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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Digital Finding Aid for Early Copies of Edmund Spenser's Works

The Spenser Archive Finding Aid is the first bibliographical database with links to collections all over the world that house 16th and 17th century copies of works by the English poet and colonial administrator Edmund Spenser. The database is open to editors, bibliographers, scholars and students of the history of the book, curators of collections, rare book dealers and private collectors. You can browse editions and folio parts, and you can search for copies in libraries in North America, Europe and Australia. The information has been gathered and carefully checked over many years by dozens of contributors.
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The Wonders of the Shore in Color

Long before Darwin's Origin was published in 1859 there was in Victorian society a strong popular interest in natural history. Not only did the microscope reveal previously hidden wonders, exposing for the first time the sexual life of plants, but advances in printing technology made it possible to reproduce and disseminate such images – in color – among the new and rapidly growing middle and working class populations. An excellent example of this historically unique intersection between science, technology and religion just appeared on my desk: the 1855 edition of Rev. Charles Kingsley's Glaucus, or the Wonders of the Shore.
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16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography Update

The 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography will be awarded in 2014 to one or more bibliographies or books about books published between 2009 and 2012. Seven books have already been submitted, among them bibliographies, biographies, library catalogues, studies on bookbinding and conference papers about "Early Printed Books as Material Object". They come from France, Italy, the United States, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom.
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The Cinderella of the Arts: A Short History of Sangorski & Sutcliffe

The Cinderella of the Arts, written by Rob Shepherd, charts the history of one of the most celebrated craft bookbinding workshops of the 20th century. Sangorski & Sutcliffe was founded in 1901 and within a few years the workshop had grown into the most important hand bindery of the Edwardian era.
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Notes from Sydney - The ILAB Internship in Australia from October to December 2011

Here I am reporting from sunny Sydney where I am highly enjoying my ILAB internship. I am a student at the Moscow State University of Printing Arts where I participate in the courses about the antiquarian book trade held by professor Olga Tarakanova. My internship is part of the program which is organized by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers to give a hand to young booksellers like me to get in touch with foreign colleagues. So I got lucky to go to Australia, and I want to write about my experiences here in the form of brief posts to keep you informed about what is going on down under!
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Bookbindings

`Bibliopegy' is the art of binding books, and the collector, lover or scholar of bindings is a `bibliopegist'. Bookbinding dates from the ancient world Indian, Persian, Coptic, Chinese, Greek & Roman examples are known to exist, even if only in fragments. The rise of the universities, the increase of literacy outside the monasteries, and the invention of moveable type in Germany in the 1450s, all contributed to the demand for books. With this came the demand for decorative bookbindings in leather and metal, and the introduction of goldtooling (impressions in the leather) by Islamic craftsmen who settled in Venice in the 15th century.
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