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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Online Sales – Getting Rid of the Middleman

Published on 18 Jan. 2016
The vast majority of ILAB booksellers sell through the Internet. This does not mean that they have given up selling through more traditional methods (paper catalogues, book fairs, open shops, direct offers to customers, etc.); selling through the Internet is just another means of working. Whereas the vast majority of ILAB booksellers would definitely refuse selling all their wares through a middleman at book fairs, through their catalogues, etc., they find it very natural to do so online. The question is why?
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Internet

ILAB Website – Archived by the Bavarian State Library (BSB)

Published on 19 March 2014
Open your browser, click on the OPAC catalogue of the Bavarian State Library (BSB) and search for: ILAB. The Bavarian State Library (BSB) as one of the largest research libraries in Europe administers a digital long-term archive in cooperation with the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre. This archive also stores websites of scientific relevance. Updates of the selected websites are added every six months, so users of the library will be able to see how the internet offers have changed, which content has been added over the years – and most of all: they will have the opportunity to get to know of the articles published in the internet which might otherwise be lost. The archive launched by the Bavarian State Library shows that websites and their content can be of permanent worth and become a part of scientific research. All archival copies will be permanently stored, indexed in the catalogue, and made available for open access. Further long-term preservation measures will be carried out if necessary, including, for example, format migration into newer formats.
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University of Oxford – Podcast on book historical topics

Published on 11 March 2014
The Centre for the Study of the Book at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, is now offering podcasts on book historical topics. The series is hosted by Adam Smyth. His interviews with Oxford and visiting researchers like Willi Noel and Tiffany Stern highlight the current research on the material history of the book. The first podcasts include:
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Internet

Computers, or: the tough life of an antiquarian bookseller, part 1 and 2

Published on 10 March 2014
My new computer is scheduled to arrive sometime next week. Maybe. Meanwhile I've been making do. The big screen in the illustration above is the monitor for my mortally ill computer, which can only run filemaker. So I catalog my books on that one, but slowly, or it'll freeze up. The little netbook is my Internet access – google, OCLC, ViaLibri and the like – also done slowly, since it's only got 2 megs of ram. (Just by way of comparison, my new machine will be delivered with 8 gigsof ram.) And the droid, of course, is for quick emails, texting, and other attempts to reach out from computer hell. - Greg Gibson about the tough technical life of an antiquarian bookseller.
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Algorithmic book pricing and its implications

Published on 19 Feb. 2014
I was recently asked to offer comments on the issue of algorithmic book pricing for the newsletter of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association. The issue where the comments appear has now just arrived in the mail. Since the ABA newsletter reaches only a limited audience and has no online version I thought I should reproduce the text here, in case it might be of interest to others. Comments from readers who have actually used these services will be eagerly received.
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Can Your Kindle Do This?

Published on 16 Dec. 2013
John Ledyard is a strange and fascinating American original. In 1772 he attended Eleazer Wheelock's Indian School, which would later become Dartmouth College. Unhappy there, he went off with the Indians. When spring rolled around he built himself an Indian-style dugout canoe, threw a bearskin around his shoulders, and sailed down the Connecticut River to his people in Hartford. Several adventures later he accompanied Captain Cook on this third voyage and was present when Cook was killed in the Sandwich Islands.
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Internet

Searching For Books In The Digital Age

Published on 15 Oct. 2013
Disruption came to the world of book searching and the result, for the consumers at least, was a dramatic change for the better. What was once impossible became possible. What was once difficult became simple. What was once costly became cheap. And the vast availability of books online, coupled with new and powerful tools to search for them, enabled serious bibliophiles to pursue their interests in ways that were unimaginable two decades before.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Collecting Mary Grant Bruce

Mary Grant Bruce wrote a total of 38 major works, beginning with A Little Bush Maid in 1910 and ending with Billabong Riders in 1942. All were published by Ward Lock & Co of London. Although it included others, the centrepiece of her main body of work was the immensely popular Billabong series, in which there were fifteen novels ...
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Bookbinding & Conservation: A Sixty-Year Odyssey of Art and Craft, by Don Etherington

Don Etherington's autobiography takes the reader through his lifelong journey of bookbinding and conservation. He began bookbinding at the age of thirteen as a student at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and later went on to study bookbinding and design at the London School of Printing. Since then, he has held positions at the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence, The Library of Congress, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and Information Conservation, Inc. In 1982, he co-authored with Matt Roberts Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, the first comprehensive attempt to compile terminology from all the bookmaking and conservation fields. His works can be found in collections worldwide. Read how Don Etherington first developed his skills, and how he was instructed by George Frewin, who had worked for Sangorski & Sutcliffe.
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Manuscripts and the Worthiness of Collecting

Collecting undoubtedly serves many people beneficially during their lives in these respects. However there is also a higher scheme of things in terms of collecting. This involves considerations of the past, the present and the future which have significance for the individual involved as well as beyond him or her. An interest in his past is an inbuilt response in Man. 'How will we know it's us, without our past?', John Steinbeck asked. How else can we make sense of our lives unless we discover ourselves to be part of the continuum? For those interested in psychological parallels (if, indeed, they are not in some ways part of the same process) aspects of the Jungian concepts of the collective unconscious and the self-regulating psyche seem to suggest themselves. We need to have some relationship with the past and one of the easiest and most effective ways is through contact with our human predecessors. Collecting can be one of the royal roads.
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Article

New York Antiquarian Book Fair 2012 - Field Day for the 1 %

A colleague approached me on the floor of the New York Book Fair and asked if I'd composed this week's blog yet. I told him I had not. He kindly offered to write it for me himself. It'd be a snap, he said – first the obligatory picture of booksellers slouched around the bar at Donohue's, then a photo of an unhappy dealer at set-up, surrounded by more books than he had room for, a shot of the eager line at opening, and two or three more showing people in the act of purchasing things. Add a funny story about something that happened to one of our colleagues, and a picture, with price and description, of a really neat item that I bought at the show, and it'd be done.
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Article

Organising a Library

This is the first edition of the first comprehensive library classification system to be published in Russia, and the first Russian guide to bibliographic description and catalogue production, an important text from the early years of the Imperial Public Library (now the National Library of Russia) in St Petersburg.
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Article

First Major U.S. Exhibition of Qur’ans - Freer Sackler Washington

A landmark exhibition, organized by the Sackler and the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art in collaboration with the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul, features more than 60 Qur'ans, among the most important ever produced from the Arab world, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, including works from the permanent collection of the Freer and Sackler galleries plus a number of long-term loans.
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