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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
ABA History

ABA History 1906-1984

Published on 02 Jan. 2010
This short survey of the British ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS' ASSOCIATION consists of the account of its first half-century prepared by Dudley Massey for the fiftieth anniversary in 1956 (slightly revised) with a continuation to the present year by Martin Hamlyn. It was published in the ILAB Newsletter 36.
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ABA History

ABA History 1906-1984, Part 2

Published on 01 Jan. 2010
At this point - except for a tributory bow towards all those, named or not, who had set and kept the ABA in motion, and a passage on the then imminent fiftieth anniversary and tenth Congress - Dudley Massey's account concludes. To the far from dauntless continuator its coverage seems considerable and its evidence of determined burrowing in files and minutes impressive.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


„Wo man hintappt, trifft man auf Gestalten“ - 19th century antiquarian book dealers seen through the eyes of a colleague

Julius Friedländer used to wear a Turkish fez. With his curly black hair Jacques Rosenthal, fiery in his youth, was a real heart-throb. Karl W. Hiersemann resembled a Catholic priest so much that children sometimes kissed his hand, believing he was the parish priest. Even in winter J. A. Stargardt personally climbed up all the stairs to the attic of his house where the valuable books were kept. One day he was found there grappling with a cat who was nursing her kittens on a pile of incunabula. Max Ziegert's "Schattenrisse deutscher Antiquare", a witty and moving of the 19th century trade.
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ILAB History


“Considering the dubiety with which our activities were treated it is pleasant to record that the Congresses in London in 1949 and in Paris in 1950 were very successful both socially and professionally, while the standard of hospitality in both cities was impeccable." (Muir)
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Bibliographies - Manuscripts

Online: Codex Sinaiticus - Western Manuscripts to 1500 - Early Manuscripts at Oxford University - Bodleian Library Manuscripts - Hill Monastic Manuscript Library - Dunhuang Project - Dscriptorium - Illumination and Calligraphy
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Ambrose Bierce

24th June is the birthday of writer Ambrose Bierce (1842), who is best remembered for his short story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1891), a riveting tale about a Southern planter who is executed for conspiring to destroy a railroad bridge during the Civil War. The story's structure is unusual because a long period of time from the protagonist's point of view passes in an instant. It has been adapted numerous times for radio, television, and the movies. Bierce was a columnist for Hearst's San Francisco Examiner and is credited with foiling an attempt by the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads to get a bill through Congress excusing their $130 million loan from the federal government to build the First Transcontinental Railroad. Bierce is said to have mysteriously disappeared while he was with Pancho Villa's army during the Mexican Revolution.
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