Past Technology: Lights and Mirrors The students at the University of Virginia Rare Book School, receive, as part of a course in Advanced Descriptive Bibliography, a demonstration of the 450 pound Hinman Collator. The purpose of the machine, which was developed during the 1940s by Charlton Hinman, was to help detect typographical variations in the […]


The study of the circumstances in which individual copies of books have changed ownership throughout their lifetime, also referred to as provenance, is quite important to the workings of the Rare Book Sale Monitor (RBSM). Since any tool used in measuring a commodity’s price changes over periods of time is quite vulnerable to sampling errors, […]


In last quarter’s Rare Book Sale Monitor (RBSM) update we outlined how the RBSM handles the ranking of a book’s condition. In this update we will go over some of the workings of the RBSM engine in ranking special features of an antiquarian volume. More specifically, we will cover modeling aspects used to identify data […]


As every statistician or analytics professional in today’s environment can affirm, collecting the information is crucial, but not enough, since most of data’s value lies in its use.  While information is getting increasingly complex and there is certainly more of it, technology is actually helping unearth some of the insights hidden in the raw data […]


The new Big Data technological innovation has the potential to usher in an information-based, scientific revolution in a number of industries and human endeavors. Like all scientific revolutions however, it will take some time to transition to all sectors of businesses and society, especially in cases where markets are relatively heterogeneous and imperfect, such as […]


New technologies, old books

by Admin on May 24, 2013

Rare Books Digest occasionally hosts opinions and views of international book trade professionals such as this week’s contributor, technology engineer, book collector, and book dealer – Jim Sekkes ( Since the invention of the printing press in the middle of the fifteenth century, an estimated 130 million books have been written and published. It took […]