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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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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Signed vs. Inscribed

One of the questions I've been asked most often in recent years is "Which is better -- having a book just signed by the author or having it inscribed?" In general my answer has been that the more writing by the author in a book, the better.
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Booksellers

William Reese (1955-2018): A Personal Homage

Booksellers and collectors from across the globe mourn the loss of William Reese, antiquarian bookseller of New Haven, CT, and owner of the William Reese Company. A titan of the rare book trade who will be deeply missed.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Six Hoaxes of Edgar Allan Poe

The origins of April Fools' Day are unclear. Some experts suggest that when the French shifted the New Year to January to correspond with the Roman calendar, rural residents still kept celebrating with the beginning of spring, which often fell around the start of April. They came to be known as "April fools." This theory, however, doesn't take into account that the new year would have been celebrated around Easter–which isn't associated with April first. It's more probable that our April Fools traditions grew from age-old pagan celebrations of spring, which included adopting disguises and playing pranks on one another. But some pranksters simply aren't satisfied to confine their exploits to a single day. One of these was Edgar Allan Poe, who was unabashedly fond of hoaxes. He approvingly called his time the "epoch of the hoax." During his lifetime Poe would attempt a total of six different hoaxes. Most modern anthologies fail to acknowledge that these stories were originally published as non-fiction.
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Article

1519 - 2019 : Commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci

« As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death » (Leonardo da Vinci)
2019 commemorates the 500th anniversary of da Vinci, institutions worldwide have launched events and exhibitions.
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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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Article

Germany buys back 1000-Year old Liesborn Gospels

Printing with movable types was only invented 500 years later, the Liesborn Gospel from the year 980, one of the oldest manuscripts still in private possession has now returned to its original place, the diocese of Münster in Germany after a 3Mill Euro investment by the German state and a number of regional trusts.
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