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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 

From the Vault

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Article

Collecting the Physical Book in the Digital Age

I'm going to make some general comments about my experiences as a dealer buying and selling in the Internet/digital age today and offer some reflections on the past – over the thirty-five years that I've been in business. I won't keep you in suspense any longer. The impact of the Internet and computer technology has been enormous on the rare book business. There are three basic things that we do in this profession: buy books, sell books, and research what we are buying in order to sell them. All have been greatly impacted by technology. Today everything that I acquire is researched online in regard to bibliographical information, as well as for pricing comparison by looking at other copies in the marketplace. This research plays a key role in deciding what to buy, what to pay for the book, and in determining a fair amount to price the book for sale. Of course a subscription to the online auction record database is essential.
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Article

The Girolamini Thefts in the Press: Tale of Big International Book Theft Gets a New Chapter

"Any American book collector who recently bought an Italian book from the 15th to the 17th centuries should take another look at the purchase. If it bears a red library stamp with a Madonna in the center, the collector may get a visit from U.S. Customs agents assigned to recover stolen artworks." The Washington Times summarizes the recent news concerning the thefts from the Girolamini Library in Naples, which the newspaper calls "the biggest book thefts in history".
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Article

Vandérem et la bibliophilie nouvelle

Le mérite de cet épisode emporté de l'histoire de la bibliophilie française revient tout entier à Fernand Vandérem. En 1922, Henri Leclerc, libraire-expert, propriétaire de la revue, lui en a confié la direction. Homme tout autre et venu d'un tout autre bord que Georges Vicaire, son prédécesseur, Vandérem n'est ni un érudit ni un bibliographe patenté. C'est un écrivain, romancier sans succès et chroniqueur littéraire apprécié, qui s'est taillé dans le petit monde spécialisé de la librairie ancienne la réputation d'un amateur fin et paradoxal. L'aplomb de ses oukases et la causticité de son esprit en ont fait une manière de personnage. À la tête du Bulletin, il va révéler et déployer tous les talents d'un incomparable animateur.
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Congress

1961 - Paris

After the 40th ILAB Congress in Switzerland in September 2012 the antiquarian booksellers will look forward to meeting each other again in Paris in 2014. The 41st ILAB Congress will be one of many occasions where ILAB affiliates come together in France on invitation of the Syndicat National de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) which will celebrate its centennial in 2014. The 14th Congress, for example, was also held in Paris, another exciting event in the history of the League.
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Article

Spanish Police recovers 12th century Codex Calixtinus manuscript

A year ago the spectacular theft of the Codex Calixtinus was reported in the press. Almost 12 months later, this famous Codex, which is considered one of the most valuable books worldwide, has been found by the National Police in a garage in Santiago de Compostela. On Wednesday, 4th July, the police arrested the alleged thief, Manuel Fernández Castañeiras, who had been working as an electrician at the Cathedral for several years. It is said that he claimed 400,000 € compensation from the Cathedral for his unfair dismissal.
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Article

Reflections on Scouting, Part II

A few years ago I had a visit from Justin Schiller at my store and that visit initiated a lengthy period of meditation on an aspect of bookselling which, while largely unknown or of no interest to the public, is so central to bookselling that dealers constantly dwell on it.
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