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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Collecting

Collecting - J. & F. Harwood of Fenchurch Street

Published on 30 Oct. 2015
I have long admired those occasionally found sheets of decorative Victorian notepaper – a handsomely engraved view of your place of resort at the head of a folded sheet of letter-paper: enough space to write a full four-page letter – the more leisurely and elegant precursor of the picture-postcard. While they enjoyed their brief spell of fashion in the mid-nineteenth century there were a number of specialist London (as well as local) manufacturers, but the most appealing of them to my mind – a little larger, a little more artistic – employing decent artists like Thomas Abiel Prior and Edward John Roberts, and certainly better engraved – were those produced by the Harwoods of Fenchurch Street, who also produced bound selections of these views printed on heavier paper under a multitude of titles, such as "Harwood's Scenery of Great Britain", "Harwood's Views of Guernsey", "Harwood's Views of Derbyshire", etc.
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Collecting

Rare Books Uncovered: Rebecca Rego Barry’s True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places

Published on 28 Oct. 2015
Few collectors are as passionate or as dogged in the pursuit of their quarry as collectors of rare books. In fact, book collecting is the only pastime that has a clinically diagnosable illness – bibliomania - to describe its more obsessive hobbyists. The focus of their desire is seemingly limitless: centuries' worth of rare and unique tomes, manuscripts, and historical documents are out there, everywhere, each with unique stories and histories. In " Rare Books Uncovered", Rebecca Rego Barry recounts some of these remarkable discoveries from the world of book collecting.
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Collecting

How to Begin Collecting Economists

Published on 19 Oct. 2015
Over the course of history, the economy - and all the surmising and projecting and studying it requires - has given rise to some of the most remarkable works of human-thought. Economists in every generation provide a fascinating breadth of work and ideas. Today, we'd like to explore a couple of famous economists as well as some ideas for collecting economy-based works. A basic list of economists that merit our attention can be formed from a quick glance throughout history. These individuals punctuate the economic landscape of their times with their thought-processes, philosophies, and recommendations. So without further ado, we give you some noteworthy economists, and their contributions, to add to or to begin growing your economic collection.
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Allez Allez Allez!

Published on 12 Oct. 2015
How better to celebrate sports than by going over the close link historically between writers and bicycles. Leo Tolstoy was an early adopter, procuring a English Starley safety bicycle, which he learnt how to ride in his mid-sixties, undoubtedly to the surprise of the peasant workforce on his family estate at Yasnaya Polyana. Back in England H.G. Wells was a keen cyclist with the quote "When I see an adult on a bicycle I do not despair for the future of the human race" often attributed to him. He regularly managed to weave bicycles into his writings, perhaps most memorably in 'The War in the Air' with the novel's hero Bert Smallways, who with his business partner Grubb, rented bicycles to the intrepid or the foolhardy as the following excerpt shows.
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Collecting

Collecting Robert Graves

Published on 07 Sept. 2015
In wider society, many today consider the Classics irrelevant, and very few children encounter them even in translations now, let alone in the original languages. This then is a far cry from the relentless Classical education Graves himself received, and it is in part at least his own doing. By knocking them off their pedestal, along with the moral authority of Christianity, Graves and his contemporaries simultaneously ensured a future interest in the Classics, and killed off their serious study, except from a historical perspective. In my opinion, if any trace of Greek and Roman literature survives 1000 years from now, it won't be Tacitus' Annals being read, but Robert Graves' novels.
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - On m’accuse?

Published on 06 July 2015
If you've been following my blog for a while, you will know that I am interested in the reception of Anglophone literature abroad, and of foreign literature in the English-speaking world. One figure in this area who cannot be ignored is Henry Vizetelly (1820–1894), publisher, journalist, and editor, whose defiance of censorship and policy of issuing cheap reprints exerted a considerable influence on British publishing, not least the demise of the three-decker.
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Collecting

Collecting - A Private Library in the Netherlands

Published on 01 July 2015
I've never been in the States, so I may be wrong, but I can't imagine collecting old and rare books over there the way I collect them here in the Netherlands. First of all, there probably is a big difference in the way we search for collectibles. Of course, I use the Internet (I even bought some books from the States that way), but the right stuff for me (and I imagine for others as well) is snooping around in beautiful little bookshops such as still abound here in the Netherlands, especially around me here in Amsterdam.
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Collecting

