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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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From the Vault

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Booksellers

Cornstalk Bookshop Celebrates 30 Years

Congratulations! Cornstalk Bookshop celebrates its 30th anniversary. Paul Feain, ILAB General Secretary and owner of Cornstalk looks back to the beginnings: "Over the years I have been supported by many wonderful staff members, some of whom have gone on to operate their own rare bookshops. Some are professors and academics, some have had their books published. I owe a great debt to everyone on my staff and former staff members. These people are my friends and often I have drawn on their wisdom and the business would not have survived without their enthusiasm and support."
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ILAB on Instagram

ILAB is social
Booksellers, book collectors, librarians have taken to the world of Instagram in the last few years. Whether as a business or institution or in private capacity, Instagram seems to have turned into an interesting new channel for rare book lovers and professionals.
The ILAB is "bookstagramming" now – yes, in the world of social media – this is a proper term. "Bookstagram" refers to an Instagram account that revolves around books. Follow us on ILAB RARE BOOKS and find out about events linked to ILAB dealers!
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No Deal and Hard Brexit Advice for Rare Bookdealers

In politically uncertain times, the British Antiquarian Booksellers Association has put together some very useful guidelines on the import & export of books.
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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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THE GUARDIAN - International relay of events set to mark Unesco World Book Day

"From a pop-up bookshop in Vienna's giant ferris wheel to book fairs in cities across South Korea, antiquarian booksellers around the world are preparing to host a 24-hour run of events later this month to raise money for children in South Sudan. To mark Unesco's World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April, 1,800 members of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) are preparing a series of pop-up fairs featuring rare books. A mix of presentations, exhibitions, lectures and performances, the events will take place from South Africa to Russia, and New York to Munich, and will raise money for Unesco and actor Forest Whitaker's literacy projects in South Sudan. ILAB president Norbert Donhofer, who came up with the idea for the pop-up fairs last year, said: "The purpose of ILAB's participation … is to spotlight rare books and bookselling while raising money for what is at the very foundation of all we do – literacy."
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Collecting Science Fiction - Karel Čapek and the Origin of the Word Robot

Karel Čapek's Czech play RUR, (Rossum's Universal Robots) is notable for numerous reasons. Written in 1920, the play's commentary on the politics of its day earned its author a spot on the Nazi most-wanted list. RUR details a robot revolution that would overthrow the dominant class, humans, and lead to their extinction. Above all, the play is most well known for introducing the world to the word, "robot." In fact, before Čapek's play, what we think of as robots were mainly called "androids" or "automatons," with "automaton" meaning a self-operating machine. In Czech, "robota" translates to "forced labor." It's associated with the type of work done by serfs during the feudal ages.
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