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All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade

Announcing a New Annual Prize for Young Female Book Collectors

A message and wonderful initiative from Honey & Wax Booksellers, Brooklyn, NY:Here at Honey & Wax, we take a particular interest in the evolving role of women in the rare book trade, on both the buying and selling sides. The great American book collector Mary Hyde Eccles, the first woman elected to the Grolier Club, noted that a collector must have three things: resources, education, and freedom. Historically, she observed, "only a few women have had all three, but times are changing!"
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Booksellers in the Press - Maggs Bros. London

One of London's oldest antiquarian bookshops Maggs Bros., bookseller by appointment to the Queen, closed their premises last year when their leasehold on Berkeley Square had expired after almost 80 years of trading. The opening of the new gallery in Bloombury's Bedford Square, received broad press coverage this week.
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Reminder Customs - Plant Samples entering Australia

Message from the ILAB President:The recent destruction by Australian authorities of plant samples entering Australia ( leads us to remind all affiliates of the need to check the laws pertaining to any shipment before sending to another country.
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Video link to "Walking Tour of the Medieval Book Trade in Paris" by Les Enluminures

On April 8, 2017, Christopher de Hamel and Sandra Hindman led a "Walking Tour of the Medieval Book Trade in Paris". Setting off from Notre-Dame, the small group of participants had the opportunity to step into the Middle Ages and learn all about the life and practice of illuminators, scribes, printers and binders. In the video - see link below - Les Enluminures presents snippets from the guided tour to discover.
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​The ABA apprenticeship scheme is changing

In contrast to an internship, which typically lasts for six weeks, the ABA scheme allows for a trainee bookseller to work for an ABA bookseller for two years. During that time, the trainee will gain valuable experience, while the ABA bookseller gets financial support from the Educational Trust. Trainees are paid for both their normal working hours and the time they spend training.
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Interview with ABA Secretary Camilla Szymanowska

Rare Books London, the capital's new festival of old and rare books, will bring together booksellers, auctioneers, collectors, readers, experts of various professions all linked to the world of rare and antiquarian books. We spoke to Camilla Szymanowska, Secretary of the British Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) about this exciting new initiative.
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Books about Books

Yale University Press - The Voynich Manuscript

In February 2014, media reported a breakthrough that had been made in attempts to decipher a mysterious 600-year-old manuscript written in an unknown language: The Voynich Manuscript, carbon-dated to the 1400s, was rediscovered in 1912, when the antiquarian bookseller Wilfrid Voynich bought it in Italy as part of a rare book collection. Since then it has defied codebreakers and scientists. The BBC and several news channels reported on the case. Yale University Press has now published the "first authorized copy of this mysterious, much-speculated-upon, one-of-a-kind, centuries-old puzzle." (Yale)
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives


A Book on Discovery Rediscovered

For immediate press release: Under circumstances not precisely known an utmost rarity has been discovered in a rather minor collection of miscellaneous books, novels and pamphlets by an antiquarian bookseller from Southern Germany.
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Short Story and The Private Library (Part I)

Given the tremendous demands on one's time in modern industrialized societies, we have always thought it interesting that more book collectors do not have a number of collections of short stories on their bookshelves. This literary form, born of oral storytelling traditions, is less complex, with fewer characters and plot devices, and appears far better suited to the pace of modern life, than its wordier cousins, novels and novellas. Short stories are just the right length for consumption during a subway ride, or a break during a hectic day, or the hour before dawn when one's household (hopefully) is still abed.
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We All Have Issues

"Dear Bibliodeviant, I miss you terribly. I long for those sultry evenings we spent in your simple, rustic lakeside retreat sipping Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and eating sweetmeats. Most of all I miss curling up on your ethically sourced Kilim rug in front of a roaring log fire while you told me those gloriously witty stories about how the printers misspelled "Wade" for "Wabe" in the first edition of Through The Looking Glass, or how bookdealers in the past have charged high prices for copies of the Time Machine that didn't have Hall Caine's The Manxman on the first page of advertisments. I yearn for you, and your thrilling tales of the swashbuckling world of the rare book trade. Return to me immediately, and talk to me of fine bindings! Monica"
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Dismal Science of the Mimeo Revolution

Digging through used bookstores, I always keep a look out for books that covered aspects of the Mimeo Revolution when it was a current event. Jeff Nuttall's Bomb Culture is a good one of course. There are many more books on the Underground Newspaper as opposed to the little magazines and Roger Lewis' Outlaws of America and Robert Glessing's The Underground Press in America are two examples.
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John Updike’s Archive: A Great Writer at Work

"Updike was a private man, if not a recluse like J. D. Salinger or a phantom like Thomas Pynchon, then a one-man gated community, visible from afar but firmly sealed off, with a No Trespassing sign posted in front."
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