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 Lillian Goldman Law Library possesses one of the world's finest collections of printed legal materials. These collections are complemented by access to a growing array of online sources, as well as the collections housed nearby, including the Sterling Memorial Library and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.Yale Law School Rare Book librarian Mike Widener takes bibliophiles on a tour of the history and unique collections of rare books at the Yale Law School. Kaitlin Thomas, Office of Public Affairs, organized the project and conducted the interview.
How to identify a rare book? "I got stumped last week, trying to catalog a book I'd recently purchased. It was the first full length biography of the American naval hero James Lawrence, and it was supposed to be 244 pages long. However, my copy seemed complete at page 240, which ended with the word "finis." I must've spent an hour pouring through my reference books trying to reconcile the discrepancy. I had a dim recollection of the pagination issue being explained to me by the gentleman from whom I'd purchased the book. But I couldn't remember the details, and I couldn't piece it together from the bibliographies ..."
Have you ever to Amsterdam on a boat? The wonderful Dutch city is renowned for its 17th century canals or "grachten", where the Dutch antiquarian booksellers will host an extraordinary event on 23 April 2015 - a floating ILAB Pop Up Book Fair! To celebrate UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day the rare book dealers on Antiquariaat Kok, Die Schmiede, Antiquariaat Spinoza and Antiquariaat Brinkman will cruise the canals on a barge which will be proudly flying the UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day colours. The Pop Up Book Fair Barge will navigate its way through the canals or "grachten" mooring at a number of places along its route to allow Amsterdamers and tourists alike to board, browse, buy books and donate to UNESCO's work for literacy.
This year's Amsterdam Antiquarian Book, Map & Print Fair will be held on Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6 in the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam. 30 ILAB dealers from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States will present rare and valuable books, manuscripts and ephemera from all centuries.
Aimee Peake of Bison Books, Winnipeg (Canada) looks back at her week in sunny California, filled with impressions of books, bookseller encounters and exhibiting at the California International Antiquarian Book Fair.
This article was first published on the blog of the German trade publication "Aus dem Antiquariat" and discusses the new international shipping requirements by Deutsche Post, the German postal service. For an English translation and summary, please contact the ILAB office.