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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Early Printing

History of Printing in Austria - Druckfrisch. Der Innsbrucker Wagner-Verlag und der Buchdruck in Tirol

Published on 04 June 2014
375 years ago Michael Wagner, a printer from Augsburg in Germany, founded a publishing house in Innsbruck, Austria, which is still existing today: Universitätsverlag Wagner. To celebrate the 375th anniversary of the publisher the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum has organized an impressive exhibition from 13th June to 26th October, 2014, accompanied by an attractive programme with lectures, concerts, guided tours, a children's workshop, and a conference with leading Austrian and international scholars and scientists, among them ILAB Patron of Honour Murray G. Hall.
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Early Printing

A Brief History of Broadsides

Published on 07 June 2013
Samuel F Haven, former librarian for the American Antiquarian Society, presided over one of the largest collections of broadsides in the world. Historians and rare book collectors alike cherish broadsides because they offer snapshots of moments in time, helping us to understand the zeitgeist of that era. Broadsides make ideal complements to a rare book collection, granting the collection greater depth and context.
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Early Printing

The 15th Century Equivalent of Your Cat Walking on Your Keyboard

Published on 26 Feb. 2013
"The 15th century equivalent of your cat walking on your keyboard", writes Rebecca J. Rosen, senior associate editor at The Atlantic, are ink pawprints in early printed books. "For cat owners, the scene is too familiar: You sit down to finally (finally!) get some work done, and along comes kitty, here to stroll across your keyboard." During the 15th century the ancestors of our beloved kitties walked across - incunabula. What is a big disgrace (or humiliation) for every serious collector, is nothing more than an everyday occurrence for cat lovers.
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Early Printing

Early Engraver Played His Cards Right

Published on 08 Nov. 2012
The "Meister der Spielkarten", or "The Master of the Playing Cards" is known only through the 106 engravings that have been attributed to him, including the set of playing cards that he is named for. The term "master" is reserved for someone who has completed an apprenticeship and ran his own workshop, teaching apprentices. His presumed students are also unknown but have similar names, such as "The Master of the Nuremberg Passion", "The Master of 1446", and "The Master of the Banderoles".
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Booksellers and Libraries - And so to Bod

As part of our ongoing series of exchange visits between booksellers and rare book librarians – our friends and colleagues in the Rare Books and Special Collections Group (RBSCG) of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), a party of ABA members assembled in Oxford in mid November. Old haunts for me – parts of downtown Oxford almost unrecognisable after all these years, but beyond the city centre, up towards St Giles, things virtually unchanged in almost half a century. Still recognisable Oxford 'types' on every corner. Far more young women students nowadays, of course, and far more bicycles (nothing less cool than a cyclist back in the 'sixties – although at least they spared us the silly latex and had far better manners).
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New York 2018: Pre-Gutenberg to the 21st Century - Exceptional Offerings Spanning the History of the Written Word

The New York International Antiquarian Book Fair (NYIABF) produced by Sanford L. Smith + Associates returns to the Park Avenue Armory for its 58th edition March 8-11, 2018.
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Article

The Guardian: Harry Potter First Edition Featuring JK Rowling Drawings Sells for £150,000

"A first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, with author JK Rowling's notes and original illustrations, was sold for £150,000 at auction in London. The book, which was auctioned by Sotheby's at a charity sale in aid of the English Pen writers' association, was purchased by an anonymous bidder by telephone. The annotations by Rowling include comments on the process of writing and a section from an early draft of the novel, along with a number of illustrations drawn by her and a note on how she came to invent Quidditch, a sport played by characters in the books."
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Article

Reference Book of the Day: Johnson’s Dictionary

Johnson's Dictionary is famous for being the first dictionary of English, which is perfectly true, except for the 663 dictionaries published in England in the two and a half centuries before Johnson. It does, however, have a claim to being the first "standard" dictionary of English, at least if we take the time to define what we mean by that (as I try to do in this conference paper from 2005). It's also one of the few reference books that can be read seriously as a work of literature.
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Article

3rd International Antiquarian Book Fair, Hong Kong, December 4-6, 2010

From 4th to 6th December the 3rd Hong Kong International Antiquarian Book Fair takes place in the Hong Kong Exhibition Centre with booksellers from China, Japan, Thailand, Sweden, Great Britain, Australia, France and Germany. The fair is organized by Paul Feain of Cornstalk Bookshop in Sydney (Australia), Mitsuo Nitta of Yushodo in Tokyo (Japan), and Christopher Li of Swindons Books in Hong Kong. Snippets from the Book Fair Catalogue ...
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Article

John Henry: The Ballad and the Legend

What's an article on John Henry doing in AB Bookman's Weekly? Are we going to collect both books about him?' Ha, Ha! You may think that such a joke hits the spike on the head, but in fact the material on John Henry is plentiful, and not a few pieces pose a serious challenge to the collector. Indeed, I can personally testify to the difficulty of some of the items in the canon.
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