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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Books about Books

Yale University Press - The Voynich Manuscript

Published on 25 April 2017
In February 2014, media reported a breakthrough that had been made in attempts to decipher a mysterious 600-year-old manuscript written in an unknown language: The Voynich Manuscript, carbon-dated to the 1400s, was rediscovered in 1912, when the antiquarian bookseller Wilfrid Voynich bought it in Italy as part of a rare book collection. Since then it has defied codebreakers and scientists. The BBC and several news channels reported on the case. Yale University Press has now published the "first authorized copy of this mysterious, much-speculated-upon, one-of-a-kind, centuries-old puzzle." (Yale)
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Books about Books

Rebecca Romney's "Printer's Error" just published

Published on 15 March 2017
ABAA bookseller and ILAB member Rebecca Romney of Honey & Wax Books, well known for her TV appearances in the History Channel's "Pawn Stars" has just published her first book "Printer's Error - Irreverent Stories from Book History". This book should be a delight to any collector, dealer or bibliophile in general. A wonderful idea to put together a collection of "absurd" moments in the lives of authors and printers throughout book history.
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Books about Books

Dictionaries - Surveying the Territory

Published on 19 May 2014
No one has ever compiled a complete catalogue of all of the world's reference books, and the task won't be easy. Not all the world's libraries have been catalogued; not all the library catalogues are available in electronic form; not all the electronic catalogues can be searched from a central location. And sometimes the query is too much for the catalogue. The Library of Congress Online Catalog, when asked to display all its holdings with the word dictionary in the title, comes back with an error message: "Your search retrieved more records than can be displayed. Only the first 10,000 will be shown." The same thing happens when you search for encyclopedia.
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Books about Books

Nominated for the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography – Jon Gilbert's Ian Fleming Bibliography

Published on 19 Sept. 2013
When the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography will be awarded during the 41st ILAB Congress in April 2014, the Prize Jury will have had to fulfill an almost impossible task. The jury of Felix de Marez Oyens, David Adams, Jean-Marc Chatelain, Arnoud Gerits, Poul Jan Poulsen, and Umberto Pregliasco will have to choose the best book about books from an impressive list of 70 bio-bibliographical works published between 2009 and 2012. Among them is: John Gilbert: Ian Fleming. The Bibliography.
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Books about Books

Nominated for the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography – D. J. Bromer’s Aldous Huxley Bibliography

Published on 12 Sept. 2013
During the 41st ILAB Congress, preceded by ILAB's International Antiquarian Book Fair, both in Paris in April 2014, the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography of 10.000 USD will be awarded. Since 1967, when Jean Peeters-Fontainas received the first Prize for his outstanding "Bibliographie des impressions Espagnoles aux Pays-Bas méridionaux", famous scholars have submitted the best books about books. Many of them have become standard works both in scientific research and in the antiquarian book trade. Seventy books about books have been submitted to the Prize, which has become one of the most prestigious international awards. Among them many bio-bibliographical studies of the life and works of famous authors such as John Gilbert's highly praised Ian Fleming bibliography or C. E. Grissom's, D. C. Smith's and D. A. Richards' excellent works on Ernest Hemingway, H. G. Wells and Rudyard Kipling. Another brilliant book is devoted to an author who gave us the image of a "Brave New World": Aldous Huxley.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Selling and Collecting Books – Nigel Beale in Conversation with Antiquarian Book Dealer William Reese

"Perhaps America's most important booksellers. He won't say it, but I will", Michael Ginsberg says about William Reese. With a catalogued inventory of over 40.000 items, and a general inventory of over 65.000 William Reese Company is among the leading specialists in the fields of Americana and world travel, and maintains a large and eclectic inventory of literary first editions and antiquarian books of the 18th through 21st centuries. The firm was established in 1975 by William Reese who issues frequent catalogues in his fields of interest, publishes works related to Americana bibliography and is author of many articles on book collecting and the rare book trade. Moreover he has been active with the Yale University Library for many years, funding a number of fellowships in the Beinecke Library, and being a member of the committee to raise funds for the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library. William Reese gave Yale major collections of 20th century writers such as Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon. Listen to Nigel Beale's audio interview with William Reese about book selling, book collecting, and cutting old pies in new ways.
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Article

Collecting - A Private Library in the Netherlands

I've never been in the States, so I may be wrong, but I can't imagine collecting old and rare books over there the way I collect them here in the Netherlands. First of all, there probably is a big difference in the way we search for collectibles. Of course, I use the Internet (I even bought some books from the States that way), but the right stuff for me (and I imagine for others as well) is snooping around in beautiful little bookshops such as still abound here in the Netherlands, especially around me here in Amsterdam.
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Article

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

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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