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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Elisabeth and Sally Burdon
Booksellers

Interviewed by AbeBooks: "Sisters in antiquarian bookselling: meet Elisabeth and Sally Burdon"

Published on 21 July 2018
Meet Elisabeth (left) and Sally Burdon. A pair of sisters involved in the antiquarian bookselling community and yet operating businesses thousands of miles apart. Elisabeth runs Old Imprints in Portland, Oregon, and is one of the most interesting sellers of ephemera that we know. Sally runs Asia Bookroom in Canberra, Australia, a business that specializes in Asian books, art, and ephemera. Both sell on AbeBooks and we’re thrilled that they partner with us. Sally is also President of ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), so these are two booksellers with much to talk about. They were kind enough to answer our questions about their family, bookselling and much more.
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Obituaries

Michael Park

Published on 21 July 2018
We are deeply saddened to learn that Michael Park, President of ABAC and owner of Greenfield Books in Winnipeg passed away on May 19, 2017. 
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Booksellers

"The best bookstore has one copy of everything in it" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 4

The first time I met Peter Howard, he was being guided to my booth at the Boston Book Fair by Harvey Tucker. His mission was to get possession of a rare book I had brought: H. L. Mencken's first book, Ventures Into Verse. Yes, there was some patter but there was also a kind of bravado, even macho; you could see it in the attitude of his hat and in the sudden way that the patter stopped and Peter got down to business. The old world gentility simply was not his style. It was refreshing even if a bit intimidating at times. Peter was not shy about his intent. The best antiquarian bookstore in the world, he let us know long ago, has one copy of everything in it. And our responsibility as booksellers on the road is to look at every rare book. It all sounds quite Faustian now. But Peter's great curiosity, his own willingness to share and to learn has never been lost on me or anyone close to him. There is always something possible about the most seemingly impossible task. To deny it is to throw down the gauntlet. And you really do not want to find yourself in that position with Peter.
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Article

Hartelijke welkom! Amsterdam International Antiquarian Book & Map Fair by Laurens Hesselink

Those people who love antique books, atlases, old maps, fine prints, manuscripts, first editions and any other versions of the written/printed word, should be in Amsterdam on 30 September and 1 October. After the successful relaunch last year, the most important antiquarian book fair in the Netherlands this year will be held again in the Marriott Hotel.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Black Hawk, Keokuk and the Legends

In 1878, when Chief Thunderwater was 13 years old and not yet a chief, his uncle gave him an extraordinary book, titled The Life and Adventures of Black Hawk: With Sketches of Keokuk, the Sac and Fox Indians, and the Late Black Hawk War.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Space Travel and The Private Library

In 1813, British mathematician William Moore published Treatise on the Motion of Rockets, the first exposition of rocket mechanics based on Newton's Third Law of Motion. But it was not until the early 20th century that this literature really can be said to have properly begun. It has its roots in the work of three men: Hermann Oberth, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Robert Goddard. Each of these pioneers of astronautics appear to have independently developed similar theories about the possibility of rockets escaping earth's gravitational pull, and their earliest expositions of such theories are the core of any private library purporting to cover space travel.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Ring Comes to London

Swimming Rhine maidens, by special permission of H.M. the King of Bavaria – Wagner's "Ring" came to London in 1882. "He planned to open his campaign in London, and visited in October 1881 to inspect the stage at Her Majesty's Theatre, and again in April 1882 with his entire technical staff, just a month before the first performance was to take place. Although the Theatre was in theory ready, it reneged on its contract and it fell to Neumann to arrange everything, from the orchestra and chorus to the advertising (presumably why the flyer here was printed in Leipzig), even the carpets in the foyer."
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Booksellers

In Memoriam Menno Hertzberger (1897 - 1982)

For Menno Hertzberger the addition 'Internationaal' to his firm's name was not just an embellishment: From the very beginning onwards his business was internationally orientated, and it aimed for a wide public of bookcollectors, librarians and fellow-dealers. As early as 1921 Menno held his first auction-sale and he soon became known as an important auctioneer as well. The growth of the firm necessitated a move to larger premises and in 1935 the firm's new address became Keizersgracht 610 in Amsterdam, a large and elegant house along one of the famous canals. Menno Hertzberger, the Father of the League, died in 1986. Bob de Graaf's obituary characterizes him as a truly international antiquarian bookseller and a man with a vision: to unite dealers worldwide under one roof, the ILAB.
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