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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
William Reese: Collectors, Booksellers and Libraries
Rare Book Trade

Collectors, Booksellers and Libraries: Essays on Americanists and the Rare Book Market by the late William Reese

Published on 17 Sept. 2018
The rare book trade lost one of its most active members earlier this year. Besides his achievements as a remarkable bookseller of Americana material and the respect he gained in the bookselling community, William Reese is also remembered for his series of essays on the rare book market and Americana which were published in 2018. In a tribute to Mr Reese, ILAB will publish two chapters of his book over the next few weeks on this website with the permission of William Reese & Co.
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Rare Book Trade

The Art of Book Cataloguing - British Bottoms

Published on 05 Aug. 2016
The differences between paper and digital catalogs are obvious, but some of the results of those differences continue to surprise me. For example, in the old days orders from my paper catalogs would dribble in over a period of weeks. I used to mail them all first class, in three staggered mailings, hoping to achieve some kind of evenness in delivery, but customers were always complaining that their catalogs arrived late, and demanding exclusive previews. Others, more laid back, would wait for moments of leisure to read their catalogs, and some overworked acquisitions librarians required days or weeks to claw through the pile of incoming mail to discover where my list of treasures was buried. Digital catalogs, on the other hand, play out in an eyeblink. Everyone gets their catalog announcement via a Mail Chimp email blast within the same hour or so. Those who are highly motivated know that they must read it and respond immediately. Consequently, most of the orders arrive by email within the first few hours of the catalog's life. Maritime List 238 was posted Sunday night. By Wednesday even the laid back orders had arrived.
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Rare Book Trade

Blogging and the Trade - War and… Peace

Published on 29 June 2016
Hard to believe, for me anyway, but we've just shot past the sixth anniversary of Bookman's Log. Yes, I should have written this entry after the fifth anniversary, and I don't know why I didn't. The post dated June 8, 2015 is about my dimwitted attempt to sell rare maritime books through an eBay store. (Results for the 6 months I tried it were one sale and two offers, both for less that 50% of what I had listed the book for.)
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Rare Book Trade

The times they are a-changin' in the rare book trade

Published on 21 Oct. 2015
Moved by this conference in Lucca, I had the chance of dealing with some incunabula belonging to Martini, whose library is considered one of the richest private collections of Italian literature in the world. Reconsidering them one year after Norbert's presentation at Lucca, invites me to consider how our profession has been changing. As there has been enough talking of stolen books, forgeries, laws and export licenses, I would like to reflect on the evolution of the booksellers' job along the 20th century.
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Rare Book Trade

Joint Catalogue – 80th Anniversary of the Dutch Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (NVvA)

Published on 20 Oct. 2015
A "Fair-Less" Year: For the last ten years, this catalogue was issued on the occasion of the Antiquarian Book Fair at the Passenger Terminal in Amsterdam. Members of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers Association presented their treasures through the catalogue but also referred to the Fair, where one could view and touch books and prints in tangible form.
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Rare Book Trade

Every Dealer’s Nightmare - A Flooded Bookstore

Published on 19 Oct. 2015
Imagine - you live in an area where no flooding has taken place for 38 years and your stock is held in a professional storage area surrounded by some 200 other units. Sounds a good bet? . . . Read on. Here is one dealer's first-hand experience. Bon Summers was hit by a flash flood and it took her 20 day's solid hard work in temperatures exceeding 90°F with high humidity to recover the remaining stock. This is her account.
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Rare Book Trade

Buying Antiquarian Books in Oslo, Norway

Published on 08 Oct. 2015
If you find yourself in Oslo and are thinking about looking for antiquarian books, we can point you in the right directions. Norway isn't home to the largest remaining selection of antiquarian bookstores in Scandinavia (shops in Denmark and Sweden seem to have fared better than others), but there are still quite a few in which visitors can spend many hours scanning shelves and boxes.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Booksellers

My Most Awkward (Book Related) Moment

Most of my bookselling life has been a lonely business: waiting for trains, scouring shelves of dull books in the hope of finding one good one. But for five years I had a shop, and that wasn't lonely at all.
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Article

The Golden Cockerel Press - Audio Interview with Roderick Cave, by Nigel Beale

"The Golden Cockerel Press is one of most important, productive English private presses in the history of fine printing. In 2002 Oak Knoll Press and the British Library co-published the first extensive study of the Golden Cockerel. Written by Roderick Cave, the book is based on interviews and the Press' widely-scattered archives." Nigel Beale met Roderick Cave at the British Library to discuss the achievements of The Golden Cockerel Press.
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Article

Collecting Egyptology and Ancient History

The science of Egyptology commenced in the late 18th century, when Napoleonic troops entered Egypt, fought the Battle of the Embabeh and General Bonaparte, observing the Pyramids, famously stated 'Comrades, forty centuries look down upon us'. Napoleon included savants (learned men) in his Egyptian entourage, who described what they saw. This became the famous Description de la Egypte which spurred an interest in Egyptology in Europe ...
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Article

Own the Whole World

Own the Whole World is a good example of the commingling of various interests - hardcore punk, mail art, cultural criticism, and irreducible eccentricity - that often seemed to take place in the zines of Ohio. Number 4 includes a manifesto on the need to analyze pop music by Peter Titus, a review with four photographs of Flipper at J. B.'s (proving that this show actually did happen - see an example of the flier here) and a Postal Art Network advertisement and call for submissions for Mark Bloch's New York exhibition The Last Mail Art Show.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Dining Revolutionary Style

On July 4, we traditionally celebrate Independence with fireworks and barbecues. But General Washington and his troops certainly didn't have grilled chicken or barbecue ribs. Soldiers of the colonial era were lucky to receive basic rations, and inadequate nutrition was a significant concern for commanders on both sides of the Revolutionary War.
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Article

Six Weeks in Australia - The ILAB Internship Program

Pavel Chepyzhov spent six weeks in Australia as an ILAB Intern. "My internship took place from October to December 2011 when I traveled from Russia to Australia and Hong Kong. I have spent most of my time in Australia with Paul Feain, the owner of Cornstalk Bookshop (Sydney), the organizer of the Hong Kong Antiquarian Book Fair and the co-founder of Sydney Rare Book Auctions." Read his report.
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