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Rare Book Catalogs

By Rich Rennicks

We humans are a superstitious bunch. Some touch wood frequently, others mutter about rabbits on the first day of each month, and apparantly a large number wear particular socks or T-shirts in the pursuit of that most ephemeral of things, luck. Do book collectors have particular rituals or superstitions regarding visits to a rare bookstore or the examination of rare book catalogs? We're sure you do. Let us know your particular good-luck rituals or habits in the comments below... if you care to reveal your secrets. While you ponder that question, here are the latest rare book catalogs from ABAA members for your temptation and enjoyment. ANDERSON BUTLER RARE BOOKS E-list: 10 Items Pertaining to Time! NICK ARETAKIS New Acquisitions, September 2016 -- featuring 57 items of Americana BACK OF BEYOND BOOKS Recent Acquisitions -- list only available to mailing list subscribers. Sign up here... BAY LEAF BOOKS E-list #21: Bookplates & Bookplate Literature LORNE BAIR RARE BOOKS E-list 18: American Social Fiction, 1891-1946 BAUMAN RARE BOOKS Royalty Aubrey Beardsley BETWEEN THE COVERS RARE BOOKS New Arrivals Catalog (No. 208) BOLERIUM BOOKS Native American Activism Chicano & Latino Posters including the Puerto Rican Independence Movement Filipinos in America & America in the Philippines; Activism, literature & history THE BOOK SHOP, LLC. BREAKING ALL THE RULES: Social Commentary in Modern American Board Games -- In this catalog we offer a wide variety of modern American board games that a... [more]

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New Members

By Rich Rennicks

The ABAA has recently approved several new members, all of whom have successfully proven themselves to be, in the words of the ABAA Guarantee, "established, knowledgeable, and of excellent reputation." These new members were sponsored by existing members, and have undergone a rigorous screening process. We welcome the newest members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. Full Members Nick Aretakis, Nick Aretakis Rare Books Nick Aretakis was born and raised in California, and attended the University of California, at Berkeley, where he received a B.A. in American History. He also has an M.A. in International Relations from the George Washington University, and spent a year in the American History Ph.D. program at the University of Virginia. In the mid-1990s he helped launch the “BookTV” series at C-SPAN television, after which he gravitated toward the world of rare and antiquarian books. In the late 1990s Nick worked part-time for Bartleby's Books of Chevy Chase, Maryland, after which he moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where for fourteen years he was an associate in the Americana Department of the William Reese Company. Nick and his family moved back to California in 2014 and he began his own firm, specializing in books, manuscripts, maps, prints, and photographs in American history. He deals in Americana of all regions and all periods, with an emphasis on Western Americana and the frontier, politics, law, social history, and diplomacy. Zhenya Dzhavgova, ... [more]

The Lilly Library, Indiana University, has announced its summer exhibition. “Eat Your Vegetables! Five Centuries of Vegetarianism and the Printed Word” will survey the history and impact of vegetarian movements on society, and it will also contain a variety of cookbooks that emphasize vegetarian cuisine. The materials in this exhibition are drawn from many of the Lilly Library's collections, most notably the collection of books, pamphlets, and other materials on the history of vegetarianism formed by ABAA-member William Dailey (William Dailey Rare Books Ltd), as well as the Dr. and Mrs. John Talbot Gernon Cookbook Collection. The exhibition will be on view in the Main Gallery of the Lilly Library from July 21 to September 10, 2016. The Library will formally open the exhibition on July 21 at 5:30 p.m., with a talk by William Dailey entitled “Pythagoras to Gypsy Boots: Collecting Vegetarian Literature, 1547 to 1967.” Mr. Dailey's presentation will be followed by a reception featuring a variety of tempting vegetarian food. William Dailey, a native of Evansville, Indiana, is a noted antiquarian bookseller and collector, and his gift to the Lilly Library of materials from his collection provided the inspiration for this exhibition. Learn more about the exhibition... [more]

ABAA-member Jennifer Johnson of The Book Shop in Covina, CA, has been awarded a Young Antiquarian Scholarship by the Hungarian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association to attend the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers' (ILAB) Congress in Budapest in September, 2016. ABAA-President Mary Gilliam writes of Johnson that “Ever since joining the Association, Jen has been very supportive of, as well as involved in, Association activities, e.g, serving on the Southern California Book Fair committee, and organizing the now ever-popular Poker Tournament, which has raised ~ $15,000 for the ABAA Woodburn Educational Fund." "Jen represents the next generation of booksellers, and epitomizes the type of bookseller to whom we wish to entrust our beloved trade; e.g., along with , they broke new ground in terms of identifying and compiling archives, one example of which is their Heavy Metal catalogue of 2014, the first of its kind, which sold en masse to an institution who also recognized their vision of documenting a modern day musical movement." Johnson said she is “honored and proud to be selected and can't wait to share my experiences with everyone." A native of Nebraska and a graduate of Pepperdine University, Johnson is a former newspaper reporter and public relations executive. She became an associate member of the ABAA in 2010 and a full member in 2016. The ILAB Congress takes place in Budapest, Hungary from September 21 to 23, 2016. [more]

