Skip to main content
results: 1 - 8 / 127

articles

Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
1496_image1_slicker_paine_wikipedia.jpg
Americana

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Thomas Paine

Published on 13 Nov. 2014
January 29 is the birthday of early American political activist Thomas Paine (1737), whose pamphlet Common Sense (1776) credited with inspiring American colonists to embrace the idea of independence from Great Britain. The American Revolution had already started but the work served to spur volunteers for the Continental Army. It was widely distributed throughout the colonies, read aloud in taverns, and unabashedly pirated. Some scholars say it was the first American bestseller.
[…] Read More
1349_image1_lee_mockingbird.jpg
Literature

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Secret Life of Harper Lee

Published on 29 April 2014
This week we celebrate Nelle Harper Lee, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee was born on April 28, 1926 in the sleepy town of Monroeville Alabama. As a girl, she became friends with another future writer: Truman Capote. The two were outsiders among their peers but discovered an affinity for each other. According to Capote biographer, Gerald Clarke, "Nelle was too rough for most other girls, and Truman was too soft for most other boys."
[…] Read More
1282_image1_vic_scarpi1.jpg
Religion

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Fra Paolo Sarpi, Scholar, Priest, and Heretic

Published on 17 Jan. 2014
The Counter-Reformation began with the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and lasted a full century, until the close of the Thirty Years' War (1648). The movement sparked conflict all over Europe, challenging the very foundations of people's daily lives. As nationalism fermented, states like Venice began to assert their autonomy – and the Catholic Church often took drastic measures in response. In the case of cleric and statesman Fra Paolo Sarpi, they even hired a hitman. Though Sarpi consistently stood up to the Church in an official capacity, he also chose to publish his greatest work, The History of the Council of Trent, under a pseudonym.
[…] Read More
1280_image1_slicker_lafarge.jpg
Women

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Marie LaFarge was convicted of murder

Published on 16 Jan. 2014
It is the birthday of murderess Marie LaFarge (1816), whose 1840 trial for poisoning her husband with arsenic became a cause célébre throughout France, with the public deeply divided over her innocence or guilt. She was the first person convicted by direct forensic evidence, and the case was one of the first followed closely by the public with daily newspaper reports. The trial was a spectacle attended by people from all over France. It included all the twists and turns of a good whodunit, including a celebrated expert witness and setbacks for both the prosecution and the defense. Marie LaFarge wrote her Mémoires(1841) while in prison. The novel The Lady and the Arsenic (1937) was based on the case as was the French film L'Affaire Lafarge (1938).
[…] Read More
1251_image1_spineless_theo.jpg
Mimeo

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Irritable Tribe of Poets

Published on 26 Nov. 2013
Only three issues of Theo were published, but it still took me a couple of years to track down a complete set. I'd been fascinated by the magazine ever since I first ran across a copy of number 2, which has a rather unique design; the covers are stapled off center, so that the fore edge is layered; the front wrap ends before the first leaf, so that the name of each contributor is visible, and the rear wrap extends past the text block.
[…] Read More

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Accessibility vs. access: How the rhetoric of “rare” is changing in the age of information abundance

What is really „rare"? Maria Popova asks the question which has always been essential for antiquarian booksellers, and which becomes more and more essential in our fully digitalized world where works are accessible by Google Books or The Library Archive which were buried in archives for centuries. In former times the antiquarian bookseller very often was the only one who brought these rare treasures to light. What now?
[…] Read More
Article

Why The New York Antiquarian Book Fair Matters – To You, Me, and Everyone We Know

I didn’t take any pictures at the New York Book Fair this year. I’m not much of a picture taker in the most relaxed of times, but at any given book event I can usually be counted on to snap a shot or two of my favorite booksellers in action.
[…] Read More
Booksellers

Celal Sengör

Celal Sengör is one of the leading geologists and specialist on earthquakes worldwide. He is a professor of the Technical University in Istanbul – and possesses what is probably the largest private library on geology and it’s history from the very beginnings until today. His library, built into the hills above the Bosporus, contains more than 30,000 volumes...
[…] Read More
Article

"Folio Thief Gets 8 Years" For Stealing and Damaging Rare Books

Raymond Scott had stolen a first folio edition of William Shakespeare's works from Durham University in 1998. Now he has been sentenced to eight years in prison. "In this strange case, it's not so much the theft that galls, book theft has been going on for centuries and is not likely to subside. It's the fact that Scott mutilated the volume ... Scott had removed the goat binding and cut the cords on the spine in an effort to disguise the book's provenance. Some pages are also missing, including the frontispiece engraving of the Bard" (Rebecca Rego Barry).
[…] Read More
Article

English Literary Manuscripts

Among manuscript collectors in the English-speaking world, literature has had the most constant appeal; and until recently, when historical manuscripts have really come into their own, literary ones attracted most of the highest prices for post-mediaeval manuscripts. This appeal is due to the universal interest in literature itself; to the demands of doctoral dissertations; to the desire among some individuals, librarians, and editors for definitive collections; and no doubt also to the relative ease, in comparison with historical manuscripts, of selecting an area for collection.
[…] Read More
Article

Europeana - A project by the European Commission against the 'Dark Age' of private digitalization

"Can Europe afford to be inactive and wait, or leave it to one or more private players to digitise our common cultural heritage? Our answer is a resounding 'no'," German national library head Elisabeth Niggeman, Maurice Levy and Jacques de Decker say in their recent EU report. They are strong supporters of Europeana, a project of the European Commission launched in 2008.
[…] Read More
fermer la fenêtre