Bookselling

Sally Burdon, ILAB President, has announced that The B.H. Breslauer Foundation is investing another $25,000 in the Breslauer Foundation Prize Fund, meaning that “this important prize for bibliography can continue to be awarded for many years to come.” “We owe a great debt to The B.H. Breslauer Foundation for their generosity and support,” said Burdon. Felix de Marez Oyens, President of the B.H. Breslauer Foundation, commented that: “My fellow trustees and I are pleased to make this additional donation in order to enable the ILAB to award every fourth year not only the main bibliography prize of $10,000, but also second and third prizes of $5,000 and $3,000 respectively. The discipline of bibliography is not usually a lucrative pursuit. It is important therefore that the practitioners of this branch of scholarship be encouraged as much as possible by institutional libraries and also by the rare-book trade, which profit from it. We hope that these prizes, which are not inconsiderable, will continue to play a major role in that encouragement.” The ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography honors the most original and outstanding published work in the field of bibliography. It is awarded every four years. The most-recent winner is Dutch scholar Ina Kok, whose Woodcuts in Incunabula Printed in the Low Countries (Brill, April 2013) was awarded the prize in 2018. The next prize will be awarded in 2022. The ILAB Prize for Bibliography was founded in 1964. In 2008, its name wa... [more]

In an effort to assist in the recovery of materials missing as a result of the Carnegie Library theft, the ABAA would like to bring to the public's attention the list of items believed stolen. Click this link to view the list. Update 8/20/18: The following list includes more details. Should any member of the public identify having purchased or otherwise having knowledge of the disposition or current location of any items from the Carnegie Library—whether on this list or not—please contact one of the following detectives from Allegheny County District Attorney's Office: · Det. Fran Laquatra (412) 388-5305 flaquatra@alleghenycountyda.us · Det. Perann Tansmore (412) 388-5307 ptansmore@alleghenycountyda.us ` · Det. Lyle Graber (412) 388-5316 lgraber@alleghenycountyda.us Please note, the detectives do not have reason to believe that anyone who may have purchased any of these items was necessarily aware that the material had been reported stolen. The ABAA appreciates your attention and assistance with respect to this grave matter. Please check our post from March for further details, including additional information on collection markings. Sincerely, Vic Zoschak President, ABAA Brad Johnson Chair, ABAA Security Committee Susan Benne Executive Director, ABAA [more]

The ABAA's Woodburn Fund provides financial support for scholarly research and education relevant to the antiquarian book trade. This includes annual scholarships to Rare Book School, California Rare Book School, and the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar. Ezra Tishman of Aardvark Books/Ezra the Bookfinder was the recipient of a Woodburn Fund scholarship to Rare Book School this year and had the following to say about his experience. I wanted to take moment to officially thank the ABAA for the scholarship assistance I received to attend a Rare Book School course in Bloomington, Indiana. The assistance allowed me to take the time off from work, and I spent an amazing week at Indiana University's Lilly Library, learning from the legendary "Master of Bibliographical Resources", Joel Silver. His encyclopedic knowledge of available references -- and his folksy delivery of just a slice of his vast body of knowledge — rather blew me away. In the first two days of the course — despite twenty-five years fulltime in the trade, I truly wondered about what I really knew, and how I could have worked so long without the benefit of some of these resources. I've no doubt at all that what I gained from attendance at Joel's course will prove indispensable, in both my capacities as bookseller and appraiser. Again huge gratitude to our organization for its commitment to help members grow and thrive in the trade. Scholarships to Rare Books School and California Rare Book School are awarded ann... [more]

On March 5, 2019, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) held the symposium Who Owned This? Libraries and the Rare Book Trade Consider Issues Surrounding Provenance, Theft and Forgery at the renowned New York book collectors club, the Grolier Club, jointly organized with the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA). Rare booksellers are faced with increasing demands from institutions to have strong provenance on materials they buy. Booksellers need to know how to deal with this and have a good understanding of what libraries need. The symposium brought together a range of experts and scholars from the antiquarian book trade and libraries, as well as the fields of investigation, insurance, art law, and technology. April 10, 2019 is the first International Provenance Research Day with more than 60 cultural institutions in Germany, Great Britain, Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland organizing large number of symposiums and workshops at museums, archives and libraries. Coinciding with this important initiative, ILAB launches the videos of the New York Provenance Symposium. As Sally Burdon, ILAB President said in her introduction on the day: “The popular image of an old bookshop with a slightly eccentric bookseller selling books in a shop untidily crammed with books and a computer nowhere in sight, is not the modern reality. Antiquarian books, manuscripts, maps, prints etc. are constantly being traded across international borders. Because o... [more]

In honor of long-time member Florence Shay (1922-2012), the Midwest Chapter of the ABAA offers an educational scholarship to booksellers from the Midwest Chapter region to attend the 2019 Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar. It covers full tuition plus room & board expenses for one attendee to this year's Seminar. All applications must be received by midnight, May 01, 2019. Applicants will be notified of the award decision via email on or before May 15, 2019. Each application must include at least one written letter of support by a professional bookseller or rare book librarian, as well as the applicant's biography and essay. These can be submitted via email to the Scholarship Committee Chair at chairmwabaachapter@gmail.com or by regular mail to: Daniel Weinberg, Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc., Ste. 100 824 W. Superior St., Chicago, IL 60642. To apply for The Florence Shay/Midwest Chapter CABS Scholarship please provide the following: • A completed copy of the application form. • A personal biographical statement or essay (no longer than two pages) in which you describe your past or current experience in the world of antiquarian books, your goals for the future, and what you hope to gain from the studies afforded by this scholarship. If you have attended an antiquarian book fair in the past, please offer an observation or impression gained from that experience. • Letter of support written by a professional bookseller or rare book librarian. Click here for additional info... [more]

