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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Rebecca Lawton
Manuscripts

'My year in St. Andrews was one of the best in my life'‘

Published on 03 July 2018
Rebecca Lawton (M.Litt Mediaeval History 2015) has been working on a collection of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts as part of a collaborative PhD between the University of Leicester and the British Library. ILAB would like to share her original blog post to demonstrate the work and research currently taking place in the field of rare books.
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Manuscripts

Germany buys back 1000-Year old Liesborn Gospels

Published on 30 Aug. 2017
Printing with movable types was only invented 500 years later, the Liesborn Gospel from the year 980, one of the oldest manuscripts still in private possession has now returned to its original place, the diocese of Münster in Germany after a 3Mill Euro investment by the German state and a number of regional trusts.
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Manuscripts

Video link to "Walking Tour of the Medieval Book Trade in Paris" by Les Enluminures

Published on 15 May 2017
On April 8, 2017, Christopher de Hamel and Sandra Hindman led a "Walking Tour of the Medieval Book Trade in Paris". Setting off from Notre-Dame, the small group of participants had the opportunity to step into the Middle Ages and learn all about the life and practice of illuminators, scribes, printers and binders. In the video - see link below - Les Enluminures presents snippets from the guided tour to discover.
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Manuscripts

Collecting - Famous Manuscripts and the History of Handwriting

Published on 25 Jan. 2016
In the digital age, it is no secret that calligraphy is a dying art. Why work laboriously and imperfectly on something that takes days to cross the country, when the computer will set it in flawless text that can be transmitted instantly? A careful look at the grand history of handwriting is not kind to the craft, either. Some historians consider Gutenberg's press, the very device that liberated us from writing by hand, to be the single most important invention of the second millennium. Not only did it make books more accessible, it gave the works themselves unprecedented longevity. Think of all the masterpieces of antiquity (if you can bear) that were lost to rot and ruin because scribes could only produce a handful of them at a time. Aeschylus wrote some eighty plays, of which only seven survive. Shakespeare may have suffered a similar fate, as a writer who luckily had the printing press to immortalize his works - he leaves us with nearly nothing written by hand.
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Manuscripts

Manuscript Collecting - An Endangered Species

Published on 27 Nov. 2013
I am the owner of Barry R. Levin Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, a firm of rare book dealers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and I was discussing with her the acquisition of a manuscript written by one of her authors. When I say manuscript, I mean the physical artifact — the words on the paper. Manuscripts are the most important literary collectible and over the years my firm has handled many of the major ones, a number of them for award-winning novels. We always try to purchase all notes and drafts, so that the creative process can be traced from the original idea to the final setting-copy. To that end I asked Perkins to make sure that her client included in the final manuscript package the final draft, the setting-copy (this is the manuscript copy sent to publisher from which the publisher's printer sets the type). She told me that the author had submitted his copy on a disk - that no setting-copy was sent to the publisher at all. From the standpoint of collectors, archivists and literary scholars, this has to be the last straw.
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Manuscripts

Rare Books on the Blog - Manuscript Road Trip: Mappa Mundi Wisconsinianae

Published on 11 Nov. 2013
Lisa Fagin Davis is currently serving as Acting Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America. Since 1996 she has been travelling through North America collecting data on the numbers and cataloguing status of pre-1600 manuscripts. Her blog Manuscript Road Trip takes readers on a (virtual) state-by-state tour of manuscripts focusing on less-well-known collections, some of them in very surprising locations. Read her recent blog post
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Manuscripts

50 unseen Rudyard Kipling poems discovered

Published on 26 Feb. 2013
"Kipling scholars are celebrating the publication of lost poems by the author whose exhortations in "If" to "keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you" are regularly voted the nation's favourite poem. Discovered by the American scholar Thomas Pinney in an array of hiding places including family papers, the archive of a former head of the Cunard Line and during renovations at a Manhattan house, more than 50 previously unpublished poems by Rudyard Kipling will be released for the first time next month."
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Christian Hesse - New President of the German Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (VDA)

At the annual meeting on January 27th, 2012, the members of the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VDA) elected a new committee, and a new president: Christian Hesse. Hesse has been a VDA member since 1998 and a Committee member since 2008. As President he follows Eberhard Köstler, who will be his Vice-President for the next two years. The other new elected members of the VDA Committee are Meinhard Knigge (Hamburg) as Treasurer, and Wolfgang Mecklenburg (Berlin) and Ulrich Hobbeling (Münster).
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Article

Literary Property Changing Hands: The Peyraud Collection

The Paula Peyraud Collection was considered the "largest collection in private hands of books, manuscripts, and images associated with the Georgian period (1760–1820)". It included rare first editions of Samuel Johnson, Jane Austen, and Fanny Burney. The collection, formed by the librarian Paula Peyraud, was auctioned at Bloomsbury's in May 2009. Maureen E. Mulvihill, of the Princeton Research Forum, takes a post-auction view at the lots and their bidders, and tells the story of the "Dark Lady of Rare Book Collectors: Paula Fentress Peyraud (NY, 1947–2008)".
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Booksellers

Karl Hartung died in Munich (Germany), aged 98

On Friday, 26th October 2012, Karl Hartung died peacefully at the age of 98. He was the oldest member of the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VDA), and he was the ideal and guide for generations of younger colleagues. In many ways Karl Hartung was one of the most distinguished personalities of our profession and one of the oldest active professional booksellers in the world. Until the end, he was not only mentally alert, but funny, charming and almost omniscient.
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Article

La Bibliophilie in France - Part 3 of 3 & The ILAB Breslauer Prize For Bibliography

Following on from the Paris International Antiquarian Book Fair 2018, we would like to present some outstanding French publications that were submitted for the 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography 2018.
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Article

ILAB Pop UP Book Fairs - A Message from ILAB President Norbert Donhofer

ear organizers and visitors of the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs, dear colleagues and friends, It is now less than 36 hours before the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs will start in Australia, and some thirty Pop Up fairs will follow around the globe before this event ends on the west coast of the United States. I take this opportunity to thank you very much indeed for joining us on April 23, 2015. You have created some unbelievable and impressive ideas to celebrate this day: from a woolshed in Dunkeld to a boat, shipping along the "Grachten" of Amsterdam, a whole street in Groningen, and a Brew-Pub in Portland, Oregon, and so many more brilliant ideas! There are two main reasons why ILAB had invented this series of Pop Up Fairs on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day: one reason is that we have the feeling that we have to show our profession to the public, to make antiquarian bookselling more visible! I would therefore ask you to talk to as many people as possible, distribute catalogues, and tell the public about rare, valuable, and second-hand books, maps and prints.
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Article

Salon International du Livre Ancien, Paris 2011

From manuscripts to avant-garde, from a letter by François I to the drafts of Marcel Proust, from a 13th century psalm book to a futurist manifesto, dealers and collectors will browse the shelves of more than 150 antiquarian booksellers with thousands of stunningly diverse documents. Around 20.000 book fair visitors will meander through the Grand Palais and discover first editions, precious bindings, travel accounts, old and modern prints and photographies, handwritten letters and documents by artists, politicians and scientists, scores of famous musicians, treatises on medicine, astronomy, philosophy and other milestones in the history of science alongside with fine illustrated books, modern art and beautiful children's books.
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