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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Libraries

Libraries & Special Collections - Fantastic French Libraries

Published on 30 Aug. 2016
France has always been an important site in terms of history, culture, religion, and philosophy. As a result, it is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful libraries in the world. These libraries house collections impressive both due to their size and their age. Let's take a look at some of France's most important libraries.
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Libraries

In the Press - The Secret Libraries of History

Published on 22 Aug. 2016
"Beneath the streets of a suburb of Damascus, rows of shelves hold books that have been rescued from bombed-out buildings. Over the past four years, during the siege of Darayya, volunteers have collected 14,000 books from shell-damaged homes. They are held in a location kept secret amid fears that it would be targeted by government and pro-Assad forces, and visitors have to dodge shells and bullets to reach the underground reading space.It's been called Syria's secret library, and many view it as a vital resource."
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Libraries

Book Traces Interview with Professor Andrew Stauffer

Published on 11 April 2016
There's an exciting new project at the University of Virginia that highlights the significance of the book as a physical object and the individual histories of library books. At a moment in which the physicality of university libraries (and others across the country) are under threat of depletion due to the looming presence of the electronic text, we couldn't imagine a more compelling project than Book Traces. It's a crowd-sourced web project sponsored by NINES at the University of Virginia, and it's led by Andrew Stauffer, a professor of 19th-century literature at UVA. We had a chance to catch up with Professor Stauffer to ask some questions about the origins, current uses, and futures of Book Traces.
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Libraries

Collecting - Five British Journalists Who Made a Difference

Published on 14 March 2016
The role of journalist is a multifaceted one. Between investigating, thinking, writing, and trying to be heard, journalists have the propensity to make a huge impact on society and their readers. This is a list of five such British journalists who - through actions, words, and a desire to shape the minds of the citizens they wrote for - changed the world.
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Libraries

Booksellers and Libraries - And so to Bod

Published on 01 Dec. 2015
As part of our ongoing series of exchange visits between booksellers and rare book librarians – our friends and colleagues in the Rare Books and Special Collections Group (RBSCG) of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), a party of ABA members assembled in Oxford in mid November. Old haunts for me – parts of downtown Oxford almost unrecognisable after all these years, but beyond the city centre, up towards St Giles, things virtually unchanged in almost half a century. Still recognisable Oxford 'types' on every corner. Far more young women students nowadays, of course, and far more bicycles (nothing less cool than a cyclist back in the 'sixties – although at least they spared us the silly latex and had far better manners).
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Libraries

In the Press - Reinventing the Library

Published on 27 Oct. 2015
"Such colossal ambition coalesced under the Ptolemaic dynasty. In the third century B.C., more than half a century after Plato wrote his dialogues, the kings ordered that every book in the known world be collected and placed in the great library they had founded in Alexandria. Hardly anything is known of it except its fame: neither its site (it was perhaps a section of the House of the Muses) nor how it was used, nor even how it came to its end. Yet, as one of history's most distinguished ghosts, the Library of Alexandria became the archetype of all libraries ..." An excellent article by author, journalist and collector Alberto Manguel in The New York Times.
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Libraries

Organising a Library

Published on 31 Aug. 2015
This is the first edition of the first comprehensive library classification system to be published in Russia, and the first Russian guide to bibliographic description and catalogue production, an important text from the early years of the Imperial Public Library (now the National Library of Russia) in St Petersburg.
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Libraries

Storing and Shelving Books

Published on 22 Oct. 2014
To those of us who plan to stay in this book business on-line this might be an article of worth. We know that 20,000 to 50,000 books can get out of hand where space is limited and locating a title can take more than five minutes. Some of us, if we are honest with ourselves, might take 30 minutes to locate a book, so a proper management and planning system should be set up at the beginning. As the time taken extends, the less efficient your business becomes, especially when you work alone ...
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Booksellers

