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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Why I Bothered

Published on 19 July 2018
"If you keep an open mind in this business, you learn something new every day." Greg Gibson on collecting the unusual: "Fire insurance mapping began in London in the 1700s, but it had never been applied with a systematic approach. In 1867 Daniel Alfred Sanborn, a surveyor from Massachusetts, saw the need for such a service, and quickly occupied that niche. By the late 1800s he had offices spanning the continent, sending out thousands of surveyors to record the footprints and construction details of buildings in American cities. Insurance companies could then use this information to write accurate policies, based on potential fire risk as documented by Sanborn's company."
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Collecting

Papier Mâché and The Private Library

Published on 19 July 2018
"One of the most unusual bindings one is likely to encounter among books purchased at yard sales, garage sales, friends-of-the-library book sales and the like is papier mâché." L.D. Mitchell on Papier Mâché and The Private Library.
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - OenoLit and The Private Library

Published on 19 July 2018
Given that the first book printed from moveable type in Western Europe, the Gutenberg Bible, contains numerous references to wine, and given that the technology for printing that first book may itself have been modeled upon the screw press used to extract wine from grapes, this writer has always found it puzzling that the cultivation, processing, distribution and consumption of wine is rarely a major thematic element in works of fiction.
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Collecting

Book Collecting 101 at The Private Library

Published on 19 July 2018
Anyone who has spent much time exploring Internet sites devoted to book collecting can be excused for coming away with the feeling that such collecting is too expensive and/or too complicated for the average person. The focus at too many such sites continues to be on great rarities, or on well-heeled collectors, or on events that the average working stiff can't possibly take time off from work to attend. Here at The Private Library, though, we contend that anyone can collect the printed book!
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Collecting

Rare Books to Honour the Still Alive - “Festschriften and The Private Library”

Published on 19 July 2018
Memorials are published after the death of an author, artist or scientist. "It is rare that such tributes are composed while an honoree is still alive, though such tributes are not unknown." "Festschriften" – there is no English or American equivalent for what is meant by the German word – are addressed to scientists during their life and career. L. D. Mitchell introduces a field of collecting rare books which are popular in the scholarly world, but nearly unknown to bibliophiles.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

BROADWAY AND ALL THAT: 12th ILAB CONGRESS IN NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 20 - 25, 1959

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) was founded in 1949. In the same year Laurence Gomme, the first ABAA President, attended the 2nd ILAB Congress in London as an observer, and a year later the American Association was officially welcomed as a new member of the League during the 3rd Congress in Paris. It took only a few more years until the ILAB affiliates were invited to the United States: to New York in 1955, and again in 1959. The 12th ILAB Congress was held in New York from 20th to 25th September, 1959. And it was bigger than ever before.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Man Behind the Beloved Freddy Series

George Orwell's Animal Farm (1945) is synonymous with talking animals, but Orwell wasn't the first to populate a novel with anti-establishmentarian, anthropomorphic animals. Walter R Brooks created the beloved Freddy the Pig and his friends on Bean Farm almost two decades earlier. Though Brooks' Freddy books aren't as overtly political as Orwell's work, they do depict animals overcoming corrupt authority. Brooks had a rich, varied literary career that included not only the Freddy novels, but also numerous short stories, editorials, and literary reviews
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Article

Barry Humphries appointed Patron of Honour by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

Barry Humphries, AO, CBE, the Australian comedian, satirist, artist, and author has been appointed a Patron of Honour by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). The appointment recognises his major contribution to the antiquarian book trade.
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Article

BUDAPEST 2016 - ILAB CONGRESS & INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR

Before the First International ILAB Congress and Fair in Budapest in September, we would like you to have a glimpse into its programme. First of all, we have prepared a brief series on the most prestigious attractions of Budapest.
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Article

Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 17: Expanding yet again!

The always present problem of lack of space reared its ugly head yet again in 2001 - we had run out of room in spite of our expanded 5000 square foot third floor lease. This is such a sickness with booksellers. They can never be happy with the space they have and must keep expanding. John published 21 titles in 2001, and we had bought a large antiquarian collection, so space was at a premium.
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