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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Bookhunter on Safari - Confessions
Collecting

The Confessions of a Book-Hunter – 1926

Published on 20 July 2018
“I belong to that class of unfortunate beings who are addicted to a habit which it is not easy to break off. This sounds alarming, but let me assure you that neither drug nor dram is the cause of my undoing, and that I have no intention of following in the foot-steps of the English Opium-Eater. The truth is that I am a bibliophile, and I suffer a complaint common to the tribe, namely a feverish appetite which can only be assuaged by choice tit-bits in the form of ancient quartos and duodecimos”.
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History

#Mandela100 – Mandela’s legacy and the Mandela Archive, Johannesburg

Published on 19 July 2018
Today, July 18, 2018, the world celebrates Mandela’s 100th anniversary. In 1962 at the age of 44, Mandela was arrested when South Africa’s apartheid regime took drastic measures against political opposition, in particular against members of the African National Congress (ANC). Nelson R. Mandela passed away in December 2013 but has remained an icon for democracy, freedom and the fight against a racial and class divide.
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Rebecca Lawton
Manuscripts

'My year in St. Andrews was one of the best in my life'‘

Published on 03 July 2018
Rebecca Lawton (M.Litt Mediaeval History 2015) has been working on a collection of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts as part of a collaborative PhD between the University of Leicester and the British Library. ILAB would like to share her original blog post to demonstrate the work and research currently taking place in the field of rare books.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Booksellers

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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Article

Rare Kafka Letters Bought by the Bodleian Library (Oxford) and the Marbach Literary Archive

The Berlin based auction house J. A. Stargardt cancelled its upcoming sale of rare autograph letters written by Franz Kafka to his sister Ottilie in the years 1909 to 1924. The important series of 45 letters, 32 postcards and 34 picture postcards contains almost all the surviving letters and postcards that Kafka sent to his sister Ottilie, who was known as Ottla – the youngest of his three sisters, and the family member to whom he was closest. The auction was scheduled for April 19, 2011 in Berlin, a richly illustrated catalogue with a preface by Hans-Gerd Koch had been published.
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Article

The Cleveland Manifesto of Poetry, The Asphodel Bookshop and the Future of Bookstores

The Cleveland Manifesto of Poetry was published from Jim Lowell's Asphodel Bookshop in 1964, a year after the bookstore opened at 465 The Arcade. It prints statements by Russell Atkins, d. a. levy, Russell Salamon, Adelaide Simon, Jau Billera, and Kent Taylor. The statements still seem relevant today, especially those of Atkins and levy, whose manifesto begins "To write surface poems with the appearance of artificial flowers in order to communicate with persons by forcing them to resort to instinctive methods of understanding." It is a beautiful and surprising characterization of the concrete tendencies in levy's poetry and bookmaking.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Saul Bellow

Bellow's three National Book Award-winning books, Mr. Sammler's Planet (1971), Herzog (1965), and The Adventures of Augie March (1954); and his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Humboldt's Gift (1976), are not difficult to find, but they do command a premium price if they are either in especially fine condition or signed (although for such a legendarily grumpy author, Bellow seems to have been generous with his signature). His first two books, Dangling Man (1944), and The Victim (1947), are usually harder to find, with Dangling Man, because of its fragile wartime construction (using cheaper paper and other materials) being the most difficult and expensive. Other early books of his that have become scarce in fine copies are his play The Last Analysis (1965), and Henderson the Rain King (1959). It seems to us that Bellow will continue to be collected for the relatively long term, and fine copies will become steadily scarcer.
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Congress

2017 - Copenhagen

Every year, the presidents of all 22 national antiquarian bookseller’s associations that form the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), meet at the President’s Meeting or an ILAB Congress. For 2017, the Danish Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association ABF has invited the international rare book trade to Copenhagen. This will be a week of formal meetings with reports and updates from each country, but it is also a week of exchanging ideas with colleagues, networking and a programme to visit some of Copenhagen’s cultural and bibliophile treasures!
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