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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

First Issue/State and "Points"

In the case of a number of books, particularly those published before 1900, one can differentiate between the first and later printings only by being aware of the changes made between printings. These changes can be in the text, the type used, the number of pages, the dates in the ads, or the type of binding (cloth, leather, boards, wrappers).
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - William S. Burroughs and the Arts

There are a lot of "what ifs" in book collecting. What if I had bought this and not that? What if I had more money? Or more time? What if I collected this and not that? "What if I did not collect William Burroughs?" is a question I consider. In a piece I wrote over a decade ago, I came to the conclusion that I would have collected Charles Olson instead. The question that serves as the boundary I can never cross or the horizon I can never see beyond is "What if I did not collect?" Such a question throws my very existence into doubt like "What if my parents never met?" If I did not collect, I quite simply would not be the same person I am now.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Short Story and The Private Library (Part III)

The grandson of a serf, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov accomplished more in his all-too-brief 44 years than most folks accomplish in lifetimes twice that long. His handful of plays and 200+ short stories, many of which reflected the difficult circumstances of his early life and education, revolutionized both drama and short fiction ... Always modest, Chekhov thought readers might go on reading his work for no more than seven years after his death (at the time of this remark, he had about six years left to live). He was wrong. Already a literary legend in Russia, the English-language translations of his work undertaken by Constance Garnett spread Chekhov's fame far and wide.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Lutheran best-seller turned Jesuit boxed set

Books in boxes have always held a particular appeal. But this I found particularly attractive. It's a book from 1738, Güldenes Schatz-Kästlein der Kinder Gottes (A Golden Treasure Chest for the Children of God), which has been cut into individual leaves, all the edges gilded, and then put into a custom-made gilt-tooled morocco box which features the figure of Justitia and the seal of the Society of Jesus.
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Article

From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg – Highlights of the First International Antiquarian Bookfair in Budapest

From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg is the motto of the first ever ILAB International Antiquarian Exhibition and Fair in Budapest, which is held on 24 and 25 September, following the 42nd Congress of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) from 19 to 23 September. Over a hundred booksellers from across the world will be welcomed to the bi-annual congress, exhibitors from Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Japan and of course, Hungary are expected to display most rare and most beautiful books and manuscripts at the succeeding International Antiquarian Book Fair. The items on display at the Vigadó target collectors with different interests and economic possibilities, and guarantee the active participation of international collectors.
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Article

ILAB POP UP BOOK FAIRS ALL AROUND THE WORLD ON UNESCO WORLD BOOK & COPYRIGHT DAY, APRIL 23, 2016

After a successful launch in 2015, AntiquarianAuctions.com, the online rare book auction platform based in Cape Town, South Africa, will participate once again in the international 24 hour event. In association with publishing house Penguin Random House, AntiquarianAuctions.com will host a talk with Susan Buchanan, the author of the recently published "Burchell's Travels: The Life, Art and Journeys of William John Burchell", and other experts in the field. Local collectors and botanists, local historians and the general public are invited and asked to make a donation on the day. All proceeds from the event will go to charity.
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