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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

The ABA and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

Published on 27 March 2018
The ABA and ILAB look back at a long history. The ABA is relaunching its flagship fair in London this year, the oldest antiquarian book fair in the world, under the auspices of ILAB. This text by the late Anthony Rota, ABA bookseller and ILAB President of Honour, was published in 2008 in the ABA Directory.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


Bibliographies - Law

Online: Engelmann, Bibliotheca juridica - German prints about law and economics
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ILAB History

Anthony Rota

It happened that in 1971 I was the president of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association when it was Great Britain's turn to act as host to the biennial congress of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the umbrella organisation for national associations of antiquarian booksellers across the world.
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Auto Shred: Ray Bradbury

When I was 8 years old, my mother took me to the public library in Van Buren, Arkansas to get me my first library card. I will never forget how the card had a little silver plate embedded in the paper. It was probably the first thing I had ever been given, other than birthday cakes, that had my name printed on it. Mom had checked books out for me in the past, but this time I got to pick out my own. She instructed me on the basics: pick out just one I really thought I would like, then I could read it, return it, and get another one. I had read some juvenile science fiction, but felt I was now ready for some grown-up stuff. The book I checked out was Ray Bradbury's S is for Space. Definitely my first memory of a dust jacket that utterly reeled me in, and what an author photo! He looked every bit as eerie and unfathomable as the stuff of his stories.
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Collecting Australian Bushranging Books

The Australian Bushranging era (1790–1890s) covered approximately the first 100 years of Australian settlement. Early bushrangers were mainly exconvict labourers from working class, Irish backgrounds who had been transported to Australia. Referred to in much of the literature as Bolters, they were rebels against authority who were attempting to survive in the bush by stealing from isolated settlers and travellers. The discovery of gold in the 1850's and 60's saw an upsurge in bushranging activity. Gold nuggets were relatively easy to steal, transport and sell and, because of this, many Australianborn sons joined the ranks of the bushrangers. A collecting tip by Maureen Fraher.
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Open The Pod Bay Doors, Hal!

If there's one thing you can guarantee it's that the minute you think you're being smart is the minute before you meet someone much smarter. One of the reasons I love my job so very, very much is that my minutes of being smart never last long enough to knock my self image out of whack. If I'm not meeting a customer whose breadth of knowledge and devotion has the least admirable parts of me reaching for a pitchfork and a torch then it's one of my colleagues who is making me wish I could eat their head and consume their wisdom entire.
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Emil Offenbacher (1909-1990) – Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile –

Part 4 of the series of 25 booksellers’ biographies from Ernst Fischer’s biographical handbook "Verleger, Buchhändler & Antiquare aus Deutschland und Österreich in der Emigration nach 1933" deals with the life and career of Emil Offenbacher.
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