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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Autographs

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: The Letters of B. Traven

Published on 21 July 2011
One of the great things about working for a bookseller is you get to see some very cool items. One of the best in recent days is a collection of letters from the writer B. Traven - best known for his novel The Treasure of Sierra Madre - sent to the model and actress Ruth Ford. If you're only familiar with the classic movie starring Humphrey Bogart, you've been missing out because B. Traven was a man of mystery worthy a movie all his own.
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Autographs

When Kerouac Met Dostoyevsky

Published on 22 June 2011
Sometime during March-April, 1949, John-not-yet-Jack Kerouac, 27 years old and living with his parents as "The Wizard of Ozone Park" (Queens, NYC), as his Beat friends referred to him, bought a cheap reprint edition of short stories by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. He annotated the book, and entered his ownership signature. Dostoyevsky was an important influence on Kerouac; his novel,The Subterraneans, was consciously modeled on Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground, one of his favorite books, and there are many references to the Russian author in Kerouac's novels and letters.
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Autographs

Fraktur and The Private Library

Published on 23 Feb. 2011
In Germany books written in "Fraktur" are hard to sell, because especially young people are not used to read it. Often called "old German typography" the typical "Fraktur" is found in German books of the late 19th and early 20th century, mostly common literature and popular non-fiction, printed in a large number of copies. From L.D. Mitchell we learn that there is another kind of "Fraktur", very rare and worth collecting.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The times they are a-changin' in the rare book trade

Moved by this conference in Lucca, I had the chance of dealing with some incunabula belonging to Martini, whose library is considered one of the richest private collections of Italian literature in the world. Reconsidering them one year after Norbert's presentation at Lucca, invites me to consider how our profession has been changing. As there has been enough talking of stolen books, forgeries, laws and export licenses, I would like to reflect on the evolution of the booksellers' job along the 20th century.
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Article

Bibliographies - Travel and Geography

Online: Lost Race Checklist - Discoverers Web
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Article

Young Dealers / Old Books - First Efforts: Yet More Mistakes

"First catalogues are intimidating things, as you are introducing yourself to the bookselling world: your fellow dealers, serious collectors, institutions and librarians. All the more intimidating is that you are doing this in something that announces that it's your first effort, thereby – to my mind at least – inviting even closer scrutiny. So you truly want to present the best image of yourself that you can." With Brian Cassidy's musings on his first catalogue, ILAB starts a new series on its website about "Young Dealers / Old Books".
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Article

The First ILAB Directory - “Geographic Repertory Répertoire Géographique 1951-1952”

Whenever I walk in front of the outside stalls of a second-hand bookshop, I invariably look at the books displayed, hoping to find … a treasure that the bookseller has overlooked. And such was my luck the other day; I couldn't believe my eyes when I found and bought for a single Euro a good copy of the first ever ILAB Directory of its members, published in 1951. Even though ILAB had been founded in 1948, the publication of its first directory was delayed to include the American affiliates, as the ABAA joined ILAB in 1950.
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