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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Book Fairs

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

Published on 15 Dec. 2015
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

Published on 10 Dec. 2015
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

Published on 17 Nov. 2015
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

Published on 13 Nov. 2015
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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Book Fairs

The 39th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair Returns to the Hynes Convention Center, November 13-15, 2015

Published on 10 Nov. 2015
The annual fall gathering for booklovers, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, will return to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston's beautiful Back Bay, November 13- 15, 2015. More than 120 dealers from the United States, Australia, England, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, and The Netherlands will exhibit and sell a vast selection of rare, collectible and antiquarian books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, modern first editions, photographs, and fine and decorative prints. Special events at this year's Fair include the Boston debut of the Typewriter Rodeo, a group of poets who create custom poems on vintage typewriters; a talk by Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster, about the 19th century dictionary wars; a behind-the-scenes talk with Marsha Bemko, executive producer of Antiques Roadshow; as well as The Annual Ticknor Society Roundtable, a panel discussion of collectors talking about their collections.
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Book Fairs

Sydney Rare Book Fair, 5-7 November 2015. Officially opened by ILAB/ANZAAB Patron of Honour David Malouf

Published on 04 Nov. 2015
Lovers of rare and collectable books in Sydney are in for a treat this year. The heritage Customs House at Circular Quay, only five minutes from the Sydney Opera House, will host the Sydney Rare Book Fair from Thursday November 5th to Saturday November 7th. Books, manuscripts, maps, prints, photographs and ephemera will be offered for sale by leading dealers from all over Australia.
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Book Fairs

Friendly, stylish, hip - Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair, November 6-7, 2015

Published on 02 Nov. 2015
Warmer than Boston, more intimate and less formal than most other antiquarian book fairs - over its life, the Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair has become a fixture in the November calendar for book collectors which leads book-people from Sydney in Australia to Chelsea in the UK to Toronto in Canada and Boston in the United States. 'See you at Chelsea' has become a phrase familiar to everyone who is fond of books, not only in the British rare book trade.
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Book Fairs

Buch Wien – Book Festival and International Book Fair in Vienna, November 2015

Published on 09 Oct. 2015
From 9th to 15th November 2015 the Austrian capital Vienna will be the final destination for book lovers. With over 450 lectures, discussions, performances – and an International Book Fair – "Buch Wien" will be the greatest Austrian book festival and one of the most important bookish events in Europe. For the first time in 2015, the antiquarian booksellers will be a prominent part of it.
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Book Fairs

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

Published on 17 Sept. 2015
Whether you already have your own personal library or would like to dive into the world of collecting, this is your opportunity to explore the world of books with the leading experts in their fields. Whether you are an experienced or novice book collector, a librarian or an archivist, a scholar or an academic, or are simply interested in books and the book arts in general, this is your chance to find something to your taste. And be sure: If you have once experienced the fascinating feeling of finding a book, you have never thought you were looking for, you will never be able to stop again. Save the dates in your calendar!
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The Art of American Book Cover - Frederick W. Gookin

When trying to learn more about F. W. Gookin, the first few biographical notes I found did not even mention his work as a book cover designer. I thought, "Maybe this Frederick William Gookin (1853–1936) is the wrong one." He was the Buckingham Curator of Japanese Prints at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is described as "a lifelong Chicagoan."
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Article

Bernard M. Rosenthal, Dictionary of Abbreviations

"German and Italian antiquarian booksellers and auctioneers are very fond of using abbreviations in their catalogs, sometimes on a rather lavish scale. This little dictionary, the first one of its kind, may come in handy to help unfamiliar readers.
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Article

Buying Rare and Antiquarian Books in Seoul

If you're traveling to Korea and are considering some rare book shopping, we recommend dedicating at least one full day in Seoul to explore the city's bookstores and rare books market. While most of the antiquarian bookstores specialize in Korean-language texts - in other words, you'll need to know some Korean, either written or verbal, to have a good chance of locating an author you've set out to find - several of the book-buying options in South Korea's capital city also have books written in other East Asian languages, as well as in English and other Western languages. Earlier this year, we spent a week tracking down the best rare book shopping options that the city had to offer.
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Article

Bibliographies - Manuscripts

Online: Codex Sinaiticus - Western Manuscripts to 1500 - Early Manuscripts at Oxford University - Bodleian Library Manuscripts - Hill Monastic Manuscript Library - Dunhuang Project - Dscriptorium - Illumination and Calligraphy
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Article

Rare Books in the Press - A Fond Farewell to Secondhand Bookshops

"'Is this a bookshop?' they would ask. Sometimes the tone was disinterestedly curious ('If it is, can I come in?') but occasionally it had an odd hostility to it. 'Is this a bookshop?'" Secondhand bookshops are a "disappearing species", says Rick Gekoski in The Guardian. Really?
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Article

Rare Books on the Blog - Manuscript Road Trip: Mappa Mundi Wisconsinianae

Lisa Fagin Davis is currently serving as Acting Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America. Since 1996 she has been travelling through North America collecting data on the numbers and cataloguing status of pre-1600 manuscripts. Her blog Manuscript Road Trip takes readers on a (virtual) state-by-state tour of manuscripts focusing on less-well-known collections, some of them in very surprising locations. Read her recent blog post
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