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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Obituaries

Franklin Victor Spellman (1945-2015) – An Obituary

Published on 19 Nov. 2015
Franklin Victor Spellman was born August 15, 1945 in Stamford, Connecticut, moving to the Bronx, New York, at 8 years. He is named in honor of Franklin Roosevelt and his middle name was in celebration of V-J day. Although Jewish, he was born in a Catholic hospital where the nuns prevailed upon his mother to give him a middle name of Victor. He was not a fan of Roosevelt, but Franklin did love his name. He has an older brother Douglas Spellman, and a younger sister, Jill Polan.
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Obituaries

In Memoriam Mitsuo Nitta - We have Lost a Giant of the Antiquarian Book World

Published on 11 Nov. 2015
My "boss" has passed away. It is true that all humans must one day face this inevitable fate. When I met Mitsuo Nitta in the middle of October after returning back from the ILAB Presidents Meeting in Seville, aside from thinking his stomach looked little inflated than the usual, he spoke and moved in his usual energetic ways. So when I heard the news, I literally had to ask myself twice to make sure I heard the news right.
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Obituaries

In Memoriam Mitsuo Nitta, ILAB Member of Honour

Published on 04 Nov. 2015
I was deeply saddened to learn that Mitsuo Nitta, President of Honor of the ABAJ, Member of Honor of ILAB, CEO at Yushodo Ltd., former Chair of the ILAB-Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, legendary bookseller and friend to so many of us, has passed away on October 27 of 2015. Mitsuo Nitta played a leading role in developing antiquarian bookselling not only in Japan but also in the surrounding countries like Korea and China, and he had been teacher and friend for generations of younger booksellers. His role in spreading out ILAB's device "Amor Librorum nos unit" in East-Asia cannot be underestimated. Since my first meeting with Mitsuo Nitta back in 1988 during the Congress in Paris, we had been in constant contact, and I will always remember countless discussions about ILAB with him, the last one – alas - only earlier this year in Tokyo.
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Obituaries

In Memoriam, Antiquarian Bookseller and Author Patricia Ahearn

Published on 02 June 2014
Last week Patricia Ahearn of Quill & Brush (Dickerson, Maryland, US) passed away. Patricia and Allen Ahearn started collecting in the early 1960s and founded Quill & Brush in the year 1976 specializing in in first editions of literature, mystery/detective fiction and collectible books from all fields of interest. With over 45 years of experience in the rare book trade they were also authors of numerous articles and books like: “Collected Books: The Guide to Values” (4th, revised and enlarged edition published in 2011), “Book Collecting 2000” (Putnam: 2000) and over 200 individual Author Price Guides.
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Obituaries

"There's enough beauty in the world to keep me here” - David Spode (1936-2013)

Published on 28 Jan. 2014
A couple of weeks before he died I asked David why he was so determined to hang on as long as he could. After all, we shared trenchant, dour, views of the universe, of human existence. He replied, "There's enough beauty in the world to keep me here." That didn't make me pause for thought; what did was the realisation that he was so good at sharing beauty. If I begin to count up all the things that I treasure that I learnt from David either directly or indirectly - by following leads given by him down paths of my own making - then I find myself with a tangle of debt that can't and doesn't need to be unpicked.
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Obituaries

Past Presidents of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association - Alan Gradon Thomas (1911-1992)

Published on 11 Oct. 2013
This week – revisiting the past again with another in the occasional series on past presidents of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association. Alan Gradon Thomas was born in Hampstead, North London, on the 19th October 1911 – the son of Albert Edward Thomas, a local newsagent and stationer, and his wife Evelyn Gradon, originally from Durham, who had married the previous year.
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Obituaries

GEORGES A. DENY 1920-1999 - Founder and First Secretary of the ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography

Published on 09 July 2013
The ILAB Prize for Bibliography was founded in the early 1960s when Georges A. Deny was President of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. He also became the first Secretary of the Prize which was called Prix Triennal de Bibliographie in the beginnings. The first Prize was not awarded in 1964 due to a lack of quality of the submitted books, as Deny clearly stated in his report of the same year. Thus, since 1967 famous scholars like like Jean Peeters-Fontainas, I. C. Koeman, Claus Nissen, Anthony Hobson, Lotte Hellinga or Jan Storm van Leeuwen were honoured with this most prestigious prize in the broad field of bibliography worth 10.000 USD.
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Obituaries

