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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Renaissance

The Library of Symbolism - A Glossary and Bibliography of Renaissance Symbolic Literature

Published on 09 Nov. 2010
"For 2,000 years, from the time of Plato in 400 BC until the start of the modern era of empirical science in approximately 1600 AD, the culture of Western Europe was dominated by a single mode of expression: the symbol. The symbol was the universal medium for the approach to God, for the investigation of the natural world, for the interpretation of the Scriptures and for an understanding of and a guide to proper moral conduct. Towards the end of the period, enabled by the invention of printing by movable type, this obsession was translated into a vast literature of symbolism of which some eighty distinct species were identified by contemporary writers and theorists." The Renaissance symbolism refers to a time in which human thinking and the human view of the World changed radically. On the one hand Renaissance symbolism is one of the most interesting research fields for scholars. On the other hand it is one of the most fascinating fields of bibliophily at the very beginning of the history of printing.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Lost Lincoln letter returned to the Archives

The Washington Post reports: "A Civil War-era letter written by Abraham Lincoln that went missing at an unknown date has surfaced and has been returned to the National Archives . … An Archives employee saw the document listed for sale in 2009 and recognized it as belonging to the government. When contacted, Panagopous who was representing a family from Rhode Island in the sale, had already sold the documents to a New York dealer. Upon realizing the provenance of the papers, Panagopulos refunded the purchase price to the dealer to get them back and the Rhode Island family, in turn, agreed to refund the money they had been paid so the papers could be retuned to the government."
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Article

"A living book in a world without books" - Soylent Green

It's the year 2022 ... New York City has become overpopulated with 40 million people and pollution has caused the temperature to be risen and all natural resources have been destroyed, leaving 40 million people starving. People do anything to get what they need. And they need Soylent Green. New York police detective Thorn is accused of murder by government agents because he gets too close to a secret involving the origins of the revolutionary foodstuff created by the Soylent Company. His assistant is Sol Roth, one of the few "living books in a world without books". Roth has lost his job, the only thing he can do for his living is to be "a living book". As such Roth gives Thorn all the information and all the knowledge that he needs. There are many "living books" in this world where strawberries, fresh meat and books are as rare as humanity. They meet at the "Exchange" – a kind of library ... A German review of this famous science fiction movie.
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Article

Synopsis de l'exposition: "Maudits livres luthériens" : aux origines de la Réforme en France - Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris

Un demi-siècle après l’invention de l’imprimerie, avant que la Renaissance ne laisse place aux Guerres de Religion, le livre est à la fois l’acteur principal et un témoin privilégié de ces bouleversements.
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Article

"What you're doing with all these books here?" The Cookie Monster in the Library

For our youngest collectors: A library is a room full of shelves without cookies. Just books, no cookies, not even a glass of juice ... Sesame Street on YouTube.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Chilling Tales from the Icy Wastes

The polar regions have always had a huge attraction for mankind and its explorers. What lay in or beyond those icy wastes? An open sea? The way to Asia? Riches beyond the dreams of avarice? Many set out to find out, never to return. Probably no other field of exploration has brought forth so many heroes, sung and unsung, so much suffering and so many, often unnecessary, deaths. Probably most of the gruesome deaths in the icy reaches will never be known or told, but several made it into print from the 16th to the 20th century. I have picked 10 expeditions at random, my only criterion being that there had to be horrible suffering, death, and, maybe, cannibalism.
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Booksellers

In Memoriam, Antiquarian Bookseller and Author Patricia Ahearn

Last week Patricia Ahearn of Quill & Brush (Dickerson, Maryland, US) passed away. Patricia and Allen Ahearn started collecting in the early 1960s and founded Quill & Brush in the year 1976 specializing in in first editions of literature, mystery/detective fiction and collectible books from all fields of interest. With over 45 years of experience in the rare book trade they were also authors of numerous articles and books like: “Collected Books: The Guide to Values” (4th, revised and enlarged edition published in 2011), “Book Collecting 2000” (Putnam: 2000) and over 200 individual Author Price Guides.
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