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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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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

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Why First Editions

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.
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Reference Book of the Day: Johnson’s Dictionary

Johnson's Dictionary is famous for being the first dictionary of English, which is perfectly true, except for the 663 dictionaries published in England in the two and a half centuries before Johnson. It does, however, have a claim to being the first "standard" dictionary of English, at least if we take the time to define what we mean by that (as I try to do in this conference paper from 2005). It's also one of the few reference books that can be read seriously as a work of literature.
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Article

2018 Seminar for Antiquarians in Germany

Every year, the German, Austrian and Swiss associations organize a unique seminar with related excursions to bibliophile treasures in the German-speaking countries. This year's seminar will take place in Hanover, Bargfeld and Celle, opening doors to some less known places of German literary history.
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Article

Biographies of the Key Figures Involved in the Doves Press

Marianne Tidcombe about the lives of Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson, Harry Gage-Cole, Edward Johnston, John Henry Mason, Edward Philip Prince, and Emery Walker.
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Article

Arthur Rackham 1867 - 1939

Arthur Rackham is perhaps the most well known artist who illustrated books during that era dubbed the "Golden Age" of illustration which spanned the years 1870 - 1930. Because many of Rackham's books have been reprinted in modern times, book lovers of today have been able to enjoy his fanciful artwork. But to truly appreciate his skill and talent, there is nothing that compares to the quality of printing and sharpness of reproduction that appears in the limited editions and first editions of his works.
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