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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

Article

Does the “Book Dust Disease” Threaten the Rare Book Trade? A 19th Century Study Rediscovered

Dust on the shelves. Collectors consider it romantic: the dusty corners of antiquarian bookshops where scarce volumes have been hidden under the dust for centuries waiting to be discovered and to be bought by book lovers for a few cents. (The legends say that these books exist.) Dealers live with it or, most of the time, don't do anything against it: the dust in the corners where boxes with hundreds (thousands) of books are stored waiting to be described, priced and put into the showcases or into the internet. Scienstists warn: dust may be unhealthy. As early as 1900 Eduard Fischer von Röslerstamm published an empirical analysis on the life expentancy of antiquarian booksellers, librarians and book collectors. His question was: Did they suffer from dust in the lungs? Was the "book dust disease" an occupational disease that threatened the rare book trade?
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Article

In the Press - Rare Book Crime Capers: Forgery, Theft, Murder and the Holy Grail of American Printing

Travis McDade, author of an article on The Professionalization of Library Theft, published on the ILAB website, and of a recently published book titled "Thieves of Book Row" tells another amazing story about book theft and forgery in The Million. Read the whole article:
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Article

Nominated for the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography – Jon Gilbert's Ian Fleming Bibliography

When the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography will be awarded during the 41st ILAB Congress in April 2014, the Prize Jury will have had to fulfill an almost impossible task. The jury of Felix de Marez Oyens, David Adams, Jean-Marc Chatelain, Arnoud Gerits, Poul Jan Poulsen, and Umberto Pregliasco will have to choose the best book about books from an impressive list of 70 bio-bibliographical works published between 2009 and 2012. Among them is: John Gilbert: Ian Fleming. The Bibliography.
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Article

A Tale of Two Towns - From Library to Woolshed on UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day

HAMILTON is the major city of Western Victoria, with a population of over 8,000 people, it is surrounded by smaller satellite towns and over 2 million sheep! Given the large population of sheep it will come as little surprise to anyone to learn that agriculture forms the economic base for the region. Although the population (of people!) might be relatively small the district has a reputation for large homesteads with fine book collections. Where you find book collectors, antiquarian book dealers are often close-by, and the Western District is no exception. Bellcourt Books, Hamilton's sole bookshop is run by ANZAAB member Guy Stephens and 30 kilometres away in Dunkeld fellow ANZAAB member, Roz Greenwood of Roz Greenwood Old and Rare Books is located in stunning scenery at the foot of the picturesque Grampians Mountains.
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Booksellers

A Working Life: The Rare-Book Dealer - Ed Maggs

"For someone who loves old and rare books, buys and sells them, Ed Maggs hardly comes across as bookish, more of an energetic sporting type. But then, Maggs, 51, had ambitions of becoming a reggae superstar – not quite what his parents had in mind after an expensive private education at Westminster. Maggs played in a band called Talkover, worked as a DJ in various minor clubs and in department store stockrooms and other undemanding jobs, before fetching up like a prodigal son in the family business he initially wanted to avoid."
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Article

Book Art for Kids - Bromer Booksellers Donation Makes Big Impression

As part of their ongoing philanthropic mission relating to art and the printed word, Boston antiquarian booksellers, Anne and David Bromer have donated a working letterpress printshop to Lynn, Massachusetts-based RAW Art Works. In the first year since its unveiling, the printshop has welcomed nearly 335 students ...
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