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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

Article

London International Antiquarian Book Fair, 28th to 30th May 2015

From May 28th to 30th the halls of Olympia will once again present an unparalleled array of literary material at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair. Now in its 58th year, this major three-day event is one of the largest and most prestigious antiquarian book fairs in the world, showcasing rare, unique and unusual items from 180 leading UK and international dealers. From medieval manuscripts to modern signed first editions, visitors hold history in their hands as they view and buy museum-quality books, maps, prints, photographs, manuscripts, letters, ephemera and original artwork. With prices ranging from a few pounds to many, thousands there is something for everyone here.
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Article

Born (Again) in the USA

"The challenge for the book trade is to introduce young people to rare books and foster an appreciation of the importance of books as cultural artefacts. We can show them what a difference they can make to the world by what they choose to collect and treasure, to write about and share with friends. Chris and I are thinking of publishing our next ventures as apps for the iPad. If we continue to embrace technology, the future for the rare book trade is unlimited. Terry Belanger once pointed out that the less utilitarian horses became, the more highly they were valued and treasured. I'm betting the same is true of books and I hope to be selling them for many years to come." Sheila Markham in conversation with John Windle
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Article

It’s a Book - Not an App

"Have you ever tried to explain book collecting to someone who's not a collector? This has never been an easy thing to do, but it seems to be much more difficult now than it was just a few years ago. The problem is not that books are unfamiliar objects, or that collecting is seen as an unusual pursuit. Despite increased competition, books can still be found everywhere, and collectors of all kinds are featured on more television shows than ever before. What makes an explanation of book collecting more difficult now is that the main purposes books have served for more than two thousand years - the storage and provision of information - can be achieved today in many other, and often much less expensive, ways...
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Booksellers

By the book: Bringing antiquarian bookselling into the 21st century - The Week UK

By the book: Bringing antiquarian bookselling into the 21st century
Pom Harrington on the thrill of selling first editions of Shakespeare, Shackleton and Churchill
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Article

Volland Publishers - The History and the Books

Through Volland's vision of publishing high quality, mass produced books, his books for children proved to be amongst the most successful. Although he had limited funds in the beginning, Volland was still able to employ the skills of such noted children's book authors as Elizabeth Gordon, Elizabeth Brown Kirkland, Olive Beaupre Miller, and Miriam Clark Potter. His roster of illustrators included Johnny Gruelle, Tony Sarg, Holling C. Holling, M.T. Ross, John Rae (of Howard Pyle's Brandywine School), John Gee, and Maginel Wright Enright, the sister of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
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