and unexpected finds. But the biggest purchase, and I mean biggest, was John Scott Russell’s Modern System of Naval Architecture. The book, in three large folio volumes, measures 20 ½  x 27 ½ inches and weighs in at well over 120 pounds. I’ve sold three or four copies over the years. Once I had to mail one. Took me all day to wrap it.

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  • The Challenge of Collecting Steinbeck

    The Challenge of Collecting Steinbeck

    The challenge for virtually all collectors of John Steinbeck, whether novice or grizzled veteran, is the same -- money! If you still need a pretty copy of Tortilla Flat, a first in jacket, can you spare that extra $10,000 it's going to take to acquire the book?

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  • Collecting - Five Interesting Facts about Jean-Paul Sartre

    Collecting - Five Interesting Facts about Jean-Paul Sartre

    Jean-Paul Sartre lived a full life. He is widely remembered for his contributions as a philosopher, playwright, and teacher. His notable works include his philosophical magnum opus, L'Etre et le néant [Being and Nothingness] which was published in 1943, and his plays,Les Mouches [The Flies], 1943 and Huis Clos [No Exit], 1947. His ideas have a continued influence on philosophical and literary studies today. But what are some other facts about the esteemed thinker? Read on to discover five interesting factoids about Jean-Paul Sartre.

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  • Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: E. B. White

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: E. B. White

    White produced rare and collectible books in a number of fields - his early books of humor with a decidedly New Yorker flavor - The Lady is Cold (1929, poetry, as "E.B.W.") and Is Sex Necessary? (1930, with James Thurber). His serious essays, written for The New Yorker and Harper's, such as One Man's Meat (1942, and a scarce title in fine condition because of its wartime vintage), and his children's books, particularly Charlotte's Web (1952) and Stuart Little (1945, the jacket for this title was apparently unchanged except for the price over the first few printings, so unprice-clipped jackets command a premium, and should).

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  • How to Prevent Ghosting and Shadowing in Rare Books

    How to Prevent Ghosting and Shadowing in Rare Books

    When it comes to rare books, condition is everything. Any kind of damage, discoloration, or flaws can significantly impact a book's value. One of the most common flaws we see in rare and antiquarian books is a condition called ghosting or shadowing. This condition occurs when a page fades unevenly, leaving a visible outline on the page.

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  • Buried Books - The Cairo Genizah

    Buried Books - The Cairo Genizah

    Linda Hedrick has discovered a very special place in Egypt: "The most famous for both its size and contents is the Cairo Genizah. Almost 180,000 Jewish manuscript fragments were found in the genizah of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo. More fragments were found in the Basatin Cemetery east of Old Cairo, and some old documents were bought in Cairo in the late 19th century. The first European to "discover" them was Simon van Geldern (an ancestor of Heinrich Heine, the 19th century poet) who visited the synagogue about 1752."

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  • First Ever Meeting of the ILAB Committee - Copenhagen, September 3rd, 1948

    First Ever Meeting of the ILAB Committee - Copenhagen, September 3rd, 1948

    In 1948 the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers was officially founded at the Conference in Copenhagen from 1st to 5th September. Plans were made, decisions were taken by the presidents of the ten national associations who became ILABs founding fathers. They also elected the first ILAB Committee: William S. Kundig, Percy H. Muir, Einar Gronholt Pedersen, Menno Hertzberger and André Poursin. As early as 3rd September their work began with the first ever ILAB Committee Meeting.

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  • Renate Geisenheyner (1937-2016)

    Renate Geisenheyner (1937-2016)

    We are deeply saddened to learn that Renate Geisenheyner, German antiquarian bookseller and renowned expert in autographs and children’s books, passed away on 6th April 2016. Renate Geisenheyner (Weltin) was born in Berlin on 5th August 1937. After several years, first as an apprentice, then as a rare book dealer at Amelang and Peter Naacher in Frankfurt, she moved to Stuttgart in 1963 and started working at Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing Rare Books. During the 1970s Renate Geisenheyner came to Heidelberg and worked for the famous Tenner Auction House, where she met her later husband Winfried Geisenheyner. On 1st July 1981 they both founded their own business in Münster-Hiltrup. Already in the same year, in July and November 1981, they published two remarkable catalogues specializing in Sciences, Natural History, Geography and Travel. From then on Renate and Winfried Geisenheyner have been exhibiting at the international antiquarian book fairs from California to Europe, and they have been regular guests at the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair for more than 30 years. It was Renate Geisenheyner who edited a long series of Autograph and Children’s Book Catalogues for which Geisenheyner Rare Books gained worldwide renown. She was a jury member of the Antiquaria Book Prize, awarded every year in January to outstanding book artists and bibliographers, and, as a passionate reader to whom one could listen for hours, she founded a Reading Club in Münster to celebrate the importance of books and the joy of reading.

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  • ONCE AGAIN IN 2016 - FILL THE EMPTY BOOKCASES AND SUPPORT LITERACY

    ONCE AGAIN IN 2016  - FILL THE EMPTY BOOKCASES AND SUPPORT LITERACY

    Make a donation! What could be closer to the interests of all ILAB affiliates than literacy? What is more appropriate than to enable as many children and adults as possible throughout the world to read books? Book collectors start as book readers! If we are concerned about the future of the book and younger generations of collectors, we must start at the very beginning.

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  • The Rare Book Trade – Transhumance

    The Rare Book Trade – Transhumance

    What could be more mysterious than the irresistible signals sent by the turning of the seasons? Now the days lengthen as the sun proceeds toward its summer destiny. The lilac has come into bloom and faded. The shad bush has leafed out. Alewives struggle upstream, and elvers wriggle down to the sea. The IRS has been paid, the soldiers honored, and the peas planted. Like a salamander crawling out of the muck, I obey nature's call and head north – part of a transhumance that has been taking place since the beginning of bookseller chronicles. It's time for another New Hampshire book fair.

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  • The death of books has been greatly exaggerated (The Guardian)

    The death of books has been greatly exaggerated (The Guardian)

    "So I asked myself (somewhat desperately, positively naively): are things really that bad? What is the actual state of book publishing in Britain? Can writers really only look forward to a life of penury? Or should I stick my head in the sand, if only to deaden the sound of commissioning editors weeping into their lattes?” Lloyd Shepherd in The Guardian

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