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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 

From the Vault

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First Major U.S. Exhibition of Qur’ans - Freer Sackler Washington

A landmark exhibition, organized by the Sackler and the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art in collaboration with the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul, features more than 60 Qur'ans, among the most important ever produced from the Arab world, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, including works from the permanent collection of the Freer and Sackler galleries plus a number of long-term loans.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Reference Book of the Day: Erya

The Erya (or Erh Ya) - the name means "approaching what is correct, proper, refined," though it's sometimes translated as The Ready Guide - is the oldest dictionary of the Chinese language. The author is a mystery, and the traditional attribution to the Duke of Chou isn't taken seriously. The date, too, is a puzzler, though "scholars generally agree that it was written by Confucian scholars sometime between the Spring and Autumn period and early Han Dynasty (8th through 2nd centuries B.C.)" (Xue, p. 152). The third century BCE is a pretty good guess.
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Bibliographies - Garden History

Online: Dochnahl's „Bibliotheca Hortensis"
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In the Press - The Secret Libraries of History

"Beneath the streets of a suburb of Damascus, rows of shelves hold books that have been rescued from bombed-out buildings. Over the past four years, during the siege of Darayya, volunteers have collected 14,000 books from shell-damaged homes. They are held in a location kept secret amid fears that it would be targeted by government and pro-Assad forces, and visitors have to dodge shells and bullets to reach the underground reading space.It's been called Syria's secret library, and many view it as a vital resource."
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