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By: Nia Williams
Stanley Gibbons Investments has launched a rare book index measuring the value of 30 first edition 20th Century classics.
The index will help guide investors and collectors looking to build a rare book portfolio as part of a long-term investment strategy.
The index of first editions includes Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale and Live and Let Die, which are valued at £24,000 and £8,000 respectively; J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, valued at £65,000; while F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is the highest at £247,000. George Orwell’s Animal Farm has experienced significant value growth according to auction data, rising from £190 to £5,100.
Overall the index has shown 398% growth, an 8.8% annual growth for the last ten years.
“As an authority in the collectibles market, Stanley Gibbons aims to help guide and provide access for investors who are looking to diversify some of their wealth into alternative assets,” said Keith Heddle, managing director of Stanley Gibbons Investments.
“While the index may cause households to start examining their collections, it is important to understand that in order to be investment grade these books must be of a certain condition, have the ‘dust jacket’ still intact and have a particular history and rarity associated with them. That said, they can give immense pride of ownership as well as strong capital growth potential.
“There is a book in everyone and this resonates with investors.”
The rare books index follows the now established rare stamps and coins indices, which Stanley Gibbons says demonstrates these collectibles to be one of the most reliable, long-term ‘buy and hold’ alternative assets for investors looking for portfolio diversification and low volatility.
Over the past 10 years, the GB250 Index, which tracks the performance of the top 250 traded, investment grade British stamps, recorded a CAGR of 11.4%. The GB200 coin index, charting the performance of 200 rare British coins, showed a CAGR of 12.75% without a drop in that time.[Top]
A richly illustrated book of psalms, which is part of the Utrecht University library, has been included on the Unesco Memory of the World register.
The Utrecht Psalter was made in or close to Reims in 830 and includes 150 psalms and 16 Bible verses illustrated in what experts say was a ‘revolutionary’ manner for the time.
It will be on show at the Catharijne convent museum in Utrecht for a month and viewed digitally.
Dutch items on the documentary heritage list include the original Diary of Anne Frank, the archives of the VOC (‘Dutch East India Company’) and Marx’ scheme for his Communist Manifesto and his notes on Das Kapital, which were partly written in the Netherlands.[Top]
By Erin Blakemore
Mold Is Threatening Boston Public Library’s Rare Books
As spores are found in the stacks, it’s time to battle a fuzzy foe
Exposure to mold can have health consequences for humans. But mold can hurt books, too. Fine Books and Collections’ Nate Pedersen reports that a recent outbreak at the Boston Public Library is creating a health hazard for 500,000 rare books — and a real hassle for librarians.
It started with spores, writes Pedersen: After discovering mold on a medieval manuscript and other rare books, the staff of the Boston Public Library’s Rare Books Department decided to close the facility for five to ten weeks as they assess and address the problem — and hand-examine over 500,000 rare books.
Construction at the library could be to blame, reports The Boston Globe’s Andrew Ryan. Library staff tells Ryan that renovations that make it difficult to control the internal temperature of the collection and a recent bout of humidity seems to have contributed to the mold problem. Now, writes Ryan, outside consultants armed with industrial-strength dehumidifiers are at work determining the extent of the problem and attempting to dry out the facility.
Mold is one of the top enemies of archivists, who must protect fragile materials from spores that can lay waste to frail paper and irreplaceable objects. Worldwide, archivists and librarians regularly trade strategies for spotting and remediating mold, which preservationist Sandra Nyberg calls a “distinctly icky” fuzzy foe.
Boston’s collection isn’t the first to struggle with mold in its manuscripts. In 2007, the University of Illinois and Urbana-Champaign’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library suffered from a mold outbreak after a spike in humidity — one that took eight months to address. The process, which library staff described as “harrowing and exhausting,” may be similar to the one Boston Public Library staff are about to undergo. One staffer tells Ryan that the war against mold is “a constant battle” — but one BPL is committed to fighting.
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/mold-threatening-boston-public-librarys-rare-books-180956763/#10oYEs0lc7upvFL0.99
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Given the fact that you are on this site, it is safe to assume you are interested in books. A new “Book” has recently been developed that will change the lives of hundreds of thousands of folks around the world by providing them with safe drinking water and teaching them about safe sanitation methods in their native languages. I am a contributor and strong proponent of this program and encourage you to do the same. This is a real game changer. Be sure to be a part of it…
The Drinkable Book
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WATERisLIFE has introduced a campaign to move into full production of The Drinkable Book, and with your help, we can distribute the books as part of WATERisLIFE’s integrated water, sanitation and hygiene program to save lives and transform communities, as well as make the books available for global partner distribution.
WATERisLIFE is working on production funding, and our plan is to begin global distribution of The Drinkable Book in early 2015. Contact email@example.com to learn more about The Drinkable Book availability and global partner distribution.[Top]
Source: Campden FB http://www.campdenfb.com/article/buy-book-bibliophiles-collectible
ARTICLE | 10 AUGUST, 2015 12:37 PM | BY BRUCE LOVE
This is a rather large excerpt from an excellent article on book collecting and book collectors. I strongly suggest you follow the link next to Source to read the article in its entirety.
For almost a century people had walked through the library of one New England family every day without ever really thinking about the books on the shelves. Over generations a large collection of antique books had been accumulated, but had mostly remained in the library of the main family home.
