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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Colin Franklin Prize

Ekaterina Shatalova, winner of the 2017-18 Colin Franklin Prize for book-collecting

Published on 15 June 2018
The 2017-18 Colin Franklin Prize for book-collecting has been awarded to Ekaterina Shatalova (Keble College), for her collection of works by and about Edward Lear (1812-1888), the poet and illustrator famous for limericks in "A Book of Nonsense", and for poems recounting the nautical adventures of "The Owl and the Pussycat" and the "Jumblies" ('who went to sea in a sieve').
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Attenborough 3
Press Articles

Bibliomaniacs in Battersea

Published on 08 June 2018
“Palpable history”, says Sir David Attenborough. We are at the annual Antiquarian Booksellers Association Rare Books Fair, and he is describing the pleasure of holding an incunable – a book printed in the fifteenth century, in the first few decades after the printing press was invented.
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Rubens 1
Book History

Rubens in Stuttgart

Published on 21 May 2018
There are many books with a Rubens design. Even in books from the 19th century we find frontispieces copied from a Rubens design which was often simply reproduced and thus many editions were adorned with a Rubens.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril: Theft, Retrieval, Sale and Restitution of Rare Books, Maps and Manuscripts

Do we need more drastic measures to prevent the theft of books, maps, manuscripts and other art on paper? On 26 June 2015 internationally renowned experts – librarians, archivists, lawyers, auctioneers and rare book dealers – discussed one of the global problems of the antiquarian book trade in the 21st century: the theft of books, manuscripts and prints from public collections such as, in recent years, the Girolamini Library in Naples, the National Library of Sweden, the Danish Royal Library in Copenhagen and, right now, from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. "Thefts of rare books, maps and manuscripts from libraries are a growing, global problem", the Art Newspaper summarizes. "The portable nature of these works and the fact that many libraries lack up-to-date catalogues of their sizable collections - some of which were assembled centuries ago - make them prime targets. Two weeks before the conference, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France announced that several 16th- and 17th-century engravings by Brueghel as well as atlases dating from the 16th to 18th centuries had been stolen from its collection. An investigation is currently underway." ILAB President Norbert Donhofer was invited to speak at the conference at the British Library, which will be followed up by another international meeting in New York in 2016.
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Caring for Your Rare and Antiquarian Maps

Rare book collectors often encounter maps, which present special challenges because they've usually been folded (and unfolded and refolded again) as part of their original use. They also make wonderful display pieces, so collectors may have to consider preservation and conservation for maps as hanging art.
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Spanish Police recovers 12th century Codex Calixtinus manuscript

A year ago the spectacular theft of the Codex Calixtinus was reported in the press. Almost 12 months later, this famous Codex, which is considered one of the most valuable books worldwide, has been found by the National Police in a garage in Santiago de Compostela. On Wednesday, 4th July, the police arrested the alleged thief, Manuel Fernández Castañeiras, who had been working as an electrician at the Cathedral for several years. It is said that he claimed 400,000 € compensation from the Cathedral for his unfair dismissal.
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A Post Rare Book School Report from Tavistock Books Scholarship Winner Travis Low

This year Tavistock Books (Almeda, United States) was pleased to offer a scholarship to Joel Silver's excellent course, "Reference Sources for Researching Rare Books," at Rare Book School (RBS). We found a worthy winner in Travis Low of Ken Sanders Rare Books. Travis started out as a shipping clerk and has taken advantage of numerous opportunities to expand his role. His new responsibilities often include researching new inventory, making this RBS course ideal. Travis checked in with us to share his RBS experience.
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Norbert Donhofer - President of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)

At the Ordinary General Meeting on 13th April 2014 in Paris the presidents of ILAB's 22 national member associations voted for Norbert Donhofer (Austria) as new ILAB President. He succeeds Tom Congalton (United States) who served as President from 2012 to 2014; and he will be supported by ILAB Vice-President Gonzalo Fernandéz Pontes (Spain).
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