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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Manuscripts

Buried Books - The Cairo Genizah

Published on 30 June 2011
Linda Hedrick has discovered a very special place in Egypt: "The most famous for both its size and contents is the Cairo Genizah. Almost 180,000 Jewish manuscript fragments were found in the genizah of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo. More fragments were found in the Basatin Cemetery east of Old Cairo, and some old documents were bought in Cairo in the late 19th century. The first European to "discover" them was Simon van Geldern (an ancestor of Heinrich Heine, the 19th century poet) who visited the synagogue about 1752."
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Manuscripts

Rare Books in the Press: New York Public Library Buys Timothy Leary’s Papers

Published on 16 June 2011
"'The first time I took psilocybin - 10 pills - was in the fireside social setting in Cambridge,' Ginsberg wrote in a blow-by-blow description of his experience taking synthesized hallucinogenic mushrooms at Leary's stately home. At one point Ginsberg, naked and nauseated, began to feel scared, but then 'Professor Leary came into my room, looked in my eyes and said I was a great man.' Ginsberg's 'session record,' composed for Leary's research, was in one of the 335 boxes of papers, videotapes, photographs and more that the New York Public Library is planning to announce that it has purchased from the Leary estate. The material documents the evolution of the tweedy middle-aged academic into a drug guru, international outlaw, gubernatorial candidate, computer software designer and progenitor of the Me Decade's self-absorbed interest in self-help."
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Manuscripts

English Literary Manuscripts

Published on 29 March 2011
Among manuscript collectors in the English-speaking world, literature has had the most constant appeal; and until recently, when historical manuscripts have really come into their own, literary ones attracted most of the highest prices for post-mediaeval manuscripts. This appeal is due to the universal interest in literature itself; to the demands of doctoral dissertations; to the desire among some individuals, librarians, and editors for definitive collections; and no doubt also to the relative ease, in comparison with historical manuscripts, of selecting an area for collection.
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Manuscripts

Manuscripts and the Worthiness of Collecting

Published on 21 March 2011
Collecting undoubtedly serves many people beneficially during their lives in these respects. However there is also a higher scheme of things in terms of collecting. This involves considerations of the past, the present and the future which have significance for the individual involved as well as beyond him or her. An interest in his past is an inbuilt response in Man. 'How will we know it's us, without our past?', John Steinbeck asked. How else can we make sense of our lives unless we discover ourselves to be part of the continuum? For those interested in psychological parallels (if, indeed, they are not in some ways part of the same process) aspects of the Jungian concepts of the collective unconscious and the self-regulating psyche seem to suggest themselves. We need to have some relationship with the past and one of the easiest and most effective ways is through contact with our human predecessors. Collecting can be one of the royal roads.
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Manuscripts

Manuscripta mediaevalia - Medieval Manuscripts Online

Published on 15 Feb. 2011
75.000 medieval manuscripts, available online: Manuscripta mediaevalia is a joint venture of the State Library Berlin (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin / Preußischer Kulturbesitz), the State Library Munich (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München) and the German Documentation Centre for the History of Arts (Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte - Bildarchiv Foto Marburg).
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Manuscripts

The Canterbury Tales - Digital

Published on 30 March 2010
"Experts from The University of Manchester's John Rylands Library are to spend four days at a beautiful seventeenth century mansion to capture its world famous Canterbury Tales manuscript on camera ...
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Manuscripts

Bibliographies - Manuscripts

Published on 17 Dec. 2009
Online: Codex Sinaiticus - Western Manuscripts to 1500 - Early Manuscripts at Oxford University - Bodleian Library Manuscripts - Hill Monastic Manuscript Library - Dunhuang Project - Dscriptorium - Illumination and Calligraphy
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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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Article

Bibliotour

The last couple of weeks have seen me in Germany and America, visiting book fairs, customers, and libraries. I have always enjoyed the international nature of the book trade. As regular readers of this blog will know, I have a particular interest in the cultural history of France, Germany, and Russia, especially in how these cultures interact with the anglophone world. So it was a pleasant surprise to find the following, two weeks ago, in Frankfurt ...
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Article

Printing in the Footsteps of Giants

Some time ago Fine Books & Collections reported that the Albion handpress on which William Morris printed his Kelmscott Press masterpiece, The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer was auctioned. The iron press, manufactured by Hopkinson & Cope in 1891, was sold to the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Philip C. Salmon of Bromer Booksellers was acting as agent. In August 2015, Philip C. Salmon went to Rochester, NY, to attend the official ceremony and to print a broadside on this famous handpress. His thoughts about printing in the footsteps of giants:
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Article

40. Seminar für Antiquare - Berlin 2010

Feel good – and learn something. The "Seminar für Antiquare" or workshop for antiquarian booksellers was founded in Munich 40 years ago. Since then it is held every spring with lectures by scholars and colleagues about book history and the trade, excursions to libraries and museums, practical courses in book restoration or the care of prints and photographs, and discussion groups related to legal, economic or technical questions of our everyday business. Legendary are the evening dinners.
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Article

Cataloguing Rare Books – Sh*t Explosion

Still too gimpy to drive across the state, so I was skipping the Albany Book Fair that weekend. But Dan Gaeta, who was doing the show, called to tell me about an interesting item he'd found. It's nice to have friends! (Dan operates John Bale Book Co., a café and book shop in Waterbury, CT. Talk about a simple but effective website, check ou t John Bale Books) Anyway, since I've been home all week, grumpily compiling my next catalog, and since I don't have a book fair to report on, I thought I'd talk a little about my catalogs.
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Article

Stuttgart 2017 - Highlights

The 56th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair will soon open its doors (27-29th January) and presents 72 exhibitors from Germany, Great Britain, the United States, Switzerland, Austria, France and the Netherlands showing rare and valuable medieval manuscripts, books, autographs, and modern prints. The fair is affiliated to ILAB, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and organised by the German association, Verband der Antiquare. 
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