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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Provenance Symposium
Booksellers

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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Elisabeth and Sally Burdon
Booksellers

Interviewed by AbeBooks: "Sisters in antiquarian bookselling: meet Elisabeth and Sally Burdon"

Published on 30 April 2018
Meet Elisabeth (left) and Sally Burdon. A pair of sisters involved in the antiquarian bookselling community and yet operating businesses thousands of miles apart. Elisabeth runs Old Imprints in Portland, Oregon, and is one of the most interesting sellers of ephemera that we know. Sally runs Asia Bookroom in Canberra, Australia, a business that specializes in Asian books, art, and ephemera. Both sell on AbeBooks and we’re thrilled that they partner with us. Sally is also President of ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), so these are two booksellers with much to talk about. They were kind enough to answer our questions about their family, bookselling and much more.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

In Praise of the Printed Word - 36th Boston Annual International Antiquarian Book Fair 2012

The annual fall gathering for booklovers, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, will return to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston's beautiful Back Bay, November 16-18, 2012. The offerings are wide and diverse from over 120 dealers located in the United States, England, Canada, France, Hungary, The Netherlands, and Argentina who will exhibit and sell rare, collectible and antiquarian books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, photographs, modern first editions, and a plethora of other literary ephemera. Fine and decorative prints will also be featured.
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Booksellers

The House Call

It’s a thrilling experience, a rite of passage into the trade. A member of the public thinks so highly of your skills as a book maven, (or your status as a cash cow), that they invite you into their private space to examine, and make an offer on, their books. You get to walk around pronouncing on the current state of the market, on what’s hot and what’s not, all the while maintaining an ingratiating stream of patter that, you hope, will convince the owner that you’re a sage and trustworthy expert.
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Article

Weird S**t - 46th California International Antiquarian Book Fair

"We've been doing this for nearly thirty years, and it's still a thrill to step off the airplane into sunny skies and balmy air (when we're on the ground, I mean). This year, in particular, exchanging snow drifts for temperatures in the 70s has been a blessing. ... Those who did attend seemed eager and relatively well informed, with a good percentage of patrons in the under-forty age group. Promoter Lynne Winslow reports that age group discounts, liberal pass distribution and Facebook/Twitter activism have helped bring them in. People in that demographic did much more looking than buying, but my colleagues are always willing to invest a few years in outreach and education. These people are our future." Greg Gibson's California book fair review.
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Article

Not This Time - 55th Annual Rare Books and Manuscript Librarian's Preconference

Where do you start with a place like Vegas? Bally's Hotel and Casino is hosting the 2014 Moose International convention and dealing with a chronic shortage of aquatic plant life, willow shoots, and other forage. Hairy guys with backwards baseball caps. Old men and their leisurewear. Fatties in mobile chairs work away, tethered to slot machines. A Bally's credit card at the other end of the line drips the money in and out. The tether prevents the card from being stolen, lost, or forgotten. Sorry, sir, no photographs. What is the plural of Moose ? Do the International Moose employ it?
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Article

Three Volumes Stolen from the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library

On Thursday, June 7, 2012, staff at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) discovered that a 16th century printed book was missing from the work carrel of one of its catalogers. HMML staff conducted a thorough search of both HMML and Alcuin Library to ensure that the item had not been misplaced. The staff immediately reviewed a list of rare materials that had been used that week in presentations during a workshop being held at the library. It was discovered that two manuscript items from the Arca Artium collection were also missing, one of which had been used on Wednesday afternoon (June 6). It is believed that all three volumes were stolen. The manuscripts had already been photographed digitally and can be viewed in Vivarium, the online image service from the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (www.hmml.org/vivarium). Officers from Life Safety Services at Saint John's University and from the Stearns County Sheriff's Office began an investigative process that involved interviewing staff and library visitors. New security precautions have since been put into place.
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