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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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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

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Booksellers

John McWhinnie, Rare Book Dealer, Dies Aged 43

Aged 43, the New York bookseller John McWhinnie died a week ago under tragic circumstances. He drowned during a snorkeling accident while on vacation in the British Virgin Islands. Read the moving obituary by Robert P. Waltzer in The Wall Street Journal.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Sinking Bear

For the small group of Mimeo Revolution obsessives, nothing is more hyped and spoken of in hushed tones than Sinking Bear. And what a special form of hype. What an appropriate form of hype!! It is the hype of word of mouth, of rumor. Of gossip. Like a band that nobody has actually seen play live, Sinking Bear for decades had never been read cover to cover. Nobody had even seen it. The hype stems in part from reading Reva Wolf's book on Warhol. She actually read an issue or two of Sinking Bear and was one of the few to consider the mag seriously. Except for maybe Diane Di Prima who wrote about Sinking Bear in her Recollections, which only added to the legend.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Is "Flat Signed" Better?

This (or a variant of it) is probably the most often asked question I hear. What I'm talking about is, of course, whether it is better to buy a book (or get it autographed by the author) with just a signature alone or whether it is better to have it with a personalized inscription.
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Article

Women's Work: women in Economics, Politics and Philosophy | New blog from Peter Harrington

The contribution of eminent male thinkers to intellectual and public life is well documented: we all know our Kant from our Keynes, our Wittgenstein from our Wilberforce. It's no secret that women and women's issues have historically been granted less space on the political, philosophical and economic stages, and this deficit is unfortunately reflected in publishing history.
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Article

Other People's Books - Book Lovers Fear Dim Future for Notes in the Margins

Annotations are invaluable for literary research and for book collectors. The comments written by authors, scientists, scholars or other "important" people alongside the text passages tell a very special story of a book. What did people think about it? Was it highly esteemed or condemned? Who read it? Why? Who possessed the book? What did, for example, Mark Twain read? What Samual Taylor Coleridge? Jane Austen? John Maynard Keynes? René Descartes? The advantage of a printed book is that these annotations have been preserved through the centuries. "Other People's Books" is a symposium held by The Caxton Club, and a new publication distributed by Oak Knoll. Snippets from an article by Dirk Johnson.
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Article

Buying Antiquarian Books in Oslo, Norway

If you find yourself in Oslo and are thinking about looking for antiquarian books, we can point you in the right directions. Norway isn't home to the largest remaining selection of antiquarian bookstores in Scandinavia (shops in Denmark and Sweden seem to have fared better than others), but there are still quite a few in which visitors can spend many hours scanning shelves and boxes.
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