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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Autographs

„Vom Autographensammeln" - The First Modern Handbook on Autograph Collecting

Published on 21 Feb. 2011
„Vom Autographensammeln. Versuch einer Darstellung seines Wesens und seiner Geschichte im deutschen Sprachgebiet" was written by Günther Mecklenburg in 1963. It was the first modern handbook on autograph collecting - and still is THE German book on this subject. In various chapters the author describes all the basics of autograph collecting, gives definitions of common terms and abbreviations used in catalogues as well as a list of relevant bibliographies, catalogue raisonnés and archives. Günther Mecklenburg explains how autograph collections are built, how they are described and valuated. He lists resources to identify the handwritings of artists, authors, politicians and scientists and gives valuable advice how to differentiate between the original autograph and forgeries.
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Understanding Book Descriptions

Edgar Franco, Dictionary of Terms

Published on 07 Dec. 2009
In English, French, German and Italian. "Contrary to common practice, this dictionary contains as few words as possible. I have limited the terms, to those used by antiquarian booksellers, which are not to be found in the usual bilingual, trilingual, or multilingual dictionaries. " Edgar Franco, Dictionary of Terms and Expressions Commonly Used in the Antiquarian Book Trade Edgar Franco's "Dictionary" was published by the ILAB in 1994. It is available as a pdf file, and as a print version.
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Understanding Book Descriptions

John Carter, ABC for Book Collectors

Published on 07 Dec. 2009
"Like all good reference books, the ABC for Book Collectors conveys much in a little, sets limits to its subject and keeps within them, and - saving grace - treats that subject with individuality as well as authority, in a style at once concise, forthright and witty. It is, in short, a masterpiece, whose merits are acknowledged by the fact that it has never, in forty years, been out of print." (Nicolas Barker in his introduction to the revised edition of the "ABC for Book Collectors", Oak Knoll Press 1995) John Carter, ABC for Book Collectors The ABC for Book Collectors is presented here, with our thanks, by permission of Bob Fleck, Oak Knoll Press. Nicolas Barker about the ABC for Book Collectors
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Online Bookselling before the Internet

Do you remember Abacis? It was one of the first attempts in the early days of the Internet to establish an online database for rare books. "Abacis started with five or six employees, which quickly grew to more than ten, six of whom were devoted to library and dealer sales. I worked in dealer sales and within six months I got over 200 dealers to sign up. However, many dealers said they would never get a computer or that they were happy with AB Bookman. Many told us that our idea would never work." Ed Johnson remembers the good old times.
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Article

Canada: The Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair, 8 -10 November, 2013

By most accounts, the change of venue for the 2013 Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair (TIABF) to the Frank Gehry designed Art Gallery of Ontario (known locally as the AGO) was a resounding success (I say most and not all, only because I didn't speak to every exhibitor).
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Article

Docu - Drama

There are films adapted from books, and then there are films about books. Some wonderful book collections are based on novels that have been adapted for the movies, titles that include such blockbusters as Gone With the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, East of Eden, The Godfather, The Maltese Falcon, Catch 22, Fahrenheit 451, Treasure Island, the various Harry Potter fantasies, even the occasional nonfiction work that has made it big on the silver screen, The Right Stuff, All the President's Men, and A Civil Action coming immediately to mind.
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Article

Collecting - Famous Manuscripts and the History of Handwriting

In the digital age, it is no secret that calligraphy is a dying art. Why work laboriously and imperfectly on something that takes days to cross the country, when the computer will set it in flawless text that can be transmitted instantly? A careful look at the grand history of handwriting is not kind to the craft, either. Some historians consider Gutenberg's press, the very device that liberated us from writing by hand, to be the single most important invention of the second millennium. Not only did it make books more accessible, it gave the works themselves unprecedented longevity. Think of all the masterpieces of antiquity (if you can bear) that were lost to rot and ruin because scribes could only produce a handful of them at a time. Aeschylus wrote some eighty plays, of which only seven survive. Shakespeare may have suffered a similar fate, as a writer who luckily had the printing press to immortalize his works - he leaves us with nearly nothing written by hand.
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Article

Rare Books in the Press - Mary Shelley letters discovered in Essex archive

A spectacular discovery! Previously unpublished letters written by the author of "Frankeinstein" Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley between the years 1831 and 1849 have been found in the Essex Record Office. Read the whole article by Esther Addley in The Guardian (January 8, 2014)
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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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