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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Booksellers

In the Press - Rare Book Dealer Robert Schoisengeier featured in the TV series “Aufgetischt”

Published on 12 Nov. 2014
A great place to deal with rare and beautiful books, right in the heart of Vienna, a few steps away from the State Opera House and the "Museums-Quartier", next to the National Library and the famous Art Museum: Robert Schoisengeier has been running the Antiquariat Burgverlag in Vienna (Burgring 1 + 3) for many years. He is specialized in rare and fine books on art, architecture and literature with a main interest in illustrated books, prints and drawings. Schoisengeier exhibits at the international antiquarian book fairs, publishes catalogues, offers his books in the internet and – most of all – owns one of the most wonderful antiquarian bookshops. Now Robert Schoisengeier and his shop were featured in the TV series "Aufgetischt".
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Booksellers

Rare Book Catalogues - To E or Not to E

Published on 07 Nov. 2014
A few years ago, in the course of one of my hyper-dramatized but mostly benign financial panics, I decided to stop issuing printed catalogs. Though I loved, and was proud of, my catalogs, they cost nearly of $4 each, and seemed to serve primarily as a vehicles for frustrated customers to complain about my grossly unfair manner of distributing them, or excuses for non-ordering pedants to inform me of the many grammatical and spelling errors they contained. ... Read Greg Gibson's plea for the printed catalogue!
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Booksellers

Sheila Markham’s “Second Book of Booksellers” to be published on 1st May, 2014

Published on 20 March 2014
Good news for all book lovers: On 1st May, 2014, Sheila Markham's "Second Book of Booksellers" will be published. Sheila's "conversations with the antiquarian book trade" are legendary. Her interviews with the most influential figures of the antiquarian book business first appeared in the Bookdealer, and were then published in book-form as "A Book of Booksellers" in the year 2004. Ian Jackson called it "an essential archive of book trade history". Delightful, witty, and sophisticated: All who have already read Sheila Markham's "conversations" know that they are something special. Sheila's interviews give insight into the everyday life of an extraordinary profession that needs extensive knowledge and owes a strong sense of individualism and dedication to the real value of books (which is not, in any case, their price). They reveal the stories and characters that stand behind the showcases at antiquarian book fairs, the 1-Million-Dollar highlights of the auctions, the well-designed book catalogues and the many online databases with its legions of old books. In short: Sheila Markham's "Book of Booksellers" and its sequel reflect the very reasons why antiquarian bookselling is one of the most fascinating things to live for in the global book world. The "Second Book of Booksellers", which will be published in May 2014, includes 30 conversations with rare book dealers like Sabrina Izzard, John Windle, Sophie Schneideman, Pom Harrington, Paul Mills and Michael Graves-Johnston. Sheila Markham has given us permission to publish one of the most fascinating pieces in her new book as a preview.
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Booksellers

Adrian Harrington buys Hall's Bookshop in Chapel Place, Tunbridge Wells

Published on 17 March 2014
Adrian Harrington Ltd is very pleased to announce that the company has bought the premises and business of Hall's Bookshop in Chapel Place, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Sabrina Izzard is retiring and has said how happy she is that the business is continuing and will be good for another 100 years! Hall's Bookshop, founded in 1898, has a long and illustrious history and has, from its beginning been at the heart of the town. Its basement and the contents of the basement have been the subject of rumour for decades. Dealers were not allowed down there! The legendary Harry Pratley, who was at Hall's from 1919 to 1967, was president of the ABA from 1959 to 1960. It seems somehow appropriate for another past president to be taking over.
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Booksellers

Rare Book Dealers - Bank On It

Published on 29 Jan. 2014
I taught at CABS (Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar) a few years ago, once as the featured specialist dealer, and once pinch hitting for Rob Rulon-Miller. I went there thinking it would be like a week in summer camp – book stories, hikes, and handicrafts. I came away deeply impressed with the level of commitment on the part of the faculty, the seriousness with which they took their roles as instructors, and the level of information, all of it useful, imparted during that intense week in Colorado Springs. We trained for books with the same intensity as the Olympic athletes who trained just down the street.
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Booksellers

