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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

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


My New Business Plan

In days of old, it is said, herds of buffalo stretched twenty-five miles across the great plains of America; flocks of carrier pigeons darkened the sky for hours as they flew past. That's the way it was, more or less, last Friday at the opening of the 39th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair. The enormous opening-night line stretched all the way up the spacious Hynes lobby and into the rotunda adjacent to the Prudential shopping mall.
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My Most Awkward (Book Related) Moment

Most of my bookselling life has been a lonely business: waiting for trains, scouring shelves of dull books in the hope of finding one good one. But for five years I had a shop, and that wasn't lonely at all.
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Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar Honoured by a $1 Million Donation

Message from Sally Burdon, ILAB President:
41 years of supporting and educating booksellers is a long and proud record. This summer, just like the 40 before that, the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS) guided and supported another 50 would-be booksellers, more experienced booksellers, librarians and collectors through the intricacies of the antiquarian trade.
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Bibliographies - Book History

Online: Great Books Lists - Great Books Index - Rare Book Room - Forgotten books - Digital Collections of the Bavarian State Library - Book History Online - WBB
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Fore-Edge Paintings

Discovering a fore-edge painting is always a pleasant surprise. When I first started my bookselling apprenticeship, it was one of the first things I was told to look out for (along with interesting bookplates, and ephemera tucked into the books). If you have not come across fore-edge paintings, let me first explain what they are.
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