“Amor Librorum Nos Unit” is the motto of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, ILAB, the international trade body for the rare book trade uniting booksellers across 36 countries. The motto has been quoted many times over the last few days and particularly the last few hours following an agreement with AbeBooks to reverse its decision to withdraw from a number of international markets.
By 6th November 2018, over 550 booksellers had sent their books "on vacation", pausing their listing on AbeBooks. The protest by rare booksellers worldwide resulted in an unprecedented echo in the media.
In response to AbeBooks' recent announcement to withdraw from several markets and the closure of booksellers' accounts by 30 November 2018, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association declines a sponsorship deal with the London Rare Book Fair "Firsts" in 2019.
This year Tavistock Books (Almeda, United States) was pleased to offer a scholarship to Joel Silver's excellent course, "Reference Sources for Researching Rare Books," at Rare Book School (RBS). We found a worthy winner in Travis Low of Ken Sanders Rare Books. Travis started out as a shipping clerk and has taken advantage of numerous opportunities to expand his role. His new responsibilities often include researching new inventory, making this RBS course ideal. Travis checked in with us to share his RBS experience.
"Oslo has Norway's greatest concentration of antiquarian bookstores, many within an easy walk of each other in the center of this city of 550,000. One of the largest and oldest is J. W. Cappelens Antikvariat." Erica Olsen visited the Norwegian antiquarian bookshops for the Fine Books & Collections magazine.
How often do words like "God," "love," "work," "science" or "industrial" appear in British book titles from the French Revolution in 1789 to the beginning of World War I in 1914? Thousands? Millions? What do you guess? Dan Cohen and Fred Gibbs, historians at George Manson University, try to find the exact answer by means of statistic analysis.
Indeed, the early modern period saw an explosion of information, and scholars struggled to find ways to assimilate it all. Some of these methods may seem absurd by today's standards (such as Agostino Ramelli's 1588 conceptualization of a book wheel that would simultaneously hold up to 70 books open for comparison), but other methods have evolved to support and promote learning even today.
We are gathered here tonight surrounded by books — raise your eyes and you will see five storeys of books and there are many more thousands (millions, I guess), hidden in rooms below us. Where did they all come from? Many of you could be forgiven for suspecting that they all came from unwary collectors like yourselves, who made the mistake of having dinner with Richard Landon and ended up changing your wills, or simply finding the next day that your books were now owned by the University of Toronto. But even Richard Landon couldn't come up with this many books so if we are to have some understanding of how an institution like this gets all these books, we must look elsewhere. Let me solve the mystery for you; they come from people like me — booksellers ...