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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Book Fairs

38th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair - November 14-16, 2014

From Copenhagen to Chelsea (London) to Toronto to Boston: Collectors and dealers will be traveling a lot during the next two weeks. After the International Antiquarian Book Fairs in Copenhagen (6-8 November), Chelsea (7-8 November) and Toronto (7-9 November), booklover will celebrate their annual fall gathering in Boston. A record-breaking 134 dealers from the United States, England, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Russia and The Netherlands will exhibit at the 38th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair at Hynes Convention Center from 14 to 16 November, 2014. There will be 15 first-time dealers and 27 international dealers at this year's show, bringing a wide and diverse selection of items of interest to the serious collector or the curious shopper, including rare, collectible and antiquarian books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, modern first editions, photographs, fine and decorative prints.
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Book Fairs

Friendly, stylish, hip – Chelsea has it all! Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair, November 7-8, 2014

Warmer than Boston, more intimate and less formal than most other antiquarian book fairs, friendly, stylish, hip – Chelsea has it all! Over its life, the Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair has become a fixture in the November calendar for book collectors and dealers from Britain, Europe and America. Dealer and collectors love the fair: 'See you at Chelsea' has become a phrase familiar to everyone, not only in the British rare book trade.
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Book Fairs

Scandinavian Antiquarian Book Fair – 6-8 November, 2014, at Copenhagen’s Beautiful Round Tower

In November 2014, professional antiquarian booksellers from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, England, Austria, France, and Hungary will gather in Copenhagen for one of the biggest antiquarian book fairs ever held in Scandinavia. The Danish Antiquarian Booksellers Association, ABF, is excited to be hosting the annual fair, which alternates between Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. Apart from the many books on all subjects and in all price-ranges which will be offered for sale by the antiquarian booksellers, private book collectors will present treasures from their libraries in a number of exhibtions, featuring for example:
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Book Fairs

Antiquarian Book Fairs - Paper Town

It was a beautiful morning, one of the last fine days of the summer, with trees just beginning to turn the corner toward the explosion of colors that precede winter's monotone. But instead of going into the woods, where I know the swamp maples along the brook are already flashing their pinks and deeper reds, I got in my car and drove to Paper Town.
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Book Fairs

Tokyo International Antiquarian Book Fair – 5th to 7th March 2015. Subscribe now!

The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Japan (ABAJ) is pleased to announce the Tokyo International Antiquarian Book Fair 2015. As a celebration of its 50th anniversary, the ABAJ will be holding the International Antiquarian Book Fair in Tokyo from 5th to 7th March, 2015. ABAJ was founded in 1964, the same year of the Tokyo Olympics. Currently, with the hope and excitement towards the 2020 Olympics, the Japanese economy is in an upswing. The venue for the book fair will be the Hotel Grand Palace in Tokyo, which was also the site of the past two ILAB Book Fairs, one of them organized exactly ten years ago on the occasion of ABAJ's 40th anniversary.
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Book Fairs

The Rare Book Trade – Transhumance

What could be more mysterious than the irresistible signals sent by the turning of the seasons? Now the days lengthen as the sun proceeds toward its summer destiny. The lilac has come into bloom and faded. The shad bush has leafed out. Alewives struggle upstream, and elvers wriggle down to the sea. The IRS has been paid, the soldiers honored, and the peas planted. Like a salamander crawling out of the muck, I obey nature's call and head north – part of a transhumance that has been taking place since the beginning of bookseller chronicles. It's time for another New Hampshire book fair.
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Book Fairs

Scandinavian Antiquarian Book Fair – 6-8 November, 2014, at Copenhagen’s Beautiful Round Tower

It is with great pleasure that the Danish Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABF) will host the Scandinavian Antiquarian Book Fair from 6th to 8th November 2014. As in 2011, we have once again been fortunate enough to host this event in the beautiful, old Library Hall of Copenhagen's Round Tower, which constitutes a unique setting for this weekend of celebrating the book. The last antiquarian book fair in Copenhagen in 2011 turned out to be a great success, not only due to the unprecedented number of exhibitors from all over Europe and the large number of visitors, but also due to the interesting exhibitions of private collections and several workshops, in which some of Denmark's best book binders, paper restorers, and paper artists were presenting their works in progress.
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Book Fairs

The London Book Fair Week 2014

Who invented the antiquarian book fair? In 1958 the first book fair worldwide offering rare and beautiful books, prints and manuscripts was held in London at the National Book League in Albemarle Street from 6th to 21st June, organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ABA). Now in its 57th year, the London International Antiquarian Book Fair is not only the oldest, but one of the biggest and most important events of the rare book trade. With over 180 leading antiquarian book dealers from across the globe exhibiting rare treasures from the early days of printing up to highly collectible modern first editions, children's and illustrated books, precious bindings, autograph letters, prints, photographs, manuscripts, ephemera and original art works spanning the centuries, with prices ranging from the accessible £10 to half a million – it is the place to be for book collectors. Whatever you collect, whatever your subject, curiosity or indulgence, you will find something to capture your imagination and interest at the International Antiquarian Book Fair at National Hall, Olympia - and not only there. A series of book fairs will be held in London at the end of May. This is a short summary of all the fairs, with links to the official websites.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

ILAB History

1971-1980

Established in 1966, the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Canada (ABAC) or Association de la Librairie Ancienne du Canada (ALAC) became an ILAB member at the Paris Presidents’ Meeting in 1970. Australia followed eight years later. The Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB), created in 1977, belongs to the League since 1978.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - ‘A shameless libertine’ (Casanova)

Although perhaps largely forgotten now, Giambattista Casti (1724–1803), Salieri's favoured librettist in Vienna in the 1780s, was notorious in his day, with a reputation for syphilis - Pushkin later wrote of the 'noseless Casti' in his lyric 'K vel'mozhe' ('To a Grandee', 1830) - and 'for writing witty, salacious satires, as a sort of obscene, Italian Voltaire.
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Article

Christmas and The Private Library, Part 1

The literature of Christmas is vast, and any book collector seeking to create a Christmas-themed private library quickly realizes that difficult choices have to be made. Does one collect everything written about or influenced by this holiday? Does one focus only on non fiction books (origins, evolution, secular or religious aspects), fiction (not all of which is cheery), or both? Does one collect such books as a stand-alone theme, or as an adjunct to other collecting areas (folklore, religion, industrialization, childhood, illustration)? - This is a literary Christmas present by L. D. Mitchell and his famous blog The Private Library.
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Booksellers

Like "the library labyrinthe in Eco’s “The Name of the Rose" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 3

Peter B. Howard bears a remarkable resemblance to the crotchety old bookseller in Michael Ende's The Never Ending Story - "Your books, are safe, my books are real" - and his premises are probably the closest I've seen to those in the library labyrinthe in the filmed version of Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose," although I have yet to encounter any arsenic-laced incunabula except, perhaps, from the tongue of the proprietor. And Serendipity is the operative word for both the premises; in their vast inventories and ever changing denizens. The minotaur himself and his long suffering assistant, Nancy Kosenka, are the only two constants in this ever evolving and serendipitous landscape. And those premises are a bit like the various lands of Oz, although not nearly as neatly ordered and likely full of a lot more surprises.
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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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