The rare book trade lost one of its most active members earlier this year. Besides his achievements as a remarkable bookseller of Americana material and the respect he gained in the bookselling community, William Reese is also remembered for his series of essays on the rare book market and Americana which were published in 2018. In a tribute to Mr Reese, ILAB will publish two chapters of his book over the next few weeks on this website with the permission of William Reese & Co.
The Paris Review, 7th September 2018: In 2017, Honey & Wax Booksellers established an annual prize for American women book collectors, aged 30 years and younger. The idea took shape when Heather O’Donnell and Rebecca Romney, the bookstore’s owners, observed that “the women who regularly buy books from us are less likely to call themselves 'collectors' than the men, even when those women have spent years passionately collecting books."
The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), member association of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, ILAB has just announced a new book collecting prize for young collectors, recognizing the next generation of bibliophiles! Deadline: 1 December 2018!
With the permission of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB) who initiated and have organised the festival since 2011, we repost an extract of the 2018 report by Professor Chris Browne, Programme Director of Melbourne Rare Book Week.
On the 10th September, the 2018 edition of YABS will start. ILAB spoke to Anthony Smithson owner of Keel Row Book Shop in York and organiser of the very popular course about what to expect this year and why the seminar has been oversubscribed since its inception in 2014.
For 70 years, the motto of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers has been "Amor Librorum Nos Unit" - "The Love of Books unites Us". We look at some recent publications from Argentina, Italy, Austria and the United Kingdom.
On Sunday, 25th August 2018, friends and colleagues gathered at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles, to celebrate the life of Michael R. Thompson. A tribute by the library's Head Librarian Emeritus, Mr. Bruce Whiteman is published here with the permission of the author. Mr Thompson will be missed by many of his colleagues in the rare book trade.
The other things that stopped coming in the door (besides annoying retail time wasters and desperately needed cash), were books. I'd gotten quite used to the steady flow of material that drifted in over the transom, and the house calls that resulted from having a used book shop on a busy street. Indeed, one of the primary functions of my several shops had been to serve as billboards for people who had books to sell. When that was gone, so were they. Rare books are called "rare" because there aren't many of them. Consequently, house calls for rare books generally consist of long journeys to heft and haggle over a single ancient tome, or maybe two or three – hardly ever more than a couple of boxes.
January 22nd is the birthday of English statesman, philosopher, writer Sir Francis Bacon (1561), whose writings are said to have had great influence on modern science, law and society. There is also a school of thought that credits him with some or all of the works of William Shakespeare, though that idea has largely been discredited. In any case, what is known is that Bacon was, for a time at least, an influential thinker and politician during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I, something of a feat in itself, given that the two courts were not on the best of terms with each other. He enjoyed the favor of Queen Elizabeth I, whom he had met while he was a student at Cambridge. The queen seems to have admired his brilliant young mind. Later, he served the queen as prosecutor of his former friend, Robert Devereau, who was convicted of treason and beheaded. Bacon then wrote an account of the whole affair for Elizabeth, which was published after heavy editing from Elizabeth and her advisors.
The subject of early dust jackets has been somewhat neglected in bookish circles. After all, how can plain (and often tattered) paper compete with a beautiful binding beneath? Yet early dust jackets have an important place in book history, one full of uncertainty and mystery. Initially, dust jackets were intended to be disposable and thus, most were discarded and destroyed. Few early examples now remain and no one knows with any certainty when dust jackets were first produced by publishers. Moreover, even in cases where early examples have survived, many later disappeared again and remain lost to this day. Below, we detail four of the earliest (and most remarkable) publisher's dust jackets.
At years end, the state of the American antiquarian book trade can best be described as unsettled, and in what has become an increasingly global marketplace; I suspect that the American experience is little different from that of our overseas colleagues. Although some areas of the American trade remain robust with children's books, American colorplate books, some Americana, and some literary highspots most conspicuous among them, the trade in general continues to undergo a rapid and continuous shift. The ease of finding books on the Internet has contributed to the increasingly rapid decline of the open shop. Those unwilling to adapt to the new circumstances are facing increasing difficulties.
Online: Codex Sinaiticus - Western Manuscripts to 1500 - Early Manuscripts at Oxford University - Bodleian Library Manuscripts - Hill Monastic Manuscript Library - Dunhuang Project - Dscriptorium - Illumination and Calligraphy