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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Libraries

Echoes from the Vault - The University of St Andrews launches a new blog

Published on 24 June 2011
The Department of Special Collections of the University of St Andrews has recently launched a new blog created by the Rare Books Collections: Echoes from the Vault explores discoveries made through current retro-cataloguing efforts, announces any news or events from the Special Collections and will highlight some of the treasures from the University's long history of collecting.
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Libraries

John Bidwell: A Life in Libraries, Thanks to Gutenberg

Published on 24 June 2011
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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Libraries

Rare Books in the Press: Darwin’s Personal Library Put Online

Published on 23 June 2011
Charles Darwin's personal scientific library comprised 1480 books, of which 730 contain research notes in their margin. This magnificent collection has now been digitised by the Cambridge University Library in cooperation with the Darwin Manuscripts Project at the American Museum of Natural History, the Natural History Museum, and the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
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Libraries

Rare Books in the Press - La lunga storia della Bibliotheca Hertziana

Published on 15 March 2011
The Bibliotheca Hertziana is located in Rome. It emerged from a donation of Henriette Hertz (1764-1847) and was founded as a Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (now: Max Planck Institute) in 1913. With around 289.000 volumes, the Bibliotheca Hertziana is regarded as one of the world's famous research centres for the history of art and architecture of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque. The library focuses on interdisciplinary projects, such as the "Census of Antique Works of Art and Architecture Known in the Renaissance", a database which was developed in cooperation with the Warburg Institute London. The Census documents antique monuments known in the Renaissance together with related Renaissance texts and images, and information about locations, persons and periods as well as bibliographical data. Some snippets from an article by Antonietta Meringola about the history of the Bibliotheca Hertziana.
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Libraries

The Library: Three Jeremiads

Published on 09 Dec. 2010
„When I look back at the plight of American research libraries in 2010, I feel inclined to break into a jeremiad. In fact, I want to deliver three jeremiads, because research libraries are facing crises on three fronts; but instead of prophesying doom, I hope to arrive at a happy ending." Robert Darnton analyses the present – and future – situation of University Libraries.
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Libraries

Die Unsterblichkeit der Sterne – Francisco de Goya, Walter Benjamin, Václav Havel

Published on 25 Oct. 2010
Blank, specialist in 18th to 20th century literature and philosophy, reconstructed Kafka's library which was given as a present to the city of Prague by the Porsche AG in the year 2002. His other life long passion was Walter Benjamin. After the Kafka project Blank reconstructed Benjamin's library. He compiled all the books Benjamin had owned before his library was lost during the Nazi regime. Blank's catalogue "In Walter Benjamins Bibliothek. Dokumentation einer verlorenen Bibliothek" was published in 2006. Now the books most important to Walter Benjamin, and some of the most rare and beautiful ones, are exhibited at the Centre for Persecuted Art in Solingen. A model of the memorial at Port Bou, where Benjamin took his life after his failed escape from the Nazis, is also shown.
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Libraries

Rare Books as Victims of an Earthquake – “Classical antiquities smashed to bits in Christchurch earthquake”

Published on 07 Sept. 2010
Millions of rare books have been thrown from the shelves by an earthquake in New Zealand early this week. Among them a collection of Greek and Roman antiquities worth millions of dollars that has been damaged at the University of Canterbury. "The James Logie Memorial Collection of Greek and Roman antiquities is one such example of a collection that has suffered significant damage. The collection, established in the 1950s in memory of university registrar James Logie, is valued at several million dollars and includes nearly 250 items. Dr Alison Griffith, head of the classics programme, said staff were heartbroken at the extent of the damage."
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46 - 54 / 59

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

A Book Lover’s Haven Turns 100 (The New York Times)

After extensive renovations, the Grolier Club New York has opened again to the public. The New York Times spoke to director Eric Holzenberg.
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Article

American Publishers' Bindings on the Books of Amelia E. Barr 1882-1918

Today hardly anybody knows the name Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr, yet a hundred years ago she was among the most prolific and popular women writing in America. If it were not for the decorated bindings on her books I would not have known she existed. Some of the best cover artists were assigned to her works, including Thomas Watson Ball, Alice Cordelia Morse, Evelyn W. Clark, Blanche McManus Mansfield, Amy Richards, William Snelling Hadaway, Harry B. Matthews, Theodore Brown Hapgood and the Decorative Designers.
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Article

Joel Silver: Bibliography for Booksellers

Reference information is indispensable to antiquarian booksellers. Like many traditional booksellers, here at BTC we have many hundreds of bibliographies and reference works that we can quickly consult to help us in identifying and verifying different books, editions, and autographs. But with more and more information available on the Internet, it may seem that there is no longer a need for booksellers to have a large reference library. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is still a great deal of information, necessary to properly cataloging a book, that can only be obtained from print sources.
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Article

Rare Booksellers' First Catalogues

Booksellers' firsts are as rare as some rare books. Often printed and produced with much love and energy, yet on cheap paper and for a still small company of customers, they are "used" – and thrown away. Who started when? What did he or she offer? And for what price? Only the first catalogues can answer such questions. How did he or she present the material? With illustrations, elaborate descriptions, old-fashioned, modern, sophisticated or funny? A fine selection of 100 titles, or the abundance of 4000 items in one volume? In form of a "real" print catalogue or as a photocopied list? The catalogues, and especially their covers, reflect the taste and customs of the decades in which they were printed. Some months ago Tom Congalton of Between the Covers Rare Books started to publish pictures of rare booksellers' first catalogues on Facebook. The most outstanding examples are presented here.
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Booksellers

The Los Angeles Book Fair's New Dealers

The February 2010 Los Angeles Book Fair was a lovely fair with a chance for all of us to see old friends and colleagues. What was different this year was that there were quite a few new dealers. Impossible, people say ... the antiquarian book trade is dying with us old folks. If you think that, then you didn't come to the Los Angeles Book Fair where I got to talk to quite a few new dealers while Gordon took some pictures. I chatted with dealers who were very positive about being in the book trade and about being at the Los Angeles fair at the Century Plaza, an historic hotel located in Los Angeles' wealthy west side. I was also interested in hearing from the new dealers about how the "old" dealers treated them and everyone I spoke with (with some exceptions not chronicled here) thought they were very welcomed by the experienced dealers.

I wanted the new dealers to speak for themselves and so some of the comments here are from questions I asked and some are in answer to how they felt about the Los Angeles fair.
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Article

A Bibliophile of huge Ec(h)o

Fresh from his stint as Special Guest Curator at the Louvre (no less!), in September 2010 Umberto Eco will open the ILAB-LILA International Congress and Book Fair with the lecture The Vertigo of the List and of the Catalogue. "The subject of lists has been a theme of many writers from Homer onwards. My great challenge was to transfer it to painting and music and to see whether I could find equivalents in the Louvre, because frankly when I suggested the subject I had no idea how I would write about visual lists", he said at the Louvre.
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