Articles by our staff and guests on all aspects of the rare book world.

June 21, 2009

Technology and the Future of the Antiquarian Book Trade

by Dan Gregory

The following speech was presented at the 2008 ILAB Congress, Madrid. It was delivered to an international audience of professional antiquarian booksellers, but may be of interest to others as well.

Presidents, Committee Members, and Colleagues. I would like to congratulate the Asociación Ibérica de Librerias Anticuarias for organizing and hosting their first ILAB Congress. And I thank them for the opportunity to speak to you today. When Tom and Heidi Congalton invited me to join them here at the Congress, I happened to be reading Aristotle's Children, by Richard Rubenstein. It reminded me that Spain is a very appropriate...

September 3, 2008

Devil in the Details

by Dan Gregory

By the time Henry Clay Folger died in 1930, he had amassed a collection of early English printing that is most famous for housing more than a third of all the copies known today of the First Folio of Shakespeare. Most major collectors are content with a single, fine example of each book that fits into the scope of their collection, and most book collectors, major or minor, would be thrilled to own one of the most important books in the history of printing. Folger, on the other hand, didn't stop at one copy of the First Folio, or two...

September 2, 2007

Hollywood Adaptations

by Dan Gregory

How a Christmas card, a poem, a Time magazine article, and even a few novels inspired some of Hollywood's greatest films

One of the more unlikely odysseys in film history began in the pages of Time magazine: "Across the land last week, for six warm days & nights, a troop train rumbled. It was an old train, with no fancy name. To the engineers and switchmen, it was No. 7452-C. The men on board dubbed it the 'Home Again Special' and wrote the new name in chalk on the sides of the old Pullman cars. In another war there might have...

May 1, 2006

Why Buy From ABAA/ILAB Dealers?

by Dan Gregory

The present is far and away the most tumultuous time in the history of book buying. Book buyers have a tool at their disposal, namely the Internet, that has completely changed the way book collectors are able to add to their libraries.

Unfortunately, though the buying tools have evolved overnight, the complexities of book identification and valuation haven't changed. Nor has the time it takes to gain expertise in buying and selling them. So although we find ourselves in a do-it-yourself age, where anybody with a phone line can become an on-line bookseller, buyers must be more careful than ever

April 27, 2006

The Finer Print - Growing Concern Over Facsimile Jackets

by Dan Gregory

A few weeks ago a longtime collector sent us a few books to sell on consignment. His is a major collection of twentieth-century literature, including a healthy number of the desirable high spots acquired from many of the most respected dealers in the trade. Among the books he sent was a very sharp copy of Mickey Spillane's I, the Jury with one significant flaw: unbeknownst to the collector it was a facsimile jacket.

It is often assumed that facsimile jackets are easy to spot and that only a novice will be duped, but we've seen facsimiles of The Sheltering Spy...