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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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The ABA and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

Published on 27 March 2018
The ABA and ILAB look back at a long history. The ABA is relaunching its flagship fair in London this year, the oldest antiquarian book fair in the world, under the auspices of ILAB. This text by the late Anthony Rota, ABA bookseller and ILAB President of Honour, was published in 2008 in the ABA Directory.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Bibliographies - Dust Jackets

Online: Great War Dust Jackets - NYPL Digital Gallery - Classic Crime Fiction - Hogarth Press Illustrated Dust Jackets - Modern Library Dust Jackets and Bindings: 1917-1939 - The ModernLib ML Database - Books for Girls - Vietnam War Literature Dust Jackets - The Robert Weinberg Collection
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Happy birthday, Sir Francis Bacon

January 22nd is the birthday of English statesman, philosopher, writer Sir Francis Bacon (1561), whose writings are said to have had great influence on modern science, law and society. There is also a school of thought that credits him with some or all of the works of William Shakespeare, though that idea has largely been discredited. In any case, what is known is that Bacon was, for a time at least, an influential thinker and politician during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I, something of a feat in itself, given that the two courts were not on the best of terms with each other. He enjoyed the favor of Queen Elizabeth I, whom he had met while he was a student at Cambridge. The queen seems to have admired his brilliant young mind. Later, he served the queen as prosecutor of his former friend, Robert Devereau, who was convicted of treason and beheaded. Bacon then wrote an account of the whole affair for Elizabeth, which was published after heavy editing from Elizabeth and her advisors.
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Prints as historical evidence: Lincoln’s deathbed

The assassination and death of Abraham Lincoln on April 14th and 15th, 1865 sent a shock throughout the nation, generating an intense desire by the American public to find out details about this tragedy. Printmakers, both for illustrated newspapers and for separately-issued prints, met this public interest with an outpouring of images. As there was no television nor internet at the time, and as there are few photographs of any of the events surrounding Lincoln's death, these prints provided the public at that time with their only visual assess to the assassination and its aftermath ...
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Why E-Books Look So Ugly

Why E-Books Look So Ugly - Snippets from an article in WIRED about e-book design and the beauty of "the book".
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Charles Dickens’ Debt to Henry Fielding

When Charles Dickens' sixth son was born on January 16, 1849, the boy was named for one of Dickens' favorite authors. Supposedly Dickens had first thought to name the boy after Oliver Goldsmith, but he feared the child would be ridiculed as "Oliver always asking for more." Instead he named his son Henry Fielding Dickens, after legendary 18th-century author Henry Fielding. Though Dickens was born too late to meet Fielding, his predecessor had a profound impact on Dickens' work.
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Rare Book Selling - a Man’s World?

"Women have less bite and competence", are "prone to self-doubt" and "fear of losing their livelihood". Women have a different time management system and "cannot handle large sums of money". Women are part-time booksellers and specialise in children's books, they "have a rich partner in the background", or they work in the profession until "Mr. Right" comes along and marries them. Good old prejudices – they still exist ...
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