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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Elisabeth and Sally Burdon
Booksellers

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

Published on 24 May 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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Booksellers

First editions and lasting treasures: how to be a book collector

Thinking of investing in rare books? Do it for the love of books, not money, say the expertsRare and antiquarian books can be surprisingly valuable. A first-edition copy of Ulysses by James Joyce, published in Paris in 1922, can sell for €100,000 and sometimes much more; Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, published in London in 1726, up to €50,000. But, like art, most books will never become really valuable, and collectors are generally motivated by love of literature and books rather than the prospect of making a fast buck.Repost from The Irish Times, first published 26 August 2017.
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Booksellers

Wenn's um die Wurst geht - Aus dem Leben eines Antiquars (German language only)

Über eine bekannte Angebotsplattform für antiquarische Bücher erreichte uns kürzlich eine Anfrage. Der Kunde interessierte sich für einen Brief von Ernst Barlach. Wie immer hatten wir den Text transkribiert, die historischen Hintergründe des Briefes ebenso wie die Vergleichspreise der letzten, sagen wir, 20 Jahre, gründlich recherchiert und den Brief samt Inhalt und Adressaten so ausführlich wie möglich (und nötig) beschrieben. Nun war ein Foto gewünscht. Natürlich kamen wir diesem Wunsch gern nach, denn auch wenn jedes Foto eines Unikates dieses Unikat dem Mainstream etwas näher bringt, ist es verständlich, dass niemand die Katze im Sack kaufen möchte. Auf unsere umgehende Beantwortung der Bildanfrage flatterte uns ein Angebot ins Haus:
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Why First Editions

A first edition is the first printing of a book. It's true that a first edition may have one or more printings and that a second edition will normally be noted only if there are actual changes, usually major, in the text. But for a collector, a first printing is the only true first edition.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Poe and Rafinesque in Philadelphia

It is not often that one discovers the work of an overlooked or forgotten genius, or a previously-unknown work of an established master. This is, of course, the hope which moves us to carefully examine all sorts of periodical publications and ephemera. So when Tom Congalton asked me to catalog two large folio volumes of the Philadelphia-based Saturday Evening Post, from 1827 and 1828, I was pleased to find the puzzle poem "Enigma" attributed to Edgar Allan Poe, and "Psalm 139th" by his brother Henry Poe. Perhaps the most interesting contributions to these volumes are not the Poeiana, but rather a whole series of botanical sketches and other contributions by an eccentric genius with the evocative name Rafinesque.
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Article

"Proof" Prints

What exactly does it mean when one says a print is a "proof"? While the connotation of this term is clearly positive, it is not always clear what specifically it means. In the world of fine art prints the expression has a quite clear meaning.
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Article

The Professionalization of Library Theft

Travis McDade is Curator of Law Rare Books at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of the upcoming Thieves of Book Row: New York's Most Notorious Rare Book Ring and the Man Who Stopped It. The book will published by Oxford University Press in May 2013. In this article Travis McDade, who also teaches a class called "Rare Books, Crime & Punishment", writes about how stolen books can be identified and what book thieves do to prevent this.
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Article

The International Book Fair - Amsterdam, October 5 - 9, 1965

"Dear Colleagues, We have the honour to give you herewith full details about the First International Antiquarian Bookfair. We cordially invite all members of national associations affiliated with the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers to take part in this manifestation." With these words Nico Israel and Bob de Graaf, Chairman and Secretary of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (NVvA) announced the first ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair. At the Ravenna Congress 1964 the Dutch proposal to organize a fair under the auspices of the League was unanimously carried. A year later, from October 5 to 9, 1965, ILAB dealers met at the Arti et Amicitiae in the centre of Amsterdam for their first joint fair in the history of the League. W. R. Fletcher was among the exhibitors.
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Article

The Evidence of the Copy

There is a rich potential source of information about the history of Old English scholarship which has hitherto been accorded insufficient attention. In 1982 Eric Stanley made an appeal for "a catalogue of association copies of books relevant to Anglo-Saxon studies, especially of early books" (The Bibliography of Old English, ed. Stanley B. Greenfield, OEN Subsidia 8, p. 5). No scholar has yet taken up the challenge and the production of such a catalogue would indeed be a massive task. There are too many copies, both in libraries and in private collections, with inscriptions and annotations ...
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