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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Book Fairs

FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS! - Melbourne Rare Book Week, July 16 to 26, 2015

Published on 26 June 2015
Once again, Melburnians, Victorians and interstate visitors will be drawn to Melbourne for a week full of interesting, amazing and outstanding events dedicated exclusively to the wonderful world of rare books and book collecting. Melbourne Rare Book Week commenced in 2012 as a partnership between the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB), the University of Melbourne and eight other literary institutions. In 2014, over 40 free events were held at libraries, literary and historical societies and bookshops throughout Melbourne, attracting local, national and international visitors. Now in its fourth year, Melbourne Rare Book Week is well established in the City of Melbourne's event calendar. It is a major attraction for book collectors, librarians and all who have a love of words, print on paper and literary heritage.
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Book Fairs

London International Antiquarian Book Fair, 28th to 30th May 2015

Published on 27 May 2015
From May 28th to 30th the halls of Olympia will once again present an unparalleled array of literary material at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair. Now in its 58th 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. From medieval manuscripts to modern signed first editions, visitors hold history in their hands as they view and buy museum-quality books, maps, prints, photographs, manuscripts, letters, ephemera and original artwork. With prices ranging from a few pounds to many, thousands there is something for everyone here.
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Book Fairs

Glub

Published on 15 April 2015
In the week leading up to this year's New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, and its two "shadow" fairs, I'd been in a state of preternatural excitement. Two promoters - Marvin Getman of Impact Events Group and John and Tina Bruno of Flamingo Eventz – were going head to head for supremacy in the satellite book fair market. First Getman crashed the Bruno's turf by scheduling a rival New York shadow show, then the Brunos trumped Getman by moving their shadow show to a new location just across Lexington Ave. from the big show at the Park Avenue Armory. Cold war ensued. It began to get nasty, and I became increasingly excited by the steady stream of blog fodder. There could not be two more different promoters – in terms of personality, management style, and business practices – than Getman and the Brunos. By last Friday night I'd half convinced myself that their collision would result in a black hole of such magnitude that the entire trade would be sucked behind an unbreachable event horizon, allowing us all to go home and rake our lawns. But something else happened. Or maybe I should say nothing happened.
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Book Fairs

That's Why I Love My Job ... – New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, 9-12 April 2015

Published on 07 April 2015
Okay. Hang on to your hats. Here comes the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, presented by the ABAA. This is the Big Leagues, baby. The World Series of Book. From Thursday night through Sunday afternoon at the Park Avenue Armory, we'll be keeping company with some of the world's finest books and manuscripts – mind-bogglingly rare and valuable items - sought by collectors of inestimable wealth (those unspeakably rich folks obvious to all but known by name only to Bill Reese, Don Heald, and their Continental cohorts); representatives of Institutions of Higher Learning whose annual budgets exceed those of many African nations; young men and women of good breeding who've attended the right schools and have decided to invest family millions in ruinous antiquarian ecstasy; smiling auctioneers and avaricious dealers cruising the floor like so many leopards, attended by their pimps and minions; suave counter monkeys contentedly grooming themselves, waiting for their chance; bloated industrialists, technocrats, and financial guys for whom "to want" = "to have," and their pimps and minions.
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Book Fairs

3rd Milan International Antiquarian Book Fair, 27-29 March 2015

Published on 23 March 2015
For the third time antiquarian booksellers and collectors will meet at the Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan from Friday 27 March to Sunday 29 March to celebrate the Milan International Antiquarian Book Fair. The fair will be officially opened on Friday 5.30 pm in the presence of the great bibliophile, author and scholar Umberto Eco. Organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Italy (ALAI) and supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) this high class event will attract bibliophiles, traders, journalists, collectors, intellectuals and many curious to come to Milan and to enjoy three wonderful days of browsing the shelves and exploring the fascinating world of the rare book. All the variety which has been brought up through five centuries of printing will be showcased: from incunabula and milestones of 16th and 17th century printing to modern artists books, from mediaval manuscripts to handwritten letters and documents by famous authors, artists and scientists, from children's books to natural history works to modern first editions to avant-garde.
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Book Fairs

New York Rare Book Week – 7-15 April 2015

Published on 17 March 2015
It is the largest gathering of its kind anywhere in the world. Now for the second time antiquarian book dealers, collectors, and the intellectually curious will gather in New York City for Rare Book Week from 7 to 15 April 2015. Rare Book Week - a coordinated effort to focus attention on the antiquarian book fairs, auctions, exhibitions, and bookish browsing available in New York City – is headlined by the 55th annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair.
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Book Fairs

