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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Michael R. Thompson Los Angeles
Obituaries

In Memorian: Michael R. Thompson, Los Angeles

Published on 27 Aug. 2018
On Sunday, 25th August 2018, friends and colleagues gathered at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles, to celebrate the life of Michael R. Thompson. A tribute by the library's Head Librarian Emeritus, Mr. Bruce Whiteman is published here with the permission of the author. Mr Thompson will be missed by many of his colleagues in the rare book trade.
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Obituaries

Michael Park

Published on 01 June 2017
We are deeply saddened to learn that Michael Park, President of ABAC and owner of Greenfield Books in Winnipeg passed away on May 19, 2017. 
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Obituaries

Bob Fleck - Book of Condolence

Published on 23 Sept. 2016
ILAB is deeply saddened to inform its affiliates that Bob Fleck passed away on the 22nd September, following a short but very aggressive illness. Our thoughts and prayers accompany his family, and in particular his beloved wife Millie and his son Rob.
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Obituaries

Renate Geisenheyner (1937-2016)

Published on 12 April 2016
We are deeply saddened to learn that Renate Geisenheyner, German antiquarian bookseller and renowned expert in autographs and children's books, passed away on 6th April 2016. Renate Geisenheyner (Weltin) was born in Berlin on 5th August 1937. After several years, first as an apprentice, then as a rare book dealer at Amelang and Peter Naacher in Frankfurt, she moved to Stuttgart in 1963 and started working at Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing Rare Books. During the 1970s Renate Geisenheyner came to Heidelberg and worked for the famous Tenner Auction House, where she met her later husband Winfried Geisenheyner. On 1st July 1981 they both founded their own business in Münster-Hiltrup. Already in the same year, in July and November 1981, they published two remarkable catalogues specializing in Sciences, Natural History, Geography and Travel. From then on Renate and Winfried Geisenheyner have been exhibiting at the international antiquarian book fairs from California to Europe, and they have been regular guests at the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair for more than 30 years. It was Renate Geisenheyner who edited a long series of Autograph and Children's Book Catalogues for which Geisenheyner Rare Books gained worldwide renown. She was a jury member of the Antiquaria Book Prize, awarded every year in January to outstanding book artists and bibliographers, and, as a passionate reader to whom one could listen for hours, she founded a Reading Club in Münster to celebrate the importance of books and the joy of reading.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Bookbindings

`Bibliopegy' is the art of binding books, and the collector, lover or scholar of bindings is a `bibliopegist'. Bookbinding dates from the ancient world Indian, Persian, Coptic, Chinese, Greek & Roman examples are known to exist, even if only in fragments. The rise of the universities, the increase of literacy outside the monasteries, and the invention of moveable type in Germany in the 1450s, all contributed to the demand for books. With this came the demand for decorative bookbindings in leather and metal, and the introduction of goldtooling (impressions in the leather) by Islamic craftsmen who settled in Venice in the 15th century.
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Article

Bookbinding & Conservation: A Sixty-Year Odyssey of Art and Craft, by Don Etherington

Don Etherington's autobiography takes the reader through his lifelong journey of bookbinding and conservation. He began bookbinding at the age of thirteen as a student at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and later went on to study bookbinding and design at the London School of Printing. Since then, he has held positions at the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence, The Library of Congress, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and Information Conservation, Inc. In 1982, he co-authored with Matt Roberts Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, the first comprehensive attempt to compile terminology from all the bookmaking and conservation fields. His works can be found in collections worldwide. Read how Don Etherington first developed his skills, and how he was instructed by George Frewin, who had worked for Sangorski & Sutcliffe.
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Article

When Kerouac Met Dostoyevsky

Sometime during March-April, 1949, John-not-yet-Jack Kerouac, 27 years old and living with his parents as "The Wizard of Ozone Park" (Queens, NYC), as his Beat friends referred to him, bought a cheap reprint edition of short stories by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. He annotated the book, and entered his ownership signature. Dostoyevsky was an important influence on Kerouac; his novel,The Subterraneans, was consciously modeled on Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground, one of his favorite books, and there are many references to the Russian author in Kerouac's novels and letters.
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Article

Rare Books and Suicide Bombers

"Walking into the New York Antiquarian Book Fair in Manhattan's Armory, you get a sense of what suicide bombers must feel when they enter paradise and start in on those 72 virgins. For a bibliopsycho, like me, this was paradise at its most varied and delectable."
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Article

Rare Books in the Press: This Is Why Your Used Bookstore Clerk Hates You

"Although bookstore workers love their customers, or are at least morally obligated to, sometimes the love is so great it turns murderous. Ever tried to finish all-you-can-eat coconut shrimp? That's the love we're dealing with here. Although your narrator worked at a used bookstore just outside of the city more than a decade ago, he shut his eyes tight, remembered three years of Fat Slice Pizza, and relived some moments of quiet desperation." Michael Leaverton knows: "This Is Why Your Used Bookstore Clerk Hates You"
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Booksellers

Bruce Marshall's Pilgrim's Progress - An Interview with Beatie Wolfe

From vintage cars (how many rare book dealers drive an Aston Martin?) and guitars to Beslers, Blaeus and Goulds, Bruce Marshall, a major but discreet player in the colour-plate, natural history and travel book fields, reveals to Beatie Wolfe his pilgrim's progress through the rare book world.
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