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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Collectors on Tour - Masonic Lodges in Constantinople (not Istanbul)

Working with rare and valuable books has a tendency to make the extraordinary seem rather ordinary. You start to wonder how certain agglomerations of leather, cloth, paper and ink can be worth so much. These doubts are cast aside, however, when confronted with something which makes a personal connection with you. The truth is that books, letters and diaries provide the most direct links between individuals from the past and those living in the present. Although it is the messages they transmit which are invaluable, surely paper and ink are no less valuable as tangible markers of history than art or architecture?
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A Book Lover’s Haven Turns 100 (The New York Times)

After extensive renovations, the Grolier Club New York has opened again to the public. The New York Times spoke to director Eric Holzenberg.
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Deck the Halls – Adrian Harrington Rare Books in Tunbridge Wells

Always a matter of rejoicing to hear of a new bookshop opening, rather than yet another one closing. Not that Hall's Bookshop on Chapel Place in Royal Tunbridge Wells is strictly speaking a new bookshop. Reuben Hall first opened his doors for business in something like 1898 and Hall's has been a much-loved institution ever since – one of the proper old-fashioned country bookshops. Adrian Harrington, formerly of Chelsea and Kensington, president of the ABA in 2001-2003, president of ILAB in 2008-2009, and long one of the most influential figures in the trade, had taken the decision to close down his London shop and relocate – lock, stock and barrel – to Tunbridge. But not just to move his own very successful rare book business, Adrian was determined from the outset to keep Hall's alive as the traditional second-hand bookshop and focal point of the town it had always been.
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Teurer, komplizierter, ausschließlich mit Nachteilen behaftet (GERMAN LANGUAGE)

This article was first published on the blog of the German trade publication "Aus dem Antiquariat" and discusses the new international shipping requirements by Deutsche Post, the German postal service. For an English translation and summary, please contact the ILAB office.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Poe and Rafinesque in Philadelphia

It is not often that one discovers the work of an overlooked or forgotten genius, or a previously-unknown work of an established master. This is, of course, the hope which moves us to carefully examine all sorts of periodical publications and ephemera. So when Tom Congalton asked me to catalog two large folio volumes of the Philadelphia-based Saturday Evening Post, from 1827 and 1828, I was pleased to find the puzzle poem "Enigma" attributed to Edgar Allan Poe, and "Psalm 139th" by his brother Henry Poe. Perhaps the most interesting contributions to these volumes are not the Poeiana, but rather a whole series of botanical sketches and other contributions by an eccentric genius with the evocative name Rafinesque.
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The Book Trade in Austria and the First World War

In 2014 numerous books and articles were written, numerous TV documentations were broadcasted about the First World War and its impact on cultural, political, social and economic history. Besides the groundbreaking historical changes, there were manifold changes in every day life, and also the book trade was affected. How did the trade react to the circumstances caused by the war? Soldiers wished to read, but during the war it became more and more difficult for the printers to publish the books. Paper shortage and the fact that most employees had to fight as soldiers were only to decisive problems. Professer Murray G. Hall, ILAB Patron of Honour, describes the situation of the book trade in Austria during the First World War and the difficult conditions publishers and booksellers had to overcome.
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