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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Manuscripts

Buried Books - The Cairo Genizah

Published on 17 July 2018
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 17 July 2018
"'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 17 July 2018
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 17 July 2018
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 17 July 2018
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 17 July 2018
"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 July 2018
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

Report from the 2008 Grand Palais Paris Bookfair

Some 157 bookdealers (a third from outside France) and 30 print sellers were present at the fair. The Grand Palais location with its vast volumes and excellent natural light, presented almost ideal conditions for both exhibitors and visitors: 3m deep booths and wide alleys with rest areas, a concert area (with thrice daily chamber music concerts), a conference room, various displays (bindings and photographs) and demonstrations (restoration, binding and copper plate printing); and a spectacular exhibition by this year's guest library, the Bibiotheque Nationale de France.
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Article

Melbourne - Hong Kong - Stuttgart - Ludwigsburg - San Francisco - Hobart - Six Rare Book Fairs All Around the World

In April 2011 the first issue of BookFare has been released. ANZAAB's new electronic newsletter, edited by Jörn Harbeck, informs about everything you need to know about the antiquarian book trade in Australia with articles on new books about books such as Stuart Kells' fascinating biography of Muriel and Kay Craddock Rare: A Life Among Antiquarian Books, catalogue announcements, a book fair and auction calendar as well as a very special review of the book fair season 2010/2011 written by ANZAAB members who have been busy participating in and visiting many book fairs in Australia and overseas.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Carried Away

People tend to get carried away by the romance of old books and paper, and it's easy to see why. The thrill of the hunt, the joys discovery, and the marvelous stories locked up in dusty old letters, journals, and books provide a perfect escape – an antidote to the stresses of our daily lives. Unfortunately, overworked librarians and book dealers often find that their interaction with books and manuscripts devolves into an insistent time/money proposition. As much as we'd like to linger over an ancient text, or just sit down and read the damned thing, we've got to get that bugger cataloged and shelved. There's work to be done! We wind up stressing out over the very things that should be affording us relief. So it's a delight when, every once in a while, something comes along that is so arresting and charismatic that it commands our complete attention and gobbles up our time, productivity be damned.
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Booksellers

"The best bookstore has one copy of everything in it" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 4

The first time I met Peter Howard, he was being guided to my booth at the Boston Book Fair by Harvey Tucker. His mission was to get possession of a rare book I had brought: H. L. Mencken's first book, Ventures Into Verse. Yes, there was some patter but there was also a kind of bravado, even macho; you could see it in the attitude of his hat and in the sudden way that the patter stopped and Peter got down to business. The old world gentility simply was not his style. It was refreshing even if a bit intimidating at times. Peter was not shy about his intent. The best antiquarian bookstore in the world, he let us know long ago, has one copy of everything in it. And our responsibility as booksellers on the road is to look at every rare book. It all sounds quite Faustian now. But Peter's great curiosity, his own willingness to share and to learn has never been lost on me or anyone close to him. There is always something possible about the most seemingly impossible task. To deny it is to throw down the gauntlet. And you really do not want to find yourself in that position with Peter.
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