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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Early Printing

History of Printing in Austria - Druckfrisch. Der Innsbrucker Wagner-Verlag und der Buchdruck in Tirol

Published on 04 June 2014
375 years ago Michael Wagner, a printer from Augsburg in Germany, founded a publishing house in Innsbruck, Austria, which is still existing today: Universitätsverlag Wagner. To celebrate the 375th anniversary of the publisher the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum has organized an impressive exhibition from 13th June to 26th October, 2014, accompanied by an attractive programme with lectures, concerts, guided tours, a children's workshop, and a conference with leading Austrian and international scholars and scientists, among them ILAB Patron of Honour Murray G. Hall.
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Early Printing

A Brief History of Broadsides

Published on 07 June 2013
Samuel F Haven, former librarian for the American Antiquarian Society, presided over one of the largest collections of broadsides in the world. Historians and rare book collectors alike cherish broadsides because they offer snapshots of moments in time, helping us to understand the zeitgeist of that era. Broadsides make ideal complements to a rare book collection, granting the collection greater depth and context.
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Early Printing

The 15th Century Equivalent of Your Cat Walking on Your Keyboard

Published on 26 Feb. 2013
"The 15th century equivalent of your cat walking on your keyboard", writes Rebecca J. Rosen, senior associate editor at The Atlantic, are ink pawprints in early printed books. "For cat owners, the scene is too familiar: You sit down to finally (finally!) get some work done, and along comes kitty, here to stroll across your keyboard." During the 15th century the ancestors of our beloved kitties walked across - incunabula. What is a big disgrace (or humiliation) for every serious collector, is nothing more than an everyday occurrence for cat lovers.
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Early Printing

Early Engraver Played His Cards Right

Published on 08 Nov. 2012
The "Meister der Spielkarten", or "The Master of the Playing Cards" is known only through the 106 engravings that have been attributed to him, including the set of playing cards that he is named for. The term "master" is reserved for someone who has completed an apprenticeship and ran his own workshop, teaching apprentices. His presumed students are also unknown but have similar names, such as "The Master of the Nuremberg Passion", "The Master of 1446", and "The Master of the Banderoles".
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Early Printing

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Johann Froben and The Private Library

Published on 11 Jan. 2012
"He was the soul of honesty himself, and slow to think evil of others; so that he was often taken in. Of envy and jealousy he knew as little as the blind do of colour. He was swift to forgive and to forget even serious injuries ... He was enthusiastic for good learning, and felt his work to be his own reward. It was delightful to see him with the first pages of some new book in his hands, some author of whom he approved. His face was radiant with pleasure, and you might have supposed that he had already received a large return of profit. The excellence of his work would bear comparison with that of the best printers of Venice and Rome." (Erasmus)
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

9th Australian and New Zealand Rare Books Summer School – 10th to 14th February 2014

Another exciting event down under: The State Library of Victoria announces the schedule of the 9th Australian and New Zealand Rare Books Summer School to be held at the library from 10th to 14th February, 2014. The program includes lectures and courses on books on architecture and design, natural history illustration, and private presses.
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Article

Can Your Kindle Do This?

John Ledyard is a strange and fascinating American original. In 1772 he attended Eleazer Wheelock's Indian School, which would later become Dartmouth College. Unhappy there, he went off with the Indians. When spring rolled around he built himself an Indian-style dugout canoe, threw a bearskin around his shoulders, and sailed down the Connecticut River to his people in Hartford. Several adventures later he accompanied Captain Cook on this third voyage and was present when Cook was killed in the Sandwich Islands.
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ILAB History

Percy H. Muir

As I sat, or stood, on the platform in Amsterdam in 1947, presiding over the first ever international meeting of antiquarian booksellers, I often wondered just how far the enthusiasm displayed by those present was shared by members of their respective associations.
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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

Fraktur and The Private Library

In Germany books written in "Fraktur" are hard to sell, because especially young people are not used to read it. Often called "old German typography" the typical "Fraktur" is found in German books of the late 19th and early 20th century, mostly common literature and popular non-fiction, printed in a large number of copies. From L.D. Mitchell we learn that there is another kind of "Fraktur", very rare and worth collecting.
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Article

London International Antiquarian Book Fair, 22nd to 24th May 2014

For three days in May (22nd to 24th) the airy halls of Olympia will once again play host to the London International Antiquarian Book Fair. Now in its 57th year, the Fair is presented and managed by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ABA), in collaboration with the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). The highlight of the year for book lovers and collectors, this major event brings together over 180 leading dealers from across the globe, offering thousands of rare, unusual and unique items. From the seasoned first-edition fanatic to the novice visitor there's something for everyone here.
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