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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Obituaries

Bob Fleck - Book of Condolence

Published on 23 Sept. 2016
ILAB is deeply saddened to inform its affiliates that Bob Fleck passed away on the 22nd September, following a short but very aggressive illness. Our thoughts and prayers accompany his family, and in particular his beloved wife Millie and his son Rob.
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Obituaries

Renate Geisenheyner (1937-2016)

Published on 12 April 2016
We are deeply saddened to learn that Renate Geisenheyner, German antiquarian bookseller and renowned expert in autographs and children's books, passed away on 6th April 2016. Renate Geisenheyner (Weltin) was born in Berlin on 5th August 1937. After several years, first as an apprentice, then as a rare book dealer at Amelang and Peter Naacher in Frankfurt, she moved to Stuttgart in 1963 and started working at Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing Rare Books. During the 1970s Renate Geisenheyner came to Heidelberg and worked for the famous Tenner Auction House, where she met her later husband Winfried Geisenheyner. On 1st July 1981 they both founded their own business in Münster-Hiltrup. Already in the same year, in July and November 1981, they published two remarkable catalogues specializing in Sciences, Natural History, Geography and Travel. From then on Renate and Winfried Geisenheyner have been exhibiting at the international antiquarian book fairs from California to Europe, and they have been regular guests at the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair for more than 30 years. It was Renate Geisenheyner who edited a long series of Autograph and Children's Book Catalogues for which Geisenheyner Rare Books gained worldwide renown. She was a jury member of the Antiquaria Book Prize, awarded every year in January to outstanding book artists and bibliographers, and, as a passionate reader to whom one could listen for hours, she founded a Reading Club in Münster to celebrate the importance of books and the joy of reading.
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Obituaries

In Memory of Mitsuo Nitta

Published on 07 Jan. 2016
As I had retired from the publishing business more than fifteen years ago, it was only when we sent our annual Seasonal Greetings to Mr. and Mrs. Nitta that we learned from Yushodo that Mitsuo had passed away two months earlier. I was shocked that my old friend had died, as was my wife and son. It seemed impossible, a person with such brimming enthusiasm and largess of life. And I felt particularly saddened that we had become so out of touch since my retirement that I only recently discovered this great loss.
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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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10 - 18 / 41

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The Gravell Watermark Archive: Taking watermarks online

The Gravell Watermark Archive (www.gravell.org) is bringing together more than 50,000 watermarks from America and Europe, including 7,500 images collected by American-watermark expert Thomas L. Gravell and about 45,000 unpublished marks documented by Charles-Moise Briquet. On the website, you can search for stags, swans, or unicorns, creatures from a medieval bestiary produced long ago by wire attached to a paper mould. (Watermarks are made by placing a design made with thin wire on a paper mould. The paper formed over the wire is thinner and translucent when held up to a light source.)
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Article

Bibliographies - Orient

Online: Bodleian Library Special Collections - Dorn/Rost, Catalogue des manuscrits et xylographes orientaux - Tobler, Bibliographica geographica Palaestinae - Julius Theodor Zenker, Bibliotheca orientalis ... - Amari, Biblioteca arabo-sicula, 2 volumes - Enslin, Bibliotheca Philologica
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Article

Let's get going! ILAB Pop-UP-Fairs Worldwide on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, April 2015

I naturally like to regale the family over the supper table with all the latest news from the world of rare books. The family are slightly ambivalent about this: stifled yawns sometimes remain unstifled; eyes are exaggeratedly rolled; fathomless stupefactions of chronic boredom are elaborately mimed, and silent departures from the table to go and have a lie down are by no means unknown. Imagine then my surprise, my triumph, when I announced the concept of Pop-Up Bookfairs – and not just one or two, but a worldwide rolling twenty-four hour programme to celebrate a World Rare Book Day – fairs popping up all over the place, time-zone by time-zone, on a single day – right across the globe and all backed-up by the full might of social media. Tweet-pop, tweet-pop, from Australia to L.A. and beyond. Pictures, videos and reports on the web, YouTube, Instagram and wherever else anyone can think of. "That's brilliant. Absolutely brilliant", said Daughter No. 1. "Oh, you are soooo twenty-first century", said Daughter No. 2. "We've got a trestle table", said my dear wife, fondly imagining that the number of books in the house might actually decrease if I popped out for a pop-up. Incredible. I had managed to hold their attention for – oh – thirty or forty seconds. Well, twenty anyway.
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Article

Rare Books in the Press: Darwin’s Personal Library Put Online

Charles Darwin's personal scientific library comprised 1480 books, of which 730 contain research notes in their margin. This magnificent collection has now been digitised by the Cambridge University Library in cooperation with the Darwin Manuscripts Project at the American Museum of Natural History, the Natural History Museum, and the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Devo and the Punks of Letterpress

We finally were able to track down a complete set of this collection of broadsides issued for the Kent State Creative Arts Festival. I'd been searching for it for several years. We'd wanted to include it in our Art Terrorism in Ohio exhibition, but weren't able to find a copy in time, which is a shame. Not only does the portfolio link the underground poetry scene in Ohio to the Bay Area poetry scene via the Zephyrus Image, it also connects it to the New Wave and avant punk scene, featuring perhaps the earliest printed work by a band that was still a few years away from taking over the world.
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Article

The History of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (A.B.A.) Part 1

This short survey of the British ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS' ASSOCIATION consists of the account of its first half-century prepared by Dudley Massey for the fiftieth anniversary in 1956 (slightly revised) with a continuation to the present year by Martin Hamlyn. It was published in the ILAB Newsletter 36.
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