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Tout ce que vous devez savoir sur les livres rares et le commerce des livres anciens

Mémoire du passé

Une sélection de nos archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Fore-Edge Paintings

Discovering a fore-edge painting is always a pleasant surprise. When I first started my bookselling apprenticeship, it was one of the first things I was told to look out for (along with interesting bookplates, and ephemera tucked into the books). If you have not come across fore-edge paintings, let me first explain what they are.
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A Conference on the Occasion of the Publication of Ina Kok: Woodcuts in Incunabula printed in the Low Countries

Hes & De Graaf Publishers, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands (KB) and the Dutch Book Historical Society (NBV) are organising a conference on 12 April 2013 on the occasion of the publication of the long awaited revised edition of Ina Kok's widely admired and groundbreaking dissertation on the woodcut illustrations in incunabula printed in the Low Countries between 1475 and 1501. The conference will be held at the Aula of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, The Hague.
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Collecting Crime (Fiction) - A Very Shocking Shocker

It was Simon Beattie who kindly put us in touch with a dealer on the continent who had this for sale. Not something he wanted, but thought we might. Quite what grounds he had for thinking this, I'm not at all sure – lurid, criminous, obscure author, published by a trio of even more obscure publishers, set in a vividly realised 1890s London, inscribed by the author, no copies on the internet – nothing at all there to appeal to me that I can see. As Simon himself likes to deal in 'The Books You Never Knew You Wanted' (see his delightful blog of that name: link in the Blogroll) – I suppose this by definition probably makes Death and the Woman one of those books you never knew you didn't want – but then (to judge from recent sales) that's probably becoming a fair summary of most of our stock.
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Searching for New Sources in Western History

All historians must be concerned with their sources. In many instances these are easily accessible, far more so today than in the past, in the relative convenience of professionally run university libraries, historical societies or museums. Since World War II academic institutions in the United States have enjoyed an extraordinary growth in their collections of the raw materials of American history, coupled with technological advances which have made it vastly easier to catalogue, locate and reach the original documents within the protective web of institutional control. It has never been easier to reach the books and manuscripts that are the bases of historical research.
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Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 12: Marketing Experiments

Another example of this synergy between the publishing and antiquarian businesses was brought about by an interesting request for bookbinding titles that we received from Marianne Tidcombe, noted English author (though American-born). Marianne told me that she was working on a project to honor Bernard Middleton, the pre-imminent English bookbinder. Important bookbinders around the world would be asked to contribute a gold-tooled binding on a copy of Middleton's memoirs that had been printed by hand by Henry Morris at his Bird & Bull Press. Twenty-five binders would be chosen and they would be paid for their work when (or if) the collection of bindings would be sold. I was asked to help find the binders, plan an Oak Knoll Press title describing this project which would be accompanied by full color plates of the bindings produced, and then sell the collection as a whole if possible, or piecemeal if it could not be sold as a collection. What a combination of antiquarian, new book, and publishing goals!
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Reference Book of the Day: Johnson’s Dictionary

Johnson's Dictionary is famous for being the first dictionary of English, which is perfectly true, except for the 663 dictionaries published in England in the two and a half centuries before Johnson. It does, however, have a claim to being the first "standard" dictionary of English, at least if we take the time to define what we mean by that (as I try to do in this conference paper from 2005). It's also one of the few reference books that can be read seriously as a work of literature.
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