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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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ALAI History

ALAI History 1947-2011

Published on 01 Dec. 2010
On an autumn day in 1947, a small group of book dealers met in Milan to give life to the Circolo dei Librai Antiquari. They were not many, but they were set on granting a cultural dignity to the trade of antiquarian bookselling, on fostering friendship and understanding with foreign colleagues, on cooperating with libraries and institutions for the conservation of cultural property, and on providing collectors with a code of ethics that guaranteed a fair and professional relationship between rare book dealers and their customers. In 1971, the members of the association had increased to a few dozen when the Circle became the Associazione Librai Antiquari d'Italia. The history of the ALAI, the Italian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, by:
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Writers of the Spanish Civil War

Between the World Wars, a "little world war," as Time Magazine described it, took place from 1936-1939. The Spanish Civil War pitted the Republicans, backed by international leftist allies, against the Nationalists and soon-to-be-tyrant General Francisco Franco. You might know a little bit about the history of the Spanish Civil War and its significance in Europe. Both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany supported the dictator, turning the relatively localized war into a prescient event for the megalomania and political atrocities that have come to define World War II. As the Associated Press described it, the "conflict became a battlefield of ideologies . . . fascism against elected socialists and communists." How much do you know about the novelists and poets who not only depicted battles through language, but also fought alongside the Republicans in various regions of the country? From Pablo Neruda to Ernest Hemingway to George Orwell, let's take a relatively quick guided tour through the literary history of the brutal war in Spain.
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Article

John Ward and His Magnificent Collection

This book celebrates the second career of John Milton Ward following his retirement in 1985 as William Mason Powell Chair of the Music Department of Harvard University. Since that time Ward has devoted his life to collecting rare music scores and related original editions.
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Article

Hollywood Adaptations - How Books Inspire Hollywood Movies

How a Christmas card, a poem, a Time magazine article, and even a few novels inspired some of Hollywood's greatest films
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Article

Not This Time - 55th Annual Rare Books and Manuscript Librarian's Preconference

Where do you start with a place like Vegas? Bally's Hotel and Casino is hosting the 2014 Moose International convention and dealing with a chronic shortage of aquatic plant life, willow shoots, and other forage. Hairy guys with backwards baseball caps. Old men and their leisurewear. Fatties in mobile chairs work away, tethered to slot machines. A Bally's credit card at the other end of the line drips the money in and out. The tether prevents the card from being stolen, lost, or forgotten. Sorry, sir, no photographs. What is the plural of Moose ? Do the International Moose employ it?
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Article

Goethe als Autographensammler

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a famous autograph collector. Siegfried Reiter's article about the poet as collector was first published in "Der Autographen-Sammler".
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