Nigel Beale, journalist and bibliophile, regularly interviews accomplished authors, publishers, and "sundry biblio folk". In June 2018, he met with NY bookseller Glenn Horowitz. Listen to this fascinating podcast here.
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.
After Paris, Lucerne, Bologna and Madrid book dealers and book collectors will meet in Budapest for the 42nd ILAB Congress and 26th International Antiquarian Book Fair from 21 to 25 September 2016. The Hungarian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (MAE) and its President Ádám Bősze are organizing an exciting congress programme that will show the delegates from across the world that Budapest is a city with many faces: the old Hungarian capital full of books and music, history and tradition and at the same time a lively and busy Eastern European centre full of young and amazing cultural concepts.
The Erya (or Erh Ya) - the name means "approaching what is correct, proper, refined," though it's sometimes translated as The Ready Guide - is the oldest dictionary of the Chinese language. The author is a mystery, and the traditional attribution to the Duke of Chou isn't taken seriously. The date, too, is a puzzler, though "scholars generally agree that it was written by Confucian scholars sometime between the Spring and Autumn period and early Han Dynasty (8th through 2nd centuries B.C.)" (Xue, p. 152). The third century BCE is a pretty good guess.
Dear Fellow-Presidents, I am very sorry to be the bearer of bad news which are related to the thefts at the Girolamini-Library at Naples and Marino Massimo de Caro. Christian Westergaard, from Denmark, was arrested some days ago - and later released - for supposedly handling stolen Italian books. The books in question had no immediate Italian provenance (some came from the Macclesfield Library) but were on an Italian list of stolen books, presumably those known to have been stolen by De Caro and his accomplices. Because Christian and other dealers openly list their stock online, it seems that the Italian investigators just matched authors and titles, without reading the detailed notes, or examining the photos on the web, which would have demonstrated that these were not the copies in question. It is also more than curious that all of the eleven books that were confiscated by the Danish Police were titles that had appeared in auction 59 at Zisska & Schauer, Munich, in May of 2012. All of the then withdrawn books– totaling up to 540 – are still kept under lock by the Bavarian Police and that factor was forgotten by the Italian investigators! It may therefore even be that they do not fully understand that these books exist in multiple copies.
It is a very special week for antiquarian booksellers. From 12th to 17th July young and more experienced colleagues will meet at Colorado College for the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS). More than 2000 students have already graduated from this seminar since its inception, many of whom have gone on to become prominent members of the bookselling community. Under the guidance of the faculty members Lorne Bair, Terry Belanger, Sally Burdon, Brian Cassidy, Dan de Simone, Kathy Lindeman, Nina Musinsky, Robert Rulon-Miller Jr and Steven Escar Smith the seminar provides an opportunity for leading specialists to share their expertise with booksellers, librarians, and collectors in a comprehensive survey of the rare book market, both antiquarian and modern. "A week at the Colorado Rare Book Seminar is a week like no other I know.", Sally Burdon wrote in 2014. "It is a highly practical week, it is an inspiring week and it is one of those weeks when, at least metaphorically, you feel you can see for miles." Eight years ago Kenny Parolini was among the Colorado students. He shares with us his memories and says: sooner or later every antiquarian bookseller should go to Colorado, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience one should not miss. Read his (slightly shortened) report:
Dust on the shelves. Collectors consider it romantic: the dusty corners of antiquarian bookshops where scarce volumes have been hidden under the dust for centuries waiting to be discovered and to be bought by book lovers for a few cents. (The legends say that these books exist.) Dealers live with it or, most of the time, don't do anything against it: the dust in the corners where boxes with hundreds (thousands) of books are stored waiting to be described, priced and put into the showcases or into the internet. Scienstists warn: dust may be unhealthy. As early as 1900 Eduard Fischer von Röslerstamm published an empirical analysis on the life expentancy of antiquarian booksellers, librarians and book collectors. His question was: Did they suffer from dust in the lungs? Was the "book dust disease" an occupational disease that threatened the rare book trade?
Back in the US, we published the first in a series of titles written by the New York antiquarian booksellers Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine Stern (Bib. #65) in which they reminiscence about their lengthy experience buying and selling rare books. They wrote with charm and painted vivid portraits of many of the famous collectors and dealers of their day. I had known them for a long time and had even reprinted a series of their catalogues as one of our first publications (Bib. #4). They had proposed me for membership in the ABAA in 1978. Over the years we published five of their titles including New Worlds in Old Books. This excellent book was distributed as a gift by Brigham Young University to all members of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) in tribute to these two fine booksellers. Near the end of their long and productive lives, they submitted a manuscript to us that I felt needed additional work. I called them and talked over my thoughts as gently as I could but my suggested changes were not well received. Much to my regret, they did not talk to me again before they died.