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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Early Printing

History of Printing in Austria - Druckfrisch. Der Innsbrucker Wagner-Verlag und der Buchdruck in Tirol

Published on 04 June 2014
375 years ago Michael Wagner, a printer from Augsburg in Germany, founded a publishing house in Innsbruck, Austria, which is still existing today: Universitätsverlag Wagner. To celebrate the 375th anniversary of the publisher the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum has organized an impressive exhibition from 13th June to 26th October, 2014, accompanied by an attractive programme with lectures, concerts, guided tours, a children's workshop, and a conference with leading Austrian and international scholars and scientists, among them ILAB Patron of Honour Murray G. Hall.
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Early Printing

A Brief History of Broadsides

Published on 07 June 2013
Samuel F Haven, former librarian for the American Antiquarian Society, presided over one of the largest collections of broadsides in the world. Historians and rare book collectors alike cherish broadsides because they offer snapshots of moments in time, helping us to understand the zeitgeist of that era. Broadsides make ideal complements to a rare book collection, granting the collection greater depth and context.
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Early Printing

The 15th Century Equivalent of Your Cat Walking on Your Keyboard

Published on 26 Feb. 2013
"The 15th century equivalent of your cat walking on your keyboard", writes Rebecca J. Rosen, senior associate editor at The Atlantic, are ink pawprints in early printed books. "For cat owners, the scene is too familiar: You sit down to finally (finally!) get some work done, and along comes kitty, here to stroll across your keyboard." During the 15th century the ancestors of our beloved kitties walked across - incunabula. What is a big disgrace (or humiliation) for every serious collector, is nothing more than an everyday occurrence for cat lovers.
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Early Printing

Early Engraver Played His Cards Right

Published on 08 Nov. 2012
The "Meister der Spielkarten", or "The Master of the Playing Cards" is known only through the 106 engravings that have been attributed to him, including the set of playing cards that he is named for. The term "master" is reserved for someone who has completed an apprenticeship and ran his own workshop, teaching apprentices. His presumed students are also unknown but have similar names, such as "The Master of the Nuremberg Passion", "The Master of 1446", and "The Master of the Banderoles".
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Early Printing

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Johann Froben and The Private Library

Published on 11 Jan. 2012
"He was the soul of honesty himself, and slow to think evil of others; so that he was often taken in. Of envy and jealousy he knew as little as the blind do of colour. He was swift to forgive and to forget even serious injuries ... He was enthusiastic for good learning, and felt his work to be his own reward. It was delightful to see him with the first pages of some new book in his hands, some author of whom he approved. His face was radiant with pleasure, and you might have supposed that he had already received a large return of profit. The excellence of his work would bear comparison with that of the best printers of Venice and Rome." (Erasmus)
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Dismal Science of the Mimeo Revolution

Digging through used bookstores, I always keep a look out for books that covered aspects of the Mimeo Revolution when it was a current event. Jeff Nuttall's Bomb Culture is a good one of course. There are many more books on the Underground Newspaper as opposed to the little magazines and Roger Lewis' Outlaws of America and Robert Glessing's The Underground Press in America are two examples.
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Book Review: 'The Prague Cemetery' by Umberto Eco

"Bookish digressions and odd cultural details are two reasons why we read Umberto Eco. He takes great pleasure in showing readers the monastic care of books in "The Name of the Rose," the kabbalah in "Foucault's Pendulum" and day-to-day life in Mussolini's Italy in "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana." Without such layers, without his plunging into the minutiae of other eras, it just wouldn't be an Eco novel."
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