The ABAA is accepting entries for the 2019 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, once again supported by the Jay I. Kislak Foundation, the generous underwriter of prizes for this contest. The National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest is open to all prizewinners of college book-collecting contests, whether or not first prize, as well as to interested students whose institutions do not offer formal contests. (More information can be found here.) All entries should be submitted at apply.abaa.org. All entries for the 2019 competition must be submitted by June 13, 2019. For more information on the contest, please visit contest.abaa.org. The National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest is jointly administered by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), the Grolier Club, and the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division (the Library of Congress), with major and exclusive support for the Kislak Prize from the Jay I. Kislak Foundation. Meet the 2018 NCBCC winners... Don't miss any articles on The New Antiquarian blog! Subscribe to the ABAA email newsletter! * indicates required Email Address * Email Format html text #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:420px;} /* Add your own MailChimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HE... [more]

In memory of long-time member George Robert Kane (Oct. 6, 1913–Nov. 28, 2009), the Northern California Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America announces the availability of an Educational Scholarship. In the interest of promoting professionalism and education relevant to the antiquarian book trade, persons currently working in or actively pursuing a career in the book trade are especially encouraged to apply. The Scholarship will pay tuition cost (to $1,500) for participation in a course of study offered by the following programs in the Summer/Fall of 2019: California Rare Book School (Los Angeles); Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (Colorado Springs); Rare Book School (Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as several other locations). To apply for the NCC/ABAA Educational Scholarship, please provide the following: 1) A completed copy of the application form. 2) A personal statement or essay (no longer than two pages) in which you describe your past or current experience in the world of rare books, your goals for the future, and what you hope to gain from the studies afforded by this scholarship. 3) Letter of support written by a professional bookseller or rare book librarian. Please email the NCC Secretary, Alexander Akin, to obtain an application: akin.alex@gmail.com. All applications must be received by 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 3, 2019. The NCC/ABAA will notify scholarship applicants of its award decision via email by May 10, 2019. Each application must... [more]

The Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS) received an anonymous donation last year which forms the basis of an endowment fund. Recently re-elected ABAA member Daniel De Simone was instrumental in securing the donation to fund the longevity of the program. In the near-term, the seminar will use the funds immediately to re-launch a more robust and informative website. Seminar directors Lorne Bair and Rob Rulon-Miller are also considering moving out of Colorado -- where they have hosted the week-long seminar for more than 20 years -- to a location that is more easily accessible to attendees. The directors are considering institutional partners in the Midwest and on the East Coast for a move as early as 2020. Even more notably, the seminar has renewed its focus on achieving gender parity and nurturing a more diverse industry. Lorne Bair remarks, “CABS is very conscious of the role it plays in the book trade, as a gateway for many who may be just testing the waters of bookselling. As such, we feel a special responsibility to create and sustain an atmosphere that, while challenging (because bookselling is nothing if not a challenging business!), is equally non-threatening, inclusive, and collaborative for all who enter — because we know that the seeds we're planting now will help define what the American book trade as a whole looks like for years down the road.” The faculty make-up is close to achieving this goal, with slightly more men than women instructors. More recentl... [more]

The Northern & Southern California Chapters of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America would like to announce The California Young Book-Collector's Prize. UPDATE: Deadline extended until December 15. Submissions should be sent as a .pdf file to Ben Kinmont, Chair of the Northern California Chapter of the ABAA, at bkinmont@gmail.com. Most great collectors started when they were young, and most great collections started with a passion for a particular object or subject. When these objects are books and manuscripts, the collectors are called bibliophiles, or lovers of the book. Curiously, the love of books continues unabated today, despite their increasing rarity and the rapid growth of digital media. Some might even argue that the printed page has taken on a new meaning and cultural resonance in our era of computers and electronic texts. In recognition of the next generation of bibliophiles, we have created The California Young Book-Collector's Prize. The competition is open to collectors aged 35 and under who are living in California. All collections of books, manuscripts, and ephemera are welcome, no matter their monetary value or subject. The collections will be judged on their thoroughness, the approach to their subject, and the seriousness which with the collector has catalogued his or her material. The winner of the competition will be awarded: 1. A gift certificate of $500 to spend at the 2019 California International Antiquarian Book Fair 2. An exhibition of... [more]

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Books of the Week

By Rich Rennicks

A couple of literary first editions caught to eye this week, along with an original WWII propaganda poster, and an entertaining and very honest description of a first edition Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. THE COLOSSUS AND OTHER POEMS by Sylvia Plath New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962. First edition. Hardcover. Fine/Fine. 84 p. First American Edition. With this startling, exhilarating book of poems, Sylvia Plath (1932-63) burst into literature with spectacular force. In such classics as "The Beekeeper's Daughter," "The Disquieting Muses," "I Want, I Want," and "Full Fathom Five," she writes about sows and skeletons, fathers and suicides, about the noisy imperatives of life and the chilly hunger for death. This copy belonged to Anne Wilder, the confidant and lover of poet Anne Sexton, with Wilder's signature to the front flyleaf. The two engaged in a passionate affair and a prolific correspondence (Wilder is identified as "Anne Clarke" in Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters), which reveals much about Sexton's work and her psychological struggles during the mid- to late 1960s. Like Plath, with whom she shared a brief but intense friendship while attending Robert Lowell's graduate writing seminar at Boston University, Sexton was among the finest confessional poets of her generation. The two remained inextricably linked by their work, which explores the darker, feminine aspects of the American experience, and by the nature of their untimely deaths. Octavo. Or... [more]