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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Rare Book Catalogues - To E or Not to E

A few years ago, in the course of one of my hyper-dramatized but mostly benign financial panics, I decided to stop issuing printed catalogs. Though I loved, and was proud of, my catalogs, they cost nearly of $4 each, and seemed to serve primarily as a vehicles for frustrated customers to complain about my grossly unfair manner of distributing them, or excuses for non-ordering pedants to inform me of the many grammatical and spelling errors they contained. ... Read Greg Gibson's plea for the printed catalogue!
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Rare Book Selling - a Man’s World?

"Women have less bite and competence", are "prone to self-doubt" and "fear of losing their livelihood". Women have a different time management system and "cannot handle large sums of money". Women are part-time booksellers and specialise in children's books, they "have a rich partner in the background", or they work in the profession until "Mr. Right" comes along and marries them. Good old prejudices – they still exist ...
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Thomas Paine

January 29 is the birthday of early American political activist Thomas Paine (1737), whose pamphlet Common Sense (1776) credited with inspiring American colonists to embrace the idea of independence from Great Britain. The American Revolution had already started but the work served to spur volunteers for the Continental Army. It was widely distributed throughout the colonies, read aloud in taverns, and unabashedly pirated. Some scholars say it was the first American bestseller.
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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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Italian Borders Closing On Rare Books

News from Italy: With local authorities no longer in charge of heritage protection, it is now illegal to export from Italy any book printed before 1965. Until August 2015, under Italian law, anyone owning a book older than 50 years and wanting to export it from Italy, was required to apply for an export license to the competent regional authority. On August 6th, the Italian Parliament approved a law on the reorganization of local governmental departments. The law 125/2015 repeals the paragraph of the Italian Heritage Code granting Regions the authority to carry out heritage protection on books and manuscripts; and provides for such authority to be "subject to specific agreements with the State". Alas, no specific agreements have been made so far and nobody can tell when, where and how these agreements will be finalized.
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The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. What It Is and What It Does

In 1977, the 24th ILAB Congress and 7th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair took place in Düsseldorf, Germany. On this occasion, Karl H. Pressler, the former editor of the German booksellers magazine "Aus dem Antiquariat", published a special issue with articles about the League and its history written by representatives of the international rare book trade such as Menno Hertzberger, Helmuth Domizlaff, Percy H. Muir, Georges A. Deny, Dr. Lotte Roth-Wölfle and Stanley Crowe.
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