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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Book Fairs

Melbourne Rare Book Week - Looking at the 2017 Programme

Published on 21 June 2017
Since releasing this year's program on 22 May, the response to the line-up of events has been remarkable, with several being booked out very quickly. Melbourne Rare Book Week commenced in 2012 as a partnership between ANZAAB, the University of Melbourne and eight other literary institutions. Over 50 free events are scheduled for the 2017 festival which runs from Friday 30 June to Sunday 9 July.
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Book Fairs

Always something to do in Brussels! - Pierre Coumans on the 2nd Salon du Mont des Arts - Brussels Rare Book & Print Fair 2017

Published on 14 June 2017
Pierre Coumans, Brussels bookseller and owner of Librairie Pierre Coumans, spoke to ILAB about organizing the next Salon du Mont des Arts. Since its inauguration in 2016, the number of exhibitors at the fair has grown to more than fifty European dealers and it provides book collectors and the book trade with the opportunity to enjoy an international book fair in the heart of the Belgian capital, a country with a rich and long history of printed works.
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Book Fairs

Rare Books London - An Interview with ABA Secretary Camilla Szymanowska

Published on 21 April 2017
Rare Books London, the capital's new festival of old and rare books, will bring together booksellers, auctioneers, collectors, readers, experts of various professions all linked to the world of rare and antiquarian books. We spoke to Camilla Szymanowska, Secretary of the British Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) about this exciting new initiative.
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Book Fairs

The book villages of France – Les villages du Livre

Published on 06 April 2017
The Salon du Livre Rare in Paris (7-9 April 2017) has invited a small but special group of ambassadors who are working tirelessly to promote the trade in and the love for rare and antiquarian books. An unusual project but one that could be replicated in other countries and shows the determination of a group of professionals to pass on the knowledge and passion for our profession.
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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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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

In the Press - Breakthrough over 600-year-old mystery manuscript

A breakthrough has been made in attempts to decipher a mysterious 600-year-old manuscript written in an unknown language: The Voynich Manuscript, carbon-dated to the 1400s, was rediscovered in 1912, when the antiquarian bookseller Wilfrid Voynich bought it in Italy as part of a rare book collection. Since then it has defied codebreakers and scientists. Read the full article on BBC News.
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Article

Buchkunst des frühen 20. Jahrhunderts in Deutschland: Interview mit Dr. Jürgen Franssen, Heidelberg (German language)

Die Ausstellung "Wie ein fruchtbarer Regen nach langer Dürre" läuft noch bis Februar 2019 an der Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg.
Vor 100 Jahren kam es in der Buchherstellung und -gestaltung zu zahlreichen Neuanfängen und Wiederentdeckungen, die maßgeblichen Einfluss auf die moderne Typographie hatten. Die Entstehung und Ausprägung der Buchkunstbewegung vor allem in Deutschland in der Zeit um 1900 bis in die 1930er Jahre ist das Thema der Ausstellung.
Die Universität sprach mit Kurator, Dr. Jürgen Franssen.
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Article

Some Thoughts on the Maturing of the Rare Book Market at the Start of the 21st Century

There is far more information available today than ever before about what books are out there, what they are priced, etc. There are also far more books actually available to any given buyer than ever before, and as well there are more potential customers more readily available to dealers than has ever been the case before ...
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Article

The Antiquarian Book Trade - House Calls and Archives

The other things that stopped coming in the door (besides annoying retail time wasters and desperately needed cash), were books. I'd gotten quite used to the steady flow of material that drifted in over the transom, and the house calls that resulted from having a used book shop on a busy street. Indeed, one of the primary functions of my several shops had been to serve as billboards for people who had books to sell. When that was gone, so were they. Rare books are called "rare" because there aren't many of them. Consequently, house calls for rare books generally consist of long journeys to heft and haggle over a single ancient tome, or maybe two or three – hardly ever more than a couple of boxes.
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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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Article

The Importance of Open Shop Antiquarian Bookstores

Michael F. Suarez is Director of Rare Book School (RBS), Professor of English, University Professor, and Honorary Curator of Special Collections at the University of Virginia. He holds four masters degrees (two each in English and theology) and a D.Phil. in English from Oxford. Together with H. R. Woudhuysen he edited the monumental two volume "Oxford Companion to the Book" in 2010. Nigel Beale met Michael Suarez for an interview in Boston:
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