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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Rare Books in the Press - Perfect for bibliophiles! 15th Century cathedral is transformed into a book shop

"For ardent bibliophiles, a shopping trip to this book shop must be close to a spiritual experience. Broerenkerk, the famed 15th century Dominican church in Zwolle, Netherlands, has been transformed into a stunning modern book store. Architects BK. Architecten were allowed to radically redesign the interior of the 547-year-old Gothic building on the strict condition they left the original features, such as the pipe organ, stained glass windows and decor intact." Read the whole story in The Daily Mail.
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Kate Greenaway: Legendary Illustrator of Children’s Books

One of the few artists to gain true celebrity from illustrating children's books, Kate Greenaway was one of the most influential illustrators of her age. Greenaway, along with Randolph Caldecott and Walter Crane, revolutionized illustration. Popular in both Europe and the United States, Greenaway has remained highly sought after, even among contemporary children's book collectors.
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Rare Books in the Press - Key Workers: Writers at their Typewriters

Mark Twain was the first author to submit a typed manuscript in 1883. Since then authors have been devoted to their typewriters. For many of them it was a kind of love affair, a private room within the private house, or a refuge on travels in the anonymous settings of a hotel room. With notebook and iPad, this era comes to an end. The Guardian looks back on some of the iconic images of writer and their keyboards. A brilliant picture story featuring Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Francoise Sagan, William Faulkner, Brendan Behan, Agatha Christie.
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Rare Books in the Press: New York Public Library Buys Timothy Leary’s Papers

"'The first time I took psilocybin - 10 pills - was in the fireside social setting in Cambridge,' Ginsberg wrote in a blow-by-blow description of his experience taking synthesized hallucinogenic mushrooms at Leary's stately home. At one point Ginsberg, naked and nauseated, began to feel scared, but then 'Professor Leary came into my room, looked in my eyes and said I was a great man.' Ginsberg's 'session record,' composed for Leary's research, was in one of the 335 boxes of papers, videotapes, photographs and more that the New York Public Library is planning to announce that it has purchased from the Leary estate. The material documents the evolution of the tweedy middle-aged academic into a drug guru, international outlaw, gubernatorial candidate, computer software designer and progenitor of the Me Decade's self-absorbed interest in self-help."
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Children’s Books 1945 to 1960 - A Catalogue by Winfried Geisenheyner, Reviewed by Friedrich C. Heller

Children's books are not only for children. They enable us to look at a period in history from a children's point of view. Children's books printed in Germany from 1945 to 1960, for example, show how the world was in post war Germany, which was separated in East and West, and where also the children had to learn to live under the new conditions determined by the history of the half of the 20th century, and especially by World War II and its consequences. Friedrich C. Heller, who won the Second ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography in 2010 for his outstanding work „Die bunte Welt. Handbuch zum künstlerisch illustrierten Kinderbuch in Wien 1890-1938", reviews a brand new catalogue published by the German antiquarian bookseller Winfried Geisenheyner: Kinder- und Bilderbücher von 1945 bis 1960 - Children's Books 1945 to 1960. This and other catalogues by ILAB dealers can be downloaded from the ILAB website.
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Booksellers

Rummage in Curzon Street

Off to Mayfair again today to take a look at two rather different bookshops perched either side of Curzon Street. On the south side, at no. 46, is the retail showroom of Shepherds, incorporating of course the famous old Sangorski & Sutcliffe bookbinding business. As you might expect, all the emphasis is on fine bindings – new and not so new. Rob Shepherd, incidentally doing a fine job as the new ABA treasurer, and his colleague Kim Pooley, bemoan the fact that the stock is looking a little thin – they simply sold so many books in the run-up to Christmas and the bindery is already at full stretch. Nice problems to have, in a sense, but there are plans to move a lot of the gorgeous stationery, bookbinding accessories and so on, over to their new premises in Gillingham Street at Victoria and to concentrate on books here in Curzon Street.
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