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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Book Scouting in ... England, Scotland, Ireland

I wish I were the kind of traveler who blogs fluently, breezily, in the moment, from foreign sidewalk cafés and park benches. Instead, I am one who, two weeks after she's returned home, remembers that she intended to blog about her June book-scouting tour, and not just post the occasional photo to Facebook. Here are some belated highlights.
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Article

The Leaning Tower of Photography Books

One of the joys of dealing in modern literary first editions is the neat and nearly uniform size of the vast majority of one's inventory. Your basic octavo volume, when packed for a book fair, nestled convivially amongst its fellows, will fit neatly in a standard document storage box. After having done a few hundred fairs, one can pack up quickly and neatly, leaving no space in a box for the books to shuffle about, with the resultant deterioration in condition that loosely packed books usually suffer. I particularly recommend books of poetry and drama for this purpose – usually slim volumes that, when inserted between other books, tighten one's box load to a satisfying solidity.
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Booksellers

Friedrich Sally Grosshut (1906-1969) – Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile –

Friedrich Sally Grosshut was born into a family of antique dealers in 1906 in Wiesbaden (Germany). From 1925 to 1929 he studied the law at Frankfurt University and received a Doctor of Law degree in 1932. His career came to an abrupt end with the seizure of power by the Nazis a year later.
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Article

Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 7: Some early publications

The next landmark in Oak Knoll Press's history was in 1992 when we finally got the rights to John Carter's ABC for Book Collectors. This book had been substantially revised by Nicolas Barker, who had managed to keep Carter's humour while revising and adding new terms. It had grown considerably from its 1952 first edition. If you only have one book about books in your library, this is the one I continue to recommend.
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Article

The business of prints - British Museum Landmark Publication & Exhibition

The British Museum has one of the greatest collections of prints in the world, and holds the UK’s national collection. The majority of this collection, which totals more than two million prints, was made in the years before the invention of photography. Due to the sheer volume of the collection it can become difficult to grasp its contents, and many of the prints are today very unfamiliar and puzzling. For the past century, prints have usually been discussed either as finished works of art or as illustrations of a particular subject. This exhibition reverses the perspective in a way that has not been attempted before, and endeavours to show prints as an object of trade.
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Article

The Smell of Books

A scientific approach to the world of rare books - Scientists may not be able to tell a good book by its cover, but they now can tell the condition of an old book by its odor.
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