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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Collecting

Vandérem et la bibliophilie nouvelle

Published on 08 Oct. 2010
Le mérite de cet épisode emporté de l'histoire de la bibliophilie française revient tout entier à Fernand Vandérem. En 1922, Henri Leclerc, libraire-expert, propriétaire de la revue, lui en a confié la direction. Homme tout autre et venu d'un tout autre bord que Georges Vicaire, son prédécesseur, Vandérem n'est ni un érudit ni un bibliographe patenté. C'est un écrivain, romancier sans succès et chroniqueur littéraire apprécié, qui s'est taillé dans le petit monde spécialisé de la librairie ancienne la réputation d'un amateur fin et paradoxal. L'aplomb de ses oukases et la causticité de son esprit en ont fait une manière de personnage. À la tête du Bulletin, il va révéler et déployer tous les talents d'un incomparable animateur.
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Collecting

The A-Z of Celebrity Book Collecting - Bookride reveals the hidden secrets of the rare book trade

Published on 27 Aug. 2010
The Who is Who of rare book collecting. Why does Charlie Woods never attend rare book auctions? What do Led Zeppelin and Crowley have in common? Who has bought a lock of Rupert Brooke's hair? And how much did it cost? Bookride reveals the "hidden" secrets of the antiquarian book trade and explains what is worth collecting in a glossary from A to Z: animals, Attenborough, auctions, Beatles, Boer War, Bloomsbury, Celine, Chesterton, colour printing, cookery, cricket, Crowley, design, Dracula, engineering, false books, flowers ...
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Collecting

How To Shop at a Used or Rare Book Store Without Being Murdered

Published on 26 Aug. 2010
"One of the questionable compensations which used booksellers [the rare books, not the sellers] receive in return for devoting themselves to a precarious vocation is a constant exposure to all the varieties and extremes of human behaviour at its most eccentric." So begins The Protocols of Used Bookstores, a serio-comic tract written and recently published by Toronto fine and rare bookseller (the rare books and the seller) David Mason. Within, Mason lists forty-four Rules to be heeded by the used and rare book buyer when patronizing a brick and mortar shop if they wish the proprietor to give them the time of day and a piece of their expertise as opposed to a time of death and a piece of their mind. Mason has put forth these rules "to help make your quest for a book simpler."
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Collecting

Rare Books to Honour the Still Alive - “Festschriften and The Private Library”

Published on 18 Aug. 2010
Memorials are published after the death of an author, artist or scientist. "It is rare that such tributes are composed while an honoree is still alive, though such tributes are not unknown." "Festschriften" – there is no English or American equivalent for what is meant by the German word – are addressed to scientists during their life and career. L. D. Mitchell introduces a field of collecting rare books which are popular in the scholarly world, but nearly unknown to bibliophiles.
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Collecting

“The Precious Unprinted Contents of Books” – Handwritten notes, flowers and other things you find in rare books

Published on 16 Aug. 2010
Open an old book and find – a flower, or better: a bank note, photographs, letters, notes scribbled on the pages, exhibitions tickets. Even if a book is boring you may find something interesting between the lines or pages, if it is an old book, not a Kindle. The Guardian Book Blog muses about "marginalia and forgotten mementoes" in the age of the internet.
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Collecting

The Greatest Book Collector You Never Heard Of

Published on 27 July 2010
"One room was abandoned when the piles neared the ceiling, and at some point a subsidence of books blocked the door from the inside, sealing the room off. He established an annex in the garage, where piles of loose books mingled with unopened purchases from local shops and parcels from overseas ..."
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Collecting

Celal Sengör

Published on 22 July 2010
Celal Sengör is one of the leading geologists and specialist on earthquakes worldwide. He is a professor of the Technical University in Istanbul – and possesses what is probably the largest private library on geology and it’s history from the very beginnings until today. His library, built into the hills above the Bosporus, contains more than 30,000 volumes...
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Collecting

Bibliofilia e bibliomania - Or: The Fascination of Rare Books and Autographs

Published on 19 July 2010
Umberto Eco held his "lectio magistralis" about "Bibliofilia e bibliomania" in Turin. Professor Eco himself is "A Bibliophile of huge Ec(h)o", as Umberto Pregliasco has characterized him. In September 2010 he will open the 39th ILAB Congress and 23rd International Book Fair in Bologna with a lecture - a great honour for the League, and a great pleasure for every bibliophile who will have the chance to attend this event.
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Collecting

The Foots and the Poets

Published on 06 July 2010
Very recently, a delightful new book tumbled on to my desk from an otherwise boring mail delivery - a Yard (3 Foots) Anthology, which straight away brightened my day and finished off anything else I had planned to do. For it immediately took me back many years to a different era. After a preliminary look-through, I was so grateful that I telephoned the donor to thank him most profusely and genuinely.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

L’Histoire de l’Histoire de la Jamaïque

Most bibliographers and librarians attribute the book "L'Histoire de la Jamaïque", published by Nourse 1751, to the British author Sir Hans Sloane. Wrong! This "L'Histoire' is a translation of a work published in Edinburgh in 1739. The author is Charles Leslie, and the book is called "A New and Exact Account of Jamaica". The French / English journalist Thibault Ehrengardt re-writes the history of a bibliographical confusion.
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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

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Margaret Fuller: America's First Feminist

May 23 is the birthday of writer Margaret Fuller (1810), who is considered the first American feminist. She wrote Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845), which is regarded as the first major feminist work published in the country. It was first published in The Dial Magazine, for which Fuller had served as founding editor before turning those duties over to co-founder Ralph Waldo Emerson. In the book, Fuller argued that mankind would evolve to understand divine love and that women alongside men would share in divine love. Fuller was a favorite in the New England Transcendentalist community. Among her friends were Bronson Alcott (Louisa May's father), Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Horace Greeley, for whom she worked as first literary critic of the New York Tribune. She served as foreign correspondent for the Tribune, touring Europe and setting in Rome, where she married. She was returning to the United States in 1850 but drowned, along with her husband and young son, when her ship hit a sandbar and sank off New York. She was 40 years old.
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Article

ILAB Internships – Out of the Classroom, into the World

I have already spent two and a half weeks in Australia. First 10 days I spent in Sidney with Paul Feain. Paul is the owner of Cornstalk Bookshop and Sidney Rare Book Auctions. It is a great chance for me to work with him, because I work in an auction house in Moscow and it is really interesting to get new information about the auction business. Now, after 35 years, Paul is selling his real estate and going to close the shop in April, but he is pushing ahead with the auctions. The next auction was on Saturday, February 22nd and I participated in the preparation of this auction. I made some book descriptions for the auction catalogue, but principally, I worked with Paul's reference library. This library is great! I really enjoyed working with it.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Saul Bellow

Bellow's three National Book Award-winning books, Mr. Sammler's Planet (1971), Herzog (1965), and The Adventures of Augie March (1954); and his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Humboldt's Gift (1976), are not difficult to find, but they do command a premium price if they are either in especially fine condition or signed (although for such a legendarily grumpy author, Bellow seems to have been generous with his signature). His first two books, Dangling Man (1944), and The Victim (1947), are usually harder to find, with Dangling Man, because of its fragile wartime construction (using cheaper paper and other materials) being the most difficult and expensive. Other early books of his that have become scarce in fine copies are his play The Last Analysis (1965), and Henderson the Rain King (1959). It seems to us that Bellow will continue to be collected for the relatively long term, and fine copies will become steadily scarcer.
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