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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Booksellers Worldwide

Suburban - The Bookshop of Anthony C. Hall

Published on 26 March 2012
A visit today to one of the most threatened of all species – something in fact not so far encountered on my travels – a genuine suburban bookshop. Those of us who are themselves suburban will no doubt remember how many there used to be. To Twickenham – familiar enough terrain for me, my school was within walking distance of the famous rugby stadium. One of the school's most charming customs (now I bring it to mind, probably its only one) was that the older boys were allowed the afternoon off each year to go to the 'Varsity Match.
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Booksellers Worldwide

The Right Book - Derek McDonnell

Published on 31 Jan. 2012
Derek McDonnell has, over the course of 25 years at Hordern House, established himself as a pre-eminent dealer in Australiana and the history of Pacific exploration. He and his partner Anne McCormick have produced a series of beautiful and scholarly catalogues, which have established a new bibliographical standard for their subjects, as well as publishing a series of essential bibliographies. He enjoys a global circle of colleague friends and is one of the most admired figures in the trade.
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Booksellers Worldwide

“You’ve got to keep rolling the dice”

Published on 24 Jan. 2012
"I didn't decide to become a bookseller; I fell into it by accident. In my early 20s I was determined to be an artist and that's what I was until I reached about 25. Then I started helping a friend with a stall outdoors on the Portobello Road on Saturdays and, after a while, I got my own pitch. I happened to do better with the stall than I was doing at painting and I enjoyed it more than painting to a point. Then I started having children and so needed money, and I realised that I was doing more bookselling and less painting and I was actually enjoying it. The day I realised that, I stopped painting and just started focusing on bookselling." - Shelf Fullfillment, the new blog of the ABA, starts with a very interesting series of interviews by Beatie Wolfe.
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Booksellers Worldwide

The President on Safari - Dublin’s Fair City

Published on 04 Nov. 2011
Laurence Worms, President of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ABA), promised the ABA members that he would travel around the British Isles to see as many of his colleagues as possible. He publishes his travel accounts in his blog "The President on Safari". This is Laurence Worms' report about the legendary Irish hospitality and a very special trip to Dublin.
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Booksellers Worldwide

Vienna – Munich and Back

Published on 07 Sept. 2011
"Two Steinbach's at the same place would not have worked out": Michael Steinbach grew up in a rare bookselling family, but instead of taking over his father's business he moved from Vienna to Los Angeles, then to Munich, established his own firm, and travelled around the world. Now, after 40 years he has returned to his hometown, and he will certainly not hesitate to catch one of the next airplanes to Tokyo. Or Hong Kong? New York? Paris? Barcelona?
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Booksellers Worldwide

"Rare book dealers need more than 'Fingerspitzengefühl', they need a kind of sixth sense, paired with profound knowledge."

Published on 21 June 2011
It runs in the family: In 1993 both father and son sat at the conference table of the Presidents Meeting in Los Angeles. Anton Gerits as ILAB President, Arnoud Gerits joined the meeting as delegate of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (NVvA). "I have grown up in a rare book selling family. Books, reading, and the interest in history and politics were vital for us", says Arnoud Gerits. He studied history and Dutch language and literature at the University of Amsterdam. In the 1970s most professors held their lectures about the Middle Ages. As he has always been a passionate reader with a special interest in history, he knew most books, facts, persons and epochs they were referring to in their lectures - and got bored. He took his degrees and thought about his future career. Then, one evening in Amsterdam, a friend celebrated the opening of his bookshop, and at the opening Arnoud Gerits met the owner of Athenaeum, one of Holland's largest independent bookstores founded in 1966. The owner urged him to establish his own business. "Anioud suddenly I knew: I wanted to become a bookseller." The next day Arnoud Gerits called his father, who said: "If you want to work in a bookshop, why don't you work for me?" A conversation with ILAB President Arnoud Gerits.
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Booksellers Worldwide

Diana Parikian’s Swansong

Published on 15 June 2011
Diana Parikian, one of the most g ift, hardworking and highly regarded booksellers in the trade, recently announced her 'retirement', prompting the above remark in The Book Collector. Diana created whole fields of collecting interests and library trends, from emblem books to Wunderkammer, and many a rare book collector and librarian is indebted to her. Her finds include neo-Latin Renaissance literature, early theatre, opera libretti, documents of art history as well as forays into conjuring and cookery. Diana belongs to that small group of booksellers who actually read, or at least browse, the contents of obscure books, in Latin. Italian and French, to discover some unknown feature. She has published 80 catalogues over the last 45 years.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Young Dealers / Old Books - First Efforts: Yet More Mistakes

"First catalogues are intimidating things, as you are introducing yourself to the bookselling world: your fellow dealers, serious collectors, institutions and librarians. All the more intimidating is that you are doing this in something that announces that it's your first effort, thereby – to my mind at least – inviting even closer scrutiny. So you truly want to present the best image of yourself that you can." With Brian Cassidy's musings on his first catalogue, ILAB starts a new series on its website about "Young Dealers / Old Books".
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ILAB History

1951-1960

“Considering the dubiety with which our activities were treated it is pleasant to record that the Congresses in London in 1949 and in Paris in 1950 were very successful both socially and professionally, while the standard of hospitality in both cities was impeccable." (Muir)
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Article

"AUTHENTICITY" - Symposium held at the Library of Congress (Rare Book and Special Collections Division) on 6th December 2013

The Library of Congress announces a symposium on "Authenticity", a program that will look at one of the most difficult subjects facing libraries, private collectors, and booksellers today - judging the genuineness of printed materials. The symposium will take place on 6th December 2013. It will not focus on theft or forgery, but rather on the research which curators, scholars, and conservators have been conducting regarding all elements of printing and book production. The program will include specialists who are at the cutting edge of research on printing techniques, paper manufacture, binding construction, and typography. They will include scholars, conservators, scientists, and booksellers who are dedicated to establishing methods for determining authenticity in the field of rare books, prints, and manuscripts.
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Article

Cataloguing Rare Books – Sh*t Explosion

Still too gimpy to drive across the state, so I was skipping the Albany Book Fair that weekend. But Dan Gaeta, who was doing the show, called to tell me about an interesting item he'd found. It's nice to have friends! (Dan operates John Bale Book Co., a café and book shop in Waterbury, CT. Talk about a simple but effective website, check ou t John Bale Books) Anyway, since I've been home all week, grumpily compiling my next catalog, and since I don't have a book fair to report on, I thought I'd talk a little about my catalogs.
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Article

Buried Books - The Cairo Genizah

Linda Hedrick has discovered a very special place in Egypt: "The most famous for both its size and contents is the Cairo Genizah. Almost 180,000 Jewish manuscript fragments were found in the genizah of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo. More fragments were found in the Basatin Cemetery east of Old Cairo, and some old documents were bought in Cairo in the late 19th century. The first European to "discover" them was Simon van Geldern (an ancestor of Heinrich Heine, the 19th century poet) who visited the synagogue about 1752."
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