“It was my great-grandfather’s collection,” says the Massachusetts-based bibliophile, who chose to remain anonymous so that he could speak freely about his family’s collection. “When I was in my early thirties I remember flicking through them and having the sudden realisation that they represented hundreds of years of thought.”
Over the course of a summer weekend’s browsing, he quickly began to realise the significance of collection – both in terms of value and personal meaning.
“Our family business was originally in manufacturing and our great-grandfather – the founder – had quietly amassed a considerable collection of rare books about our industry. Some were first editions – many of them signed by the authors. Quite a few of them dating back to the 1700s. Our family had either never known about the collection or forgotten over the generations.”
The great-grandson, then working in the family office and now pursuing his own interests, felt drawn to the collection and began collecting himself. He began by cataloguing the library, finding out along the way that it wasn’t insured for anything near its real value. He has since built on the collection considerably, keeping faithful to the same initial theme as his forebear.
“Caring for the same books as he did makes me feel much closer to my great-grandfather. I think it makes me more respectful of the legacy he created,” he says. “Building the collection further gives me great personal satisfaction and a feeling I am continuing that legacy.”
How then do books compare as a collectible? What is the market in first editions and rare books like? Can books be acquired for reasonable prices, or are they as astronomical as art?
One for the books
Based in New York, Thomas Lecky heads up the books and manuscripts department of auction house Christie’s. He was a literature major in school and was always fascinated with books.
In any given year, Lecky might see several centuries of history pass across his desk, from a range of fields as diverse as children’s literature, scientific texts, medieval manuscripts, French comics, or literary classics.
In his first year at Christie’s, Lecky was contacted by an adviser who was working with a descendent of John Quinn, a renowned lawyer and collector in the late-19th and early-20th century. Quinn’s descendent had in his possession a hitherto unknown manuscript of a section of James Joyce’s Ulysses.
“The manuscript had been passed down through the family, yet no one else knew that it existed. It was a great ‘working’ manuscript, showing Joyce diligently changing, revising, and moulding his language. It was exciting to see this ‘lost’ manuscript.”
In 2001, Lecky was fortunate to be a part of the Christie’s team that handled Jack Kerouac’s manuscript for On The Road. “This is a touchstone piece of American literary history. To see it so informally for the first time in a casual situation was humbling.” And last year his team sold George Washington’s annotated copy of the Bill of Rights. “It was a true privilege to work on it.”
In the book world, certain sales resonate more than others. The Cornelius Hauck collection was one such collection. The bibliophile had come from a German-American family of brewers that had called Cincinnati home since the mid-19th century. Between 1924 and his death in 1967, he amassed a collection of almost 4,000 books and manuscripts, dating from as early as the first century BC, all celebrating the book as an object, and containing many unique examples.
In 2006, Christie’s received an inquiry from the Cincinnati Museum Center seeking to sell the Cornelius Hauck ‘History of the Book’ collection, as it was known. “The names and titles on the list they initially sent to us weren’t much to go on. They weren’t necessarily that interesting texts, either.” But as Lecky read through further, and when he and his colleagues at last flew out to Cincinnati to view the collection, his reserved manner turned to quiet excitement.[Top]
Source: NBC29 – http://www.nbc29.com/story/29727059/uva-rare-book-school-director-nominated-to-national-council-on-the-humanities
Michael Suarez. Photo by Terry Doran, courtesy of www.neh.gov
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Aug. 6, 2015 — President Obama last week nominated Michael F. Suarez, director of the Rare Book School and University Professor at the University of Virginia, to serve on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The council comprises 26 distinguished private citizens appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, with each member serving staggered six-year terms. Suarez is one of four nominees.
Suarez, director of the Rare Book School since September 2009 and also a Jesuit priest, holds four master’s degrees (two each in English and theology) and a D.Phil. in English from the University of Oxford. Before coming to U.Va., he held a joint appointment at Fordham University and as a fellow and tutor in English at Campion Hall at Oxford.
He teaches in U.Va.’s Department of English and has written widely on 18th-century English literature, bibliography and book history. He delivered the annual Lyell Lectures in Bibliography at Oxford earlier this year. He was invited by U.Va. students to deliver a “Last Lecture” and participate in the student-organized Flash Seminars several years ago.
Since 2010, Suarez has served as editor-in-chief of Oxford Scholarly Editions Online. His recent books include “The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, Volume V, 1695-1830” (Cambridge University Press, 2009), co-edited with Michael Turner; and “The Oxford Companion to the Book” (Oxford University Press, 2010), a million-word reference work co-edited with H. R. Woudhuysen. “The Book: A Global History,” also co-edited with Woudhuysen, came out in 2013. In 2014, Oxford University Press published his edition of “The Dublin Notebook,” co-edited with Lesley Higgins, in the “Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins.”
Suarez has held research fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Folger Shakespeare Library.
About Rare Book School
Rare Book School provides continuing-education opportunities for students from all disciplines and levels to study the history of written, printed and digital materials with leading scholars and professionals in the fields of bibliography, librarianship, book history, manuscript studies and the digital humanities. Founded in 1983, the Rare Book School, a not-for-profit educational organization, moved to U.Va. in 1992.[Top]