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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Provenance Symposium
Booksellers

ILAB Provenance Symposium now available to view online

Published on 10 April 2019
Today marks the 1st International Provenance Research Day with more than 60 cultural institutions in Germany, Great Britain, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland organizing large number of symposiums and workshops at museums, archives and libraries.  Coinciding with this important initiative, ILAB launches the videos of the New York Provenance Symposium.
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Elisabeth and Sally Burdon
Booksellers

Interviewed by AbeBooks: "Sisters in antiquarian bookselling: meet Elisabeth and Sally Burdon"

Published on 30 April 2018
Meet Elisabeth (left) and Sally Burdon. A pair of sisters involved in the antiquarian bookselling community and yet operating businesses thousands of miles apart. Elisabeth runs Old Imprints in Portland, Oregon, and is one of the most interesting sellers of ephemera that we know. Sally runs Asia Bookroom in Canberra, Australia, a business that specializes in Asian books, art, and ephemera. Both sell on AbeBooks and we’re thrilled that they partner with us. Sally is also President of ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), so these are two booksellers with much to talk about. They were kind enough to answer our questions about their family, bookselling and much more.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Encyclopaedias

Encyclopaedia Britannica
The biggest and best online Encyclopaedia, accurate and up-to-date reference. The articles are written by more than 4,000 contributors and editors chosen from all over the world for their high standing in their fields of expertise. Each article, picture and video is fact-checked by Britannica editors for consistency of style and language level. L'Encyclopédie
The famous „Encyclopedie" by Denis Diderot and Jean d'Alembert. First published between 1751 and 1777, the 32 volumes include 21 volumes of text with more than 70,000 articles on subjects ranging from asparagus to zodiac. The other 11 volumes contain beautifully engraved plates illustrating many of the articles. The Encyclopédie was the major achievement of the French Enlightenment whose aim was to "change the common way of thinking" (Diderot) through the expansion of knowledge and the development of critical modes of thought. The website makes the monumental encyclopaedia accessible to English-language readers. If you prefer a modern reprint, however, go to www.frommann-holzboog.de, and if you adore the original volumes, browse the metasearch on www.ilab.org Brockhaus Encyclopaedia
The German „Britannica" in 30 volumes with 300.000 items – the most important German encyclopaedia is online now. However, you can only browse it, if you have bought a password with the CD-Rom edition.Wikipedia
The open online encyclopaedia: multi-language, multi-functional, millions of items and links. Beware: Although all articles are checked, there can be mistakes.Zedlers "Universal-Lexicon"
The largest German encyclopedia of the 18th century: Johann Heinrich Zedlers Grosses und Vollständiges Universal-Lexicon aller Wissenschaften und Künste was originally published in 68 volumes with more then 288.000 items about the knowledge, the thinking and the curiosities of the pre-enlightenment.
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Article

Bibliographies - Architecture

Online: Dictionary of Scottish Architects (DSA)
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Article

Unfinished Books and The Private Library

The term completist, as applied to book collectors, has always struck this writer as something of a misnomer. In one sense, the term certainly is applicable: i.e., it describes the attempt to collect everything a particular author ever wrote, or everything a particular publisher ever published, or everything ever written about a particular topic. On the other hand …
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Article

A Brief History of Propaganda

The term "propaganda" has come to have a negative connotation in much of the English-speaking world. But in some places, the word is neutral or even positive. Why this difference? The reasons can be traced through the word's etymology and the way that this strategy of communication has evolved over the centuries.
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Article

Book Collecting 101 at The Private Library

Anyone who has spent much time exploring Internet sites devoted to book collecting can be excused for coming away with the feeling that such collecting is too expensive and/or too complicated for the average person. The focus at too many such sites continues to be on great rarities, or on well-heeled collectors, or on events that the average working stiff can't possibly take time off from work to attend. Here at The Private Library, though, we contend that anyone can collect the printed book!
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Booksellers

Living With - And From - Books, Part 7

"Up to the Eighties, personal computers were not existing yet, and we could not even begin to think of scanners: the texts, typed on cards with bolds or italics highlighted with a red or blue pencil, were formed by the printer with the linotype; the illustrations used to be reproduced on zinc cliché applied on thick wooden blocks to be placed in the typographical shapes. In the past few yeas, computerized instruments have made everything easier, but the research for a greater and greater bibliographical attention and a more sophisticated graphic elegance, has paradoxically lengthened the time to complete a paper catalogue, destined to be consulted for years as a bibliographic source. While the descriptions reserved to a search engine are less charming and long lasting, because of the ephemeral characteristics of the internet. The same purchasing dynamics have changed: the bibliophiles of the past used to prefer saving on long distance calls and ordering from our catalogues, using the "low postage bookseller's order form" or the already forgotten telex, and the telegraphic address "Preliber" is what we have decided to keep for our current web site." Catalogues in times of the internet: the final part of the Pregliasco story.
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