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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Internet

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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Internet

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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Internet

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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Internet

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

Congress

2017 - Copenhagen

Every year, the presidents of all 22 national antiquarian bookseller’s associations that form the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), meet at the President’s Meeting or an ILAB Congress. For 2017, the Danish Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association ABF has invited the international rare book trade to Copenhagen. This will be a week of formal meetings with reports and updates from each country, but it is also a week of exchanging ideas with colleagues, networking and a programme to visit some of Copenhagen’s cultural and bibliophile treasures!
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Article

Time Travel for Bibliophiles - 54th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair, 23 to 25 January 2015

"It has become trendy to declare the book obsolete in this brave new world of digitalized data rubbish", book historian Reinhard Wittmann declares in the new "Handbook 2015/2016" published by the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VDA). "It may have lost its general function and its social prestige, but it will survive as a historical and artistic object, far beyond its actual content, as a time machine for the aura of times long gone."The German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association would like to invite you on a bibliophilic time voyage on the occasion of the 54th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair from 23rd to 25th January 2015. About 80 leading antiquarian booksellers from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, the USA, Switzerland and the Netherlands will present rare and precious manuscripts, books, autographs and prints from five centuries of book printing and book art. Beautifully illustrated manuscripts, scientific milestones, avant-garde book art, autographs and manuscripts of important scientists and artists, rare first editions of world literature, children's books, artists' books, maps, views, decorative prints and book objects: The fair fascinates by its diversity, from unique little objects to books worth millions, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.
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Article

"Our paper-based inheritance" - G. Thomas Tanselle

G. Thomas Tanselle in the Times Literary Supplement: "'We have to protect our paper-based inheritance'. The most fundamental reason for this necessity – this increasingly urgent necessity – is simply that manuscripts and printed books are artefacts; and all artefacts, being physical survivors, give us direct access to parts of a vanished world ..."
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Article

The American Antiquarian Society, 1812-2012: A Bicentennial History

Philip F. Gura's brilliant new book traces the development of the American Antiquarian Society library and the role its librarians have played as collectors, scholars of American writing and publishing, and stewards of the nation's history. Published on the occasion of the Society's bicentennial in April 2012. Distributed by Oak Knoll Press.
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Article

The Rare Book Trade - Hit Me Again, Please

Thus the inadequacies of the general used book store concept, circa 1980, led to the development of specialties at Ten Pound Island. Thus the failure of those specialties to meet the economic demands of an escalating real estate market drove Ten Pound Island out of the retail trade in 1993. Thus the computer and the fax machine put an end to TPI's flourishing postcard-driven nautical book search operation, which itself - owing to the need for a place to store the thousands of books accumulated in the course of this evolution – put TPI back in the retail business. Thus the rise of the Internet and the degradation in the value of low end maritime books, which had hitherto been Ten Pound Island's stock in trade, resulted in TPIs penultimate exit from the retail trade. Thus the paradoxical combination of rising cost and increased availability of rare books drove TPI into manuscripts, ephemera and documents. Thus the failure of provincial book fairs, which had hitherto been a major source of sales and stock, forced TPI into further dependence upon the Internet and the cultivation of institutional customers. Thus sales at TPI dwindled from thousands of mid range transactions to hundreds of larger ones. Thus the intervals between cash infusions increased. Thus the owner of TPI woke up one morning at 3 am with his hair on fire, recalling theorem #1 and thinking, "I've got to get more low end stuff out there on the market, to fill in the gaps between big hits.
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Article

Introduction to Jewish Book Collecting

When Jewish families sit down to celebrate the Passover festival, they read from the Haggadah, a book that recounts the story of when the Children of Israel left the bonds of slavery in Egypt and became a free nation. The Haggadah is one of the most iconic and popularly collected Jewish books – there are approximately 7000 editions with translations from Hebrew into different languages including English, Arabic, Russian, Amharic, and German ...
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