Interviewed by AbeBooks: "Sisters in antiquarian bookselling: meet Elisabeth and Sally Burdon"

Meet Elisabeth (left) and Sally Burdon. A pair of sisters involved in the antiquarian bookselling community and yet operating businesses thousands of miles apart. Elisabeth runs Old Imprints in Portland, Oregon, and is one of the most interesting sellers of ephemera that we know. Sally runs Asia Bookroom in Canberra, Australia, a business that specializes in Asian books, art, and ephemera. Both sell on AbeBooks and we’re thrilled that they partner with us. Sally is also President of ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), so these are two booksellers with much to talk about. They were kind enough to answer our questions about their family, bookselling and much more.
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Article

Christmas and The Private Library, Part 2

Perhaps most significant among such works of fiction were Washington Irving's The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon (1819-1820), which supposedly drew upon the tract Vindication of Christmas (1652) for many elements of its stories about Christmas; Clement Clarke Moore's A Visit from St. Nicholas (first published anonymously in New York's Troy Sentinel newspaper on 23 December 1823); and, most influential of all, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843) ... Learn more about Christmas books!
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Booksellers

Rare Books in Hungary

The antiquarian book trade in Hungary is emerging. The young generation opens up to the international market and shows more and more that Budapest – like Vienna – is a European city full of cultural highlights, covering not only the history of arts, but the history of printing from its invention in the 15th century up to 20th century Avantgarde books. An interview with Zoltán Földvári (Budapest) and Norbert Donhofer (Vienna) about rare books in Hungary and the future of the antiquarian book trade.
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Article

ILAB POP UP BOOK FAIRS ALL AROUND THE WORLD ON UNESCO WORLD BOOK & COPYRIGHT DAY, APRIL 23, 2016

A high-flying book presentation in the Giant Ferris Wheel of the world-famous Prater will be the next step in the ILAB Pop Up Celebrations in Vienna on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016 – certainly one of the ultimate highlights of the day. The Giant Ferris Wheel is Vienna at its best. Built in 1897 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Franz Josef I., a circular trip on one of the most significant and fascinating steel constructions worldwide with a unique view of the city of Vienna, is an absolute cultural and architectural must for every visitor to Austria's capital. So if you haven't taken a ride on the Giant Ferris Wheel and enjoyed the breathtaking views over the roofs of Vienna, this is your once in a lifetime experience. On 23 April, from 10 am to noon, the members of the Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association will take you on a trip high above Vienna while offering rare and fine books in one of the wheel cabins and raising money to buy school books for the children in South Sudan.
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Article

The Art of American Book Covers – Peacocks

The first post to this blog in August 2009 was about a book with a peacock feather stamped in gold on the cover, The New Day by Richard Watson Gilder [Scribner, Armstrong, 1876]. It's worth re-reading that story, because there is a connection to Margaret Armstrong, whose peacock designs are below. Here's a photo of that book to refresh your memory. Click it to read the original post. Peacocks and peacock feathers were a pervasive image of the Aesthetic Movement, a symbol of beauty in nature. Whistler's Peacock Room of 1877 was a monumental tribute to this theme.
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Article

ILAB and VEBUKU - 5th ILAB Congress in Geneva in 1952, seen through the eyes of the former Mrs President Barbara Kaye Muir

In 2012 the ILAB affiliates will travel to Lucerne and Zurich on the occasion of the 40th ILAB Congress and 24th International Antiquarian Book Fair from 22nd to 30th September. Time to remember some of the joyful and noteworthy moments in the history of the League which took place in Switzerland. The 5th ILAB Congress was held in Geneva in 1952. It was the first Congress without William S. Kundig, ILAB's first president. Percy H. Muir and André Poursin were elected Presidents of Honour, Menno Hertzberger was made Father of the League. With George Blaizot as the new ILAB President a younger generation came up to determine ILAB's future. Besides all this, there was someone who played a prominent role during the farewell speeches: a mouse.
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