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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Booksellers Worldwide

From Seoul to London – An interview with T.J. Kim, antiquarian bookseller in the Republic of Korea

Published on 20 July 2015
ILAB is like the United Nations for antiquarian booksellers. As a truly global umbrella organization it shows that the rare book business is fascinating in its diversity: from Europe to South Africa and the United States, to Australia and Asia. When in 1989 the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Korea (ABAK) was founded, the antiquarian booksellers in the Republic of Korea immediately became affiliated to ILAB. And now, for the first time, the South Korean colleagues exhibited at this year's London International Antiquarian Book Fair. T.J. Kim, owner of Tmecca Korea, Inc. in Seoul, was one of them. He tells us about rare bookselling in his home country, his own career and future perspectives of the trade.
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Booksellers Worldwide

The Rare Book Trade - Remington Voyages

Published on 20 Feb. 2015
We found ourselves in the Sussex market town of Midhurst the other day – very pleasant, even in the rain – partly as an episode in the ongoing quest for perfect seasoned logs to keep the home fires burning (the ones available locally are apparently just lumps of wood – but that's another story). So obviously also an opportunity not to be missed to call on Philip Remington (of Reg & Philip Remington), who is nowadays quartered in these parts. Now, while the name Remington might merely suggest rifles or razors to some people, to those of us in the real world it means only one thing: the finest of fine books in the spheres of exploration, voyages and travel. The firm can trace its origins back to that day in 1951 when Reg Remington was taken on by the Francis Edwards firm as a trainee, rising through the ranks to become in turn assistant to Herbert Edwards, then Edwards' successor as head of the voyages and travel department, and then a director of the firm. Meanwhile, his son Philip was undergoing his own vigorous training at the so fondly remembered Hodgson's Auction Rooms on Chancery Lane. In 1979 they joined forces to begin trading independently, taking on a shop in London's Cecil Court in 1980, where they remained as one of its great adornments until 2002.
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Booksellers Worldwide

Worth a Visit! Engel & Co. - Beautiful, Old, Rare and Precious Books in Stuttgart

Published on 16 Jan. 2015
Mention the city of Stuttgart anywhere, and the first thought is „Mercedes Benz", „Porsche" or perhaps „Robert Bosch". What is less well known is that Stuttgart is one of the big "book cities" in Germany. When Leipzig lost importance after the war, many publishers and book distributors moved here. It has always been a reading town, not for nothing does Friedrich Schiller hail from here. Friedrich Hölderlin and Hermann Hesse lived and suffered nearby. The philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and the publisher Johann Heinrich Cotta were born in Stuttgart, where a century later Mies van der Rohe built the famous "Weissenhofsiedlung" on the hills that surround the city centre. Stuttgart is also a centre of anthroposophy in Germany. The first Waldorf School was founded here, by Rudolf Steiner himself. So it does not come as a surprise that the oldest and largest bookshop specialised on anthroposophy is located here: Engel & Co. It has had several names during its history, but the basic premise has never changed: to purvey anthroposophic literature in particular and a select stock of good literature in general.
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Booksellers Worldwide

The Art of Collecting – An Interview with David Mason

Published on 25 July 2013
David Mason discovered his love of literature in a bathtub at age eleven, at fifteen he was expelled from school. For the next decade and a half, he worked odd jobs, bought books more often than food, and floated around Europe. He helped gild a volume in white morocco for Pope John XXIII. And then, at the age of 30, after returning home to Canada and apprenticing with Joseph Patrick Books, he found his calling. A few weeks ago Canadian author and rare book dealer David Mason published his memoirs The Pope's Bookbinder. In his brilliant book he tells the most exciting stories of his legendary international career. An interview with David Mason about his career and the art of collecting.
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Booksellers Worldwide

Rummage in Curzon Street

Published on 14 Jan. 2013
Off to Mayfair again today to take a look at two rather different bookshops perched either side of Curzon Street. On the south side, at no. 46, is the retail showroom of Shepherds, incorporating of course the famous old Sangorski & Sutcliffe bookbinding business. As you might expect, all the emphasis is on fine bindings – new and not so new. Rob Shepherd, incidentally doing a fine job as the new ABA treasurer, and his colleague Kim Pooley, bemoan the fact that the stock is looking a little thin – they simply sold so many books in the run-up to Christmas and the bindery is already at full stretch. Nice problems to have, in a sense, but there are plans to move a lot of the gorgeous stationery, bookbinding accessories and so on, over to their new premises in Gillingham Street at Victoria and to concentrate on books here in Curzon Street.
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Booksellers Worldwide

