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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Leonardo da Vinci's Library
Libraries

Leonardo da Vinci: reflected in his library

Published on 06 May 2019
Leonardo da Vinci was a tireless and inquisitive reader. He owned more than 200 books about science and technology as well as literary and religious topics. An exhibition organized by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the Berlin State Library at the Museo Galileo in Florence sheds new light on the intellectual cosmos of the artist, engineer, and philosopher, who remains as fascinating as ever 500 years after his death.
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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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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Shocking Christmas Tale

On November 13, 1884, Robert Louis Stevenson received a request from the Pall Mall Gazette. The editors wanted a sensational story to publish in its special Christmas issue, and they offered Stevenson a generous £5 per 1,000 words. Woozy with morphine taken for a chronic cough, Stevenson complained that he wasn't up to the task of writing something new. So he dusted off a piece he'd written back in 1881: The Body-Snatcher.
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Article

Thanks, Bruce McKinney!

Every once in a while we encounter events that we know will be benchmarks in our careers as antiquarian book dealers. The first shop, with its smell of fresh cut pine shelving, the first big buy, the first book fair, the biggest book fair, the biggest buy, the luckiest find, the first whale (dealer slang for a big buyer) … all these things will be chapter titles in the book of our days in the trade, written out as memoirs, or only recollected as memories. To their number must be added appraisals (for those of us who engage in such shenanigans) – the first one, the biggest one, the one that was challenged by heirs or IRS. The best one. I spent last week on a new chapter in my book of memories. It will filed in my memory bank as "Appraisals, Best."
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - William S. Burroughs and the Arts

There are a lot of "what ifs" in book collecting. What if I had bought this and not that? What if I had more money? Or more time? What if I collected this and not that? "What if I did not collect William Burroughs?" is a question I consider. In a piece I wrote over a decade ago, I came to the conclusion that I would have collected Charles Olson instead. The question that serves as the boundary I can never cross or the horizon I can never see beyond is "What if I did not collect?" Such a question throws my very existence into doubt like "What if my parents never met?" If I did not collect, I quite simply would not be the same person I am now.
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Article

Melbourne Rare Book Week - For the love of books!

The Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers announces the Melbourne Rare Book Week from 17th to 27th July 2014, incorporating the 42nd ANZAAB Australian Antiquarian Book Fair from 25th to 27th July at Wilson Hall, University of Melbourne.
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Article

The Rare Book Trade - What My Friends Think I Do (Part 1 in a Series)

This Monday morning, the biggest news to hit the antiquarian book trade in roughly 400 years became public: my colleagues Dan Wechsler and George Koppelman, booksellers in New York City, unveiled a copy of a sixteenth century dictionary which could, quite plausibly, have once belonged to William Shakespeare - complete with annotations possibly in the bard's hand and many tantalizing, if ultimately circumstantial, linguistic and stylistic links to his plays. I'll leave it to better minds than mine to make a final determination regarding the dictionary's provenance. Wechsler and Koppelman have laid out an entire volume of compelling evidence in their just-published book, Shakespeare's Beehive (a copy of which I've just ordered); the Folger Shakespeare Library, the New Yorker, and numerous book bloggers have already begun weighing in, and I'm sure many more scholarly voices will be added to the fray over the coming months and years. I hope it's years, not months. I hope it's real, real enough at least to merit many years of scholarship – I really, really do.
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