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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Internet

A World Much Changed - Laurence Worms in Conversation with Jim Hinck and Anne Marie Wall

Published on 06 Sept. 2013
Time now to go and have tea with some booksellers. Anne Marie Wall and Jim Hinck (Hinck & Wall) are booksellers specialising in garden history and landscape architecture, early horticulture, and architecture and town-planning in general. Americans both, they have settled in Cambridge after a spell in Paris (where they retain a pied-à-terre). It's an absorbing story. They realised, much earlier than most of us, that with the advent of the internet, the book-trade's traditional staples – the good, solid and essential books on any subject that everyone needs – were about to become a rapidly diminishing asset. As Jim puts it in a thoughtful recent post on his viaLibrian blog (required reading), "the pool of findable books exploded". Their customers, often in American institutional libraries, were no longer going to want books they could find anywhere at the click of a mouse. The correct deduction was made that they would continue to want the rare and the unique, and that American holdings would generally be weakest in early non-English language material. To Europe they came to find just that material.
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Internet

To Google Or Not To Google? - Arachnophobia

Published on 16 Aug. 2013
This recollection leads me to wonder what I ever did – when I absolutely had to know something – before Google? That godly search engine and its equally marvelous repository of information, Wikipedia, have become so pervasive in our lives it's hard to remember what the world was like without them. But if I think about it really hard (this is precisely the sort of answer I cannot Google), long shelves of encyclopedias come to mind. The Americana and the Colliers sets of my youth were sources of lots of cool info, like how to make gunpowder, but they were woefully short on facts about girls and sex.
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Internet

Cataloguing Rare Books - May We Please Have Our Description Back?

Published on 07 June 2013
I have an idea for something that might actually provide the protection that copyright alone does not. As you might expect, it involves, once again, the internet. If that is where the crimes are now being committed, that is where we should put our cops to work. What I have in mind is a descriptive bibliographic database where booksellers can publish all their copyrighted descriptions in a way that clearly establishes priority and ownership. It would be a public place where you can claim what is yours. But it would also be much more than that. If enough booksellers participated, an open searchable database of this nature would soon constitute a valuable bibliographic reference that collectors, librarians, students and scholars could use for all types of research. It would make a useful permanent resource out of information that is now mostly ephemeral.
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Internet

Printed Matters: or why own books?

Published on 09 April 2013
"Books? Why would I want to own a book? They take up space and gather dust, they're a pain to carry if I move; oh, and I can always get the text from the Internet ..." Well, at the moment, you often can; but it may not always work like that.
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Internet

“Tweedledum and Tweedledee” – VAO President Dieter Tausch shares his new passion with us: Twitter

Published on 03 April 2013
Everybody is doing it. And the very few who refuse to do so, are said to be "old-fashioned". Tweets rule the world. Nowadays our perception and our means of communication are limited to 140 characters (blanks included). We make "friends" on Facebook and spread the news on Twitter. Dieter Tausch is President and chief of the tweets of the Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VAO). Since October 2012 he shares his thoughts on the rare book trade with us via Twitter. Here is his report.
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Internet

PRESS RELEASE - ILAB Joins The Protest Against Amazon’s Bid to Control Top-Level Domain Names

Published on 13 March 2013
Today, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers has joined the numerous other organizations, such as the Authors Guild or the American Association of Publishers, objecting to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN's) plan to sell top-level domains to private companies. Online retail giant Amazon has bid to be the exclusive custodian of .book, .author and .read domains.ILAB President Tom Congalton believes that placing such generic names in private hands is a threat to equal access to free markets and a threat to the nearly 2,000 small businesses that are affiliated to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. « We have to play by the same rules », Tom Congalton said. « There is no reason why Amazon should get the exclusive rights to suffixes such as book, author or read, which are generic names any bookseller throughout the world should be allowed to use. » The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers is a federation of 22 national associations of antiquarian booksellers representing nearly 2,000 booksellers in 34 countries on all continents. It was founded in 1947 and its main object is the co-ordination of all efforts and projects relating to the development and growth of the trade of antiquarian bookselling, thereby creating friendly relations between antiquarian booksellers throughout the world. It also strives to uphold and improve professional standards in the trade, to promote honourable conduct in business, and to contribute in various ways to a broader appreciation of the history and art of the book.
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Internet