Karl Donhofer (1923–2013)

Published on 28 June 2013
Karl Donhofer, for many years antiquarian bookseller and managing director of Franz Deuticke (Vienna), member of the Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (VAO) and father of ILAB Vice-President Norbert Donhofer, passed away on 20th June 2013. An obituary by Hansjörg Krug.
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Obituaries

Vale Barbara Burdon

Published on 26 April 2013
Barbara Burdon, the founder of Asia Bookroom and beloved mother of Burdon Family Booksellers' members Sally, Jonathan and Elisabeth, and mother-in-law of Kay Craddock, died on March 20th after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. Paul Feain, who had known her for a very long time, wrote a touching obituary.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair in Budapest, 24 – 25 September 2016

For the first time ever the Hungarian rare book dealers invite colleagues and collectors from across the world to Budapest. The 42nd ILAB Congress and 26th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair from 21 to 25 September 2016 will present Budapest as one of the most beautiful cities and one of the most fascinating book capitals in Europe. The congress programme is as manifold as exciting and proves that Budapest is a city with many faces: the old Hungarian capital full of books and music, history and tradition and at the same time a lively and busy Eastern European centre full of young and amazing cultural concepts. Have you already registered for the ILAB Congress and / or for the succeeding ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair? Have a look at the promising programme and do not hesitate to subscribe. In a series of articles we will introduce you to the most exciting places of Budapest – libraries, museums, archives, music halls and other famous sites. Joins us on our virtual tour through the Hungarian capital and be sure: the 42nd ILAB Congress and 26th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair in September 2016 are worth a visit.
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Article

The World is Looking at Russia - Speaking to Pavel Chepyzhov of Bookvica (RU)

Pavel Chepyzhov is the owner of a rare book business in Moscow and in Georgia's capital Tbilisi. He is also member of the ILAB Executive Committee and shares some information about his country and the book trade in Russia.
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Article

Bob de Graaf 1927-2011

It is with great sadness that both the Dutch Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (NVvA) and ILAB have to report the death of Bob de Graaf (1927-2011). He served the NVvA as Secretary (1963-1969) and as its President (1971-1974). In 1973 he joined the ILAB Committee, and accepted both the position as editor of ILAB's Newsletter and as Secretary. From 1979 to 1982 he served as ILAB President, in 1985 he was made, and deservedly so, ILAB President of Honour.
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Article

43d California Book Fair and the State of the Trade

Last weekend's 43d California International Antiquarian Book Fair in Los Angeles, the first major book fair of the year, provided an excellent overview of where the rare book trade now stands and where it may be headed.
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Article

Books – Gone With the Wind

Always in these days when the antiquarian book fairs in Boston, Chelsea, Sydney, Toronto or in California, New York, Paris, Milan and London open their doors to visitors I remember the day when I lost my books. Have you ever made this experience? Have you ever attended an antiquarian book fair without your books? Empty shelves for sale? I'm a retired antiquarian bookseller of over 40 years standing. I think I have seen most of what this curious profession has to offer: the interesting and the boring, the delightful and the dreadful, the amusing and the saddening. Most of all, I have seen a lot of strange and curious events, and I am about to relate one of the most curious here.
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Article

Provenances - „Provenienzen“: 42th Seminar held by the German Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association in Cologne in May 2012

From 17th to 20th May, 2012, members of the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association met in Cologne for their 42th annual seminar. In a series of lectures the problem of provenances and the restitution of looted art and books was discussed with librarians, lawyers and specialists. The history of fate of famous collections were reconstructed, such as the libraries of Victor Manheimer and Elise and Helene Richter. Other lectures centred around the history of typography, the making of artists' books, and the identification of the age and the provenances of books through the paper on which of they were printed. Highlights of the weekend were excursions to some famous libraries situation in Cologne: the Dom- und Diözesanbibliothek with its numerous treasures of medieval manuscripts, Ungers-Archiv für Architekturwissenschaften and the Petrarca and Proust collections of Professor Dr. Reiner Speck. Read the report (in German) by Meinhard Knigge.
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