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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Time Travel for Dummies

Published on 05 Jan. 2012
When my accountant said, "Hey, you've had another good year," my response was, "You've got to be kidding!" But then, looking back, I remembered some happy referrals, several fascinating consignments and, in general, quite a bit of successful book scouting. Ten Pound Island's invoices and check stubs (all digital!) told the story in detail. My "new business model," concocted so painfully over the past year, paid off. I dropped the California, Florida, and New York book fairs, cut expenses way back, moved from hard copy to web based catalogs, and quoted a lot more books using specially tailored, richly illustrated e-based catalogs.
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Unfinished Books and The Private Library

Published on 17 Nov. 2011
The term completist, as applied to book collectors, has always struck this writer as something of a misnomer. In one sense, the term certainly is applicable: i.e., it describes the attempt to collect everything a particular author ever wrote, or everything a particular publisher ever published, or everything ever written about a particular topic. On the other hand …
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The Gravell Watermark Archive: Taking watermarks online

Published on 18 July 2011
The Gravell Watermark Archive ( is bringing together more than 50,000 watermarks from America and Europe, including 7,500 images collected by American-watermark expert Thomas L. Gravell and about 45,000 unpublished marks documented by Charles-Moise Briquet. On the website, you can search for stags, swans, or unicorns, creatures from a medieval bestiary produced long ago by wire attached to a paper mould. (Watermarks are made by placing a design made with thin wire on a paper mould. The paper formed over the wire is thinner and translucent when held up to a light source.)
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Manuscripta mediaevalia - Medieval Manuscripts Online

Published on 15 Feb. 2011
75.000 medieval manuscripts, available online: Manuscripta mediaevalia is a joint venture of the State Library Berlin (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin / Preußischer Kulturbesitz), the State Library Munich (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München) and the German Documentation Centre for the History of Arts (Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte - Bildarchiv Foto Marburg).
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Early Printing

Digital Finding Aid for Early Copies of Edmund Spenser's Works

Published on 04 Feb. 2011
The Spenser Archive Finding Aid is the first bibliographical database with links to collections all over the world that house 16th and 17th century copies of works by the English poet and colonial administrator Edmund Spenser. The database is open to editors, bibliographers, scholars and students of the history of the book, curators of collections, rare book dealers and private collectors. You can browse editions and folio parts, and you can search for copies in libraries in North America, Europe and Australia. The information has been gathered and carefully checked over many years by dozens of contributors.
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Online Archive of the John F. Kennedy Collection

Published on 14 Jan. 2011
The archive at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (Boston, MA) includes thousands of historical papers, documents and images: irreplaceable records of the struggle for Civil Rights, the conflict with the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War, the efforts to land a man on the moon, the prevention of a nuclear catastrophe during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and American art and culture in general.
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1 - 8 / 66

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


2010 - Bologna Reports

Bologna will host an event very important for all of us, the International Congress of the ILAB, from September 20th to 26th, 2010. After more than 20 years the Italian association, ALAI, has again the honour – and the responsibility – of taking care of its organization, employing the experienced Noema Congressi, which succesfully organized 6 book fairs in Bologna and the ALAI Book fair in Milan in 2008. Bologna will be the main centre of the Congress, that will include meetings and visits to ancient libraries and works of art also in neighbouring towns. The book fair will take place on September 24-26th, and it will be an event fully integrated into the Congress: after the trips to Bologna, Ravenna, Modena and Ferrara from Monday to Thursday (including visits to the Malatestiana, Classense, Estense, Archiginnasio libraries), we will have the General Assembly and the Farewell Dinner during the 3 days of the show, while all the accompanying people and the non-exhibitor delegates will have the chance to visit Parma and Mantua.
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“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.”

Are you a book collector who fully comprehends this sentiment expressed by the Dutch philosopher and humanist, Erasmus of Rotterdam?
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ILAB Congress Scholarship - Part 2 of 4 - Laura Massey (UK)

Laura Massey, owner of Alembic Rare Books and one of the more recent additions to the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) has received a scholarship to attend the 2018 ILAB Congress.
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12 Top Booksellers Pop Up at Historic Middle Temple, London

The area around St Paul's is a traditional literary haunt. Indeed it has been so for centuries, making it a most logical – as well as most attractive place - for an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2015. Middle Temple itself was built between 1562 and 1573 and remains virtually unchanged to this day. The library which holds over 250,000 books, journals and law reports will certainly be the perfect venue for this special kind of speed dating for book lovers, organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ABA). The ten exhibitors, who will offer books for sale on 23 April 2015 are a high-flying bunch, several of whom are fresh from the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, and even from TEFAF Maastricht.
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Bedazzled by Burney - Sales of Frances Burney Books, Manuscripts & Images

For recent market values in manuscripts, printed writings, and images of English novelist, Frances Burney, we now have Maureen E. Mulvihill's illustrated essay, "Bedazzled by Burney," commissioned by The Burney Letter (editor, Lorna Clark) and now hosted on The Burney Centre website (McGill University, Montreal, Canada).
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Swedish Book History - “Swedish Contributions to Classical Philology” by Per Rålamb

The Swedish Antiquarian Booksellers Association, Svenska Antikvariatföreningen alerted ILAB to the recently published bibliography: “Swedish Contributions to Classical Philology” by Per Rålamb.
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