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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Provenance Symposium
Booksellers

ILAB Provenance Symposium now available to view online

Published on 10 April 2019
Today marks the 1st International Provenance Research Day with more than 60 cultural institutions in Germany, Great Britain, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland organizing large number of symposiums and workshops at museums, archives and libraries.  Coinciding with this important initiative, ILAB launches the videos of the New York Provenance Symposium.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

REUTERS.COM - 1,800 Rare Booksellers Worldwide Strike a Blow for Literacy

"What do Skype, a film star, literacy problems in South Sudan, and two women dealing in rare books and manuscripts have in common? They are the driving force behind a chain of worldwide events to create a more literate world. This April the booksellers of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) will again celebrate UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day with a chain of events one after another around the world. Organising a chain of worldwide events is not easy as Australian Sally Burdon and German Barbara van Benthem, both members of ILAB, have found, particularly as they live 16,285 kilometres apart and all the organisation was done by Skype and email. Not easy, but it can be done!"
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Is "Flat Signed" Better?

This (or a variant of it) is probably the most often asked question I hear. What I'm talking about is, of course, whether it is better to buy a book (or get it autographed by the author) with just a signature alone or whether it is better to have it with a personalized inscription.
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Booksellers

In Memoriam Mitsuo Nitta, ILAB Member of Honour

I was deeply saddened to learn that Mitsuo Nitta, President of Honor of the ABAJ, Member of Honor of ILAB, CEO at Yushodo Ltd., former Chair of the ILAB-Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, legendary bookseller and friend to so many of us, has passed away on October 27 of 2015. Mitsuo Nitta played a leading role in developing antiquarian bookselling not only in Japan but also in the surrounding countries like Korea and China, and he had been teacher and friend for generations of younger booksellers. His role in spreading out ILAB's device "Amor Librorum nos unit" in East-Asia cannot be underestimated. Since my first meeting with Mitsuo Nitta back in 1988 during the Congress in Paris, we had been in constant contact, and I will always remember countless discussions about ILAB with him, the last one – alas - only earlier this year in Tokyo.
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A PhD on the history of ILAB! Congratulations to Alena Lavrenova!

Friday, 12th December 2014 was a great day for ILAB – and for Alena Lavrenova. On this day her thesis on the history of ILAB was publicly defended at Moscow State University of Printing Arts. The decision of the Council was positive and unanimous, it included a recommendation to further work in this field and to publish a monograph on the League's history in Russian and in English.
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Article

Sweet Home Chicago: A Literary Tour of the Windy City

Though often referred to as the Second City, Chicago is second to none in terms of its rich cultural heritage, iconic architecture, sports fandom, and inventive takes on comfort food staples like the pizza hotdog and the red hot. But The Windy City is also home to a literary tradition rivaled by very few cities across the country, with some of America's most renowned writers calling Chicago their home ...
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Article

Dictionaries - Surveying the Territory

No one has ever compiled a complete catalogue of all of the world's reference books, and the task won't be easy. Not all the world's libraries have been catalogued; not all the library catalogues are available in electronic form; not all the electronic catalogues can be searched from a central location. And sometimes the query is too much for the catalogue. The Library of Congress Online Catalog, when asked to display all its holdings with the word dictionary in the title, comes back with an error message: "Your search retrieved more records than can be displayed. Only the first 10,000 will be shown." The same thing happens when you search for encyclopedia.
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