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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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The Girolamini Thefts in the Press: Tale of Big International Book Theft Gets a New Chapter

"Any American book collector who recently bought an Italian book from the 15th to the 17th centuries should take another look at the purchase. If it bears a red library stamp with a Madonna in the center, the collector may get a visit from U.S. Customs agents assigned to recover stolen artworks." The Washington Times summarizes the recent news concerning the thefts from the Girolamini Library in Naples, which the newspaper calls "the biggest book thefts in history".
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The Library of William Morris – A Digital Catalogue by Bill Peterson and Sylvia Holton Peterson

An excellent bibliographical project and an important contribution to Victorian England and the history of the private presses: Bill Peterson and Sylvia Holton Peterson have launched a digital catalogue of the library of William Morris (1834-1896) who was one of the key figures of the Victorian era and founder of the Kelmscott Press in 1891. So far 958 entries from a total of approximately 2.000 have been added to the digital catalogue, all of them carefully described with provenances, references, quotations, and, if available, links to digital versions. The catalogue – to be found here http://williammorrislibrary.wordpress.com/ - can be searched in various ways: authors, titles, date of publication, key words etc. More details on this impressive work are given by the editors themselves ...
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Why Congresses? - A veteran’s ramblings by Keith Fletcher

You ask "why congresses?" - the short answer is surely Amor librorum nos unit; and what better than to meet with people who know what you are talking about rather than experiencing the blank looks of one's 'lay' friends when one mentions "old books".
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The Rare Book Trade - What My Friends Think I Do (Part 1 in a Series)

This Monday morning, the biggest news to hit the antiquarian book trade in roughly 400 years became public: my colleagues Dan Wechsler and George Koppelman, booksellers in New York City, unveiled a copy of a sixteenth century dictionary which could, quite plausibly, have once belonged to William Shakespeare - complete with annotations possibly in the bard's hand and many tantalizing, if ultimately circumstantial, linguistic and stylistic links to his plays. I'll leave it to better minds than mine to make a final determination regarding the dictionary's provenance. Wechsler and Koppelman have laid out an entire volume of compelling evidence in their just-published book, Shakespeare's Beehive (a copy of which I've just ordered); the Folger Shakespeare Library, the New Yorker, and numerous book bloggers have already begun weighing in, and I'm sure many more scholarly voices will be added to the fray over the coming months and years. I hope it's years, not months. I hope it's real, real enough at least to merit many years of scholarship – I really, really do.
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