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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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ABA History

ABA History 1906-1984

Published on 02 Jan. 2010
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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ABA History

ABA History 1906-1984, Part 2

Published on 01 Jan. 2010
At this point - except for a tributory bow towards all those, named or not, who had set and kept the ABA in motion, and a passage on the then imminent fiftieth anniversary and tenth Congress - Dudley Massey's account concludes. To the far from dauntless continuator its coverage seems considerable and its evidence of determined burrowing in files and minutes impressive.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Melbourne, New South Wales, before 1850

From 23th to 26 November, 2010, the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers invites dealers and collectors to Melbourne to enjoy the 37th ANZAAB Australian Antiquarian Book Fair. 36 of Australia's leading booksellers will showcase fine, rare and collectable books – a brilliant chance to explore new fields of collecting. A special tip by Peter Arnold: "Melbourne in 1850, on the eve of the gold discoveries of the following years, was already a thriving port with a settler population of more than 20,000. There is a considerable contemporary literature on the subject; but, for the collector, it seems much smaller in total because all of the local publications are rare."
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Article

Die Unsterblichkeit der Sterne – Francisco de Goya, Walter Benjamin, Václav Havel

Blank, specialist in 18th to 20th century literature and philosophy, reconstructed Kafka's library which was given as a present to the city of Prague by the Porsche AG in the year 2002. His other life long passion was Walter Benjamin. After the Kafka project Blank reconstructed Benjamin's library. He compiled all the books Benjamin had owned before his library was lost during the Nazi regime. Blank's catalogue "In Walter Benjamins Bibliothek. Dokumentation einer verlorenen Bibliothek" was published in 2006. Now the books most important to Walter Benjamin, and some of the most rare and beautiful ones, are exhibited at the Centre for Persecuted Art in Solingen. A model of the memorial at Port Bou, where Benjamin took his life after his failed escape from the Nazis, is also shown.
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Article

The Library: Three Jeremiads

„When I look back at the plight of American research libraries in 2010, I feel inclined to break into a jeremiad. In fact, I want to deliver three jeremiads, because research libraries are facing crises on three fronts; but instead of prophesying doom, I hope to arrive at a happy ending." Robert Darnton analyses the present – and future – situation of University Libraries.
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Article

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Shocking Christmas Tale

On November 13, 1884, Robert Louis Stevenson received a request from the Pall Mall Gazette. The editors wanted a sensational story to publish in its special Christmas issue, and they offered Stevenson a generous £5 per 1,000 words. Woozy with morphine taken for a chronic cough, Stevenson complained that he wasn't up to the task of writing something new. So he dusted off a piece he'd written back in 1881: The Body-Snatcher.
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Article

„Aus dem Antiquariat“ - The September Issue of the German Magazine for Antiquarian Booksellers and Book Collectors

Gerd Rosen was a famous and exceptional antiquarian book dealer, with a remarkable career - and not without controversy. Although of Jewish origin, his contacts to the Nazi regime allowed him to keep working during the Third Reich. After the War he opened a gallery for contemporary art at the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin as early as 1945. The gallery became the centre of the new Berlin art scene, although Gerd Rosen quarrelled with its most prominent artists. A financial crises followed in 1950. Gerd Rosen had to close his gallery, but it took him only a short time to start a new career as an antiquarian bookseller, auctioneer, and bibliomaniac. The recent issue of the German magazine "Aus dem Antiquariat" presents an excellent article on Gerd Rosen's life and career which is, at the same time, a look back into the history of the German antiquarian book trade from the 1930s to the 1960s.
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