The rare book trade lost one of its most active members earlier this year. Besides his achievements as a remarkable bookseller of Americana material and the respect he gained in the bookselling community, William Reese is also remembered for his series of essays on the rare book market and Americana which were published in 2018. In a tribute to Mr Reese, ILAB will publish two chapters of his book over the next few weeks on this website with the permission of William Reese & Co.
The opportunity to travel to distant lands opens up new worlds for anyone. I am no exception. This particular adventure to attend the International League of Antiquarian Bookseller's Congress in Budapest was so much more meaningful to me on a larger scale.
The differences between paper and digital catalogs are obvious, but some of the results of those differences continue to surprise me. For example, in the old days orders from my paper catalogs would dribble in over a period of weeks. I used to mail them all first class, in three staggered mailings, hoping to achieve some kind of evenness in delivery, but customers were always complaining that their catalogs arrived late, and demanding exclusive previews. Others, more laid back, would wait for moments of leisure to read their catalogs, and some overworked acquisitions librarians required days or weeks to claw through the pile of incoming mail to discover where my list of treasures was buried. Digital catalogs, on the other hand, play out in an eyeblink. Everyone gets their catalog announcement via a Mail Chimp email blast within the same hour or so. Those who are highly motivated know that they must read it and respond immediately. Consequently, most of the orders arrive by email within the first few hours of the catalog's life. Maritime List 238 was posted Sunday night. By Wednesday even the laid back orders had arrived.
Hard to believe, for me anyway, but we've just shot past the sixth anniversary of Bookman's Log. Yes, I should have written this entry after the fifth anniversary, and I don't know why I didn't. The post dated June 8, 2015 is about my dimwitted attempt to sell rare maritime books through an eBay store. (Results for the 6 months I tried it were one sale and two offers, both for less that 50% of what I had listed the book for.)
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.
A "Fair-Less" Year: For the last ten years, this catalogue was issued on the occasion of the Antiquarian Book Fair at the Passenger Terminal in Amsterdam. Members of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers Association presented their treasures through the catalogue but also referred to the Fair, where one could view and touch books and prints in tangible form.
Imagine - you live in an area where no flooding has taken place for 38 years and your stock is held in a professional storage area surrounded by some 200 other units. Sounds a good bet? . . . Read on. Here is one dealer's first-hand experience. Bon Summers was hit by a flash flood and it took her 20 day's solid hard work in temperatures exceeding 90°F with high humidity to recover the remaining stock. This is her account.
During the 1930s the Munich bibliophiles were in their prime with collectors like Karl Wolfskehl, Carl Georg von Maassen and Rolf von Hoerschelmann. Societies like the „Gesellschaft der Münchner Bibliophilen (1907-1913), the „Gesellschaft der Münchner Bücherfreunde" (1923-1931) and „Die Mappe" (since 1926) were centres of book culture.
Greetings from Rare Book School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia! This summer Rare Book School is excited to offer a course designed specifically for law librarians and scholars and collectors interested in law books. Law Books: History & Connoisseurship surveys printed and manuscript legal materials in Anglo-American, European, and Latin American Law. Taught by Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian at the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School, this course introduces students to legal bibliography and curation and instructs students on how focused, useful collections of law books are built. Students will explore the production and distribution of law books, the philosophy and techniques of collecting, and will develop bibliographical tools through hands-on laboratory sessions. This course will be taught in New Haven, Connecticut during the week of July 28–August 1.
De retour de la Foire de Stuttgart, je ne résiste pas à l'envie de vous faire partager quelques réflexions un peu malicieuses inspirées par l'observation d'un stand assez surréaliste et qui trônait près de l'entrée de la Foire.
I have spent a total of 3 days of the approximately 9490 that I have lived at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair. That amount of time might seem trivial; a brief episode that could come and go easily in a string of events that make up a lifetime, but it is not. When you walk into the Park Avenue Armory with it's Tiffany stained glass windows and beautiful staircases before entering into a vast array of 200 plus sellers who have been toiling for two days to present their most interesting material, it is awesome, as in the original dictionary meaning of that word.
"Matthew Raptis doesn't judge a book by its cover alone. He also judges it by its publication date, its condition and its relative rarity in the antiquarian book marketplace. Think print is dead? For avid collectors of rare books, it's anything but." (Palm Beacher, 2017)The Palm Beacher recently run a profile on Matthew Raptis Rare Books, member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and therefore affiliated to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, with the fitting headline "Rare Books Are More Than Just A Business; They're A Key To The Past". Another insight into the world of rare book dealing and collecting and proof the book is not dead.