A History of the Rare & Secondhand Book Trade in Britain in the 20th Century

  • New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press & The British Library, 2006.
  • 6.75 x 9.5 inches
  • Hardcover, dust jacket
  • 414 pages
  • ISBN: 9781584561903
  • ISBN: 1584561904

Price: $55.00  other currencies

Order Nr. 90786

First edition, first printing. Published to mark the centenary of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, this is the first book to map out the history of the rare book trade in the 20th century - the end of this period broadly coinciding with the end of an era in traditional bookselling and the arrival of the Internet. Twenty contributors describe and explain the ways in which booksellers acquired their stock and sold books to customers, bringing to life the personalities in this most individualistic of trades, and offer many insights into changes in taste and fashion in book collecting, during what was also a formative period for many of the world's most important research libraries, especially in North America.
Bibliographical scholars write alongside well-known experts from the book trade itself, drawing on a wide range of sources, including unpublished archives, marked sets of catalogues and the memoirs (published and unpublished) of members of the antiquarian book trade itself. The book contains reproductions of many period photographs and several useful reference aids, including a survey of book trade archives, a checklist of memoirs, and three indexes.
The book will appeal to historians of the book, and of 20th-century cultural and intellectual life, as well as to everyone interested in the world of buying and selling rare books, either as booksellers themselves or as readers and collectors. Co-published with The British Library.