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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Type & Forme
Booksellers Worldwide

New to ILAB! Speaking to Anke Timmermann of Type & Forme and why rare books matter to a younger generation

Published on 30 May 2019
ILAB spoke to one of the newer members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, Anke Timmermann who jointly owns and runs the business Type & Forme with her partner Mark James: "...the printed book and manuscripts have lost none of their allure in the new millennium, and antiquarian books are arguably even better appreciated in recent years ... Social media, especially Instagram, have brought forth a new generation of bibliophiles..."
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Book Collecting Now Cover

New publication by Chatwin Books (US) looks at today's book collecting

Published on 14 May 2019
Indeed, “Books don’t just furnish a room,” Michael Dirda writes in Browsings. “. . . Digital texts are all well and good, but books on shelves are a presence in your life. As such, they become a part of your day-to-day existence, reminding you, chastising you, calling to you. Plus, book collecting is, hands down, the greatest pastime in the world.”
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Leonardo da Vinci's Library

Leonardo da Vinci: reflected in his library

Published on 06 May 2019
Leonardo da Vinci was a tireless and inquisitive reader. He owned more than 200 books about science and technology as well as literary and religious topics. An exhibition organized by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the Berlin State Library at the Museo Galileo in Florence sheds new light on the intellectual cosmos of the artist, engineer, and philosopher, who remains as fascinating as ever 500 years after his death.
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37 - 45 / 2050

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives



Biographical Portal (ADB, NDB, HLS, ÖBL): The best online database for German speaking authors, scientists, artists, philosophers etc. Joint index of Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB, Universal German Biography), Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz (HLS, Historical Dictionary of Switzerland), Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB, New German Biography), and Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815-1950 (ÖBL, Austrian Dictionary of Biography 1815-1950). This cooperative project of the Bavarian State Library, the Historical Committee at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Foundation Historical Dictionary of Switzerland started in June 2009.
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Field of Booksellers

"This time in 2006, I had been a book dealer for only two years. I had come to bookselling, not exactly by accident (I had been worked in bookstores off and on for the better part of ten years), but rather as a way to fill some time while I stayed at home with my then-four-year-old daughter. The business (such as it was) was very much a part-time venture. I had about 1000 books that I'd managed to scare up from library fundraisers, thrift stores, Craigslist, and garage and estate sales. I kept them in banker's boxes crammed into several closets around the house. I didn't really know any other booksellers and had little in way of a reference library. I sold only online. Most of my books were either modern firsts or university press titles, and every day or so one or two sold via ABE or Amazon. I dutifully packed up in salvaged boxes or homemade ad-hoc packages. I made a little spending money, no more really." "Cultivating the trade for future generations" - Brian Cassidy explains why Rare Book Schools or the Colorade Antiquarian Book Seminar are inevitable for young booksellers.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Bookbindings

`Bibliopegy' is the art of binding books, and the collector, lover or scholar of bindings is a `bibliopegist'. Bookbinding dates from the ancient world Indian, Persian, Coptic, Chinese, Greek & Roman examples are known to exist, even if only in fragments. The rise of the universities, the increase of literacy outside the monasteries, and the invention of moveable type in Germany in the 1450s, all contributed to the demand for books. With this came the demand for decorative bookbindings in leather and metal, and the introduction of goldtooling (impressions in the leather) by Islamic craftsmen who settled in Venice in the 15th century.
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Moses Signed My Bible

"An autographed copy of a first edition kicks it up to something special - and hard to reproduce on a Kindle or iPhone", writes Tom Post in Forbes Magazine. "Autographed first editions are a cool way to collect rare books." However: "Forgers think so, too." Some snippets ...
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Bernard Amtmann (1907-1979) – Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile –

The seizure of power by the Nazis in 1933 was a decisive event in the world of book collecting. Numerous dealers and collectors – among them the most famous of the trade – were murdered by the Nazis. Those who survived were forced to close their companies and to hand them over to the Nazis.
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John Bidwell: A Life in Libraries, Thanks to Gutenberg

Dr. John Bidwell received his master's at Columbia's School of Library Service and his doctorate in English from Oxford. "I've had no other job but to work in libraries since I was a college undergraduate", he says. "As soon as I realized it was time for me to go back to graduate school, I knew I wanted to work in rare book libraries, and that's all I've done." For The New York Times John Bidwell explains, what makes books rare, why books become rare, and what is his most favourite book among the treasures of J.P. Morgan and Museum.
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