A Commonplace Reformation: Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Add. A. 92 - Martin Luther's Autograph Collection of Proverbs. This manuscript is one of two in the Bodleian's possession which are written in Martin Luther's own hand, and, running to 40 pages, is by far the more substantial - though, about the size of a postcard, it remains small. It is a collection of proverbs (Sprichwörter), mostly in German, and dating from some point in the later 1530s or early 1540s. It was acquired by the Bodleian for £45 in 1865 - the "carelessness and poverty" of German libraries and museums for allowing this to happen was later lamented.
2017 marks the 300th anniversary of the death of the German artist and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian, one of the most celebrated natural scientists of her time. From an early age she pursued a fascination with the insect life cycle, then only partially understood. Merian was the first to bring together insects and their habitats and the knowledge she collected provided important insights into medicine and science.
On 30 September 2016, one of the most treasured places for printing history and the history of the book re-opened after extensive renovations, the new Plantin-Moretus Museum. Various festivities accompanied the opening on three consecutive days and invited the public to take part in the fascinating history of the museum.
The new museum takes the visitor on a unique journey of the life and legacy of the publisher Christoffel Plantin and his inlaws Moretus whose achievements had put Antwerp on the map. The biggest authors and scientists of their time found their way to Antwerp's Vrijdagmarkt and Plantin was able to spread their ideas throughout the world.
Since the beginnings in the second millennium BC, the catalogue has accompanied the history and development of our written heritage. With its complex and at the same time precise concept and structure, the catalogue represents a fundamental ambition which is the origin of science and culture: to name, to describe and to classify the universe. Catalogues allow us to find taxonomies for the elements and all aspects of nature, nomenclatures to identify the stars, and devices to find access to our written heritage, to education and learning as well as to trade and economics and to the printing of books.
The worst insult you can hurl at academics is to say they haven't even read the books they presume to comment on. A confession: Not only do I have to admit that there are reference books in here that I haven't read through; in fact, there are very few works that I have read from cover to cover - or, since many are in multiple volumes, from cover to cover to cover to cover to cover.... One work I haven't read is the Yongle Encyclopedia. I think I have pretty good reasons, though, for not reading it: viz., 1. It's very long; 2. It's in a language I don't read; and 3. It doesn't actually exist.
Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Al-Kindi, Al-Razi, Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Al-Ghazali, Muhammud ibn 'Abdun, 'Abd'l-Rahman ibn Ismail, Ibn Bajjah, Ibn Rushd, these are all names that most of the West are unfamiliar with, but are some of the ones to which we owe a great deal. They were responsible for safeguarding and spreading the knowledge that came from the Greeks, but which had been lost, due to lack of interest by the West.
If you were a wealthy New Yorker in the Gilded Age, you spent the summer in the resorts of upstate New York to escape the stifling heat of the city. Upstate New York meant mountains, snow-fed streams, clean air, and luxury hotels. There developed a cadre of physicians and clergy who came to believe that those pristine regions were the perfect place for people suffering from diseases and chronic "delicacy of chest" ailments. Among them was Dr. Joseph W. Stickler, a physician and pathologist at Orange Memorial Hospital in New Jersey. Dr. Stickler was something of an authority on respiratory diseases and he wrote a book, The Adirondacks as a Health Resort, published in 1886. A copy of that book is in the collection of rare and unusual books at Lighthouse Books, ABAA.
Rare books as investments? "I think probably the only thing worse than having your rare bookseller manage your assets portfolio, is to have your investment broker choose your rare books. One might want to govern oneself accordingly. After all, as long as you buy the books that you love..."
An extraordinary collection of Norman Lindsay books assembled by the artist of the iconic Australian comic strip Ginger Meggs will feature in the first auction of Sydney Rare Books Auctions, a new auction house specializing in rare and fine books, photographs and memorabilia.
If you are looking for a "typical" English club in Germany, you would do well to start in Munich. The Kaufmanns Casino was established in 1832, the year when Johann Wolfgang von Goethe died. Since then it has been hosting "tout Munich" – business people, artists, lawyers, physicians, authors, scientists – for conferences and cocktails. The Kaufmanns Casino has become one of Munich's institutions. Munich without the Kaufmanns Casino would not be the same for all who are living in the wonderful capital of Bavaria.
It was a big success in 2015, and they have decided to do it again on 23 April 2016: Antiquariat Isis is the only ILAB bookseller in Groningen, Netherlands, but instead of thinking "there is only one of us and nothing can be done", Lyseth Belt and Theo Butterhof of Antiquariaat Isis, with the support of their local community, will organize the second edition of a rather special ILAB Pop Up celebration of UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day. Before the Second World War Groningen's Folkingestraat with the beautiful Synagogue was the heart of the Jewish community. Today it is a lively and busy quarter, full of small and independent shops, full of bookish and cultural events, a must go to for every visitor in the Netherlands. And on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016 Folkingestraat will even be something unique: with the ILAB flag flying high above the street it will become the worldwide only ILAB Pop Up Book Street!