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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
Libraries

ILAB Congress visits newly opened William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, L.A.

Published on 30 Jan. 2018
UCLA's William Andrews Clarke Memorial Library, renowned for its collection of rare books and manuscripts from England’s Tudor period through the 18th century, including the world’s largest repository of materials related to Oscar Wilde, has just reopened after extensive renovations. Participants of the upcoming ILAB congress, will visit the library as part of the extensive congress programme.
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Libraries

"In Good Order But Poor Condition" - ILAB Patron of Honour Dr. Michael Knoche in F.A.Z.

Published on 02 Aug. 2017
The former director of the Anna Amalia Library in Weimar and ILAB Patron of Honour recently wrote in the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper about digitisation, book restoration and the state of Germany's libraries. "In Good Order But Poor Condition" is an interesting read about the importance of digitisation, but also about the need for research material not only to be available in digitised format.
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Libraries

Maps and the 20th Century : Drawing the Line

Published on 24 Jan. 2017
For some reason, I didn't get my customary invitation to the press preview of the latest British Library exhibition, "Maps and the 20th Century : Drawing the Line", when it opened towards the last year – perhaps it was something I said. No matter, it's still on for another six weeks or so – and I finally found some time to visit it a few days ago. I found it challenging, which is a good thing.
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Libraries

Radio Feature - Bayrische Regionalbibliotheken - in German language

Published on 09 Jan. 2017
Bayerns Bibliotheken sind weit mehr als nur Aufbewahrungsorte für Bücher. Sie sind geistige Tankstellen und gleichzeitig Orte der Begegnung. Darüber hinaus hat jede einzelne von ihnen neben ihrer ganz eigenen Geschichte unterhaltsame und spannende Geschichten zu erzählen, denen Birgit Fürst in ihrem einstündigen Zeit-für-Bayern-Feature nachspürt, das am 2. Weihnachtsfeiertag 2016 auf Bayern 2 ausgestrahlt wurde. Gleich zu Beginn der Sendung nimmt der Fotograf der Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Gerald Raab, die Hörer mit in die Keller der Bibliothek, wo er wertvollste Handschriften digitalisiert. Direktorin Bettina Wagner lässt später die Büchersammlung des wittelsbachischen Herzogs Karl II. August von Pfalz-Zweibrücken in all ihrer Pracht vor dem geistigen Auge des Zuhörers erstehen. Schließlich erlebt der Hörer staunend, welch hohe Präzision und große Geduld Buchbinderin Regine Ullein beim Restaurieren alte Karten aufbringt.
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Libraries

Book It: Five of the Most Interesting U.S. Libraries

Published on 01 Nov. 2016
Let's face it: Visiting a library while traveling to a new city is not always atop everyone's must-do list. Even for the most bookish or literary-minded traveler, libraries as destinations often get lost in the fray when whipping up itineraries or sightseeing spots. Museums. Parks. Skyscrapers. Food markets. Sporting events. These activities more times than not reign supreme over buildings of archaic texts and decaying books where most travelers feel 'You've seen one library, you've seen them all.'But there are a number of libraries across the country that not only warrant serious investigation but also reward visitors with insight into our nation's history and heritage.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The National Library of Ireland - James Joyce and Oliver St. John Gogarty

Thomas W. Lyster had been director of the National Library of Ireland since 1895. He was famous for his researches about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and translated H. Düntzer's biography about the German poet into English. Lyster edited the anthology ‚English Poems for Young Students' – and became a key figure in the most important 20th century novel: "Ulysses", by James Joyce. In his article for the German "Literaturblatt", Rainer Pörzgen describes the library and its characters, and compares fiction with reality.
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Article

Collecting Authors' First Books

Authors' "firsts" -- first appearances, first books, first works of fiction, first novels. The fame of the authors included herein varies widely: some are names virtually everyone has heard; some are writers that few people know of yet. What they share in their first or early appearances in print is that, at the time, they were almost all both relatively young and relatively unknown. The works had to stand on their own merits rather than on their authors' reputations.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Six Hoaxes of Edgar Allan Poe

The origins of April Fools' Day are unclear. Some experts suggest that when the French shifted the New Year to January to correspond with the Roman calendar, rural residents still kept celebrating with the beginning of spring, which often fell around the start of April. They came to be known as "April fools." This theory, however, doesn't take into account that the new year would have been celebrated around Easter–which isn't associated with April first. It's more probable that our April Fools traditions grew from age-old pagan celebrations of spring, which included adopting disguises and playing pranks on one another. But some pranksters simply aren't satisfied to confine their exploits to a single day. One of these was Edgar Allan Poe, who was unabashedly fond of hoaxes. He approvingly called his time the "epoch of the hoax." During his lifetime Poe would attempt a total of six different hoaxes. Most modern anthologies fail to acknowledge that these stories were originally published as non-fiction.
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Article

John Bidwell: A Life in Libraries, Thanks to Gutenberg

Dr. John Bidwell received his master's at Columbia's School of Library Service and his doctorate in English from Oxford. "I've had no other job but to work in libraries since I was a college undergraduate", he says. "As soon as I realized it was time for me to go back to graduate school, I knew I wanted to work in rare book libraries, and that's all I've done." For The New York Times John Bidwell explains, what makes books rare, why books become rare, and what is his most favourite book among the treasures of J.P. Morgan and Museum.
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Article

Why The New York Antiquarian Book Fair Matters – To You, Me, and Everyone We Know

I didn't take any pictures at the New York Book Fair this year. I'm not much of a picture taker in the most relaxed of times, but at any given book event I can usually be counted on to snap a shot or two of my favorite booksellers in action; another few of my booth (mostly to remind me how I want – or don't want – the booth to look next year); and another batch recording my after-hours activities, which generally involve intemperate helpings of food and drink at the sorts of restaurants which, though generally above my pay grade, seem suddenly (alas, illusorily) within reach after a day spent selling high-priced rarities. But in New York I never had the chance, or even the inclination, to take any of my customary photos, despite the fact that I'm toting a spanking-new iPhone with what's reputed to be the best built-in digicam on any phone anywhere. (Well, okay, I did take one accidental snapshot of my left shoe while fumbling around looking for an old picture to show a customer…but that was it). No friends, no booth, no food – nothing. Why? you ask. Well, call me paradoxical, but the reason is simple and clear: the New York Book Fair is too important to be photographed.
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