Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2021 Issue

EXLIBRIS: Useful & Informative Listserv + A Miscellany of Other Interesting Bookish Links

Exlibris is a free listserv packed with useful information. Commercial posts are allowed on Tuesday.

EXLIBRIS: Chances are unless you are a professional in the field of rare books, manuscripts and special collections, or operate at an elevated level in the book trade, the free EXLIBRIS listserv hosted by Indiana University may have escaped your notice. 


That’s your loss.


This is a truly informative and useful resource and its thousands of subscribers include librarians, archivists, scholars, researchers, conservationists, and academics of all stripes and nationalities. It’s threads are packed with useful bookish information, albeit some of it is esoteric and obscure. Nonetheless it is always interesting and one of the best ways to know what’s going on in the groves of academe.


Along with often arcane chat, EXLIBRIST posts frequently links to exhibits, seminars, talks, meetings, job openings and is especially a place where book related information is widely and generously exchanged.


Be warned that this list has an extensive set of rules and that subscribers are expected to follow them to the letter. In other words mind your manners and this is not the place to inquire about the value of your grandmother’s Bible.


EXLIBRIS allows commercial posts on TUESDAY ONLY. These posts reach a very knowledgeable audience and are well worth the time and effort to participate.


Lurking for at least a few weeks prior to participation is strongly suggested. The subscription link lays out the rules. BE SURE TO READ ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS AND FOLLOW THEM EXACTLY. If you are a dealer and think you might want to post your elist on Tuesdays (the only day such commercial activity is permitted), READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMMERCIAL POSTS AND DO NOT DEVIATE.


Repeat: Tuesday only and only following their rules.


Subscribe to EXLIBRIS


Subscribe” button is at far left about half way down, followed by the “unsubscribe” link.

Note: Although Indiana University hosts the list it is not affiliated with the school.


One little quirk of EXLIBRIS is that if you do send a commercial post, everyone else on the list will get it except you; it will not show up in your own INbox. So if you want to be sure that your post has gone up best to send a blind cc to yourself.


Another important reminder is: Never hit the “reply” button unless you want your message to go to the entire list and not to a specific individual.


Also note that traffic is heavy on Tuesday, with the Euro dealers posting first, followed by the Americans. Some very beautiful (and often expensive) materials are offered on Tuesday; so even if you are not quite in that league yet, it’s a very good place to see new and select inventory. If you want a handle on who has what and what it costs, the Tuesday commercial posts are worth following.



Having problems with shipping using the US Postal Service? Various dealers have enthusiastically recommended PIRATE SHIP www.pirateship.com which bills itself as a free USPS software. I have not used it myself, but it comes highly recommended by multiple reputable dealers.



Do you use Paypal? Are there times you want to generate a shipping label that is not in response to a Paypal generated invoice? It’s not hard, but for some reason Paypal has taken some pains to hide the link. Here it is, suggest to put it someplace where you can find it again www.paypal.com/shiplabel/create


Besides making labels for material without prior existing Paypal invoices, this link is a useful workaround for international shipments. My recent experience is the regular link generated by Paypal does not always work when the shipment is headed outside the US. Before you tear your hair out trying to print out the label and customs info, try using www.paypal.com/shiplabel/create instead. This link seems to to have many fewer glitches than the usual way when it comes to shipping abroad.



The Rare Book School (RBS) at the University of Virginia is now accepting applications for their Summer 2021 courses. A five-day intensive course on the history of manuscript, print, and digital materials will be offered online and, conditions permitting, in person. A decision about in-person courses will be made no later than March 1. If courses move to an online format, more online courses will be announced.


Among the thirty-four courses, there are several pertinent to those involved in the study of rare books, manuscripts, special collections, and librarianship in special collections. These include two debut courses:


H-170: Spanish American Textual Technologies to 1800, taught by Hortensia Calvo, Christine Hernández, and Rachel Stein at Tulane University

L-120: Introduction to Audiovisual Archives Management, taught by Erica Titkemeyer and Steve Weiss at UNC-Chapel Hill


Explore the full RBS schedule here: rarebookschool.org/schedule


To be considered in the first round of admissions decisions, course applications should be submitted no later than March 3. Applications received after that date will be reviewed on a rolling basis, however, please note that some classes do reach capacity during the first round of admissions. Visit their website at www.rarebookschool.org for course details, instructions for applying, and evaluations by past students. Questions? Contact them at: rbsprograms@virginia.edu.



If you want to see what a truly exceptional university website looks like and have an enjoyable experience at the same time visit the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas (Austin). It is a bright and shining star. www.hrc.utexas.edu


During the period the physical center is closed due to the pandemic they have created a very user friendly entrance into exhibits, videos, blogs and other center functions called VISIT FROM HOME www.hrc.utexas.edu/visit-from-home Other parts of the Ransom Center site provide digital access to an astonishing number of archives and personal papers of well known and not so well known literary lights. Check it out.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000

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