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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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#Mandela100 – Mandela’s legacy and the Mandela Archive, Johannesburg

Today, July 18, 2018, the world celebrates Mandela’s 100th anniversary. In 1962 at the age of 44, Mandela was arrested when South Africa’s apartheid regime took drastic measures against political opposition, in particular against members of the African National Congress (ANC). Nelson R. Mandela passed away in December 2013 but has remained an icon for democracy, freedom and the fight against a racial and class divide.
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The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril: Theft, Retrieval, Sale and Restitution of Rare Books, Maps and Manuscripts

Do we need more drastic measures to prevent the theft of books, maps, manuscripts and other art on paper? On 26 June 2015 internationally renowned experts – librarians, archivists, lawyers, auctioneers and rare book dealers – discussed one of the global problems of the antiquarian book trade in the 21st century: the theft of books, manuscripts and prints from public collections such as, in recent years, the Girolamini Library in Naples, the National Library of Sweden, the Danish Royal Library in Copenhagen and, right now, from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. "Thefts of rare books, maps and manuscripts from libraries are a growing, global problem", the Art Newspaper summarizes. "The portable nature of these works and the fact that many libraries lack up-to-date catalogues of their sizable collections - some of which were assembled centuries ago - make them prime targets. Two weeks before the conference, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France announced that several 16th- and 17th-century engravings by Brueghel as well as atlases dating from the 16th to 18th centuries had been stolen from its collection. An investigation is currently underway." ILAB President Norbert Donhofer was invited to speak at the conference at the British Library, which will be followed up by another international meeting in New York in 2016.
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Police Prevented Theft of Historical Documents

Two men tried to steal historical documents from the Maryland Historical Society on Saturday. The papers include documents signed by Abraham Lincoln, commemorations of the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument as well as presidential inaugural ball invitations and programs.
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Collecting - Famous Manuscripts and the History of Handwriting

In the digital age, it is no secret that calligraphy is a dying art. Why work laboriously and imperfectly on something that takes days to cross the country, when the computer will set it in flawless text that can be transmitted instantly? A careful look at the grand history of handwriting is not kind to the craft, either. Some historians consider Gutenberg's press, the very device that liberated us from writing by hand, to be the single most important invention of the second millennium. Not only did it make books more accessible, it gave the works themselves unprecedented longevity. Think of all the masterpieces of antiquity (if you can bear) that were lost to rot and ruin because scribes could only produce a handful of them at a time. Aeschylus wrote some eighty plays, of which only seven survive. Shakespeare may have suffered a similar fate, as a writer who luckily had the printing press to immortalize his works - he leaves us with nearly nothing written by hand.
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53rd Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair

The New York Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Park Avenue Armory for its 53rd Anniversary. Presented by the prestigious Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the 53rd Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair is without a doubt, the foremost book fair of its kind.
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The Franco-American Museum of Blérancourt - Guest of Honour at the 2017 Paris Salon International du Livre Rare

The organisers of the 2017 Paris Salon International du Livre Rare and the French association Syndicat National de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) have just announced the Guest of Honour of the 2017 Salon. Unique in France, the Franco-American Museum of Blérancourt is dedicated to the transatlantic relationship and was founded by Anne Morgan, daughter of the American banker and collector Pierpont Morgan, as part of his participation of the reconstruction of the Picardie after WWI.
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