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Famous Figures in the History of Book Binding

By Kristin Masters. Aug 30, 2014. 9:09 AM.

Topics: Book History, Learn About Books

From the scroll to the codex to the modern volume, the form of the book has evolved considerably over the centuries. And alongside that, our methods for keeping the pages together have also changed considerably. Today we enjoy a thriving world of designer and art bindings, collectible in their own right. We can thank figures like William Caxton, Jean Grolier, and Samule Mearne for bringing innovation and beauty to the craft of bookbinding.


Why Collect First Editions?

By Kristin Masters. Jun 29, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Modern First Editions, Learn About Books

Even if you're brand new to the world of antiquarian books, you've undoubtedly noticed that first editions are the trade's gold standard. Indeed, first editions often fetch much higher prices than later editions, even if the books seem exactly the same to the untrained collector. But as you build your rare book collection, you can't afford not to collect first editions.


Not a Currie, but a Cosway

By Kristin Masters. May 5, 2014. 7:20 PM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Learn About Books

Nineteenth-century painter Richard Cosway (1742-1821)  was a renowned painter of miniature portraits. His career began early, when he was only 20 years old. Cosway would eventually paint members of the British royal family, along with many members of nobility. Cosway is the namesake of the eponymous book bindings, even though he had nothing to do with their creation. 


How to Identify First Editions: Book Club Editions

By Kristin Masters. Apr 29, 2014. 8:37 PM.

Topics: Modern First Editions, Learn About Books

If you collect modern first editions, you have probably encountered Book Club editions pretty frequently. Collectors frequently ask whether Book Club editions are first editions, and whether these volumes have any additional value. Book Club editions are generally differentiated from trade editions, and some people collect specific trade editions. 


Jean Grolier, 'The Prince of Bibliophiles'

By Dawn Morgan. Nov 12, 2013. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Learn About Books

Jean Grolier de Servières, vicomte d’Aguisy was a one of the first noted private collectors of ornately bound books. He is said to have had over 3,000 volumes, most made specifically made for him. He was a patron to binders and the literary arts, and many books were dedicated to him.


How to Identify Random House First Editions

Random House is the largest general-interest trade book publisher in the world. The publishing house was founded in 1927 by Americans Bennet Cerf and Donald Klopfer, who had acquired the Modern Library imprint from publisher Horace Liveright two years before. As for the name, Cerf said, "We just said we were going to publish a few books on the side at random," and Random House was born. The company entered reference publishing in 1947 with the American College Dictionary. Random House acquired Alfred A. Knopf, Inc in 1960 and Pantheon Books in 1961.


The Reiner Script at Heavenly Monkey

By Katharina Koch. Mar 21, 2013. 4:30 PM.

Topics: Fine Press, Learn About Books

From the Blog of Heavenly Monkey in 2011.  A new arrival in our store.

Heavenly Monkey? Heavenly Monkey is the imprint of publisher Rollin Milroy, dedicated to creating books for people interested in contemporary applications of traditional book crafts: handmade papers, letterpress printing, and bindings that emphasize both aesthetic and structural integrity.


How to Identify First Editions from Alfred A. Knopf

If you collect rare books, identifying first editions is an important skill. Each publisher has developed its own own conventions for denoting first editions/first printings. Alfred A Knopf, Inc is an excellent example of a publishing house whose style of indicating first editions has stayed relatively consistent over the years, which isn't always the case.


Collecting Books as Objects of Art

Many collectors build their libraries around a specific genre, author, or even titles. But in the world of rare books, books are often collectible for more than merely their content; they are beautiful objects of art in their own right. From decorative bindings and illuminated manuscripts, to intricate etchings and hand painted illustrations, the art and craft of books can be truly breathtaking.


A Quick Guide to Rare Book Bindings

Never judge a book by its cover, right? In the case of rare books, the cover or more accurately, the binding of a book can significantly impact the book's value. Collectors should know about the materials and terminology associated with book bindings.


    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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