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Audrey Golden
World literature scholar and erstwhile lawyer. Lover of international travel, outdoor markets, and rare books.

Recent Posts:

Collectible Academic Press Books

By Audrey Golden. May 28, 2023. 6:11 AM.

Topics: Literature

Certain presses might automatically come to mind when you’re thinking about book collecting, such as Virginia and Leonard Woolf's Hogarth Press in England, Shakespeare and Company in Paris, or Losada in Buenos Aires. Larger presses also published some of the great works of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Yet we rarely think about academic press books when discussing collectible or rare books.

     
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Buying Rare Ephemera: Some Reference Terms

By Audrey Golden. Jan 19, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

Are you thinking about expanding your collection of rare books to include promotional objects connected to a book’s release, advertisements, textiles, photographs, and other objects? What you might be thinking about doing is expanding your collection to include ephemera. Many rare book collectors and sellers focus on ephemera, and the term can have a variety of meanings. For some people, the term ephemera is defined narrowly referring to print materials that were not designed to last, such as postcards or newspaper advertisements. For other people, the term can be applied much more broadly to include many different objects, which may or may not be paper-based, that speak to the notion of ephemerality in one way or another. If you’re considering a shift toward ephemera in your collection, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with some terminology that can help you to shape your collection and to understand the condition of objects that you might be thinking about purchasing.

     
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A New Year and a New You in Fiction

By Audrey Golden. Jan 17, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literature

Are you thinking about making a life change in 2022? Whether you’re planning to change jobs or careers, or you’re simply considering that makeover you’ve been putting off for years or decades, now is the time to find yourself anew. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that life is short, and everyone’s time is limited. So why not make the best of it by being the version of yourself you’ve always been seeking? Let’s get the New Year started the right way, literature-wise, with some of the best works of fiction about making a life change. We want to be clear: these aren’t a list of self-help books, or a list of how-to books designed to help you choose a career. Rather, they’re works of literary fiction in which one or more of the characters takes the possibilities of a new year and a new start to heart, for better or for worse.

     
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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.

     
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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.

     
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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.

     
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Building Your Rare Book Collection During a Pandemic

By Audrey Golden. Dec 29, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

A global health pandemic is devastating for a wide variety of reasons, from tragic illnesses and deaths to the closures of beloved community businesses. Of course, not being able to add to your rare book collection during a pandemic due to limited travel and funds is probably the least of your worries. Yet we also know that thinking about your rare book collection can be a welcome reprieve from a world that feels as if it’s in chaos with no clear light at the end of the tunnel. So, if you’re following all of the social distancing rules, and you’re taking the pandemic seriously, sheltering at home can offer a new chance to fall back in love with your collection and to dream up new ways of adding to it. So, in the spirit of self-care, we want to give you some tips for building your rare book collection during a pandemic. We hope these ideas will help you to get through the long months ahead until a vaccine becomes available, and we also hope that you’ll be able to use some of the tips and tricks even when you return to book-buying travel again in what will hope will be the not-too-distant future.

     
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What is a Bookplate?

Let’s say you found a rare book you want to add to your collection, and the bookseller’s description says it has a bookplate. You might be wondering precisely what a bookplate is, whether it is a newer addition to the book, and how it affects the value. These are all good questions, and there’s not a single answer to any of those inquiries. In all cases where a book contains a bookplate, it depends. We’ll give you some basic information about bookplates to help you understand how these additions to books came to be and how they can affect the value of an object. We’ll also tell you a little bit more about sources for discovering new information about bookplates if you get particularly interested. In the end, you could decide to establish an entire rare book collection around the bookplate, seeking out objects that contain them or seeking out the bookplates themselves.

     
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Boston's Rare Book Scene

By Audrey Golden. Dec 10, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Literary travel

Are you thinking about a trip to Boston at some point in your future? Boston’s rare book scene is unparalleled when it comes to a city featuring stellar rare bookstores, literary historic sites, and fabulous special collections libraries and archives. Whether you are planning to shop for rare books while you’re in the historic city or in Cambridge just across the Charles River, or you’re hoping to learn more about rare books and ephemera through research in archival collections, Boston has more than something to offer. If you’re traveling to the Boston area for work or pleasure, there are a wide variety of rare book options that you might consider indulging in while you’re there, and the options get even better if you decide to visit during Boston Rare Book Week.

     
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Visiting Zine Archives in New York City

By Audrey Golden. Dec 3, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Libraries & Special Collections, Libraries

When you’re making plans to visit a special collections library, you’re likely aiming to spend at least a couple of days in the archives, exploring the collection. And if you’re interested in rare books, when you visit a city, you might plan to delve into the rare book archives in that place. When you’re visiting New York City, there are certainly more than a handful of rare book options to meet your needs. From archives to museums to bookshops to book fairs, there’s almost no limit to what New York’s rare book scene has to offer. Yet today, we want to focus on a niche area of collection and research interest: zines in the city. If you’re planning to travel to New York at any point in the near future and you’re even the slightest bit fascinated by underground and punk DIY culture, you should investigate the zine archives and collections throughout the city. We’re going to make it easy for you by giving you a head start in this article.

     
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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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