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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Libraries

Rare Books on the Blog – Medieval Desktops

Published on 16 Oct. 2014
In his latest post Erik Kwikkel, book historian at Leiden University, explores the Medieval desktops. How many books could be consulted at the same time? How many of those heave medieval volumes were spread out on the desks in the libraries ready to be studied at the same time? "In short, how are we to understand the logistics behind the devouring of knowledge in the last four centuries of the Middle Ages?" Erik Kwikkel looks at contemporary and Renaissance works of art showing the medieval scholars at work.
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Libraries

In the Press - Bulk of Sendak collection leaving Rosenbach

Published on 15 Sept. 2014
"Nearly half a century ago, the Rosenbach Museum and Library began building a relationship with the young author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, who very quickly started using the townhouse museum on Delancey Place as a repository for his original drawings, manuscripts, proofs, and rare editions. Through the years the numbers mounted, and today about 10,000 items of Sendakiana, from original artwork to finished editions, fill the Rosenbach - the museum's best calling card with generations that grew up with his books.But now that card is being recalled."
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Libraries

Keep the cultural treasures! “Weimarer Appell”: An official appeal to the German authorities – sign it!

Published on 09 Sept. 2014
In the so-called "Weimarer Appell" artists, scholars, librarians, archivists and all who are interested in the history of the book as the true basis of cultural history appeal to the German authorities to take care of the German cultural treasures by financially supporting book and paper restauration and investing into the growth and protection of libraries and archives in Germany. The "Weimarer Appell" has already been signed by prominent figures like Karl Lagerfeld, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Helmut Schmidt, Bundeskanzler a. D., Friede Springer, Nike Wagner, and Wim Wenders. Join the list of supporters and click here to sign!
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Libraries

Rare Books in the Press - 10 Beautiful Australian Libraries, in Pictures

Published on 22 Aug. 2014
"Craigieburn library in Hume, Victoria has been named public library of the year following a cross-continent competition by the Danish Agency for Culture. Judges called it a "democratic meeting place, open to diversity and interaction". From opulent state buildings to state-of-the-art university architecture, here are nine more amazing libraries across Australia – which would you add to the list?" A Guardian picture gallery.
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Libraries

The Warburg Institute Library, London, is once again in danger, 80 years after being saved from the Nazis

Published on 18 Aug. 2014
The Warburg Institute Library holds about 350,000 books. It was originally founded in Hamburg by Aby Warburg (1866-1929), one of the most brilliant intellectuals of the 20th century. Warburg's enormous collection – which documents the history of the Renaissance and the influence of antiquity on modern culture in an interdisciplinary approach - was transformed into a scholarly institution called Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg. The library was located in Hamburg (Germany) until the year 1933. Four years after Aby Warburg's death his collection had to be brought out of the country because it was in danger of being destroyed by the Nazis. The Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg was relocated in London, 1944 it became associated with the University of London, and in 1994 it became a founding institute of the University of London's School of Advanced Study.
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Libraries

Not This Time - 55th Annual Rare Books and Manuscript Librarian's Preconference

Published on 03 July 2014
Where do you start with a place like Vegas? Bally's Hotel and Casino is hosting the 2014 Moose International convention and dealing with a chronic shortage of aquatic plant life, willow shoots, and other forage. Hairy guys with backwards baseball caps. Old men and their leisurewear. Fatties in mobile chairs work away, tethered to slot machines. A Bally's credit card at the other end of the line drips the money in and out. The tether prevents the card from being stolen, lost, or forgotten. Sorry, sir, no photographs. What is the plural of Moose ? Do the International Moose employ it?
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Libraries

'The Most Agreeable Servants of Civilization', Booksellers and Librarians in a Changing World – A Conference Report

Published on 02 July 2014
Three categories of people attended the recent joint conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB) and the National Library of Australia, held in Canberra on 19 and 20 May 2014 – librarians, booksellers and collectors. Its title was 'The Most Agreeable Servants of Civilization', Booksellers and Librarians in a Changing World. You can see the program at www.anzaab.com.
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Libraries

In the Press - Rare Kepler Book Returns to Stralsund, Germany

Published on 25 April 2014
"May I please give this book back to Stralsund. It is a great day for the German-American friendship, for the cities of New York and Stralsund and a great day for rare and valuable books in archives and in libraries." With these words rare book dealer Jonathan Hill, New York, handed over a unique early edition of Johannes Kepler's works which had once belonged to the archive of Stralsund (Germany). For centuries the worth of the book had been unknown. A year and a half ago Jonathan Hill discovered the book in a catalogue. It had been sold together with the whole Stralsund archives and was now offered by an auction house. Jonathan Hill bought the book and, as he said in a press conference on 15th April 2014, brought it back to where it belongs: to Stralsund.
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19 - 27 / 59

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Alexandre Grothendieck and Survivre et Vivre

Survivre et Vivre was a radical environmentalist magazine which was issued c. 1970 to 1973, and published by the group of the same name, formed by the eccentric genius and founder of modern algebraic theory - the mathematician Alexandre Grothendieck, certainly one of the most fascinating figures in modern science.
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Article

Banned Books Week - ‘All that Hell could vomit forth’

This week is Banned Books Week. I've written about banned books before: the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in the Weimar Republic, in the Soviet Union. Here's something a little earlier: the libellous Philippiques of François-Joseph de Lagrange-Chancel (1677–1758). These virulent satires against the Regent, the duc d'Orléans, enjoyed a huge popularity in manuscript throughout the eighteenth century, as the varied examples here show. 'In spite of its imperfections and crying injustice, it is the monument of satire in France' (Nouvelle biographie générale).
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Article

New York Slate: A Bob Dylan Forgery (Why to be careful when buying at auction)

In one of the latest blog entries of Peter Harrington Rare Books (UK), Rachel Chanter describes the dangers of buying at auction. "This cautionary tale shows how far forgers will go to defraud dealers and avid collectors, and how they can sometimes exploit an auction house's less-than-rigorous approach to research. Fortunately, we were able to discover the spurious nature of this artwork, subjecting it to the same level of scrutiny as we do all the items we acquire, which is why we are able to assure customers of the legitimacy of everything we sell. "
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Article

Tante Trude goes to Frankfurt

Every year the Frankfurt Book Fair is a big event in the world of new books and - as an antiquarian book fair is included - also in the world of old books. In October 2012 Frank Werner of Brockhaus / Antiquarium and his lovely Aunt Trude visited this year's Frankfurt fair: the former to buy lots of old books, the latter to admire lots of new books. They both tried hard. Did they succeed?
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Article

Stealing the Mona Lisa - 100 years after the theft a documentary film uncovers new insights into the theft of the masterpiece

"On 21 August 1911, someone entered the Salon Carre of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, removed the Mona Lisa from the wall, unfastened the clamps holding the panel to its frame, and walked off. A painstaking police investigation followed, as newspapers fumed over such a brazen theft. Police failed to capture the thief until he tried to sell the painting in Florence more than two years later." 100 years after the theft a documentary film uncovers new insights into the theft of the masterpiece.
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Booksellers

Friedrich Sally Grosshut (1906-1969) – Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile –

Friedrich Sally Grosshut was born into a family of antique dealers in 1906 in Wiesbaden (Germany). From 1925 to 1929 he studied the law at Frankfurt University and received a Doctor of Law degree in 1932. His career came to an abrupt end with the seizure of power by the Nazis a year later.
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