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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 22 June 2012
"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 22 June 2012
"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 24 May 2012
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 15 Sept. 2011
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 18 Aug. 2010
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

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Moscow reads New York

1927 saw two Russian translations of The Color of a Great City (1923), Dreiser's classic memoir of early twentieth-century New York: this one (Gosizdat's), by Pyotr Okhrimenko, and one for "Mysl'" (Kraski N'iu-Iorka) by V. P. Steletsky. What was particularly nice about this copy was that it still had its original dust-jacket.
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Article

A PARADISE FOR BOOKLOVERS - 53rd Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair from 24th to 26th January 2014

For Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the biggest values in life were neither the state finances nor his immense private property, but the books of his personal library. Heinrich Heine regarded the world of books as the most powerful universe mankind ever created. And for Jorge Luis Borges the library simply was his paradise. Some of the most beautiful items of this "capital", "universe" or "paradise" will be presented at the 53rd Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair from 24th to 26th January 2014 in the elegant rooms of the Württemberg Art Museum, opposite to the Palace, next to the Palace Garden and directly in the city centre of Stuttgart.
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Article

Printed Matters: or why own books?

"Books? Why would I want to own a book? They take up space and gather dust, they're a pain to carry if I move; oh, and I can always get the text from the Internet ..." Well, at the moment, you often can; but it may not always work like that.
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Article

Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew

I hate to bring bad news to the readers and collectors of The Hardy Boys or The Nancy Drew juvenile series so loved by people all over the world but have you ever heard of "A House Name"?. . . Well meet some of them: Franklin W. Dixon, Carolyn Keene, Victor Appleton, and Laura Lee Hope (of the famed The Bobbsey Twins series).
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Article

Collecting - Eugene Ionesco

The Romanian-French playwright Eugene Ionesco was one of the leading absurdist writers of the 20th century. Among his best known plays are The Bald Soprano (1950), The Lesson (1951), The Chairs (1952), Jack or The Submission (1955), The Killer (1958), Rhinoceros (1959), Exit the King (1962), A Stroll in the Air (1963), and Macbett (1972).
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Article

The Magic of Encyclopedia Britannica's 11th Edition

"Despite its occasional ugliness, the reputation of the 11th persists today because of the staggering depth of knowledge contained with its volumes. It is especially strong in its biographical entries. These delve deeply into the history of men and women prominent in their eras who have since been largely forgotten – except by the historians, scholars, and antiquarian booksellers who champion the 11th for this quality."
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