Collecting the Physical Book in the Digital Age

Published on 30 Jan. 2013
I'm going to make some general comments about my experiences as a dealer buying and selling in the Internet/digital age today and offer some reflections on the past – over the thirty-five years that I've been in business. I won't keep you in suspense any longer. The impact of the Internet and computer technology has been enormous on the rare book business. There are three basic things that we do in this profession: buy books, sell books, and research what we are buying in order to sell them. All have been greatly impacted by technology. Today everything that I acquire is researched online in regard to bibliographical information, as well as for pricing comparison by looking at other copies in the marketplace. This research plays a key role in deciding what to buy, what to pay for the book, and in determining a fair amount to price the book for sale. Of course a subscription to the online auction record database is essential.
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Internet

viaLibri launches German version of its popular website for booklovers: vialibri.net

Published on 10 Dec. 2012
The world's largest online marketplace for early, rare and out-of-print books is now available to German bibliophiles in their native language. When it started in 2006, viaLibri set itself apart from other similar sites by focusing on the more exacting needs of book collectors, librarians and bibliographic scholars. This important group of book buyers had always been frustrated by the limitations of existing websites that were built primarily as price comparison tools. Rejecting the prevailing assumption that online book buyers were only interested in cheap books, rather than rare or valuable ones, viaLibri built a powerful metasearch engine designed specifically to meet the needs of serious bibliophiles, and not just bargain hunters.
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Internet

Buch Wien 2012: The Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers go Facebook, Twitter & Co.

Published on 22 Nov. 2012
Not at all antiquated: the Austrian Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (VAO) introduces its new website to the public at the book fair "Buch Wien 12" from 22nd to 25th November, 2012. The new website www.antiquare.at was developed in collaboration with the Hauptverband des österreichischen Buchhandels as well as with the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and is supposed to be an innovative platform for business, culture and book sciences in and out of Austria – a (virtual) space for networking, interaction and interdisciplinary exchange.
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10 - 18 / 25

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Sabine Keune, Germany - Why ILAB Congresses are an ideal place to meet, learn and network

Cologne was my first oneBack in 1992, the international antiquarian book world opened its doors to me with the ILAB Congress and Book Fair in Cologne. This was long before the arrival of the Internet. I was new to the trade, had been self-employed since 1987 and was thoroughly impressed by all the encounters and offerings; ...
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Oscar Wilde, Dickens Detractor and “Inventor” of Aubrey Beardsley

Born on October 16, 1854 in Dublin, Ireland, Oscar Wilde is perhaps remembered more for his sparkling wit, larger-than-life personality, and historic trial than for his literary achievements. But the author made his mark on the literary world not only through his prolific career as a journalist, novelist, and dramatist, but also through his sometimes bizarre relationships with other literary figures. These interactions make collecting Wilde an even more engaging pursuit.
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Article

Algorithmic book pricing and its implications

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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Article

New York 2018: Pre-Gutenberg to the 21st Century - Exceptional Offerings Spanning the History of the Written Word

The New York International Antiquarian Book Fair (NYIABF) produced by Sanford L. Smith + Associates returns to the Park Avenue Armory for its 58th edition March 8-11, 2018.
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Booksellers

“You’ve got to keep rolling the dice”

"I didn't decide to become a bookseller; I fell into it by accident. In my early 20s I was determined to be an artist and that's what I was until I reached about 25. Then I started helping a friend with a stall outdoors on the Portobello Road on Saturdays and, after a while, I got my own pitch. I happened to do better with the stall than I was doing at painting and I enjoyed it more than painting to a point. Then I started having children and so needed money, and I realised that I was doing more bookselling and less painting and I was actually enjoying it. The day I realised that, I stopped painting and just started focusing on bookselling." - Shelf Fullfillment, the new blog of the ABA, starts with a very interesting series of interviews by Beatie Wolfe.
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Article

Prints on the Art of Satire

Early satirical prints are collected as important social documents portraying in a comical style people and situations. The exaggerations of the satirical artist, were not just mere recordings of these people and events ...
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