Book Scouting in … Amsterdam: Holy Ground

Published on 18 Jan. 2014
Ever been in Amsterdam? As in every European city there is much to see. Beautiful old buildings, the historic canals (Amsterdam is one of the cities called 'Venice of the North'!) lots of museums, history and art. For booklovers there are some great old book shops and flee-markets. People are friendly, and - guess what? - with few exceptions everybody speaks English too!
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Book-Jackets: Their History, Form, and Use, by G. Thomas Tanselle

Book-jackets (or "dust-jackets," as they are often called), have been regularly used in America and some European countries since the early part of the 19th century. Historians of publishing practices, however, have not accorded these detachable coverings with the scrutiny that one would expect for such a noticeable phenomenon. The new book by G. Thomas Tanselle examines dust jackets as resources for biography, bibliography, cultural analysis, and development of graphic design, while surveying their use by publishers and scholars of literature, art and book history.
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Article

Wanted! ILAB Internship!

A global "ILAB School" without borders: The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers offers internships to students and beginners in the rare book trade who wish to widen their knowledge through practical learning and to plug into the worldwide network of antiquarian bookselling. All ILAB booksellers are very welcome to join the ILAB Internship Program and to provide young students an opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on experience in the international rare book business at any time and in any place in the world. Applicants are carefully chosen after they have contacted ILAB Vice-President Norbert Donhofer, who has initiated the Internship Program in 2009 together with Eric Waschke (Canada) and Professor Dr. Olga Tarakanowa (Moscow State University of the Printing Arts). Right now ILAB is looking for the following internship:
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Article

The Collation - The New Blog of the Folger Shakespeare Library

The Folger Library has started a new blog. The inaugural post explains the origin of the blog's name: Collation. This is a word with rich associations, many of which are of particular relevance to scholars. One definition refers to an intricate method of comparing copies of texts in search of differences.
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Article

Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 11: An International Presence

Back in the US, we published the first in a series of titles written by the New York antiquarian booksellers Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine Stern (Bib. #65) in which they reminiscence about their lengthy experience buying and selling rare books. They wrote with charm and painted vivid portraits of many of the famous collectors and dealers of their day. I had known them for a long time and had even reprinted a series of their catalogues as one of our first publications (Bib. #4). They had proposed me for membership in the ABAA in 1978. Over the years we published five of their titles including New Worlds in Old Books. This excellent book was distributed as a gift by Brigham Young University to all members of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) in tribute to these two fine booksellers. Near the end of their long and productive lives, they submitted a manuscript to us that I felt needed additional work. I called them and talked over my thoughts as gently as I could but my suggested changes were not well received. Much to my regret, they did not talk to me again before they died.
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Article

Collecting the Physical Book in the Digital Age

I'm going to make some general comments about my experiences as a dealer buying and selling in the Internet/digital age today and offer some reflections on the past – over the thirty-five years that I've been in business. I won't keep you in suspense any longer. The impact of the Internet and computer technology has been enormous on the rare book business. There are three basic things that we do in this profession: buy books, sell books, and research what we are buying in order to sell them. All have been greatly impacted by technology. Today everything that I acquire is researched online in regard to bibliographical information, as well as for pricing comparison by looking at other copies in the marketplace. This research plays a key role in deciding what to buy, what to pay for the book, and in determining a fair amount to price the book for sale. Of course a subscription to the online auction record database is essential.
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Article

De Caro and the Girolamini Thefts – Official Note of Protest of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)

Since spring of 2012 the issue of the massive thefts in the Girolamini Library and other Italian libraries had kept busy both the Italian Justice as well as the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). ILAB understands fully that this is a complicated issue as the main suspected person, Marino Massimo de Caro, has carefully – and partly successfully - tried to cover up the traces of plundering he had left in the National Heritages. ILAB has, however, offered from April in 2012 onwards its help and cooperation to clear up this mess in many ways, an offer, which unfortunately had never been accepted and had not even been answered by Italian authorities.
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