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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Type & Forme
Booksellers Worldwide

New to ILAB! Speaking to Anke Timmermann of Type & Forme and why rare books matter to a younger generation

Published on 30 May 2019
ILAB spoke to one of the newer members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, Anke Timmermann who jointly owns and runs the business Type & Forme with her partner Mark James: "...the printed book and manuscripts have lost none of their allure in the new millennium, and antiquarian books are arguably even better appreciated in recent years ... Social media, especially Instagram, have brought forth a new generation of bibliophiles..."
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Book Collecting Now Cover

New publication by Chatwin Books (US) looks at today's book collecting

Published on 14 May 2019
Indeed, “Books don’t just furnish a room,” Michael Dirda writes in Browsings. “. . . Digital texts are all well and good, but books on shelves are a presence in your life. As such, they become a part of your day-to-day existence, reminding you, chastising you, calling to you. Plus, book collecting is, hands down, the greatest pastime in the world.”
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Leonardo da Vinci's Library

Leonardo da Vinci: reflected in his library

Published on 06 May 2019
Leonardo da Vinci was a tireless and inquisitive reader. He owned more than 200 books about science and technology as well as literary and religious topics. An exhibition organized by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the Berlin State Library at the Museo Galileo in Florence sheds new light on the intellectual cosmos of the artist, engineer, and philosopher, who remains as fascinating as ever 500 years after his death.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


Madame Guillotine

During the Reign of Terror, large-scale public executions were conducted, including King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, executed in 1793. Thousands were sentenced to the guillotine by the Revolutionary Tribunal, often on little or no grounds - mere suspicion of "crimes against liberty" was reason enough. Death estimates range from 16,000 to 40,000 during this time. The executions were popular entertainment and attracted huge numbers of spectators. A group of female citizens, the tricoteuses ("knitters"), became regulars, functioning as macabre cheerleaders as they watched while knitting. The man most associated with the Terror was Maximilien Robespierre, and as the appetite for executions waned, he was arrested and executed in the manner of those he condemned - by Madame Guillotine.
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Collecting - Your future on the cards

I like things like this: a rare game of divination, published in Graz, Austria, in 1846, which shows the international legacy of Marie-Anne Lenormand, who had died three years before. Marie-Anne Lenormand (1772–1843) was a clairvoyant, publisher, and self-publicist extraordinaire. Orphaned at an early age, she was raised in a Benedictine convent where she first came to believe in her powers of fortune-telling ...
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The Rare Book Trade - Hit Me Again, Please

Thus the inadequacies of the general used book store concept, circa 1980, led to the development of specialties at Ten Pound Island. Thus the failure of those specialties to meet the economic demands of an escalating real estate market drove Ten Pound Island out of the retail trade in 1993. Thus the computer and the fax machine put an end to TPI's flourishing postcard-driven nautical book search operation, which itself - owing to the need for a place to store the thousands of books accumulated in the course of this evolution – put TPI back in the retail business. Thus the rise of the Internet and the degradation in the value of low end maritime books, which had hitherto been Ten Pound Island's stock in trade, resulted in TPIs penultimate exit from the retail trade. Thus the paradoxical combination of rising cost and increased availability of rare books drove TPI into manuscripts, ephemera and documents. Thus the failure of provincial book fairs, which had hitherto been a major source of sales and stock, forced TPI into further dependence upon the Internet and the cultivation of institutional customers. Thus sales at TPI dwindled from thousands of mid range transactions to hundreds of larger ones. Thus the intervals between cash infusions increased. Thus the owner of TPI woke up one morning at 3 am with his hair on fire, recalling theorem #1 and thinking, "I've got to get more low end stuff out there on the market, to fill in the gaps between big hits.
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Books and Bombs - Book City Leipzig on 4th December 1943

The German Book and Writing Museum of the German National Library commemorates the destruction of the Leipzig booksellers' quarter 75 years ago with two projects.
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Leipzig's Reading Girl

Today, 8th March, is International Women's Day. Has it become another PR event, another "hashtag" or does it still mean anything to us? Access to education for women, access to literature, women's rights, equality?
An image comes to mind, "The Reading Girl" by the German painter Henning from the year 1828. Its simplicity and calm has made this artwork stand out and be reproduced many times. It is one of the major attractions of the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts "Bildermuseum".
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Slavery in the French Colonies: Le Code Noir (the Black Code) of 1685

Snippets from a very interesting article by Kelly Buchanan about slavery in the French colonies and the French law which were fixed in "The Black Code" in 1685 and remained in force for 163 years.
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