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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
William Reese: Collectors, Booksellers and Libraries
Rare Book Trade

Collectors, Booksellers and Libraries: Essays on Americanists and the Rare Book Market by the late William Reese

Published on 17 Sept. 2018
The rare book trade lost one of its most active members earlier this year. Besides his achievements as a remarkable bookseller of Americana material and the respect he gained in the bookselling community, William Reese is also remembered for his series of essays on the rare book market and Americana which were published in 2018. In a tribute to Mr Reese, ILAB will publish two chapters of his book over the next few weeks on this website with the permission of William Reese & Co.
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Jessica Jordan
Collecting

Five Young Women With Prize-Winning Book Collections

Published on 11 Sept. 2018
The Paris Review, 7th September 2018: In 2017, Honey & Wax Booksellers established an annual prize for American women book collectors, aged 30 years and younger. The idea took shape when Heather O’Donnell and Rebecca Romney, the bookstore’s owners, observed that “the women who regularly buy books from us are less likely to call themselves 'collectors' than the men, even when those women have spent years passionately collecting books."
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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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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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

Unprepared, Unpatriotic, and Unrepentant - again

I've recently returned from my fourth year of teaching at Rare Book School (RBS) located at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. RBS is the oldest and most prestigious teaching program devoted to rare books in the world. Every year the School runs a full program of intensive weeklong classes on specific topics germane to the rare book world. Curiously, among the faculty of some fifty-odd international authorities on rare books (and some of them are very odd indeed, myself not least among them), I am the only member who is also a rare bookseller. The vast majority of the faculty members are world-renowned scholars, rare book librarians, technical experts and so forth. What, you might ask, is RBS doing letting a rare bookseller teach a course at an institution largely devoted to the scholarly study of antiquarian books?
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Divers Press: Founded in Translation

Proensa, Paul Blackburn's translations of the Provencal poets, was the first publication realized by Robert and Ann Creeley's The Divers Press. Earlier in 1953, Creeley abandoned Roebuck Press, a publishing venture with fellow Mallorca expat, Martin Seymour Smith, due to a disagreement in just what writers that Press should give voice to. Smith wanted to publish his mother, which Roebuck in fact did. Creeley wanted to publish his friends. Creeley: "I was just determined to publish Americans of my own interests. I was far more idealistic than Martin." Poets such as Blackburn spoke in a language that Creeley could understand and enjoy. Creeley felt Blackburn's work was the ideal choice for Divers Press's first statement to the world.
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Article

Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 4: New Friends, a New House, and a New Employee

As is typical with all bookselling businesses, Oak Knoll kept running out of room. From our start in 1976 in the second floor bedroom of my Newark home, we had moved to the renovated two car garage and then to New Castle. The first floor of 414 Delaware Street in New Castle proved to be too small as well, so Millie and I moved our home and the business up the street to 212 Delaware Street in 1985.
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Article

ONCE AGAIN IN 2016 - FILL THE EMPTY BOOKCASES AND SUPPORT LITERACY

Make a donation! What could be closer to the interests of all ILAB affiliates than literacy? What is more appropriate than to enable as many children and adults as possible throughout the world to read books? Book collectors start as book readers! If we are concerned about the future of the book and younger generations of collectors, we must start at the very beginning.
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Article

Book Review: 'The Prague Cemetery' by Umberto Eco

"Bookish digressions and odd cultural details are two reasons why we read Umberto Eco. He takes great pleasure in showing readers the monastic care of books in "The Name of the Rose," the kabbalah in "Foucault's Pendulum" and day-to-day life in Mussolini's Italy in "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana." Without such layers, without his plunging into the minutiae of other eras, it just wouldn't be an Eco novel."
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