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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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“The most agreeable servants of civilization” – Booksellers and librarians in a changing world

United by the love of books: The Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB) and the National Library of Australia will hold a joint conference on 19th and 20th May, 2014, in Canberra. This conference, the first of its kind held in Australia, brings together an impressive group of speakers to explore a variety of topics of particular interest both to rare booksellers and special collections librarians. It aims to enable these professionals to approach their work with greater acumen and understanding, and will afford a valuable opportunity for delegates to meet others with similar problems and interests. While the conference is aimed primarily at those working with rare books, manuscripts and photographs, it also contains much of value to anyone with a passion for our paper-based heritage. The lectures and panel discussions, held by antiquarian booksellers, scholars and librarians and among them Shef Rogers, Michael Treloar, ANZAAB President Jörn Harbeck, Sally Burdon and ILAB President Tom Congalton, focus on a variety of themes such as "The Magic of Books as Objects", "The Printed Image – Aspects of Photography and the Book", "Libraries and the Rare Book Trade", "Behind the Scenes in the Book Trade", and "Library Collections Revealed".
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Sixty Years of Ian Fleming's James Bond

April 13th marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. The book would be the first of twelve Bond novels and two short-story collections that Fleming wrote himself, and the first in a long line of Bond novels by multiple other authors like John Gardner and Raymond Benson.
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ILAB Internship Program 2011 for Students of the Moscow State University of the Printing Arts I

My internship took place from April 25 to May 28 2011. I travelled to Austria, the Netherlands and Hungary. I visited several bookstores such as Antiquariat Norbert Donhofer (Vienna), A. Gerits & Son (Amsterdam), Antiquariaat A. Kok & Zn. B.V. (Amsterdam), Musikantiquariat Ádám Bősze (Budapest), Földvári Antikvarium (Budapest), Központi Antikvárium (Budapest), etc., and also an auction house: Bubb Kuyper (Haarlem, The Netherlands). I managed to interview the current President of ILAB Arnoud Gerits, the President of The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Austria, Norbert Donhofer, the President of the Hungarian Association of the Antiquarian Booksellers, Ádám Bősze, the President of The Dutch Association of Antiquarian Booksellers, Ton Kok, and two Presidents of Honour: Anton Gerits and Michael Steinbach. I worked as a bibliographer and appraiser, took part in the preparations for the London International Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia, and visited an auction. It was a learning process.
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Submissions deadline for 2018 ILAB Breslauer Prize ends in April

The ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography will be awarded again in 2018 and is one of the most prestigious prizes in the field of bibliography.
A prize with longstanding tradition and a strong support for scholarship: The ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, worth US$10,000, is one of the most important prizes in the field of bibliography. Every fourth year it is awarded to a particularly significant reference work within a selection of scholarly books about books.
So far, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers has received 34 submissions of outstanding works.
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Is It More Than “Old Book Smell”?

We all know that aroma. Perhaps it evokes trips to the library as a child, or the cozy ambience of a grandfather's study. It's the distinctive scent of old books. Scientists say that "old book smell" is more than just mustiness; it contains hints of grass and vanilla. That's because all the compounds used to make the book release distinctive odors as they break down. For example, lignin, which is present in all wood-based paper, is closely related to vanillin. As it breaks down, the lignin grants old books that faint vanilla scent.
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Collecting Indigenous Sámi Literature

If you've read anything about Sámi culture or literature recently, it may have been through Vendela Vida's novel Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name: A Novel (2007). While many works of indigenous literature have received international acclaim over the last century, Sámi fiction and poetry has remained relatively obscured from global readership. In case you're not familiar with Sámi history or culture, we can give you a brief background. The Sámi are an indigenous group with geographic ties to the Arctic regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.
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