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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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Provenance Symposium

ILAB Provenance Symposium now available to view online

Published on 10 April 2019
Today marks the 1st International Provenance Research Day with more than 60 cultural institutions in Germany, Great Britain, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland organizing large number of symposiums and workshops at museums, archives and libraries.  Coinciding with this important initiative, ILAB launches the videos of the New York Provenance Symposium.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Byron in Russia. Washington Irving in Germany

Washington Irving's name and fame reached Germany suddenly when in 1819–20 The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. was published in England and America. Diedrich Knickerbocker's History of New York (1809), which had appeared ten years earlier and had established Irving's reputation as a writer, held no appeal for Europe. Its native satire and its mockery of American politics were incomprehensible to those not intimately acquainted with New York life and its political scene. But when British journals began to praise this first American man of letters and reprinted authorized or pirated sections from The Sketch Book, German papers and periodicals promptly translated these extracts. Editions in book form quickly followed, and the reception was enthusiastic.
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54th London International Antiquarian Book Fair - Interview with Robert Frew, ABA Chair of the Olympia Committee

From June 9 to 11, 2011, over 160 rare book dealers showcase a huge array of magnificent books, prints and manuscripts from the early beginnings of printing in the 15th century to today during the London International Antiquarian Book Fair. In its 54 years of existence the famous fair, organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ABA) has become the leading destination for bibliophiles and collectors. An interview with Robert Frew, ABA Chair of the Olympia Committee.
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By the book: Bringing antiquarian bookselling into the 21st century - The Week UK

By the book: Bringing antiquarian bookselling into the 21st century
Pom Harrington on the thrill of selling first editions of Shakespeare, Shackleton and Churchill
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Emil Hirsch (1866-1954) – Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile –

The fifth part of the series of 25 booksellers’ biographies from Ernst Fischer’s biographical handbook "Verleger, Buchhändler & Antiquare aus Deutschland und Österreich in der Emigration nach 1933" is dedicated to Emil Hirsch, who started his career in Munich in the year 1884 as an apprentice at Ludwig Rosenthal’s antiquarian bookshop. After working with Oscar Gerschel in Stuttgart, Zahn & Jaensch in Dresden and, as partner, with Gottlob Hess in Munich, he founded his own company in 1879. Emil Hirsch’s antiquarian bookshop and auction house very soon became the centre of bibliophily in the Bavarian capital. He was a founding member of the Gesellschaft der Münchener Bücherfreunde, encouraged Hans von Weber to establish the „Hundertdrucke“ and supported the Bremer Presse. Famous collectors, authors and artists like Karl Wolfskehl and Franz Marc were amongst his friends.
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1947-1949 Conferences

From a Special Correspondent
In 1906 Frank Karslake, a second-hand bookseller, called a few colleagues together and founded the Secondhand Booksellers' Association. It was the first organization of its kind in the world; but its ambitions and scope were modest. The annual subscription was one shilling, and beyond the obligation to exchange information on bad debtors and book thieves no one seemed at all clear what its purpose was to be.Tardily other countries followed the British example and, by the time the Second World War ended, there were associations in France, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Finland. Many of the countries concerned endured the rigours of enemy occupation; all had after war problems, not the least of which was the treatment of members who had collaborated with the enemy. But there were also problems of exchange control and the regulation of imports and exports, which were new to most European countries. In 1947, therefore, the Dutch association took the initiative by approaching the British, as the senior body, with the suggestion that an international conference should be called, that invitations should be extended to all those countries in which an Association of Antiquarian Booksellers existed, and that delegates should submit the many problems that beset them to a general discussion. The Dutch offered the conference a home in Amsterdam and, in September, 1947, the representatives of nine countries gathered, under the chairmanship of the British president, for the first international conference ever held by the antiquarian book trade. The delegates were unanimous in their desire for the formation of an international body and the British association – the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (International) – was entrusted with the task of calling together the presidents of the respective associations to draft a constitution.
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