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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Booksellers

Edinburgh Era – McNaughtan’s Bookshop

Away to Scotland for a rather special rare book trade occasion last week. A retirement party for our old friend Elizabeth Strong (McNaughtan's Bookshop) – not just a retirement party but also a welcome party for Derek and Anna Walker, who are taking over this much-loved bookshop on Haddington Place from Elizabeth. A big day for her, but perhaps an ever bigger one for them. The closing of one era, the opening of another – a passing on of the baton from one generation to the next. A time for celebration. A time for reflection. A goodish crowd of bookish folk. Edinburgh stalwart Ian Watson (John Updike Rare Books) was there. Cooper Hay had come over from Glasgow. Andrew Hunter (Blackwell's Rare Books) was up from Oxford. Family, friends, customers. A few choice words from our president, Oscar Graves-Johnston. A few words of farewell, welcome and introduction from Elizabeth. A few words of appreciation and anticipation from the Walkers.
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Article

The Girolamini Thefts in the Press: Tale of Big International Book Theft Gets a New Chapter

"Any American book collector who recently bought an Italian book from the 15th to the 17th centuries should take another look at the purchase. If it bears a red library stamp with a Madonna in the center, the collector may get a visit from U.S. Customs agents assigned to recover stolen artworks." The Washington Times summarizes the recent news concerning the thefts from the Girolamini Library in Naples, which the newspaper calls "the biggest book thefts in history".
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ILAB History

1951-1960

“Considering the dubiety with which our activities were treated it is pleasant to record that the Congresses in London in 1949 and in Paris in 1950 were very successful both socially and professionally, while the standard of hospitality in both cities was impeccable." (Muir)
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Article

Field of Booksellers

"This time in 2006, I had been a book dealer for only two years. I had come to bookselling, not exactly by accident (I had been worked in bookstores off and on for the better part of ten years), but rather as a way to fill some time while I stayed at home with my then-four-year-old daughter. The business (such as it was) was very much a part-time venture. I had about 1000 books that I'd managed to scare up from library fundraisers, thrift stores, Craigslist, and garage and estate sales. I kept them in banker's boxes crammed into several closets around the house. I didn't really know any other booksellers and had little in way of a reference library. I sold only online. Most of my books were either modern firsts or university press titles, and every day or so one or two sold via ABE or Amazon. I dutifully packed up in salvaged boxes or homemade ad-hoc packages. I made a little spending money, no more really." "Cultivating the trade for future generations" - Brian Cassidy explains why Rare Book Schools or the Colorade Antiquarian Book Seminar are inevitable for young booksellers.
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Article

A Bibliophile of huge Ec(h)o

Fresh from his stint as Special Guest Curator at the Louvre (no less!), in September 2010 Umberto Eco will open the ILAB-LILA International Congress and Book Fair with the lecture The Vertigo of the List and of the Catalogue. "The subject of lists has been a theme of many writers from Homer onwards. My great challenge was to transfer it to painting and music and to see whether I could find equivalents in the Louvre, because frankly when I suggested the subject I had no idea how I would write about visual lists", he said at the Louvre.
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Article

An Annotated Copy of Vesalius’ “De Humani Corporis Fabrica” at the University of Wawrick

Andreas Vesalius' De Humani Corporis Fabrica, printed in 1543, is one of the most famous of all medical books. On 14th March Vivian Nutton, Honorary Professor in the departments of History and Classics and Ancient History, will present the discovery of Vesalius' own annotated copy of the later 1555 edition at the University of Wawrick. This copy contains hundreds of annotations, corrections of the Latin wording and instructions for the printer. They were meant for a third edition which was never published.
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