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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Michael R. Thompson Los Angeles

In Memorian: Michael R. Thompson, Los Angeles

Published on 27 Aug. 2018
On Sunday, 25th August 2018, friends and colleagues gathered at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles, to celebrate the life of Michael R. Thompson. A tribute by the library's Head Librarian Emeritus, Mr. Bruce Whiteman is published here with the permission of the author. Mr Thompson will be missed by many of his colleagues in the rare book trade.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


Codex Calixtinus manuscript stolen from Santiago de Compostela

"A priceless 12th-century illustrated manuscript containing what has been described as Europe's first travel guide has been stolen from the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. The Codex Calixtinus, which was kept in a safe at the cathedral's archives, is thought to have been stolen by professional thieves on Sunday afternoon. Archivists did not notice its disappearance, however, until Tuesday, when the cathedral's dean was told it was missing." (The Guardian)
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Ben Barrett-Forrest: The History of Typography, in Stop-Motion Animation

Built with 2454 photographs, 291 letters, and 140 hours of his life, Barrett-Forrest's animated short is a delight. As he guides us from the lowly beginnings of Guttenberg's printing press, all the way to the computer age, it becomes apparent that the art of type is a corollary for history. Like architecture and fashion, typography is a reflection of the world in which it's created. Barrett-Forrest explains his interest in type and the genesis of the project in an interview below.
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Time Travel for Bibliophiles - 54th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair, 23 to 25 January 2015

"It has become trendy to declare the book obsolete in this brave new world of digitalized data rubbish", book historian Reinhard Wittmann declares in the new "Handbook 2015/2016" published by the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VDA). "It may have lost its general function and its social prestige, but it will survive as a historical and artistic object, far beyond its actual content, as a time machine for the aura of times long gone."The German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association would like to invite you on a bibliophilic time voyage on the occasion of the 54th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair from 23rd to 25th January 2015. About 80 leading antiquarian booksellers from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, the USA, Switzerland and the Netherlands will present rare and precious manuscripts, books, autographs and prints from five centuries of book printing and book art. Beautifully illustrated manuscripts, scientific milestones, avant-garde book art, autographs and manuscripts of important scientists and artists, rare first editions of world literature, children's books, artists' books, maps, views, decorative prints and book objects: The fair fascinates by its diversity, from unique little objects to books worth millions, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.
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A Gentle Way of Doing Business - Selling Rare Books in Edinburgh

Sometimes I think that the bookshop has; become a spectator sport for tourists in Edinburgh. Some visitors behave as if the shop is a museum. "Isn't it wonderful?" they say, "I could spend all day in here", and then promptly walk out. They like the look of the shop, but it would never occur to them to buy a book. Nowadays people turn to computers in the way that they would have turned to books for a lot of their needs. Quite apart from their effect on our trade, I believe that computers are actually changing the way in which people think. Everything is highly focused toward a specific goal, instead of reading around a subject and taking a more wide-ranging approach. We have to keep trying to get young people to look at books and aspire to own them. This is a role for book fairs and shops - just being there on the high street helps to remind people that books can be bought, and that we are not libraries or museums.
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