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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

Article

New Trends in the International Antiquarian Book Trade

We all blame the internet for dramatic changes in the rare book trade. But have our problems really changed within the last decades? Reading Anthony Rota's lecture given in Tokyo in 1990 you could be inclined to say: No! He writes: "Booksellers, like the collectors and librarians they serve, are conservative creatures. By their very nature they are resistant to change; yet they are caught up in the changes that beset us today, and if they do not welcome them they must at least learn to adapt to them if they are to flourish. The antiquarian book trade has managed to cope with changes over a number of centuries now, and I do not doubt for a moment that it will continue to do so."
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Black Hawk, Keokuk and the Legends

In 1878, when Chief Thunderwater was 13 years old and not yet a chief, his uncle gave him an extraordinary book, titled The Life and Adventures of Black Hawk: With Sketches of Keokuk, the Sac and Fox Indians, and the Late Black Hawk War.
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Article

Rare Book News from Asia

Mitsuo Nitta is the doyen of the rare book trade. As one of the founding members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Japan (ABAJ), initiator of many antiquarian book fairs in Japan, Corea and Hong Kong and, with Yushodo, as owner of one of the most famous antiquarian book companies in Japan and the world, he was – and still is – a key figure of the antiquarian book business in Asia. Some 10 years ago Nitta, who is ILAB Member of Honour, analyzed the general characteristics of the trade in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
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Article

Rare Book Catalogues - To E or Not to E

A few years ago, in the course of one of my hyper-dramatized but mostly benign financial panics, I decided to stop issuing printed catalogs. Though I loved, and was proud of, my catalogs, they cost nearly of $4 each, and seemed to serve primarily as a vehicles for frustrated customers to complain about my grossly unfair manner of distributing them, or excuses for non-ordering pedants to inform me of the many grammatical and spelling errors they contained. ... Read Greg Gibson's plea for the printed catalogue!
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Raymond Carver and Charles Bukowski Meet in the Desert in 1962

This issue of the fugitive and important western little mag is notable for featuring the first poem published by the young Raymond Carver, 'Brass Ring'. Carver was notified of the acceptance of the poem on the same day that he received notice of the publication of his regularly first published story, 'Pastoral' in the Western Humanities Review. [Sklenicka p. 84]. Maryann Carver, Raymond's first wife, would later say of that day "We were on top of the world. It seemed that if you did the right things, the right things would happen ... We were ecstatic and partied for three days."
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Article

The Magic of Encyclopedia Britannica's 11th Edition

"Despite its occasional ugliness, the reputation of the 11th persists today because of the staggering depth of knowledge contained with its volumes. It is especially strong in its biographical entries. These delve deeply into the history of men and women prominent in their eras who have since been largely forgotten – except by the historians, scholars, and antiquarian booksellers who champion the 11th for this quality."
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