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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Book Fairs

Bouquinistes at an ILAB fair - a contradiction? NON!

Published on 28 March 2017
Since the days of Renaissance, open air bookselling has happened along the Seine riverbanks. Tourist souvenirs aside, a bouquiniste find was often the beginning of a lifelong passion and first piece in a collection. Plying their trade on the famous banks of the Seine, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1991, the bouquinistes des quais are as emblematic of the French capital as the Eiffel Tower or Montmartre for the millions of French and foreign tourists who visit Paris every year.
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Book Fairs

The Paris International Rare Book & Fine Art Fair - A Major Event in the World of Rare Books

Published on 16 March 2017
The Paris International Rare Book Fair will be held from 7 - 9 April 2017, this year in collaboration with the National Chamber of Experts (C.N.E.S.) and again under the high patronage of Mr François Hollande, President of the French Republic. This is a wonderful opportunity for the public to visit two fairs "in one": the International Rare Book Fair (organised by SLAM, the French Antiquarian Booksellers Association), and the Fine Art Fair, presented by the National Chamber of Experts, C.N.E.S. on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.
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Book Fairs

What if They Were Right… Whoever They Were? (New York 2017)

Published on 15 March 2017
The life of a journeyman major league book dealer (any one who makes his or her living in the trade as a hunter-gatherer, anyone not named Bill, Jim, Pom, Ed, or Don, or anyone not from the other side of the Atlantic whose shoes are worth more than most of your books)… this journeyman life, I say, is a simple one.
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Book Fairs

From Aldus to Zanichelli - Milan 2017

Published on 02 March 2017
From Aldus to Zanichelli*... ...Italy has always had a flourishing book trade long before the advent of printing. Italy's history is closely linked to the history of the book, whether we look at the trade in manuscripts or the rapid development of printing presses in Renaissance Italy.
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Book Fairs

What keeps you coming back to New York?

Published on 28 Feb. 2017
From March 9-12, 2017 book lovers will find a fascinating treasure trove at the Park Avenue Armory. Over 200 American and international dealers will exhibit at The ABAA New York Antiquarian Book Fair, bringing a vast selection of rare books, maps, manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts and ephemera. The diversity of specialties includes art, medicine, literature, photography, autographs, first editions, Americana, and much more.
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Book Fairs

Derek Walker of McNaughtan's about the new Rare Books Edinburgh Festival

Published on 21 Feb. 2017
Rare Books Edinburgh is a new festival taking place from 20th to 30th March 2017, which brings together ten different institutions and organisations to celebrate book culture, collecting, and the history of the book. The programme includes talks, workshops, and exhibitions, and incorporates the Edinburgh Book Fair, jointly run by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association and the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association. The Edinburgh Book Fair is the largest antiquarian and collectable book fair in Scotland, this year featuring over forty specialist booksellers from around the UK. They will be offering for sale rare and collectable books and printed material of all kinds at a wide variety of price points. The fair will be opened by bestselling author and 'king of tartan noir' Ian Rankin OBE, creator of Inspector Rebus.
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Book Fairs

Välkommen till Stockholm – Welcome to Stockholm!

Published on 20 Feb. 2017
The Swedish Antiquarian Booksellers Association (SVAF) has now announced the dates for the 2017 Stockholm Antiquarian Book Fair. The fair will take place from the 4th to the 5th of March at Stockholm's beautiful Royal Academy of Arts. Twenty-five booksellers from Sweden, Finland and England will exhibit rare books and antiquarian material. The Stockholm fair is also a showcase for some of Sweden's finest bookbinders and publishers.
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Book Fairs

Final report from Stuttgart 2017 - See you again next year from 26 - 28 January 2018!

Published on 06 Feb. 2017
The final report from the 2017 Stuttgart International Antiquarian Book Fair has just been published by the German Booksellers Association VdA (Verband der Antiquare). Ein derart tolles Angebot wie in diesem Jahr hätte es auf der Antiquariatsmesse schon länger nicht mehr gegeben, schwärmte ein Sammler, der gleich bei mehreren Ausstellern fündig geworden war. Ähnlich positiv äußerten sich viele der Besucherinnen und Besucher, die beinahe ebenso zahlreich wie in den Vorjahren durch die Gänge flanierten und die Exponate bewunderten: Autographen studierten, in Erstausgaben blätterten oder über den Erwerb von dekorativer Grafik grübelten.
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Book Fairs

The Bancroft Library, Berkeley in partnership with the 50th California Antiquarian Book Fair 2017

Published on 06 Feb. 2017
This year's California Antiquarian Book Fair will include a special exhibit from The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, which has a long history of collecting the literary fiction of California. We spoke to librarian and curator of the special exhibit, Randal S. Brandt about the library and its collections and why the special exhibit was chosen for this year's California fair.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

John Steinbeck and the Nixon Novel that Never Was

Today we celebrate the birthday of legendary author John Steinbeck. Born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California, Steinbeck would become one of American's most notable authors. Steinbeck established himself as an author in an era when accomplished authors held considerable clout. Thus he one day found himself in a unique position: he held the upcoming United States presidential election in his hands.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Book is the Weapon

I've often been told that the pen (and by extension, the book) is mightier than the sword. But what if the book is the sword? Uwe Wandrey's Kampfreime is a collection of rhymed chants meant for use during the German Student Movement. As far as my research can tell, it is also the first book to be designed as a weapon, and as such is a landmark in book design.
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Article

Booksellers and Libraries - And so to Bod

As part of our ongoing series of exchange visits between booksellers and rare book librarians – our friends and colleagues in the Rare Books and Special Collections Group (RBSCG) of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), a party of ABA members assembled in Oxford in mid November. Old haunts for me – parts of downtown Oxford almost unrecognisable after all these years, but beyond the city centre, up towards St Giles, things virtually unchanged in almost half a century. Still recognisable Oxford 'types' on every corner. Far more young women students nowadays, of course, and far more bicycles (nothing less cool than a cyclist back in the 'sixties – although at least they spared us the silly latex and had far better manners).
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Article

Stolen Rare Books and Maps - Librarian to recount story of ‘map thief’

"In 2006, Western librarian Rob Lopresti was involved in the investigation of the theft of 648 pages that were torn from 102 rare books in Western's Wilson Library. The investigation lasted two years and crossed state lines, finally ending with the conviction of James L. Brubaker, who was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $23,000 in restitution – most of it to Western. The Western Front sat down with Lopresti to talk about the thefts."
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Article

Collecting Raymond Chandler

Chandler's first four novels in fine jackets The Big Sleep (1939), Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The High Window (1942), and The Lady in the Lake (1943), are the book collecting equivalent of big game.
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Article

Extremely Rare Turkey Mill Ream Wrapper Surfaces

Beginning as a cloth fuller, by the early eighteenth century the Turkey Mill had wholly converted to making paper. In 1740 James Whatman assumed tenancy of the mill, enlarged it, and, assisted by famed British printer, John Baskerville, developed a new form of fine quality paper suitable for a greatly expanded range of printing and art work; the paper became the sought-after choice of artists such as J.M.W. Turner and Thomas Gainsborough.
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