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?
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
A wonderful story of a young collector who became an antiquarian bookseller: "I saw the documentary about its ten year renovation on television. I watched the opening ceremony on television too and I have heard from people who have been there that the museum is very beautiful. I am deliberately delaying my visit. I am feeling a bit uneasy because I know that they are still there, but not exactly where. I know that they will look at me, just as they did the first time. They will remind me of my promise and I will feel guilty, fall silent and won't have a proper answer ..."
A first edition is the first printing of a book. It's true that a first edition may have one or more printings and that a second edition will normally be noted only if there are actual changes, usually major, in the text. But for a collector, a first printing is the only true first edition.
The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers unites 22 national associations, representing 35 countries and nearly 2000 professional rare book dealers worldwide. In its over 60 years of existence, ILAB has become a truly global network of the international antiquarian book trade. Once in a year the presidents of ILAB's member associations, who form the governing body of the League, meet to discuss recent trends of the trade, the activities of ILAB within the past year along with initiatives and actions that shall be taken to promote the rare book business in the future. On 1st October 2015 Gonzalo Fernandez Pontes, President of the Asociación Ibérica de Librerias Anticuarias (AILA) and Vice-President of ILAB, welcomed the delegates of the Presidents' Meeting in Seville. The Spanish city on the river Guadalquivir is not only known to be one of the hottest European spots with a summer average high temperature of 35° C, but also one of the most beautiful places in Europe. The Roman and Medieval centre of Seville owns three UNESCO World Heritage Sites - the Alcázar Palace, the Cathedral, and the General Archive of the Indies. Only a short walk away from these famous sites the ILAB delegates met at the Palace of the Duke of Segorbe to hold their annual meeting.The items on the agenda show that the rare book trade has to face severe problems and radical changes, but that there also promising perspectives and new paths to follow for better future partnerships and cooperation within the rare book world. The most important item on the agenda of each meeting is the report of the ILAB President. Read the detailed and excellent speech ILAB President Norbert Donhofer held yesterday to open the Presidents' Meeting 2015 in Seville:
Over 1,000 people visited the London International Antiquarian Book Fair on the first day, with a record-breaking queue when the Fair opened its doors at 3pm on Thursday June 13, 2013 at the National Exhibition Hall at Olympia, West London. This resulted in an 18% increase in visitor numbers on the first day compared to the 2012 Fair and this trend continued with visitor numbers up on both of the following two days.
It is fitting that the first issue of San Francisco Earthquake was published in the fall of 1967 as it is a product of the hangover after the Summer of Love. That Summer was largely a media fabrication and the Earthquake through its five issues is a Burroughsian attack on Time-Life media and a potent example of Fluxus and Situationist detournment. But let's be honest, even the mainstream media reported that the flower in the hair of wannabe hippies had wilted by 1967. For example, Joan Didion's articles on Lifestyles in the Golden Land had been appearing in the Saturday Evening Post as early as 1965.