50th Anniversary of ABAJ - Tokyo International Antiquarian Book Fair 2015

Published on 02 March 2015
It's time to celebrate! On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Japan (ABAJ) will be hosting an International Antiquarian Book Fair in Tokyo from 5 to 7 March 2015 at the Grand Palace Hotel in Tokyo. Some 20 dealers from Europe and the United States and around 25 dealers from Japan will show rare and beautiful books, maps and manuscripts highlighting the amazing history of printing in Asia and the Western world. A 350 page, richly illustrated book fair catalogue gives an overview over the most exciting items for sale.
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Book Fairs

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - San Francisco on the Soviet Stage

Published on 30 Jan. 2015
Next week Simon Beattie will be exhibiting at the 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair from 6-8 February, 2015, in Oakland. This week he shows us a most extraordinary books from his main field of interest: the cultural relations between the English-speaking world and Europe, especially Germany and Russia. This item - for sale at the California fair - shows a very special relation between Russia, Europa and California.
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Book Fairs

Jimi Hendrix’s Delinquent Bar Tab – 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, 6-8 February 2015

Published on 29 Jan. 2015
The world's preeminent celebration of the written and printed word returns to Northern California at a new venue in downtown Oakland. The 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair will run from Friday, February 6 through Sunday, February 8, 2015 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), the three-day event is the world's largest antiquarian book fair with 200 booksellers from the United States and around the globe. The annual fair features a rich selection of books, manuscripts, maps and other printed materials, including incunabula, literature from all centuries and nationalities, fine bindings, children's and illustrated books, ephemera, and antiquarian books on dozens of topics – from Jimi Hendrix's delinquent bar tab to the first English-Language Sex Manual, a 19th Century 3-D children's book, a lock of Franz Liszt's hair from 1884 and handwritten letters by Charles Bukowski.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Jean-Henri Fabre: the man who loved bugs

Jean-Henri Fabre loved to study bugs as a boy. He grew up poor in the south of France, gained a teaching certificate at age 19, and went on to become a physicist, chemist and botanist. But, he always came back to the insects. Small wonder that he became a noted entomologist. Indeed, he is considered the father of modern entomology.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - John Bunyan

Which book, along with the Bible, is the most widely read in the English language? John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, , a sweeping allegorical tale that takes the protagonist (an everyman named Christian) from the road to perdition to the feet of the Lord. Bunyan's use of simple imagery (taken from his Bedfordshire homeland north of London) gives the book its wide appeal. It was reprinted in the Puritan colonies and distributed throughout colonial America only three years after its initial publication.
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Article

How to Identify First Editions from G.P. Putnam's Sons

Since its inception in 1838, G.P. Putnam's Sons have grown into one of the most respected - and controversial - publishing houses in the United States. In 1996, the publishing house became an imprint of the Penguin Group and continues to publish the works of outstanding authors of both fiction and non-fiction.
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Congress

1947-1949 Conferences

From a Special Correspondent
In 1906 Frank Karslake, a second-hand bookseller, called a few colleagues together and founded the Secondhand Booksellers' Association. It was the first organization of its kind in the world; but its ambitions and scope were modest. The annual subscription was one shilling, and beyond the obligation to exchange information on bad debtors and book thieves no one seemed at all clear what its purpose was to be.Tardily other countries followed the British example and, by the time the Second World War ended, there were associations in France, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Finland. Many of the countries concerned endured the rigours of enemy occupation; all had after war problems, not the least of which was the treatment of members who had collaborated with the enemy. But there were also problems of exchange control and the regulation of imports and exports, which were new to most European countries. In 1947, therefore, the Dutch association took the initiative by approaching the British, as the senior body, with the suggestion that an international conference should be called, that invitations should be extended to all those countries in which an Association of Antiquarian Booksellers existed, and that delegates should submit the many problems that beset them to a general discussion. The Dutch offered the conference a home in Amsterdam and, in September, 1947, the representatives of nine countries gathered, under the chairmanship of the British president, for the first international conference ever held by the antiquarian book trade. The delegates were unanimous in their desire for the formation of an international body and the British association – the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (International) – was entrusted with the task of calling together the presidents of the respective associations to draft a constitution.
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