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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Practice Makes (Nearly) Perfect - 36th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

Sometimes the years seem to fly by like calendar leaves flapping off the wall in a corny movie. That was much the feeling at this year's 36th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, held at the Hynes Convention Center. Old veterans of Bostons past walked the familiar aisles, nodding at one another – "Here we are again." Members of the excellent Brede staff, many of whom have been working with us for years, gave us a "Good to see you again" shoulder clap. And they meant it. We'd each survived another year and were back in the familiar, comfortable confines of the Hynes. I recall problems in the early years, mostly centering around the difficulties of moving in and out. But now staff and exhibitors alike know the drill, and if anyone unfamiliar with the procedure gets panicky, there are plenty of calmer heads to offer support. No more ugly, non-conforming booths, no fighting, no biting. The complainers will never go away, but even they seemed subdued this year.
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COLOUR: The Art and Science of Illuminated Manuscripts

A brilliant exhibition of illuminated manuscripts opened this weekend at the Fitzwilliam Museum. If you have any chance of getting to Cambridge before the end of the year this is something you absolutely should not miss.
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The London Antiquarian Book Fair Season 2012

With the 55th London International Antiquarian Book Fair the oldest and one of the biggest and most important fairs worldwide will open its doors to visitors from 24th to 26th May 2012. This years Fair at the National Hall (Olympia) will be the best yet; with more exhibitors, more books, maps, prints, ephemera and manuscripts in a bigger and better hall providing more space on stands, wider aisles, ample space to sit and relax in three different cafes. Nearly 200 exhibitors from the UK and all over the world will offer highlights of the trade, from a hand-written account of Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens to a very rare signed limited issue of Ian Fleming's On Her Majesty's Secret Service to a signed expense account for The Sex Pistols. Whatever you collect, whatever your subject, curiosity or indulgence, you will find something to capture your imagination and interest at the Olympia Fair - and not only there. The 55th International Antiquarian Book Fair - organised by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ABA) - is the most outstanding in a series of book fairs held in London at the end of May. This is a short summary of all the fairs, with links to the official websites.
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Meet the ILAB Mentors – Anne Lamort

In December 2016, ILAB launched a new Mentoring Programme, which aims to help young or recently established booksellers throughout the world by offering support and counselling on a one on one basis.In our new series "Meet the ILAB Mentors", we would like to present those booksellers who are volunteering their time for newer entrants to the antiquarian and rare book trade!
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Booksellers

In Memoriam: Bob de Graaf, Antiquarian Bookdealer, Publisher and Bibliographer (1927-2011)

When antiquarian bookdealers, talking among themselves, call a colleague a "great dealer", they don't always mean the same thing. Some mean a dealer with many staff, a large turn over and great profits. Others mean a dealer who masters the art of really studying a book, a dealer who is able to discover something in or about the book that suddenly makes it interesting for all readers, not just the obvious specialists. When Bob de Graaf once said: "I have not become a great dealer", he hastened to add: "No, that is not false modesty." And he repeated, with meaning: "I have not become a great dealer, but I have never aspired to be one." With great sadness ILAB announces the death of Bob de Graaf on February 10, 2011. An obituary by Anton Gerits.
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