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A Brief History of the Dust Jacket

By Andrea Koczela. Feb 1, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book History, Dust Jackets

As most collectors are aware, a dust jacket in fine condition can greatly enhance the value of a book. Indeed, for modern first editions, a book without the dust jacket will sell for only a fraction of the price. Once intended to be temporary and disposable protection for beautifully bound books, dust jackets have become--in some ways--more valuable than the books they protect. How and when did this change occur? 


Are You Ready for the 48th California Antiquarian Book Fair?

By Andrea Koczela. Jan 31, 2015. 12:00 PM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book News

If you are near Oakland next weekend (February 6th-8th), we would like to invite you to the California International Antiquarian Book Fair. Allow us to provide you with complimentary tickets and come spend a few hours browsing remarkable books.


Tolkien Spotlight: The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 31, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, J. R. R. Tolkien

For fans of the great J. R. R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil provides yet another avenue to experience the unmatched storytelling and myth-spinning for which Tolkien is so famously known. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is a compilation of sixteen poems and a true potpourri of material. It is presented as if it is a literal translation from the manuscript known as the Red Book of Westmarch.


An Interview with NCBCC Winner Audrey Golden

By Matt Reimann. Jan 30, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Interviews

Audrey Golden's paper "Pablo Neruda and the Global Politics of Poetry" won the third prize at the 2014 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. She recently earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia, and won first prize at her school's Student Book Collecting Contest. Her scholarship not only highlights Neruda as an author to be collected, but as a poet whose destroyed library must be remembered. We were fortunate to be able to interview her about her work and her discoveries about the legendary poet. 


The Six Wives of Norman Mailer

By Neely Simpson. Jan 29, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, American Literature

"Notorious philanderer," "egomaniac," "pugnacious" and "pompous" are a few of the milder epitaphs that have been used to describe controversial and larger-than-life Norman Mailer. His New York Times obituary was even titled, "Norman Mailer, Towering Writer With Matching Ego, Dies at 84." Known in the literary world as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, Mailer won two Pulitzer Prizes in literature and one National Book Award. He is credited with having pioneered creative nonfiction as a genre, also called New Journalism. During his life he became as famous for his relationships with women as he did for his literary work. He was married six times and fathered eight children. Here is a brief look at the six wives of Norman Mailer.


Isaiah Thomas, the American Antiquarian Society, & Other Resources

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 28, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

Isaiah Thomas was a patriot and a printer. His work as a publisher antagonized the British presence in the colonies, and he was the first to proclaim the Declaration of Independence in the state of Massachusetts. Furthermore, Thomas’ research of the printing process and his subsequent library of titles formed the basis for what is now the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), one of the major organizations dedicated to book collectors and history enthusiasts alike.

Arguably, Thomas’ legacy can be seen in both the AAS and in the other organizations which have taken up the torch of championing book collectors and their fervor for rare and authentic written works. 


Collecting Signatures & Modern Firsts: An Interview with Vance Morgan

By Andrea Koczela. Jan 27, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Interviews

Vance Morgan was born in New Jersey and raised in Florida. He obtained a Doctorate in School Psychology and Counseling from the College of William and Mary, and worked as a school psychologist for 38 years. After becoming interested in collecting as a boy, Vance ultimately acquired a collection of over 2,500 signed books. In the following interview, Vance shares with us his collecting story as well as his insights into corresponding with authors and acquiring their signatures. 


Juliana Berners and the Creation of Fishing Literature

By Matt Reimann. Jan 26, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Fishing

By reliable accounts, The Treatyse of Fysshynge with an Angle (1496) is the earliest surviving volume on the subject of fishing. It was published by St. Albans Press, the third printing press established in England. Treatyse is a well-written volume: both an intriguing artifact of the history of the sport and an insightful guide for today's modern fishermen. Interestingly enough, given the time period in which it was written, Treatyse was penned by a woman: a prioress named Juliana Berners.


Through the Looking Glass of Lewis Carroll: Master Photographer

By Neely Simpson. Jan 25, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Children's Books

It was Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that made Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll, a household name. However, during his own time Charles Dodgson was known for several other vocations besides that of authoring children's books. In addition to being an author, Dodgson was a professor of mathematics at Oxford University, an ordained deacon in the Anglican church, and a very accomplished photographer.


Collecting Jorge Luis Borges at the University of Virginia

By Audrey Golden. Jan 24, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting, Libraries

Jorge Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1899. Borges spent many of his early years abroad in Geneva, Switzerland and later in Spain, where he became acquainted with Western literary trends and the shift into the period that we now describe as "modernism." He returned to Buenos Aires in the early 1920s and published his first book, Fervor de Buenos Aires, in 1923.


About this blog

How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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