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A clean sweep of a herbal

Today I’m working on a treatment that is basically the rare book equivalent of cleaning under the couch cushions. This 2-volume herbal was used by a previous owner as a plant press, and many leaves, flowers and other assorted plant parts were discovered in-between its pages by our special collections librarian. The plants had already […]

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Bibliopaths: The case of the lacquer binding |Rita Udina. Paper & Book conservation and restoration

Bibliopaths: The case of the lacquer binding |Rita Udina. Paper & Book conservation and restoration Are we supposed to fear bibliopaths? Or maybe we should give them an award? Who are they? They are victims of bibliophile passion, people touched by an irrepressible instinct to complete, improve, or repair a book. The intention is good […]

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Merry, Sparkly, and Bright!

illinoisrbml: It’s that time of year when houses and trees glow with holiday lights and, here in the Midwest at least, cars and windows boast thin layers of glimmering frost each morning. A few of the books in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library are getting a sparkly coating as well, thanks to a phenomenon […]

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Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 189,  Zakhīrah-ʹi Khvārazmshāhī, by Ismāʻīl ibn Ḥasan Jurjānī. The manuscript was written in Persia in the 14th century, in Persian. It is a medical encyclopedia in 9 books, with discussions of physiology, anatomy, pathology, diagnosis, fevers, specific […]

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Deckle-Fetishism | The New Antiquarian | The Blog of The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America

Deckle-Fetishism | The New Antiquarian | The Blog of The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America Deckle-fetishism seems to be a peculiarly Anglo-American affliction. I know French and Italian collectors, for example, who would prefer a book to be in a contemporary binding, rather than having it uncut in the original printed wrappers. Each to their […]

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3 examples of original paste paper from the 18th century.

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Your Old Books – RBMS – Rare Books & Manuscripts Section

Your Old Books – RBMS – Rare Books & Manuscripts Section This guide addresses some frequently asked questions about rare and older books and their values. The answers are meant only as general responses to these questions, and many possible exceptions are not described. No attempt has been made to identify or to evaluate individual […]

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Testing confirms: Houghton book is bound in human skin

Testing confirms: Houghton book is bound in human skin Good news for fans of anthropodermic bibliopegy, bibliomaniacs and cannibals alike: tests have revealed that Houghton Library’s copy of Arsène Houssaye’s Des destinées de l’ame (FC8.H8177.879dc) is without a doubt bound in human skin.

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“Rare Book Conservator – Career Spotlight” As Yasmeen Khan, a Rare Book Conservator at the U.S. Library of Congress says, “Books are like a mirror into the past.” Working at the Library of Congress gives you a chance to combine an appreciation for books with a love for history and preserving the past! Visit the […]