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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


2010 - Bologna Diary

More than 2000 antiquarian booksellers – in 34 countries – organized in 22 national associations – ILAB is the true global network uniting the leading experts of the rare book trade worldwide. Three days of meetings preceded the official opening of ILAB's 39th Congress: The ILAB Committee met on Saturday 18th September in the wonderful rooms of the San Giorgio in Poggiale Library. The Church was built at the end of the 16th century and kept by The Servite Order, then by the Jesuit Fathers; its library holds a rich heritage of manuscripts, incunabula, 16th century books, edicts, public notices and inscriptions.
In the evening the Committee members climbed high to the top of the Prendiparte Tower (59 m) - which once was a prison, and enjoyed a spectacular view of the old city from the terrace. The buffet, and the singing of the part time prisoners was legendary.
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“The most agreeable servants of civilization” – Booksellers and librarians in a changing world

United by the love of books: The Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB) and the National Library of Australia will hold a joint conference on 19th and 20th May, 2014, in Canberra. This conference, the first of its kind held in Australia, brings together an impressive group of speakers to explore a variety of topics of particular interest both to rare booksellers and special collections librarians. It aims to enable these professionals to approach their work with greater acumen and understanding, and will afford a valuable opportunity for delegates to meet others with similar problems and interests. While the conference is aimed primarily at those working with rare books, manuscripts and photographs, it also contains much of value to anyone with a passion for our paper-based heritage. The lectures and panel discussions, held by antiquarian booksellers, scholars and librarians and among them Shef Rogers, Michael Treloar, ANZAAB President Jörn Harbeck, Sally Burdon and ILAB President Tom Congalton, focus on a variety of themes such as "The Magic of Books as Objects", "The Printed Image – Aspects of Photography and the Book", "Libraries and the Rare Book Trade", "Behind the Scenes in the Book Trade", and "Library Collections Revealed".
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Living With - And From - Books: The Libreria Antiquaria Pregliasco Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Libreria Antiquaria Pregliasco and of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, the Italian Academy of Art will honour these events with a "Colazione Letteraria" on April 8 , celebrating as well the Italian culture and the Piemontese tradition with a lecture about Galileo Galilei by David Freedberg, Professor of Art History at Columbia University. Andrew Robison, Curator of The National Gallery of Washington, will speak about Canaletto, while Umberto Pregliasco recounts one century of rare book trade in Italy. The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America was created in 1991 on the basis of a charter signed by the President of the Republic of Italy and the President of Columbia University. It is located in New York City at 1161 Amsterdam Avenue, between 116th and 118th Streets; the doorway inscription reads "Casa Italiana". The event is sponsored by Lavazza and Franco Martinetti.
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The Giunti of Florence. A Renaissance Printing and Publishing Family

This ambitious project explores the history and output of the Giunti Press in Florence, covering the firm from its beginnings in 1497 to its end in 1625, and providing descriptions of each Giunti book published with extensive indication of the libraries holding copies of each edition. In doing so, it describes the literature and history of Florence in the late Renaissance as well as the development of the Italian language within this important period of time.
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A Bibliophile Journey to the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country with a long tradition in the international antiquarian book trade. It was the idea of the Dutch bookseller Menno Hertzberger to found the International League of Antiquarian booksellers in 1947. Let's make a trip to the important places of the bookish Holland. We will visit Anton Gerits, ILAB President of Honour, who began to travel to the USSR in 1960s in order to buy rare books. He and his son Arnoud Gerits, ILAB Immediate Past President, sold a huge collection "The two Russian revolutions. The libraries of Leon Bernstein and Boris Souvarine". Then we will go to Amsterdam to visit Ton Kok, President of Nederlandsche Vereeniging van Antiquaren (NVvA). His bookshop impresses with its size. Finally, we will visit the auction house "Bubb Kuyper" in Haarlem, the book town Bredevort and the book Museum Meermanno in The Hague.
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Of Apes and Underwear

Meanwhile, back at the Armory, setup for the 53rd Annual New York International Antiquarian Book Fair was proceeding smoothly. And, I am happy to report, the show opened to what felt like record crowds. I think reduced opening night admission and a more generous free ticket policy had a noticeable effect. Unfortunately, sales did not match the crowd size. By Sunday afternoon, almost all the dealers I spoke with reported decent, but not spectacular, fairs.
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