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

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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#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

'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


The times they are a-changin' in the rare book trade

Moved by this conference in Lucca, I had the chance of dealing with some incunabula belonging to Martini, whose library is considered one of the richest private collections of Italian literature in the world. Reconsidering them one year after Norbert's presentation at Lucca, invites me to consider how our profession has been changing. As there has been enough talking of stolen books, forgeries, laws and export licenses, I would like to reflect on the evolution of the booksellers' job along the 20th century.
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On Identifying Photographic Prints and the History of Early Photography

Without a doubt, every antique store and flea market from California to New York somewhere has a box of photographs – black and white, early Kodaks, or even tintypes… often warped, mirrored, faded – if you are reading this blog it is assumed that at some point or another your interest in antiquarian books and materials has drawn you to such an establishment, and you have at least fingered through a box of photographs labeled ".10 each or 15 for $1.00". Why is it, then, that those photographs are (seemingly) worthless, while there are photograph albums offered by booksellers with the same types of prints for thousands of dollars? As with all things antiquarian – provenance, condition and interest levels dictate the differences between a bin full of late 19th century silver-gelatin prints and an album full of un-faded, unaltered albumen photographs.
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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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A Portrait of the Bookseller as a Young Man and Woman - A Photography Exhibition at the 55th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair

The Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair is one of the oldest fairs of this kind worldwide. Founded in 1962 and shortly after the first antiquarian book fair in London, it now looks back to 55 successful years of existence. Exactly thirty years ago, an exciting experiment – a mixture between art performance and historical documentation – took place at the Stuttgart Fair. In 1985, the German photographer Joachim W. Siener set up a photo studio at the fair, and among all the books and business he took portraits of all the 80 exhibitors during the four book fair days. Siener used a special high-format technique of time exposure which had been developed by the photographers of the 1920s with the effect that the pictures have a high artistic quality. They look vivid and "out of life" – like movie stills.
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Interviewed by AbeBooks: "Sisters in antiquarian bookselling: meet Elisabeth and Sally Burdon"

Meet Elisabeth (left) and Sally Burdon. A pair of sisters involved in the antiquarian bookselling community and yet operating businesses thousands of miles apart. Elisabeth runs Old Imprints in Portland, Oregon, and is one of the most interesting sellers of ephemera that we know. Sally runs Asia Bookroom in Canberra, Australia, a business that specializes in Asian books, art, and ephemera. Both sell on AbeBooks and we’re thrilled that they partner with us. Sally is also President of ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), so these are two booksellers with much to talk about. They were kind enough to answer our questions about their family, bookselling and much more.
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