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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Collecting

Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction and The Private Library

Published on 18 March 2013
One of the most popular components of a private library is the mystery genre, which comprises a vast array of sub-genres such as detective fiction. The genesis of the detective fiction sub-genre may be traced to a short story penned by Edgar Allan Poe in 1841 titled The Murders in the Rue Morgue. All the elements of what we today recognize as the essential characteristics of the sub-genre are found in this short story: a brutal murder; baffled police; an independent investigator that solves the case through superior intelligence, humbling the police in the process.
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Guiding Lights

Published on 14 Dec. 2012
I've ranted before about lighthouses being one of those subject areas from which collectors have mysteriously vanished. People scrabbling and clawing in the most fearsome way for lighthouse literature and then one day, more or less out of the blue, they don't want any at all. Not even the rarest material. I suspect that in this case, eBay and print-on-demand technology killed the market. The field was largely information driven, and once people got access to cheap reprints or bargain copies of scarce texts, the game was over for dealers like me.
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Why I Bothered

Published on 22 June 2012
"If you keep an open mind in this business, you learn something new every day." Greg Gibson on collecting the unusual: "Fire insurance mapping began in London in the 1700s, but it had never been applied with a systematic approach. In 1867 Daniel Alfred Sanborn, a surveyor from Massachusetts, saw the need for such a service, and quickly occupied that niche. By the late 1800s he had offices spanning the continent, sending out thousands of surveyors to record the footprints and construction details of buildings in American cities. Insurance companies could then use this information to write accurate policies, based on potential fire risk as documented by Sanborn's company."
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Collecting

Papier Mâché and The Private Library

Published on 22 June 2012
"One of the most unusual bindings one is likely to encounter among books purchased at yard sales, garage sales, friends-of-the-library book sales and the like is papier mâché." L.D. Mitchell on Papier Mâché and The Private Library.
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Collecting

A New Edition of A Gentle Madness - Catching up with Nick Basbanes

Published on 08 June 2012
Ask any book collector about his favorite classic of collecting, and Nick Basbanes' Gentle Madness, first published in 1995, is undoubtedly at the top of the list. Now an updated edition of this book about the "Eternal Passion for Books" has been published. Rebecca Rego Barry asked Nick Basbanes about the book, how it affected his career, and what he's currently working on. Some snippets:
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - OenoLit and The Private Library

Published on 24 May 2012
Given that the first book printed from moveable type in Western Europe, the Gutenberg Bible, contains numerous references to wine, and given that the technology for printing that first book may itself have been modeled upon the screw press used to extract wine from grapes, this writer has always found it puzzling that the cultivation, processing, distribution and consumption of wine is rarely a major thematic element in works of fiction.
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books - and Ephemera: Dandruff Piles

Published on 02 April 2012
Books sit squarely on shelves. They are discrete, replicable units. They have titles, authors, and places and dates of publication. They organize nicely into classes – "fiction" and "non-fiction," for example. There is agreed-upon language to describe condition, and there are bibliographical references that talk about the history and physical makeup of a book.
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Collecting

Open The Pod Bay Doors, Hal!

Published on 02 April 2012
If there's one thing you can guarantee it's that the minute you think you're being smart is the minute before you meet someone much smarter. One of the reasons I love my job so very, very much is that my minutes of being smart never last long enough to knock my self image out of whack. If I'm not meeting a customer whose breadth of knowledge and devotion has the least admirable parts of me reaching for a pitchfork and a torch then it's one of my colleagues who is making me wish I could eat their head and consume their wisdom entire.
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46 - 54 / 74

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

ILAB Pop UP Book Fairs - A Message from ILAB President Norbert Donhofer

ear organizers and visitors of the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs, dear colleagues and friends, It is now less than 36 hours before the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs will start in Australia, and some thirty Pop Up fairs will follow around the globe before this event ends on the west coast of the United States. I take this opportunity to thank you very much indeed for joining us on April 23, 2015. You have created some unbelievable and impressive ideas to celebrate this day: from a woolshed in Dunkeld to a boat, shipping along the "Grachten" of Amsterdam, a whole street in Groningen, and a Brew-Pub in Portland, Oregon, and so many more brilliant ideas! There are two main reasons why ILAB had invented this series of Pop Up Fairs on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day: one reason is that we have the feeling that we have to show our profession to the public, to make antiquarian bookselling more visible! I would therefore ask you to talk to as many people as possible, distribute catalogues, and tell the public about rare, valuable, and second-hand books, maps and prints.
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Article

BUDAPEST 2016 - ILAB CONGRESS & INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR

For the first time ever the Hungarian rare book dealers invite colleagues and collectors from across the world to Budapest. The 42nd ILAB Congress and 26th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair from 21 to 25 September 2016 will present Budapest as one of the most beautiful cities and one of the most fascinating book capitals in Europe. The congress programme is as manifold as exciting and proves that Budapest is a city with many faces: the old Hungarian capital full of books and music, history and tradition and at the same time a lively and busy Eastern European centre full of young and amazing cultural concepts. In a series of articles we will introduce you to the most exciting places of Budapest – libraries, museums, archives, music halls and other famous sites. Joins us on our virtual tour through the Hungarian capital. Today we will invite you to a virtual tour on: Castle Hill
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Article

Virtual or real?

Phil Patton about the advantages of having good literature on the iPhone and the incomparable joy of having a real book in his hands. Pros and cons of digital libraries ...
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Article

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

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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Article

Famous Figures in the History of Book Binding, Part Two

The way we present and preserve the written word has changed considerably over the millennia. When Johann Gutenberg introduced movable type, our concept of the book changed forever. Since then, famous figures like William Caxton, Jean Grolier, and Samuel Mearne introduced the concept of the book as an object of art. In more recent centuries, Roger Payne and William Morris paved the way for the modern private press movement.
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Article

Christmas and The Private Library, Part 2

Perhaps most significant among such works of fiction were Washington Irving's The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon (1819-1820), which supposedly drew upon the tract Vindication of Christmas (1652) for many elements of its stories about Christmas; Clement Clarke Moore's A Visit from St. Nicholas (first published anonymously in New York's Troy Sentinel newspaper on 23 December 1823); and, most influential of all, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843) ... Learn more about Christmas books!
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