“Book collecting is a vibrant, exciting and engaging pastime” - An interview with ILAB President Tom Congalton

Published on 06 Nov. 2012
Quite frankly, book collecting is often thought of as a hermeneutic pursuit, but what it really is an adventure, a treasure hunt, and a fascinating journey of self-discovery. What could be sexier than that? If you attend one of the bigger ILAB sponsored book fairs, you are likely to see famous authors. artists, actors, musicians, filmmakers, and intellectuals. Often perceived by outsiders as a staid and scholarly pursuit, book collecting is and almost always has been a vibrant, exciting and engaging pastime – it's our job to make others understand that.
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Booksellers Worldwide

Paul Collinge - Radio Interview about the Changing Nature of the Antiquarian Book Trade

Published on 01 Aug. 2012
Paul Collinge of Heartwood Books in Charlottesville (USA) has been in the book business for more than 40 years. He is specialized in history, literature, Americana, Virginia and in books, manuscripts and ephemera related to Thomas Jefferson. Collinge is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA). In the American radio show The Spark he talks about the changing nature of the antiquarian book trade in the 21st century.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

ILAB POP UP FAIRS ON UNESCO WORLD BOOK & COPYRIGHT DAY - 23 APRIL 2016

On UNESCO World Book & Copyright Day 2015 ILAB booksellers brought the books to the people. They popped up at the most unexpected places, in schools, at train stations, restaurants, pubs, schools, museums, libraries, woolsheds, business clubs, in the streets, on boats, on skyscrapers. For 24 hours they were part of a great chain of books spanning across the world, raising over 10,000 Euros to support literacy worldwide and showing the most beautiful bookish items to people many of whom had never seen or touched such treasures before. It was an amazing experience. See the video on Youtube!
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Article

The New USTC Site

A helpful user brought to my attention the newly updated website for USTC (Universal Short Title Catalogue) which was just launched 4 days ago. For those unfamiliar with the project, its mission is to compile a "collective database" of all European printed books from the 15th and 16th century, with a later extension into the seventeenth century also in sight. I don't think I need to make a point of how useful this will be to anyone who does research relating to early printing.
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Article

23rd Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair from 1st to 2nd November 2013

The 23rd Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair will be held at the beautiful Chelsea Old Town Hall in the King's Road, London, on 1st and 2nd November 2013. Over its life, the Chelsea fair has become a fixture in the November calendar for book collectors and dealers from Britain, Europe and America. Warmer than Boston, more intimate than York, less formal than Paris – Chelsea has it all. Most of our exhibitors come back year after year, and that's because sales continue to increase, and the customers return, again and again.
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Article

Graphic Novels and The Private Library

Rare books, modern first editions - graphic novel? "Book collectors, like any other group of human beings, have their faults. One of the most common is that we too often dismiss out-of-hand any sort of book collecting that does not appeal to us personally." Author and librarian L. D. Mitchell about the joy of collecting the extraordinary.
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Article

The Warburg Institute Library, London, is once again in danger, 80 years after being saved from the Nazis

The Warburg Institute Library holds about 350,000 books. It was originally founded in Hamburg by Aby Warburg (1866-1929), one of the most brilliant intellectuals of the 20th century. Warburg's enormous collection – which documents the history of the Renaissance and the influence of antiquity on modern culture in an interdisciplinary approach - was transformed into a scholarly institution called Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg. The library was located in Hamburg (Germany) until the year 1933. Four years after Aby Warburg's death his collection had to be brought out of the country because it was in danger of being destroyed by the Nazis. The Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg was relocated in London, 1944 it became associated with the University of London, and in 1994 it became a founding institute of the University of London's School of Advanced Study.
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Article

The Girolamini Thefts in the Press: August 2013 to January 2014

More than a year has passed since the discovery of thefts from the Girolamini Library in Naples (Italy). The former library director, Marino Massimo de Caro, has been convicted to seven years in prison of being primarily responsible for the thefts. He now is under arrest in his house in Italy. Meanwhile a second issue has been brought to public attention: the dissemination of forgeries throughout the international antiquarian book market. In several official statements the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and the Italian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ALAI) expressed their concern about these two major issues which bring up the prospect that books from the Girolamini Library or forgeries may surface on the market for years to come with little or no warning that they have been stolen or forged. A survey of press articles about the Girolamini thefts and the forgeries published between August 2013 and January 2014:
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