Das Deutsche Literaturarchiv Marbach hat kürzlich eine Frankfurter Privatsammlung zu Eduard Mörike erworben. Der Sammler Klaus Berge, verdientes Mitglied der Deutschen Schillergesellschaft und langjähriger Freund des Hauses, hat über mehr als drei Jahrzehnte hinweg sachkundig Handschriften, Erstausgaben, Widmungsexemplare, Grafiken und Gegenständliches von und zu Eduard Mörike sowie seinem Umkreis zusammengetragen.
105 years ago, from 6th to 8th August, 1908, a famous 19th century autograph collection was auctioned by J. A. Stargardt in Berlin. The owner of the collection was Fritz Donebauer, born in 1849 as a son of a Bohemian innkeeper who became a banker and insurance agent in Prague, and most of all: a collector. In his lifetime he owned hundreds of autographs and manuscripts of mostly Bohemian theatre artists and musicians as well as rare documents from the history of Bohemia and the Thirty Years War. Little is known about Fritz Donebauer, whose collection came to auction in Berlin in April 1908, and even less is known about the private collectors, dealers and institutions who bought the documents, manuscripts and handwritten letters. Eberhard Köstler tries to reconstruct Fritz Donebauer's life and the fate of his famous collection.
This (or a variant of it) is probably the most often asked question I hear. What I'm talking about is, of course, whether it is better to buy a book (or get it autographed by the author) with just a signature alone or whether it is better to have it with a personalized inscription.
The British Library has acquired the personal archive of Sir Alec Guinness. The archive includes more than 900 of his letters to family and friends and over 100 volumes of diaries from the late 1930s to his death in the year 2000. The letters and diaries of the award winning British actor enrich the British Library's collection of archives of great 20th century artists along with those of Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.
How much is it worth? This question is most often asked by book collectors. And most often, there is not a precise answer. Although it is quite common nowadays to discuss rare books "as investments", the value of a book can hardly be counted in Dollars and Euros. It is even more difficult to measure the "worth" of dedication copies. Is the book inscribed by the author? Is this author famous and important, dead or alive? To whom is the book inscribed? Which words did the author choose to express his gratitude or sympathy? Eberhard Köstler, autograph specialist, gives examples of dedications by George Bernard Shaw, George Orwell, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann and many other authors, and he shows that nothing is binding when it comes to the "real worth" of dedications.
In detective fiction and on the cop shows it's called "chain of evidence." Book collectors call it provenance. Unless you plan to build your private library solely with "hot off the press" titles, you need to understand provenance. The concept is important for all kinds of collectibles, from works of art to books to archaeological artifacts. Basically, it means: "to confirm or gather evidence as to the time, place, and if appropriate, the person responsible, for the creation, production or discovery of [an] object."
Great news: The Guardian and Associated Press report that the Hebrew University of Jerusalem puts online 2,000 documents from the Albert Einstein archives including unseen letters, postcards and research notes.
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').
Poul Jan Poulsen, ILAB’s Treasurer and Committee Member for many many years, discovered a real treasure in his archives: a photograph taken in the Town Hall in Copenhagen in 1948. This was the year in which the League was officially founded. 92 booksellers attended the first ILAB Congress in Denmark which followed the Preliminary Conference held in Amsterdam in 1947.
Herman Henrik Julius Lynge (November 13, 1822 - May 12, 1897) was a Danish antiquarian bookseller. He continued and owned the first antiquarian bookshop in Scandinavia, now "Herman H. J. Lynge & Søn A/S". Lynge was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, as the son of a bookbinder. At a very young age, before he was even confirmed, he began his apprenticeship as a bookseller, and the shop in which he took his education was carefully chosen by his father, Henrik Berndt Lynge. His master was Christian Tønder Sæbye (1789-1844), who had started his bookshop, initially a second-hand shop focusing on books, in 1821 on Gothersgade 26. After his apprenticeship, Lynge continued to work in the company, and when Sæbye died in 1844, the young man, only aged twenty-two, took over as manager of the bookshop, which was still owned by the Sæbye family. In 1853 Lynge was able to buy the shop from the family at the price of 1,000 rix-dollars, and at the same time he took out a trade licence as a bookseller. In the first years the cholera was harrying Copenhagen, and Lynge is said to have done great business at the time due to the large number of private libraries offered for sale; he was the only proper "antiquarian bookseller" in Denmark, and he often spited the danger of infection and personally collected the large number of books in the homes of the ill.