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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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ILAB

2018 ILAB Presidents' Meeting - Elections

At the Ordinary General Meeting on 4th February 2018 the presidents of ILAB’s national member associations voted for Sally Burdon (Australia) as new ILAB President. She succeeds Gonzalo F. Pontes who served as President from 2016 to 2018; and will be supported by ILAB Vice‐President Fabrizio Govi (Italy).
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

On Identifying Photographic Prints and the History of Early Photography

Without a doubt, every antique store and flea market from California to New York somewhere has a box of photographs – black and white, early Kodaks, or even tintypes… often warped, mirrored, faded – if you are reading this blog it is assumed that at some point or another your interest in antiquarian books and materials has drawn you to such an establishment, and you have at least fingered through a box of photographs labeled ".10 each or 15 for $1.00". Why is it, then, that those photographs are (seemingly) worthless, while there are photograph albums offered by booksellers with the same types of prints for thousands of dollars? As with all things antiquarian – provenance, condition and interest levels dictate the differences between a bin full of late 19th century silver-gelatin prints and an album full of un-faded, unaltered albumen photographs.
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Article

Timbuktu Update - Timbuktu Manuscripts Project, Huma (Institute for Humanities in Africa) University of Cape Town

Timbuktu has often been invoked as a symbol of the most distant place on Earth, as a mysterious and exotic, but unreachable, attraction. Yet, it has a rich and diverse heritage and a fascinating past. The city and its desert environs are an archive of handwritten texts in Arabic and in African languages in the Arabic script, produced between the 13th and the 20th centuries. When the rebels occupied Timbuktu months ago researchers, librarians and archivists had to flee and to leave the city. The library with all the manuscripts was in danger to be burnt down. Until today nobody can definitely say what really happened, how many manuscripts were saved and how many were destroyed. The following report by the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project from the end of January 2013 describes the difficult and unsecure situation at that time.
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Article

Collecting - Scheuchzer and the History of the Biblical Encyclopedia

Indeed, the early modern period saw an explosion of information, and scholars struggled to find ways to assimilate it all. Some of these methods may seem absurd by today's standards (such as Agostino Ramelli's 1588 conceptualization of a book wheel that would simultaneously hold up to 70 books open for comparison), but other methods have evolved to support and promote learning even today.
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Article

Rare Books in the Press: Saluting a Serial Seducer and His Steamy Tell-All

"Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was a gambler, swindler, diplomat, lawyer, soldier, alchemist, violinist, traveler, pleasure seeker and serial seducer. He was also a prolific writer who documented his adventures and love affairs in a steamy memoir that is one of the literary treasures of the 18th century. Born in Venice, he considered France his adopted country but was forced to flee Paris in 1760 after seducing the wives and daughters of important subjects of King Louis XV and cheating them out of their money."
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