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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Book Collecting Now Cover

New publication by Chatwin Books (US) looks at today's book collecting

Published on 14 May 2019
Indeed, “Books don’t just furnish a room,” Michael Dirda writes in Browsings. “. . . Digital texts are all well and good, but books on shelves are a presence in your life. As such, they become a part of your day-to-day existence, reminding you, chastising you, calling to you. Plus, book collecting is, hands down, the greatest pastime in the world.”
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Leonardo da Vinci's Library

Leonardo da Vinci: reflected in his library

Published on 06 May 2019
Leonardo da Vinci was a tireless and inquisitive reader. He owned more than 200 books about science and technology as well as literary and religious topics. An exhibition organized by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the Berlin State Library at the Museo Galileo in Florence sheds new light on the intellectual cosmos of the artist, engineer, and philosopher, who remains as fascinating as ever 500 years after his death.
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Salon du Livre 2019
Book Fairs

Un salon à la page !

Published on 18 April 2019
Un salon en pleine expansion... Le SALON LIVRES RARES & OBJETS D’ART qui s’est tenu sous la nef du Grand Palais du 12 au 14 avril réunissait 181 libraires dont 55 étrangers venant de 14 pays différents, et 52 experts en objets d’art.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

ILAB History


By the 1980s the biennial congresses were attracting several hundred delegates. A certain amount of business gets transacted (the subjects cropping up most frequently being standards of collation, the training of new entrants to the trade, and relationships with the auction houses). Its harsher critics say that the League is only a talking-shop – and it is true that the social side of congress life is very pleasant, the national association sponsoring each congress taking great care to mount an interesting programme.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Fra Paolo Sarpi, Scholar, Priest, and Heretic

The Counter-Reformation began with the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and lasted a full century, until the close of the Thirty Years' War (1648). The movement sparked conflict all over Europe, challenging the very foundations of people's daily lives. As nationalism fermented, states like Venice began to assert their autonomy – and the Catholic Church often took drastic measures in response. In the case of cleric and statesman Fra Paolo Sarpi, they even hired a hitman. Though Sarpi consistently stood up to the Church in an official capacity, he also chose to publish his greatest work, The History of the Council of Trent, under a pseudonym.
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Leipzig's Reading Girl

Today, 8th March, is International Women's Day. Has it become another PR event, another "hashtag" or does it still mean anything to us? Access to education for women, access to literature, women's rights, equality?
An image comes to mind, "The Reading Girl" by the German painter Henning from the year 1828. Its simplicity and calm has made this artwork stand out and be reproduced many times. It is one of the major attractions of the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts "Bildermuseum".
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Maurice Maeterlinck

You want a collecting tip? Here's one for American collectors: don't collect Maurice Maeterlinck! He was wildly popular in the wake of his Nobel Prize, in the early part of the 20th century. His books appeared in beautifully designed editions, that might even beguile the discerning collector of today.
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'The Most Agreeable Servants of Civilization', Booksellers and Librarians in a Changing World – A Conference Report

Three categories of people attended the recent joint conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB) and the National Library of Australia, held in Canberra on 19 and 20 May 2014 – librarians, booksellers and collectors. Its title was 'The Most Agreeable Servants of Civilization', Booksellers and Librarians in a Changing World. You can see the program at
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