Friday, May 20th will see the premiere of my new opera with composer Stella Sung, a “rare book” opera, if you will, called The Book Collector, in which two men vie for possession of an exceedingly rare book. Why a rare book opera, you may ask? In truth, the opera is driven by the forces that have defined opera since its earliest days: jealousy and love, vengeance and mercy, the clash of social classes, free will bound by fate, and tragic, sometimes deadly misunderstandings. The auction floor, the bookseller's shop, the private library, and the book itself really serve as settings and props for the larger human ambitions that animate the characters. The “rare book” aspect of the opera was Stella's. She's long been fascinated by my day job at Bauman Rare Books. In fact, the first time we met in person was at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers' Association's show held in St. Petersburg's Historic Coliseum (my friend Dana Gioia, former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, first introduced the two of us as collaborative partners, but our work up to that point was done long-distance). Before we began work on The Book Collector, I had already worked with Stella as a librettist but, as the Dayton Daily News explains, my background situated me ideally—as both librettist and rare book dealer, perhaps a unique combination—“to fashion a plausible scenario for this particular opera.” Having worked at Bauman Rare Books for nearly... [more]

Longtime Bay-area member Barney Rosenthal recently turned 94! (He was still buying and selling books up until very recently, too.) Here's the lovely card signed by his colleagues. Happy birthday, Barney! [more]

Michael Hackenberg, on behalf of the the Northern California Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2016 Kane Memorial Scholarship is Kyna Mallery of Back of Beyond Books in Moab, Utah. She will be using the $1500 scholarship to attend this summer's Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar. Our congratulations to her! [more]

To mark World Book and Copyright Day, April 23, ABAA booksellers had four “Pop-Up” book fairs around the country, donating the profits to UNESCO. We have reports and pictures from some of the organizers below. (Perhaps they will inspire other booksellers to get involved next year.) Chicago Greetings, Booksellers: I want you to know what happened at the pop-up bookfair the Midwest Chapter organized in Chicago in celebration of World Book and Copyright Day. Read on if interested! Our hard work and effort paid off, and we raised $800 for UNESCO. The venue was beautiful, and everyone seemed busy chatting, buying books from each other, and selling to librarians, Caxton Club members, and retail buyers. Parking kind of sucked for customers, but hey, this is Chicago. Quality fixings for sandwiches from a northwest-side European Deli were provided for dealers and attendees, as well as coffee and fresh baked pastries. Beer and wine was made available for a small donation to UNESCO. The Caxton Club contributed toward the cost of the food. While we had just over 100 visitors to our event, the quality of attendee was outstanding. Not only were there some new onlookers who may have been exposed to rare books for the first time, I met a number of librarians from Indiana, Wisconsin and the Chicago area that were new to me. Also, local folks that had only browsed my inventory at previous events became customers. Some entirely new book-buyers showed up and made off with some goods (after p... [more]

Private company in Westport, Connecticut seeks a researcher with exceptional organizational skills for small, friendly, fast-paced office that specializes in historical documents, books, and artifacts. Auction expertise a plus. Must be able to work quickly and accurately in cooperation with other staff members in a variety of roles. Excellent written and verbal communication skills a must. Responsibilities include research of new acquisitions for database and website, coordination of in-house auctions, representation at prestigious shows and exhibitions. Proficiency in computer databases, internet, and social media skills are necessary. Bachelor's degree plus three years' experience. Salary range: $40,000-$60,000 yearly. Please send resume to: [more]

The classic Pauline Baynes' map poster of Middle Earth hung on many bedroom walls in the 1970s. Last year, a map annotated with the edits and instructions from J.R.R. Tolkien to Pauline Baynes while she worked on the illustrated map have come to light, revealing a host of interesting facts about Tolkien's vision and inspiration for Middle Earth. The newly discovered map with annotations by Baynes (blue ink) and Tolkien (green ink). (Source: Blackwell's Rare Books) Baynes was a frequent illustrator of Tolkien's books in the 1950s and '60s, but the map was perhaps their biggest collaboration. Blackwell's Rare Books in London sold a number of items created or owned by Baynes, and a map with annotations by both Baynes and Tolkien was found tucked into the artist's copy of The Lord of the Rings. Entries in Baynes' diary and letters between the two allowed Blackwell's to document the process of collaboration on the map, shedding new light on both an iconic picture and Tolkien's inspiration for Middle Earth. Read more on the discover at the Guardian newspaper... Letters and notes exchanged between Tolkien & Baynes while the later worked on the Middle Earth map. (Source: Blackwell's Rare Books) The classic map of Tolkien's Middle Earth by Pauline Baynes. Today, it has been announced that the map has been purchased by the Bodleian Library in Oxford, who own the largest collection of Tolkien papers in the world. The annotations are notable because Tolkien added places not mentioned in ... [more]