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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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fairytales

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Hans Christian Andersen

Published on 02 April 2013
2nd April 1805 was the birthday of Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, whose fairy tales have delighted children and adults for generations. He wrote more than 150 stories, many of which have become part of the collective consciousness of western culture. Among his best-known stories are The Princess and the Pea (1835), Thumbelina (1835), The Little Mermaid (1836), The Emperor's New Clothes (1837), The Ugly Duckling (1844), The Little Match Girl (1848), and The Ice-Maiden (1861).
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From the Vault

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Booksellers

Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile – Susan Bach (1909-1997)

The seizure of power by the Nazis in 1933 was a decisive event in the world of book collecting. Numerous dealers and collectors – among them the most famous of the trade – were murdered by the Nazis. Those who survived were forced to close their companies and to hand them over to the Nazis.
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Article

16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography - Submit a book to the most prestigious prize until the end of April 2013!

A prize with prestige and tradition, a strong support for scholarship: The ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography of $10,000 US is awarded every fourth year to the authors of the most outstanding works on the history of the book. Famous scholars like Jean Peeters-Fontainas, I. C. Koeman and Anthony Hobson belong to the prize winners alongside Lotte Hellinga and Jan Storm van Leeuwen who were honoured with the 15th Prize in September 2010. Both, Lotte Hellinga's monumental "Catalogue of Books printed in the XVth Century now in the British Library, BMC. Part XI – England" and Jan Storm van Leeuwen's opus magnum on "Dutch Decorated Bookbinding in the Eighteenth Century" are shining examples for the enormous amount of knowledge - and work - which stands behind such brilliant studies in a scientific field that is essential for every kind of academic research, and for the rare book trade. The 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography will be awarded in 2014 to one or more books about books published in any language and in any part of the world between 2009 and 2012. Publishers, librarians, collectors, antiquarian booksellers and all book lovers are very welcome to submit books to the prize until the end of April 2013 by sending a single copy to the Prize Secretary: Arnoud Gerits (Distelvlinderweg 37 d, 1113 LA Diemen, Netherlands).
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Article

Librarian Liberators

Is this your notion of a librarian - a gray-haired, bun-coiffed woman? Of course, this one does not appear to have the requisite spectacles. When I was teaching and tired of constantly putting on and taking off my glasses (I can see distance like a hawk, but can't read a menu without help) I started wearing an eyeglass necklace. One day after school my principal saw me walking out the door wearing them. He laughed and teased me about how "only librarians wear those". I pointed to my husband (a librarian) who had come to pick me up, and said, "He doesn't." My principal blushed, but that seems to be one of the common perceptions about librarians. Far from being the mousy, shushing, bespectacled, gray women of most people's perceptions, librarians come in a variety of packaging (including "guybrarians") and can be ardent defenders of their beliefs. Take the ALA (American Library Association), for example.
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Article

Five hundred new fairytales discovered in Germany

A collection of fairytales gathered by historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth had been locked away in an archive in Regensburg for over 150 years. Now they have been rediscovered, writes Victoria Sussens-Messerer in The Guardian
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Article

What a 19th-century sex guide tells us about the evolution, stasis of Western norms

On Valentine's Day we celebrate a holiday of love, commitment, chocolate… and 19th-century norms on reproduction and dating? Yes, the 1800s: A reminder that sex wasn't always fun or accurate. And there's no better antiquarian book to savor on Valentine's Day than 'Physiological Mysteries and Revelations in Love, Courtship, and Marriage; An Infallible Guide-Book for Married and Single Persons in Matters of the Utmost Importance to the Human Race' (1842). Now say that three times fast.
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Article

Madame Guillotine

During the Reign of Terror, large-scale public executions were conducted, including King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, executed in 1793. Thousands were sentenced to the guillotine by the Revolutionary Tribunal, often on little or no grounds - mere suspicion of "crimes against liberty" was reason enough. Death estimates range from 16,000 to 40,000 during this time. The executions were popular entertainment and attracted huge numbers of spectators. A group of female citizens, the tricoteuses ("knitters"), became regulars, functioning as macabre cheerleaders as they watched while knitting. The man most associated with the Terror was Maximilien Robespierre, and as the appetite for executions waned, he was arrested and executed in the manner of those he condemned - by Madame Guillotine.
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