Did you know?  Check our Rare Books Page

Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Berta and Elmer Hader

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 6, 2021. 8:39 PM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Why is it that the books we read as children have such an impact on our lives? Is it because they offer some of the first reflections of the thoughts and experiences that we encounter early on? Is it because they grant us the opportunity to take in stories in a way that educates and entertains in a format perfectly geared toward that point in our development? Or maybe it's the way children's literature can transcend time and space. After all, even as we grow, it offers us an opportunity to connect with our histories as well as with the children who come in to our lives after we've "grown up."

     
Read more...


An Essential Guide to Dr. Seuss

By Kristin Masters. Mar 2, 2021. 1:34 PM.

Topics: Children's Books, Literature

March 2 marks the birthday of legendary children's author and illustrator Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Check out this collection of articles about Geisel's background, influences, and evolutio.

     
Read more...


Redefining the Rare Book: An Interview on Andrew Stauffer's Book Traces

By Audrey Golden. Feb 26, 2021. 12:37 PM.

Topics: Rare Books, Libraries & Special Collections, Libraries

What makes a book rare? Can books have afterlives? And when might markings and ephemera in well-loved texts actually increase the worth of the object? Andrew Stauffer's new book, Book Traces: Nineteenth-Century Readers the Future of the Library (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2021), investigates the personal and collective narratives that arise out of nineteenth-century library books in circulation at varied institutions.

     
Read more...


Rare Books We Love, Just in Time for Valentine's Day

By Kristin Masters. Feb 11, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Rare Book Gift Ideas

When Pope Gelasius established Saint Valentine’s Day in 496 AD, he certainly had no idea that the holiday would persist for centuries. The holiday was first associated with romance and love during the High Middle Ages, thanks to the burgeoning tradition of courtly love in Geoffrey Chaucer’s day. And nothing says “love” like giving the perfect book! Here’s a look at some favorite Valentine’s Day gift ideas for the bibliophile and rare book collector.

     
Read more...


Top Books by State: Missouri

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 10, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Today we continue our literary road trip by taking a look at some of the best books set in the state of Missouri. Known for its bustling cities as well as the Ozarks, Missouri is a diverse and beautiful natural state of Missouri. St. Louis is one of the largest and most important cities in the Midwest, full of history and landmarks. The Missouri River flows into the Mississippi River here as well, which is especially notable considering the books we're focusing on today. Join us as we take a closer look at the work of Mark Twain in our Top Books by State series:

     
Read more...


Is My Inherited Book Collection Worth Anything?

By Audrey Golden. Feb 4, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

So you say you recently inherited a book collection from your grandparent, your parent, a distant family member, a neighbor, or a family friend? If you’re not familiar with the rare book trade and you don’t have too much experience buying or selling rare books, you might feel lost among the boxes or shelves. Most likely, you’re wondering if this inherited book collection is worth anything. Many rare booksellers and archivists have tales about being approached with old books that the owners believe to be valuable solely based on age or incorrect assumptions about the book’s provenance. Of course, terms like “worth” and “value” are always relative, and we’ll say more about that in just a few minutes. But before we do, we want to tackle the complicated question of whether an inherited book collection has any market value and what that means for your inheritance.

     
Read more...


The Best Quotes from Kate DiCamillo

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 2, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Awarded Books, Newbery Award

Good children's books focus on real, difficult topics. Love, loss, death, separation, forgiveness. The kind of issues we as adults still find ourselves struggling with long after we stop turning to books for children's to teach us the nature of such things. The best children's books address these issues while still offering up beauty and hope in their stories. One of the masters of walking this line is Kate DiCamillo. Born in Philadelphia, DiCamillo's family relocated to Florida in hopes that the climate would be better for her chronic pneumonia. Being forced to spend much of her time indoors as a result of her chronic illness caused her to develop a love of reading and writing at an early age. She studied English at the University of Florida and went on to work in a book warehouse. She published her first book, Because of Winn-Dixie in 2000, which was named a Newbery Honor book and adapted into a film. Since then she has went on to publish numerous novels for children as well as chapter books and picture books for younger readers. Throughout her career, she has been given awarded some of the highest honors in children's literature. Her novel The Tiger Rising was a National Book Award finalist. The Tale of Despereaux won the Newbery Medal in 2004 and has also been made into a film. She won a second Newbery Medal for Flora & Ulysses. Her novel, The Magician's Elephant is soon to be adapted by Netflix. Celebrate this amazing children's author by taking a look at some of the quotes that best exemplify her work:

     
Read more...


Thomas Harris: Biography and Important Works

By Martin Pahulje. Jan 28, 2021. 9:45 AM.

Topics: Horror, Legendary Authors, Thomas Harris

Thriller and horror have long been a part of readers’ diets. From the Gothic to Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King, readers find joy in the macabre. One of the most popular thriller writers is Thomas Harris. Already popular through his writing, the film adaptations of his work helps to build his devoted audience. His creation of Hannibal Lector has led to television series, plays, and parody musicals about the world’s favorite cannibal and catapulted Harris into fame. 

     
Read more...


Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Margot Zemach

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 26, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is given to one book each year that exemplifies the best work being done in children's literature. The Caldecott Medal is the highest honor for American children's books. Today we continue our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrator Series by taking a closer look at the 1974 winner, who not only proved herself by winning this major award, but by receiving nominations for numerous other honors, such as the National Book Award, and the Hans Christian Anderson Award, for which she was nominated twice. Without further ado, the life and work of Margot Zemach:

     
Read more...


Should I Buy Rare Books at Auction?

By Audrey Golden. Jan 21, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

If you are a rare book collector, or if you’re thinking about starting a rare book collection, you might be wondering about buying at auction. Whether you’re going to travel to an auction in person or you’re browsing online auction offerings, you’ll need to think about the pros and cons of buying rare books at auction. Certainly, adding to your collection by participating in an auction can be great fun, but we want to make sure you know precisely what it is you’re getting yourself into. Here are some key questions to consider before you place a bid.

     
Read more...


    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.

    Get blog notifications per email:

    Download the James Bond Dossier

    Recent Posts

    Book Glossary
    Get your free Guide to Book Care

    Blog Archive

    > see older posts
    A Guide to Historic Libraries Part I