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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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ALAI History

ALAI History 1947-2011

Published on 01 Dec. 2010
On an autumn day in 1947, a small group of book dealers met in Milan to give life to the Circolo dei Librai Antiquari. They were not many, but they were set on granting a cultural dignity to the trade of antiquarian bookselling, on fostering friendship and understanding with foreign colleagues, on cooperating with libraries and institutions for the conservation of cultural property, and on providing collectors with a code of ethics that guaranteed a fair and professional relationship between rare book dealers and their customers. In 1971, the members of the association had increased to a few dozen when the Circle became the Associazione Librai Antiquari d'Italia. The history of the ALAI, the Italian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, by:
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From the Vault

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MA/MRes in the History of the Book – Now accepting applications!

The MA in the History of the Book at the Institute of English Studies (University of London) provides an internationally unrivalled base for the study of book history. Covering a period of c.3000 BCE to 2000 CE, the programme introduces students to an incredible range of disciplines, including bibliography, palaeography, codicology, bookbinding, the history of printing, bibliometrics, the history of publishing, the history of reading, digital publishing, library history, and the rare book trade.
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Article

Celebrating 50 years of selling the finest - The 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair

The first major antiquarian book fair of the year in America, the California International Antiquarian Book Fair will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017!50 years of seeing, learning about, and purchasing the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, photographs, print and ephemera.
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A Bibliophile's Paradise

"Dreaming of a store devoted to books about books? Wake up to reality; Oak Knoll Books makes this fantasy come true."
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Article

Girolamini and De Caro – A Letter to the Presidents of ILAB's Member Associations

Dear Fellow-Presidents, I am very sorry to be the bearer of bad news which are related to the thefts at the Girolamini-Library at Naples and Marino Massimo de Caro. Christian Westergaard, from Denmark, was arrested some days ago - and later released - for supposedly handling stolen Italian books. The books in question had no immediate Italian provenance (some came from the Macclesfield Library) but were on an Italian list of stolen books, presumably those known to have been stolen by De Caro and his accomplices. Because Christian and other dealers openly list their stock online, it seems that the Italian investigators just matched authors and titles, without reading the detailed notes, or examining the photos on the web, which would have demonstrated that these were not the copies in question. It is also more than curious that all of the eleven books that were confiscated by the Danish Police were titles that had appeared in auction 59 at Zisska & Schauer, Munich, in May of 2012. All of the then withdrawn books– totaling up to 540 – are still kept under lock by the Bavarian Police and that factor was forgotten by the Italian investigators! It may therefore even be that they do not fully understand that these books exist in multiple copies.
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Pop Up in Japan and Korea - Explore the Asian World of Bibliophily

As the sun goes on 23 April 2016 – across the world, for 24 hours, on 5 continents, in 16 countries, 30 cities and various languages bringing the books to the people at most busy and sometimes unexpected places: this is ILAB on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day! This year the antiquarian booksellers in Asia will play a decisive role in the worldwide celebrations to promote the book and to support literacy. While the ILAB Pop Up Fairs in Sydney and Perth will be in full swing, the Asian antiquarian booksellers will prepare to join their colleagues in the great chain of events. For the first time ever, the rare book dealers of the Republic of Korea will be a part of it.
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Article

Thanks, Bruce McKinney!

Every once in a while we encounter events that we know will be benchmarks in our careers as antiquarian book dealers. The first shop, with its smell of fresh cut pine shelving, the first big buy, the first book fair, the biggest book fair, the biggest buy, the luckiest find, the first whale (dealer slang for a big buyer) … all these things will be chapter titles in the book of our days in the trade, written out as memoirs, or only recollected as memories. To their number must be added appraisals (for those of us who engage in such shenanigans) – the first one, the biggest one, the one that was challenged by heirs or IRS. The best one. I spent last week on a new chapter in my book of memories. It will filed in my memory bank as "Appraisals, Best."
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