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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

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Article

SLAM Bibliography Prize 2013

The SLAM Bibliography Prize 2013 goes to: Catalogues régionaux des incunables des bibliothèques publiques de France. Volume XVIII. Bibliothèque de l'École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Édité par Dominique Coq. Collection Histoire et civilisation du livre. École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE). Genève, Librairie Droz, 2012. 334 p., ill.
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The American Gift Book

In France the first gift book may have been ALMANACH DES MUSES, first published in 1765. This format was copied in Germany in 1770 with the publication of MUSEN-ALMANACH. In the 1790s some anthologies appeared in England that were clearly intended to be given as gifts, like ANGELICA'S LADIES LIBRARY, OR PARENTS AND GUARDIANS PRESENT (1794), which was followed by THE ANNUAL ANTHOLOGY (1799, 1800), edited by Robert Southey, and including twenty-seven poems and epigrams by Coleridge, plus contributions by Charles Lamb and Southey himself. A third volume was planned, but never appeared. These proto-gift books did not start a trend, and I know of no similar anthologies published in England during the next two decades. In the early years of the nineteenth century in Germany, some gift books (taschenbuch) were being issued in glazed paper boards, and in 1822 Rudolph Ackerman used those as his model when he published the first English gift book, the FORGET ME NOT, which he would publish without interruption for the next twenty-five years. Gift books like Ackerman's, which were issued year after year, became known as gift annuals, literary annuals, or simply "annuals." Since not all "annuals" were exclusively literary in their content, I will use the term "gift annual" to describe them as a subset of the broader family of gift books.
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The Cinderella of the Arts: A Short History of Sangorski & Sutcliffe

The Cinderella of the Arts, written by Rob Shepherd, charts the history of one of the most celebrated craft bookbinding workshops of the 20th century. Sangorski & Sutcliffe was founded in 1901 and within a few years the workshop had grown into the most important hand bindery of the Edwardian era.
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ILAB History

ABA History 1906-1984, Part 2

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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Notes from Sydney - The ILAB Internship in Australia from October to December 2011

Here I am reporting from sunny Sydney where I am highly enjoying my ILAB internship. I am a student at the Moscow State University of Printing Arts where I participate in the courses about the antiquarian book trade held by professor Olga Tarakanova. My internship is part of the program which is organized by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers to give a hand to young booksellers like me to get in touch with foreign colleagues. So I got lucky to go to Australia, and I want to write about my experiences here in the form of brief posts to keep you informed about what is going on down under!
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Article

Humperdinck’s „Hänsel und Gretel“ - Kitalálta, megcsinálta: A mai "Jancsi és Juliska" elé

The German composer Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921) is best known for his opera "Hänsel und Gretel". He began working on it in Frankfurt in 1890. He first composed four songs to accompany a puppet show his nieces were giving at home. Then, using a libretto loosely based on the version of the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, he composed a "Singspiel" of 16 songs. The opera premiered in Weimar on 23 December 1893, under the baton of Richard Strauss, who called it "a masterpiece of the highest quality". With its synthesis of Wagnerian techniques (Humperdinck had assisted Wagner 1880/81 in his production of Parsifal) and traditional German folk songs, Hänsel und Gretel was an overwhelming success. In 1923 the London Royal Opera House chose it for their first complete radio opera broadcast. Eight years later, it was the first opera transmitted live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Eduard Hanslick, a Bohemian-Austrian music critic, attended the premiere of „Hänsel und Gretel" in Vienna. The former supporter, then severe critic of Richard Wagner published his impressions of Humperdinck's opera in 1894. Adam Bösze has translated the text into the Hungarian language for his blog on rare books and the history of music.
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