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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Book Fairs

The Joy of Collecting at the International Rare Book & Autograph Fair in Paris 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200 exhibitors and over 20.000 visitors each year who enjoy the opportunity to browse, buy and admire more than 100.000 historical documents – rare books, manuscripts, autographs, prints and ephemera from all centuries – in the elegant glass-domed hall of the Grand Palais.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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Book Fairs

Yogurt – A California Book Fair Review

There wasn't much trouble with anything this trip. ABAA's SoCal Bookfair Committee and White Rain Promotions orchestrated a nearly flawless event, right down to the spacious and well stocked dealer's lounge, lunch during setup, and a catchy, slightly goofy "Alice in (book)Wonderland" theme, not to mention polite, efficient, and omnipresent security, wide aisles, and excellent lighting. And if crowds seemed a little thin and lackluster (they were) we could blame it on the extraordinarily warm and sunny weather. There can be no greater pleasure on this earth than walking to work hoping not to get too hot and receiving a phone call from your kids back in Massachusetts complaining of sub zero temperatures and snow shoveling tasks.
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Book Fairs

A Wonderland of Books, Indeed! Happy 184th Birthday, Mr. Dodgson!

One of my most favorite Children's writers of all time was born on the 27th of January, 1832. Scratch that – one of my most favorite writers, period, was born on the 27th of January, 1832. Many critics of great literature have commented on the fact that one of the most lasting kinds of literature is the kind that speaks to both children AND adults – writers whose works you can read when you are both 5 and 75 and learn something equally important at both of these starkly different ages. It is my super humble (though really awesome) opinion that the writer we honor today, on what would be his 184th birthday, is one of those writers. It is perhaps also appropriate that we honor his memory, as in less than a month there will be an ABAA Fair in Pasadena named after some of his most well-known work.
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Book Fairs

A Portrait of the Bookseller as a Young Man and Woman - A Photography Exhibition at the 55th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair

The Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair is one of the oldest fairs of this kind worldwide. Founded in 1962 and shortly after the first antiquarian book fair in London, it now looks back to 55 successful years of existence. Exactly thirty years ago, an exciting experiment – a mixture between art performance and historical documentation – took place at the Stuttgart Fair. In 1985, the German photographer Joachim W. Siener set up a photo studio at the fair, and among all the books and business he took portraits of all the 80 exhibitors during the four book fair days. Siener used a special high-format technique of time exposure which had been developed by the photographers of the 1920s with the effect that the pictures have a high artistic quality. They look vivid and "out of life" – like movie stills.
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Book Fairs

55th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair, 29–31 January 2016

The most expensive book at the fair is to be found at Heribert Tenschert's stand. It is a chivalric epos for € 2 400 000: Wirnt von Grafenberg, »Wigolois mit dem Rade«. This is one of the last manuscripts of a Middle High German chivalric epos in private hands. It is also one of only two illustrated manuscripts of this important text, and by far the more complete one. It stems from the Fürstenberg Collection of Donaueschingen and is an illuminated manuscript on paper with 31 large or full-page miniatures from the scriptorium of Diebold Lauber, and can be dated before 1418.
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Book Fairs

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

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

49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, 12-14 February 2016

From February 12 to 14, 2016, thousands of book lovers, rare book dealers, and scholars will converge at the Pasadena Convention Center for the 49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair. Recognized as one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the Book Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, photographs and more. The 2016 edition of the Book Fair will also include a special exhibit marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
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Book Fairs

My New Business Plan

In days of old, it is said, herds of buffalo stretched twenty-five miles across the great plains of America; flocks of carrier pigeons darkened the sky for hours as they flew past. That's the way it was, more or less, last Friday at the opening of the 39th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair. The enormous opening-night line stretched all the way up the spacious Hynes lobby and into the rotunda adjacent to the Prudential shopping mall.
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Book Fairs

Books – Gone With the Wind

Always in these days when the antiquarian book fairs in Boston, Chelsea, Sydney, Toronto or in California, New York, Paris, Milan and London open their doors to visitors I remember the day when I lost my books. Have you ever made this experience? Have you ever attended an antiquarian book fair without your books? Empty shelves for sale? I'm a retired antiquarian bookseller of over 40 years standing. I think I have seen most of what this curious profession has to offer: the interesting and the boring, the delightful and the dreadful, the amusing and the saddening. Most of all, I have seen a lot of strange and curious events, and I am about to relate one of the most curious here.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Report from the 2008 Grand Palais Paris Bookfair

Some 157 bookdealers (a third from outside France) and 30 print sellers were present at the fair. The Grand Palais location with its vast volumes and excellent natural light, presented almost ideal conditions for both exhibitors and visitors: 3m deep booths and wide alleys with rest areas, a concert area (with thrice daily chamber music concerts), a conference room, various displays (bindings and photographs) and demonstrations (restoration, binding and copper plate printing); and a spectacular exhibition by this year's guest library, the Bibiotheque Nationale de France.
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Article

Law Books: History & Connoisseurship - Summer Course, Rare Book School at the University of Virginia

Greetings from Rare Book School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia! This summer Rare Book School is excited to offer a course designed specifically for law librarians and scholars and collectors interested in law books. Law Books: History & Connoisseurship surveys printed and manuscript legal materials in Anglo-American, European, and Latin American Law. Taught by Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian at the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School, this course introduces students to legal bibliography and curation and instructs students on how focused, useful collections of law books are built. Students will explore the production and distribution of law books, the philosophy and techniques of collecting, and will develop bibliographical tools through hands-on laboratory sessions. This course will be taught in New Haven, Connecticut during the week of July 28–August 1.
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Article

What Future For Rare Books ?

The anticipated death of the book is not a new phenomena. We recall that the book published in 1967 by the Canadian Marshall MacLuhan under the title "The Gutenberg Galaxy" dealt with this matter. Over the years we have seen that the electronic revolution has not really had the effect it had been predicted to have. We may also recall the cover of a magazine which appeared in the '90s and which referred to the answer of Gutenberg to MacLuhan in the form of an arm gesture of extreme vulgarity. Desktop Publishing did not finally kill the published book. It simply vulgarised the publishing proces. For us who are interested in the book as such, we feel that the aesthetics of the book may have suffered but not its productions in terms of quantity.
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Article

Where Frank Lloyd Wright and Carl Sandburg had drinks – An ILAB Pop Up Fair at the Cliff Dwellers Club on top of Chicago!

"Sweet home Chicago" is worth visiting for many reasons: Chicago between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, technology, telecommunications, and transportation with O'Hare International Airport being the busiest airport in the world.
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Article

London International Antiquarian Book Fair, 26th to 28th 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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Article

From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg – Highlights of the First International Antiquarian Bookfair in Budapest

From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg is the motto of the first ever ILAB International Antiquarian Exhibition and Fair in Budapest, which is held on 24 and 25 September, following the 42nd Congress of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) from 19 to 23 September. Over a hundred booksellers from across the world will be welcomed to the bi-annual congress, exhibitors from Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Japan and of course, Hungary are expected to display most rare and most beautiful books and manuscripts at the succeeding International Antiquarian Book Fair. The items on display at the Vigadó target collectors with different interests and economic possibilities, and guarantee the active participation of international collectors.
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