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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

Article

Toronto Fair News - The Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair moves to Baillie Court!

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Canada is very pleased to announce that the 2013 Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair (TIABF) will run from Friday, November 8th through Sunday, November 10th, 2013.
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Article

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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Booksellers

Soul Trader - Janette Ray in Conversation with Sheila Markham

The books I like most are associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement, whose members were highly innovative individuals who bucked the trend. They were polymaths, architects, designers, crafts people, philosophers and, above all, individualists. I would like to be like that.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - William Bartram's Trials and Travels

Everybody has to find their niche in the world and for William Bartram it wasn't life as a merchant. He was decidedly unsuited for business of any kind. He was a nature lover, and eventually established himself as a botanist. Lucky for us. The man who gave us one of the best accounts of Florida during the British Period might not ever have gotten to Florida had it not been for his failure as a merchant.
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Article

Collecting Music - The Archive of Universal-Edition

The arts, the book and music – interesting for collectors are artistically designed books by music publishers. Until now this subject was often neglected, whereas the design of CD and vinyl covers was discussed in detail. ECM records, for example, has published a two volume book on the art and design of their CD booklets. And Kompakt Records presented its record and CD designs at the Art Cologne in 2013. But what about music editions and arts? Veronika Pfolz gives insight into a fascinating field of collection: the wonderful works published by the Universal-Edition, which was founded in the 1901 by Emil Hertzka and has become one of the best publishers of contemporary music.
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Article

The ABAA and ILAB, Part 1 and 2

Before I address the costs and benefits, a short review of just what ILAB is, how it is governed, and how each member nation is represented seems in order. I apologize in advance (and once again), for what might seem needlessly technical, but it is necessary to understand the functioning of ILAB and the ABAA's relationship to it.
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