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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America and Europe, including 7,500 images collected by American-watermark expert Thomas L. Gravell and about 45,000 unpublished marks documented by Charles-Moise Briquet.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


Where Goethe strolled around - ILAB Pop Up Book Fair in Königstein on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2015!

The staff of Reiss & Sohn is looking forward to be a part of the ILAB Pop Up Fairs across the world on April 23rd, 2015. They will "pop up" in the auction house together with two other colleagues from the area - Tresor am Römer, Buch- und Kunstantiquariat (Frankfurt) and C. Rinnelt, Antiquariat (Wiesbaden). Together the rare book dealers will welcome all who are interested in books, prints and manuscripts from 5 to 8 pm. Visitors will have the opportunity to browse the diversified sales proposals of the three antiquarian bookshops, to listen to Jazz music, to talk to like-minded people and, of course, all will be most welcome to participate in the worldwide fundraising campaign for the UNESCO literacy projects in South Sudan.
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Bibliographies - Languages

Online: Johann Severin Vater, Handbuch der Hebräischen, Syrischen, Chaldäischen und Arabischen Grammatik ... - Enslin, Grammars in Greek, Latin and the Oriental Languages
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ILAB History


Expanding to the Global Market : During the 30th ILAB Congress and the 13th International Book Fair in Tokyo 1990 the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Korea (ABAK) were elected as the 18th ILAB member. Two years later Czech booksellers formed the Svaz Antikváru CR (SACR which joined the League during the 32nd ILAB Congress in Amsterdam in 1994. The Spanish Asociación Ibéria de Librerias Anticuarias (AILA), founded in 1990, also joined ILAB.
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Collecting - Colortext Maps of the 1930s

Beginning in 1935 a Chicago publisher, Colortext Publications Inc., issued a series of arresting color pictorial maps, chiefly of European countries, that employ, in the map's title, the prefix "The Story Map of …" followed by the country or locale's name. The maps were intended to convey significant aspects of history and culture pictorially, employing images of places, persons, or design motifs associated with a given nation's or geographical region's cultural identity. Unfortunately, very little is known about Colortext's origins, the personnel involved in its operations, or those individuals responsible for most of the maps that were produced. Thus a primary objective of this site is to call attention to the firm and its activities with the hope that new information regarding the company and the cartographers involved in its product will be forthcoming.
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Books on the Move - 32rd Amsterdam Antiquarian Book, Map & Print Fair 2011

This year's Amsterdam Antiquarian Book, Map & Print Fair will be held from 28 to 29 October, 2011, in the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam. After the great success in 2010 both Dutch antiquarian booksellers associations, the Nederlandsche Vereeniging van Antiquaren (NVvA) and the Bond van handelaren in Oude Boeken (BOB) will for the second time organize and support an Antiquarian Book Fair where more than 60 Dutch and foreign dealers present wonderfull books, manuscripts, maps and prints from all centuries. The Fair will also feature displays by private presses, publishers and bibliophile societies.
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