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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
1 - 8 / 2021

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

1951 - Some Impressions of the 5th ILAB Congress in Brussels

"It is very pleasant on the first day to look around to see who has come from the other national associations; one looks for friends one met in Paris, in London, in Copenhagen." This is the charm of every ILAB Congress. What we call a global network today, has been ILAB's nature from the beginning. You meet old friends and colleagues from all over the world and have the opportunity to establish new friendships and good business relations. It was true for the 5th ILAB Congress in Brussels in 1951, and it will be the same in Switzerland in 2012.
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Book Scouting in Japan - Introduction: The Back Story

Rare book dealer and photography specialist Harper Levine travels through Japan with photographer John Gossage where Harper was welcomed at the airport as the "best book dealer (also best blogger) from East Hampton". Bibliophiles may follow his book scouting traces in Tokyo reading his fabulous blog.
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Bibliofilia e bibliomania - Or: The Fascination of Rare Books and Autographs

Umberto Eco held his "lectio magistralis" about "Bibliofilia e bibliomania" in Turin. Professor Eco himself is "A Bibliophile of huge Ec(h)o", as Umberto Pregliasco has characterized him. In September 2010 he will open the 39th ILAB Congress and 23rd International Book Fair in Bologna with a lecture - a great honour for the League, and a great pleasure for every bibliophile who will have the chance to attend this event.
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Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 5: The Start of the Wakeman Years

The fall of 1988 was a decisive time for the business. Our sales were good but needed to be better. I had to reach a decision on how to grow the business. Should I stay in the books about books field with its relatively limited number of expensive books, branch out into other fields which contained more expensive books, or capitalize on our reputation in this specialized field of books about books and increase the publishing program? History shows that I chose the latter.
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Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 12: Marketing Experiments

Another example of this synergy between the publishing and antiquarian businesses was brought about by an interesting request for bookbinding titles that we received from Marianne Tidcombe, noted English author (though American-born). Marianne told me that she was working on a project to honor Bernard Middleton, the pre-imminent English bookbinder. Important bookbinders around the world would be asked to contribute a gold-tooled binding on a copy of Middleton's memoirs that had been printed by hand by Henry Morris at his Bird & Bull Press. Twenty-five binders would be chosen and they would be paid for their work when (or if) the collection of bindings would be sold. I was asked to help find the binders, plan an Oak Knoll Press title describing this project which would be accompanied by full color plates of the bindings produced, and then sell the collection as a whole if possible, or piecemeal if it could not be sold as a collection. What a combination of antiquarian, new book, and publishing goals!
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Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 11: An International Presence

Back in the US, we published the first in a series of titles written by the New York antiquarian booksellers Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine Stern (Bib. #65) in which they reminiscence about their lengthy experience buying and selling rare books. They wrote with charm and painted vivid portraits of many of the famous collectors and dealers of their day. I had known them for a long time and had even reprinted a series of their catalogues as one of our first publications (Bib. #4). They had proposed me for membership in the ABAA in 1978. Over the years we published five of their titles including New Worlds in Old Books. This excellent book was distributed as a gift by Brigham Young University to all members of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) in tribute to these two fine booksellers. Near the end of their long and productive lives, they submitted a manuscript to us that I felt needed additional work. I called them and talked over my thoughts as gently as I could but my suggested changes were not well received. Much to my regret, they did not talk to me again before they died.
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