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ILAB Internships – Out of the Classroom, into the World

I have already spent two and a half weeks in Australia. First 10 days I spent in Sidney with Paul Feain. Paul is the owner of Cornstalk Bookshop and Sidney Rare Book Auctions. It is a great chance for me to work with him, because I work in an auction house in Moscow and it is really interesting to get new information about the auction business. Now, after 35 years, Paul is selling his real estate and going to close the shop in April, but he is pushing ahead with the auctions. The next auction was on Saturday, February 22nd and I participated in the preparation of this auction. I made some book descriptions for the auction catalogue, but principally, I worked with Paul's reference library. This library is great! I really enjoyed working with it.
Published on 27 Feb. 2014
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Maria Rodionova: Australia 2014


I have already spent two and a half weeks in Australia. First 10 days I spent in Sidney with Paul Feain. Paul is the owner of Cornstalk Bookshop and Sidney Rare Book Auctions. It is a great chance for me to work with him, because I work in an auction house in Moscow and it is really interesting to get new information about the auction business. Now, after 35 years, Paul is selling his real estate and going to close the shop in April, but he is pushing ahead with the auctions. The next auction was on Saturday, February 22nd and I participated in the preparation of this auction. I made some book descriptions for the auction catalogue, but principally, I worked with Paul's reference library. This library is great! I really enjoyed working with it.

One of the most interesting events was my visit to two huge auctions. I've never seen anything like that! In a huge room you could see everything: furniture, paintings, books, pottery, antique sewing machines or a big sculpture of a pink Hippo. And, of course, books. But I will tell you about Paul and his auction house next time.

For now I would like to write about the last week, which I spent in Canberra with beautiful Sally Burdon - owner of the shop Asia Bookroom and Immediate Past President of ANZAAB. It was a great opportunity for me to work with Sally. Asia Bookroom is a bookshop specializing on new, out of print and antiquarian books of Asian interest. Their stock extends from modern books to rare antiquarian volumes, including a wide variety of books published in many parts of the world, some of which are rarely seen outside of Asia. Their assortment mainly consists of the scientific editions, nevertheless includes almost everything relating to Asia that you can imagine - from dictionaries and grammars, history, politics, anthropology, religion, art to books on anime, manga, martial arts, cookery, children's books and more. Actually, Asia Bookroom is one of the most remarkable shops I have ever seen. Cozy situation, friendly atmosphere and a great number of really wonderful books - this is Asia Bookroom.

In Canberra, I learned a lot of new and useful things for further work with books. Sally taught me how to work with the website and software store (I was just shocked by the simple and convenient program which regulates the activities of the store), showed me some very useful sites that make the work with antiquarian books much easier, explained the methods of attracting customers and working with them, which I think will be very useful for us. In addition, Sally shared with me knowledge on auctions in Australia and in Europe that I am sure will help me to write my thesis.

And still, I can't fail to say what a wonderful cultural program I had in Canberra. I visited the beautiful National library and amazing exhibition "Mapping our World", I was deeply impressed by the National Museum, and, finally, I was in the National Art Gallery, where, by the way, I saw paintings by Russian artists and even a couple of Russian art books. So I'm really enjoying my time in Australia. I got a lot of new skills and knowledge and I hope to learn more.

To be continued …

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