Book Collecting Basics - How to Identify First Editions by Grosset & Dunlap

Published on 03 March 2015
Although publishers Grosset & Dunlap focused primarily on reprints, they did produce first editions. For book collectors, first edition identification is a vital skill. More often than not, conventions for distinguishing first editions vary from publishing house to publishing house. Take a moment to learn more about the history of Grosset & Dunlap and find out how to identify their first editions.
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Collecting

Book Collecting Basics - A History of the Bastard Title

Published on 10 Feb. 2015
At last, it is time to read your new book. It is a crisp evening and you have made a cup of your favorite tea. You splurged and even made a fire. You sink into your chair and look at the book's cover, tracing the title with your fingertip. You sip your tea and open to the first page. Blank. You turn the page. Nearly blank, except for the title - again. With some impatience, you turn to the next page. Here the title is presented a third time but with the welcome addition of the author and publisher. Your tea nearly finished, you quickly flip past the table of contents, list of illustrations, author's note, preface, introduction, and dedication. As your fire burns out, you reach page one. As any reader knows, a book can offer a vast amount of information before the "first" page. But why, one wonders, do some books display the title no less than three times in succession? None will dispute the cover: printing the title there seems obvious and right. Even the title page, listing the title, author, and publisher, passes with little argument. But why this in-between page, this unneeded repetition between the two? Why, in the words of old-fashioned bookbinders, this bastard title?
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19 - 27 / 74

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Patrons of booksellers and how they paid them a century ago

Glancing at an old account book, ranging from 1835 to 1850, with a few entries in 1851, which in some way had come into the possession of my predecessors, I was struck by the occurrence of the names of book-collectors such as Ashburnham, Beaufoy, Beckford, Drury, Phillipps, Spencer, Vernon and numerous others - libraries which have been dispersed in my lifetime. It is concerned only with payments received, and though the sales of single books for cash are recorded they do not often amount to any considerable sum in total. Amongst these items Greek and Latin classics are often prominent with sundry entries which make us envy the unknown purchasers, viz: - Euclidis Elementa Latine. H. Walpole's copy. 4/- Biblia Latina, folio. Jenson, 1479. £3.10.0 Boccace des Nobles Maleureux, Folio. Red. Mor. A. Verard, 1494. £3.13.6.
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Article

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

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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Article

Police Prevented Theft of Historical Documents

Two men tried to steal historical documents from the Maryland Historical Society on Saturday. The papers include documents signed by Abraham Lincoln, commemorations of the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument as well as presidential inaugural ball invitations and programs.
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Upgrade for AntiquarianAuctions.com - Developed by Booksellers for Collectors, Librarians and Dealers

AntiquarianAuctions.com – offering rare books, maps & prints, documents, letters, ephemera and vintage photography - is pleased to launch its upgraded website. For over 5 years, AntiquarianAuctions.com has been running successful online rare book auctions, growing its database and traffic exponentially. AntiquarianAuctions.com was set up by ABA member Paul Mills of Clarke's Africana in Cape Town, South Africa and is still managed from the offices in Cape Town.
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Article

THE GUARDIAN - International relay of events set to mark Unesco World Book Day

"From a pop-up bookshop in Vienna's giant ferris wheel to book fairs in cities across South Korea, antiquarian booksellers around the world are preparing to host a 24-hour run of events later this month to raise money for children in South Sudan. To mark Unesco's World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April, 1,800 members of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) are preparing a series of pop-up fairs featuring rare books. A mix of presentations, exhibitions, lectures and performances, the events will take place from South Africa to Russia, and New York to Munich, and will raise money for Unesco and actor Forest Whitaker's literacy projects in South Sudan. ILAB president Norbert Donhofer, who came up with the idea for the pop-up fairs last year, said: "The purpose of ILAB's participation … is to spotlight rare books and bookselling while raising money for what is at the very foundation of all we do – literacy."
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