Published 12 Mar 2013
Most bibliographers and librarians attribute the book “L’Histoire de la Jamaïque”, published by Nourse 1751, to the British author Sir Hans Sloane. Wrong! This “L’Histoire’ is a translation of a work published in Edinburgh in 1739. The author is Charles Leslie, and the book is called “A New and Exact Account of Jamaica”. The French / English journalist Thibault Ehrengardt re-writes the history of a bibliographical confusion.
Published 04 Mar 2013
The ILAB and SLAM committees are very pleased to announce that the 2014 ILAB Congress will run in Paris from the 13th to 16th April, 2014, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of SLAM. The Paris Congress will immediately follow the International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Grand Palais scheduled from 10th to 13th of April.
Published 01 Mar 2013
“The 15th century equivalent of your cat walking on your keyboard”, writes Rebecca J. Rosen, senior associate editor at The Atlantic, are ink pawprints in early printed books. “For cat owners, the scene is too familiar: You sit down to finally (finally!) get some work done, and along comes kitty, here to stroll across your keyboard.” During the 15th century the ancestors of our beloved kitties walked across - incunabula. What is a big disgrace (or humiliation) for every serious collector, is nothing more than an everyday occurrence for cat lovers.
Published 21 Feb 2013
Needless to say, few strikes in American history have generated as much literature, music or folklore as did Lawrence. Given our interest in the art and literature of social movements, we’re unavoidably drawn to this material, as are our customers – it tends to come and go with some regularity. Here are a few recent acquisitions that are still with us, each interesting for its own reasons.
Published 19 Feb 2013
On Valentine’s Day we celebrate a holiday of love, commitment, chocolate… and 19th-century norms on reproduction and dating? Yes, the 1800s: A reminder that sex wasn’t always fun or accurate. And there’s no better antiquarian book to savor on Valentine’s Day than ‘Physiological Mysteries and Revelations in Love, Courtship, and Marriage; An Infallible Guide-Book for Married and Single Persons in Matters of the Utmost Importance to the Human Race’ (1842). Now say that three times fast.
Published 15 Feb 2013
"At first glance the rare book trade is often believed to be solid, but complacent, backward and immune to changes. However, the world of antiquarian bookselling changes as rapidly as the fashion industry, and the tastes of book collectors change as quickly as the tastes for movies, plants or pets." Dieter Tausch, President of the Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VAO), shares with us some thoughts on the past and the future of the antiquarian book trade.
Published 12 Feb 2013
‘Until the 1950’s, Jack London was by far the most popular American author in Soviet Russia. Over thirteen million copies of his works have been printed since the Revolution. Even today [i.e. 1962] he continues as a popular classic, and it is probable that over the Soviet period as a whole he has been read more widely than any other non-Russian author.
Published 22 Mar 2012
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.
ILAB and VEBUKU - 5th ILAB Congress in Geneva in 1952, seen through the eyes of the former Mrs President Barbara Kaye Muir
Published 12 Mar 2012In 2012 the ILAB affiliates will travel to Lucerne and Zurich on the occasion of the 40th ILAB Congress and 24th International Antiquarian Book Fair from 22nd to 30th September. Time to remember some of the joyful and noteworthy moments in the history of the League which took place in Switzerland. The 5th ILAB Congress was held in Geneva in 1952. It was the first Congress without William S. Kundig, ILAB’s first president. Percy H. Muir and André Poursin were elected Presidents of Honour, Menno Hertzberger was made Father of the League. With George Blaizot as the new ILAB President a younger generation came up to determine ILAB's future. Besides all this, there was someone who played a prominent role during the farewell speeches: a mouse.
Published 24 Aug 2011It is not often that one discovers the work of an overlooked or forgotten genius, or a previously-unknown work of an established master. This is, of course, the hope which moves us to carefully examine all sorts of periodical publications and ephemera. So when Tom Congalton asked me to catalog two large folio volumes of the Philadelphia-based Saturday Evening Post, from 1827 and 1828, I was pleased to find the puzzle poem “Enigma” attributed to Edgar Allan Poe, and “Psalm 139th” by his brother Henry Poe. Perhaps the most interesting contributions to these volumes are not the Poeiana, but rather a whole series of botanical sketches and other contributions by an eccentric genius with the evocative name Rafinesque.