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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Booksellers

ABA Members on Postage Stamps (No. 1 in a very short series)

Published on 16 April 2013
"Peter J. Kroger, of Ruislip, was not an ABA member for very long: the minutes of the General Committee say no more than '(October 1960) (Removed from membership April 1961)'. He and his wife Helen ran a modest catalogue business from their bungalow, 45 Cranley Drive, between 1954 and 7 January 1961, when a visit from Superintendent George `Moonraker' Smith, of Scotland Yard, put an abrupt end to their bookselling - and other - activities." The spy who loved books - An amazing story told by Angus O'Neill as "no. 1 in a very short series".
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Booksellers

Rare Booksellers in the Press - A Tribute to Madhava Rao, One of those Antiquarian Booksellers Who Preferred no Publicity

Published on 12 April 2013
Bangalore's most famous antiquarian bookseller, Madhava Rao, died on March 3, 2013, at the age of 78. Throughout his life, he preferred to have NO publicity, although he ran one of the most beautiful – and typical – rare book stores worldwide. Now Pradeep Sebastian has portrayed this amazing bookseller, his shop, and his legacy in The Hindu.
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Booksellers

Peter Murray Hill

Published on 26 Feb. 2013
Peter Auriol Murray Hill, who served as ABA president in 1956-1957, was born on 20th April 1908 at Bushey in Hertfordshire, the son of George Murray Hill, a solicitor, and his second wife Ida Stogdon, who had married in 1907 ... His introduction to the presidency of the ABA was overshadowed by the furore surrounding the auction-ring which had carved up the Lowther Castle library in late 1955. The ABA was attacked in the House of Commons (see the comment and link below from Adrian Seville) and publicly humiliated in the press. The Times led off with a Saturday leader headed "This Shabby Business" and, following a reply from the ABA, followed up with "Only a Little Crooked". The second leader began, "For a body concerned with the written word the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association is singularly inept in its public statements".
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Booksellers

Patrons of booksellers and how they paid them a century ago

Published on 10 Jan. 2013
Glancing at an old account book, ranging from 1835 to 1850, with a few entries in 1851, which in some way had come into the possession of my predecessors, I was struck by the occurrence of the names of book-collectors such as Ashburnham, Beaufoy, Beckford, Drury, Phillipps, Spencer, Vernon and numerous others - libraries which have been dispersed in my lifetime. It is concerned only with payments received, and though the sales of single books for cash are recorded they do not often amount to any considerable sum in total. Amongst these items Greek and Latin classics are often prominent with sundry entries which make us envy the unknown purchasers, viz: - Euclidis Elementa Latine. H. Walpole's copy. 4/- Biblia Latina, folio. Jenson, 1479. £3.10.0 Boccace des Nobles Maleureux, Folio. Red. Mor. A. Verard, 1494. £3.13.6.
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Booksellers

A Century of Rare Bookselling - Michael Ginsberg in Conversation with Marguerite Studer Goldschmidt

Published on 13 Sept. 2012
Marguerite Studer Goldschmidt was born in England to Swiss parents, she was educated in England and Switzerland. Her father, Paul Studer, was professor of Romance languages at Oxford University. In 1932 Marguerite began to study librarianship at the University of Geneva, apprenticed at the libraries of the Universities of Bristol (UK), Geneva (Switzerland) and Tubingen (Germany). She became assistant cataloguer at the University of Bristol library, associate of the British Library, and librarian of the Bush House Library at the BBC in London. There she met Lucien Goldschmidt: “on a double date for lunch at Lloyd's Corner. She remembers that he added money to the tip, a generous act that conveyed a sense of European manners and courtliness that even 59 years later still brings a smile. ‘He was a gentleman and I knew it then.’"
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Young Dealers / Old Books - An Ideal Career, or: How to become a rare bookseller

"Four months after my initial training from Heidi, I'm still making my way through the ins and outs of cataloging. What edition is this? Near fine or very good? When I mentioned the rating scale to my mom she answered with, "If I heard something was good I would not think it was trash," but she would be wrong. I've learned to really get behind the treasure hunt; thrilled to find first editions that happen to have their dustwrapper in decent shape, the eternal heartache of the "book club edition." Most of all I've learned to respect the medium through which great writers, such as Wilde, have presented their art to the world. Guess I have found myself back in the family business." Ashley Wildes, cataloguer at Between the Covers Rare Books, says: If you ever have the opportunity to become a rare bookseller, don't miss it!
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Article

Bibliographies - Exlibris

Online: Richard Braungart, Deutsche Ex Libris und andere Kleingraphik der Gegenwart - Gustav A. Seyler, „Illustriertes Handbuch der Ex-Libris-Kunde" - Book-Plate Collection Baron von Berlepsch - Gerhard Gnade, « Norwegian Ex Libris » - Egerton Castle, English Book-Plates - Augustus Wollaston Frank, "Catalogue of British and American Book-Plates (Ex Libris) - Arthur Vicars, Book-Plates 1893 - Henry W. Fincham and James R. Brown, A Bibliography of Book-Plates (Ex-Libris) - Herbert Gregson, « Ex Libris. A Collection of Book-Plate Designs by Herbert Gregson" - John B. Leicester Warren, "A Guide to the Study of Book-plates (Ex-Libris)" - Walter Hamilton, "Dated Book-Plates. A Treatise on their Origin and Development" - Walter Hamilton, "French Book-Plates. A Handbook for Ex-Libris Collectors"
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Article

Collecting Science Fiction - Karel Čapek and the Origin of the Word Robot

Karel Čapek's Czech play RUR, (Rossum's Universal Robots) is notable for numerous reasons. Written in 1920, the play's commentary on the politics of its day earned its author a spot on the Nazi most-wanted list. RUR details a robot revolution that would overthrow the dominant class, humans, and lead to their extinction. Above all, the play is most well known for introducing the world to the word, "robot." In fact, before Čapek's play, what we think of as robots were mainly called "androids" or "automatons," with "automaton" meaning a self-operating machine. In Czech, "robota" translates to "forced labor." It's associated with the type of work done by serfs during the feudal ages.
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Article

Rare Books: Still So Much to Learn and Discover – Conference and ILAB Pop Up Fair in Sydney, 21-23 April 2016

Rare Books: Still So Much to Learn and Discover is a must go to conference for anyone interested in rare books and associated materials on paper. It will particularly appeal to special collections librarians, collectors and antiquarian booksellers but is open to anyone interested. Over two days, subjects such as the building of collections of books and ephemera, research, theft and digitisation will be discussed. Well known author and entertaining speaker Nicholas Basbanes will speak from the USA on the history of paper and the State Libary of NSW will offer special behind the scenes tours of the library. The conference will address both educational and practical needs of the professionals working with special collections and in the trade, and will equip them to do their jobs with greater insight and understanding. Collectors will benefit from the opportunity to hear from the professionals and other collectors giving all three groups an update on what is going on in the world of rare books today.
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Article

AbeBooks Supports the Antiquarian Book Seminars in Colorado and York

Young antiquarian booksellers and beginners in the trade will head for Colorado in July and York in September 2015. The Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar and the York Antiquarian Book Seminar, established last year after the example of Colorado, offer excellent possibilities to enter the international rare book trade. AbeBooks will sponsor two courses both in Colorado and in York. For all who are interested, read the following information:
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