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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

GONZALO FERNANDÉZ PONTES - NEW PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS

At the Ordinary General Meeting on 20th September 2016 in Budapest the presidents of ILAB's 22 national member associations voted for Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes (Spain) as new ILAB President. He succeeds Norbert Donhofer (Austria) who served as President from 2014 to 2016; and he will be supported by ILAB Vice‐President Sally Burdon (Australia).
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Article

Tomas Jansson – New President of the Swedish Antiquarian Booksellers’ Associaton (SVAF)

At the annual meeting the Swedish Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (Svenska Antikvariatföreningen, SVAF) elected a new president and a new committee. New SVAF President is Tomas Jansson of Carolina Böcker and Konst. The antiquarian bookshop, located in Uppsala and founded in 1993, is specialized on medicine and medical history, Russian and Russian literature, but also has a large general stock.
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Article

Tante Trude and the E-Book

"Well, yes", she answered, "but still, you know, real books … remember that time in London when I was allowed to touch that prayer book? THAT was a book, this is a reading machine." - A great day for all her fans. Tante Trude is back! Healthy, in good shape, reading Kindle and eating Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.
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ILAB History

Einar Grønholt-Pedersen

The history of ILAB is full of personal memories. Since its beginnings the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers has been a highly effective business organization, a network for the professional book trade, and it has been more: The League is an international family.
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Article

Protecting Your Rare Books: Maintaining the Right Environmental Conditions

Regardless of where you live, maintaining the ideal environmental conditions in your personal library presents specific challenges. Conservation of rare books requires keeping your library at a certain temperature and humidity. Paper products are hygroscopic, meaning that they easily absorb and release moisture. This means that your rare books respond to even the most minute variations in temperature and humidity by contracting and expanding. If temperature and humidity aren't controlled over time, visible damage like warped covers and flaking ink can occur. The paper itself also begins to break down more rapidly.
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