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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Book Fairs

Under the Auspices of ILAB – International Antiquarian Book Fairs Across the World

Published on 29 July 2016
Over the year and on all continents, there is an exquisite selection of antiquarian book fairs, where book collectors and the world's leading experts share their passion for the printed book and our written heritage. Under the auspices of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and organized by ILAB's member associations amazing book fairs are held in Europe and America, Asia and Australia, from London and Paris to New York and California, Tokyo and Melbourne. The exhibitors are ILAB affiliates who guarantee high professional standards, high quality offers, the authenticity of the books, prints, autographs and ephemera for sale which are exactly described and accurately priced. On all these fairs, officially supported by ILAB, there is more than just the fascination of rare books: Here you can buy with confidence and trust in the expertise of the exhibitors.
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Book Fairs

BUDAPEST 2016 - ILAB CONGRESS & INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR

Published on 16 June 2016
For the first time ever the Hungarian rare book dealers invite colleagues and collectors from across the world to Budapest. The 42nd ILAB Congress and 26th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair from 21 to 25 September 2016 will present Budapest as one of the most beautiful cities and one of the most fascinating book capitals in Europe. Before the first International ILAB Congress and Fair in Budapest in September, we would like you to have a glimpse into its programme. First of all, we have prepared a brief series on the most prestigious libraries of Budapest.
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Book Fairs

Register now! 56th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair, 27-29 January 2017

Published on 31 May 2016
The Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair, established in 1962, is one of the oldest book fairs in Europe. It is held every year in January, and is the very first major rare book event of the year. The German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VDA) invites all ILAB booksellers to participate in the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair, where dealers and collectors from all over the world will meet from Friday, 27 to Sunday 29 January, 2017. Every year, the opening of the international fair season attracts numerous international dealers and potential collectors. The fair committee is very pleased to be able to offer a significant discount to all first-time exhibitors.
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Book Fairs

London International Antiquarian Book Fair, 26th to 28th May 2016

Published on 19 May 2016
From May 26th to 28th the halls of Olympia will once again present an unparalleled array of literary material at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair. Now in its 59th year, this major three-day event is one of the largest and most prestigious antiquarian book fairs in the world, showcasing rare, unique and unusual items from 180 leading UK and international dealers.
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Book Fairs

Amsterdam International Antiquarian Book Fair - Register now!

Published on 11 May 2016
The Dutch Association of Antiquarian book dealers (NVvA) is pleased to announce the Amsterdam International Antiquarian Book Fair to be held on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd October 2016. The newly elected book fair committee has developed a new concept with a new location in the heart of the book-loving city of Amsterdam. You are cordially invited to submit your application to register.
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Book Fairs

Collecting Children’s Books - The Legacy of Ludwig Bemelmans

Published on 09 May 2016
For many small children outside of Europe, their first ideas of Paris come from a children's book, and for them, the heart of the city is a vine-covered old house full of little girls in yellow dresses, the smallest and most important being Madeline. The man behind the first seven Madeline books (the series has since been picked up by his grandson) was Ludwig Bemelmans. Though he published over forty-six books in his lifetime and posthumously, it is for Madeline that he is most fondly remembered.
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Book Fairs

10th Barcelona International Antiquarian Book Fair

Published on 10 March 2016
We are delighted to take advantage of the international scope of the city of Barcelona and the unique opportunity to host this event in El Born, Centre Cultural, a unique public space which offers a living memory of historic artefacts and properties, located in the very heart of the old city. The Spanish book dealers' association, AILA, is making great organizational and media-related efforts to ensure the international acclaim of the Book Fair, which will celebrate Barcelona's Unesco nomination as City of literature.Don't miss this essential event for all bibliophiles and anyone else enthusiastic about old and rare books, literature and creativity.
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Book Fairs

The Joy of Collecting at the International Rare Book & Autograph Fair in Paris 2016

Published on 03 March 2016
he International Rare Book & Autograph Fair at the Grand Palais in Paris is one of the most prestigious fairs in the world, attracting nearly 200 exhibitors and over 20.000 visitors each year who enjoy the opportunity to browse, buy and admire more than 100.000 historical documents – rare books, manuscripts, autographs, prints and ephemera from all centuries – in the elegant glass-domed hall of the Grand Palais. And the Paris Fair is much more: organized by the Syndicat national de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) under the auspices of ILAB and under the high patronage of Mr François Hollande, President of the French Republic, it opens up the whole universe of bibliophily with a series of exhibitions and events introducing French libraries and collections and giving a close insight into the joy of book collecting.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Da Lucca a New York a Lugano. Giuseppe Martini libraio tra Otto e Novecento – A Conference in Lucca in October 2014

From 17th to 18th October 2014 bibliophiles, scholars and rare book dealers will gather in Lucca (Italy) to hold a conference on the life, work and collections of Giuseppe Martini. Guiseppe Martini (1870-1944) was a contemporary of Leo S. Olschki and Ulrico Hoepli. Mario Armanni, the later director of the Libreria Antiquaria Hoepli, called him "l'homo bibliographicus". Martini's library, formed during over thirty years of collecting, was considered to be one of the richest private collections of Italian literature in the world. The Lucca conference in October 2014, officially supported by numerous Italian and international organizations – among them ILAB and the Italian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ALAI) – is dedicated to Giuseppe Martini's extraordinary career and the historical background under which it developed.
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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

Time Travel for Bibliophiles - 54th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair, 23 to 25 January 2015

"It has become trendy to declare the book obsolete in this brave new world of digitalized data rubbish", book historian Reinhard Wittmann declares in the new "Handbook 2015/2016" published by the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VDA). "It may have lost its general function and its social prestige, but it will survive as a historical and artistic object, far beyond its actual content, as a time machine for the aura of times long gone."The German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association would like to invite you on a bibliophilic time voyage on the occasion of the 54th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair from 23rd to 25th January 2015. About 80 leading antiquarian booksellers from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, the USA, Switzerland and the Netherlands will present rare and precious manuscripts, books, autographs and prints from five centuries of book printing and book art. Beautifully illustrated manuscripts, scientific milestones, avant-garde book art, autographs and manuscripts of important scientists and artists, rare first editions of world literature, children's books, artists' books, maps, views, decorative prints and book objects: The fair fascinates by its diversity, from unique little objects to books worth millions, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.
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Article

Hermann Hesse online - First Editions, Autographs Letters, Illustrated Books

Hesse's personal library and his literary remains were divided between the Marbach Archives (Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach) and the Swiss National Library (Berne) in 1964. Links to databases, bibliographies and museums.
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Article

ILAB Internship in London. Part II: Sokol Books Ltd.

First of all, I'd like to mention: Sokol Books is a small London company run by Mr. Christopher Sokol himself, the founder and director, Grant McLean and Brooke Palmieri as his associates. There are also two interns: me and Laura Lebarbey, a young antiquarian bookseller from France. My first task after the London International Antiquarian Book Fair was unpacking and checking all the books together with Laura from France, and, afterwards, putting the books back into the shelves. This gave me a chance to take a closer look at the books (and to take an unplanned fitness exercise).
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Article

From Clay to Clouds – The Evolution of the Catalogue (2000 BC – 21st Century)

Since the beginnings in the second millennium BC, the catalogue has accompanied the history and development of our written heritage. With its complex and at the same time precise concept and structure, the catalogue represents a fundamental ambition which is the origin of science and culture: to name, to describe and to classify the universe. Catalogues allow us to find taxonomies for the elements and all aspects of nature, nomenclatures to identify the stars, and devices to find access to our written heritage, to education and learning as well as to trade and economics and to the printing of books.
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