Do Rare Books Appreciate in Value? [Between the Covers Blog]
Kenneth Karmiole has received the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2011 from the UCLA Library and Information Studies Alumni Association. A graduate in the MLS class of 1971, he is the first antiquarian bookseller to be so honored. An award dinner was held at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on May 19th, where Ken was presented with the award. A keynote address was given by Kevin Starr, author and historian, best known for his multi-volume series “Americans and the California Dream”.
May 23, 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the New York Public Library’s landmark building, the Stephen A. Schwarzman building. To commemorate the occasion, the Library has put together a major exhibition entitled “Celebrating 100 Years”, which opened this past weekend. The exhibit displays 250 items chosen from the Library’s vast collection of over 60 million pieces, and is divided into four thematic areas- Observation, Contemplation, Creativity, and Society.
Thomas Millens, the Library’s curator, commented that “the library [functions] as nothing less than a memory bank of humanity”, and expanded upon the exhibition’s themes. “Observation, looking out to the world around us; contemplation, looking inward for meaning, the hallmark of civilization and the human experience; creativity, particularly as expressed in literature and the arts … and society, the way in which we have organized ourselves for better or for worse,” explained Millens. These groupings are “meant to highlight the collections’ scope and their value as symbols in our collective memory”, as well as display the changing ways in which we communicate and create records, from cunieform to computers.
Some highlights of the exhibition include Sumerian cunieform tablets, the first Gutenberg Bible to come to America, a Tale of Genji scroll, one of Malcom X’s journals, Virginia Woolf’s walking stick, and John Coletran’s handwritten score of Lover Man, just to name a few. To read the exhibition brochure, click here.
To celebrate the actual anniversary date, the NYPL will hold a free festival this weekend, May 21-22, 2011. There will be free performances, workshops and programs for adults and children, free tours of building and stacks, and much more (including free ice cream!). For more information, click here.
“Celebrating 100 Years” will be on display in the Gottesman Exhibition Hall at the Stephen A. Schwarzmann Building, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, until December 31.
UPDATE: I attended the festival this past Saturday and it was lovely. It was well attended and I was refreshed to see so many families and younger faces there. I was very disappointed that I was unable to tour the stacks (apparently tickets ‘sold out’ fairly quickly), but I enjoyed the exhibit immensely. Kudos to Mr. Millens for all his hard work, he put together a wonderful display. If you are in NYC before the end of the year, I strongly recommend a visit!
A Century of Rare Finds at the New York Public Library [The Epoch Times]
Find the Future: NYPL at 100 [NYPL.org]
I was reading an article this morning about a South African man who, while on holiday in Ireland, found an American first edition of Wuthering Heights at a flea market for €3 (about $4.27). Realizing the value of the book, he brought it back home to South Africa and promptly sold it for over 77,000 rand (equivalent to more than €8,000 or $11,000)– quite the souvenir!
The article quoted ILAB member David Cunningham of Cathach Books Ltd. in Dublin, who commented that this was likely the only first edition of Wuthering Heights in the country. He went on to say that “you just don’t know how books turn up and how it arrived in this country, but that’s the nature of books– you can find almost anything anywhere.” This quote got me thinking about all the interesting stories book hunters everywhere must have. What has been your most interesting and/or profitable find?
Tourist sells €3 first edition of Wuthering Heights for €8,000 [Independent.ie]
A few years ago, Michael Ginsberg embarked upon an archival journey for the ABAA. Recognizing the absence of member histories in the ABAA annals, Michael began conducting video interviews of members at our three annual fairs. The interviews cover members’ personal histories as well as their involvement in the rare book trade.
The interviews conducted at the 44th California International Antiquarian Book Fair in San Francisco this past February can now be viewed on our website– click here. They include an interview with the late Peter Howard of Serendipity Books in Berkeley, CA.
The ABAA extends many thanks to Michael, as well as Taylor Bowie, who has also conducted a number of interviews.
Upon returning to London after exhibiting at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, ILAB member Rick Gekoski of R. A. Gekoski Rare Books & Manuscripts posted a great entry to his blog in the Guardian, A Finger on the Page. The post answers some fundamental questions about the rare book trade and antiquarian book fairs. A fun read for those in the trade as well as novice collectors.
Click here to read the post.
An insider’s guide to book fairs [guardian.co.uk]