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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Travel

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Time Travel for Dummies

Published on 21 July 2018
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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Literature

Unfinished Books and The Private Library

Published on 21 July 2018
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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Watermarks

The Gravell Watermark Archive: Taking watermarks online

Published on 21 July 2018
The Gravell Watermark Archive (www.gravell.org) 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America and Europe, including 7,500 images collected by American-watermark expert Thomas L. Gravell and about 45,000 unpublished marks documented by Charles-Moise Briquet.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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Manuscripts

Manuscripta mediaevalia - Medieval Manuscripts Online

Published on 21 July 2018
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 21 July 2018
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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Americana

Online Archive of the John F. Kennedy Collection

Published on 21 July 2018
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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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Interview with Dr. Ina Kok, Winner of the 2018 ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography

ILAB spoke to Dr. Ina Kok, winner of the 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography about her masterpiece.
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Booksellers

Emil Offenbacher (1909-1990) – Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile –

Part 4 of the series of 25 booksellers’ biographies from Ernst Fischer’s biographical handbook "Verleger, Buchhändler & Antiquare aus Deutschland und Österreich in der Emigration nach 1933" deals with the life and career of Emil Offenbacher.
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Article

Can we grow technophiles who are also bibliophiles? - Rare Books in the Digital Age

"Not so fast! Codices—or books as we know them now—have been in their current form for nearly 2,000 years, and the technology that threatens their existence has only been around for four decades—two decades if you count widespread use."
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Article

"Our paper-based inheritance" - G. Thomas Tanselle

G. Thomas Tanselle in the Times Literary Supplement: "'We have to protect our paper-based inheritance'. The most fundamental reason for this necessity – this increasingly urgent necessity – is simply that manuscripts and printed books are artefacts; and all artefacts, being physical survivors, give us direct access to parts of a vanished world ..."
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Article

Collecting First Editions

Book collectors have to learn a trade jargon that is made extra difficult by two facts: first, it comes from several related, but different, trades -- publishing, printing, and writing as well as bookselling and collecting itself -- and, second, many of the terms are commonplace words with normal meanings outside of the book collecting world, but which have specific meanings, including specific connotations, within book collecting.
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