Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2007 Issue

Aggregator ViaLibri Will Translate Listings

Via

ViaLibri will now translate text as well as show comparative prices.


By Michael Stillman

ViaLibri announced the addition of a nice tool to its mega-search site – language translation. It provides immediate translation between several, primarily European languages. English-speakers will be able to translate listings from French, German, Italian and Spanish to their native tongue. English listings can be translated to any of those languages plus Portuguese and Korean. It can also translate German, Spanish and Italian to French, and French to German.

For those unfamiliar with ViaLibri, it is a new mega-search site for books, that is, one that searches various book listing sites together. Among those searched are majors such as Abebooks, Alibris, Biblio, and Choosebooks, member site ILAB, European sites Antiqbook, Livre-rare-books and Maremagnum, and a few smaller sites. If you are wondering how a new site such as this can come up with a translation tool, the answer is no, they did not reinvent the wheel. They have incorporated Google's translation tool into their site.

Google's translation tool is not perfect. It translates languages the way I used to translate French to English when I took that language back in high school. "Comedic" would have been a good description were it not for the fact that I was being graded on it. Nonetheless, if it translates to at best broken English, it is usually enough to make out the meaning, and that is better than total incomprehension. Like most of Google's services, it is not perfect, but it is still very helpful.

I regularly use Google Translate already, so in a sense, this is nothing new. However, it is much more convenient. Currently, I have to open a new window on my computer for Google Translate. Then, I have to copy either the text to be translated or the link, paste it in the appropriate box, select the language to be translated, and then run the program. With ViaLibri's new tool, all you have to do is select the language in which to translate and click the button. The internet is all about speed and convenience, and ViaLibri saves me time and effort when I find a listing I need to translate. So, if you are busy or lazy, and I am at least one of these, this is a nice addition.

As to why you might want to translate listings, there is more than the obvious case of when the book is in a language you cannot understand. After all, while some people do collect editions in languages they cannot read, such as Americans collecting early European Americana, I would venture to guess this is probably a minority. However, it is no longer uncommon to find, for example, a book in English being offered by a German bookseller. The book's title may be in a familiar language to the English speaker, but not its description or instructions on purchasing it. In this case, language translation may be essential to enable a purchase of that book, perhaps not to be found anywhere else, from that foreign bookseller.

ViaLibri is a new mega-search site, and probably the first really useful such site for the antiquarian and rare book collector to come along since the turn of the millennium (that sounds impressive). They provide a detailed advance search capability, including dates. This type of targeting may not be necessary for the majority of searchers who are looking for a used copy to read, but for those who seriously collect antiquarian books, it makes it much easier to find the rare edition you want. ViaLibri also offers one other very desirable feature. If a bookseller offers the same copy on multiple sites, it shows both listings. In other words, if the price is different, you can purchase from the site with the lower cost. Now you can save time, effort and money. I like all three, especially the last. You may visit ViaLibri at the following link: www.vialibri.net.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.

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