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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Japanese Woodblock Ephemera

"For many people in the west mention of Japanese woodblock prints brings to mind the beautiful single sheet colour examples by artists such as Hokusai, Hiroshige and the many other artists of extraordinary skill working during the 18th and 19th centuries. Immense pleasure can also be gained from looking a little further and discovering the plethora of games, decorative papers, books, calendars, lists, news-sheets, maps, advertising, and ephemeral material of every kind that was published using woodblock printing methods during the Edo and Meiji periods." Sally Burdon's collecting tip is one of the highlights of BookFare 2, the recently published newsletter of the Australian & New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB). Read the article and subscribe to further issues!
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Article

Peter Murray Hill

Peter Auriol Murray Hill, who served as ABA president in 1956-1957, was born on 20th April 1908 at Bushey in Hertfordshire, the son of George Murray Hill, a solicitor, and his second wife Ida Stogdon, who had married in 1907 ... His introduction to the presidency of the ABA was overshadowed by the furore surrounding the auction-ring which had carved up the Lowther Castle library in late 1955. The ABA was attacked in the House of Commons (see the comment and link below from Adrian Seville) and publicly humiliated in the press. The Times led off with a Saturday leader headed "This Shabby Business" and, following a reply from the ABA, followed up with "Only a Little Crooked". The second leader began, "For a body concerned with the written word the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association is singularly inept in its public statements".
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One Hand on the Wheel - The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers During the 1990s

In 1985 I was elected to the committee of the ILAB, the international umbrella organization then uniting the national associations of eighteen countries, now twenty-one. The problems a small national association like the NVvA has to cope with do not differ fundamentally from those faced by the ILAB. The committee consists of members from various countries, who, when they agree to join the international committee, are expected to let the international collective interests prevail over the national and/or private interests. These responsible positions are not subject to any payment, and compensation for expenses is only partial. By raising the yearly financial contribution of the national associations to the ILAB treasury bit by bit, and through a levy on the booths at antiquarian book fairs sponsored by the national associations, the financial position of the ILAB slowly improved. In 1996, just before I retired as president of the ILAB, I was able to convince a majority in the General Assembly to vote for more appropriate reimbursement of costs for future members of the committees.
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Oversubscribed year on year! Interview with Anthony Smithson - Organiser of YABS

On the 10th September, the 2018 edition of YABS will start. ILAB spoke to Anthony Smithson owner of Keel Row Book Shop in York and organiser of the very popular course about what to expect this year and why the seminar has been oversubscribed since its inception in 2014.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The First Flight Across the Atlantic

This week book lovers take their planes to New York to visit the 54th annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory, which runs from 3rd to 6th April 2014. Michael Slicker commemorates the first flight across the Atlantic and the books written about it. - A U.S. Mail pilot named Charles Lindbergh gets the credit for flying nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean by himself in 1927, and deservedly so, but he wasn't the first to fly across the Atlantic. That distinction goes to the crew of the Curtiss NC-4 floatplane, a name considerably less imaginative than the Spirit of St. Louis, and the feat took place in 1919, some eight years before Lucky Lindy's historic excursion. A book about the accomplishment published the same year is in the collection of rare and unusual books at Lighthouse Books, ABAA. The Flight Across the Atlantic was issued by the federal Department of Education in 1919 under the auspicies of the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation. The trip took 19 days, including time for repairs and rest for the crew. Lindy's hop took 33.5 hours. But, hey, these guys weren't in any hurry and they weren't carrying a load of mail.
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Article

ILAB Punks Out

Ever wonder what rare booksellers do after a book fair? If you guessed "almost anything" you'd probably be correct. But one particular past-time that rare booksellers pursue is music. Many ILAB members are musicians, both professional and otherwise. This year, after the doors closed on the Friday of the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, several dozen rare booksellers reconvened in a subterranean cavern at New York City's Lit Lounge to take in a performance by Dear Althea, a nearly all-girl punk band, featuring lead singer and guitarist Ashley Wildes, whose daytime alter-ego is that of a mild-mannered cataloguer at Between the Covers Rare Books.
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