FAQ

What types of books do you sell?

Alembic Rare Books specialises in fine books on science, technology, natural history, and medicine. In addition to printed books we offer manuscripts, prints, photographs, ephemera, and scientific instruments. We also offer select stock in women's history and literature. All our books are clearly described, with accurate edition statements and condition reports conforming to the highest standards.

What types of payment do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, as well as cheques and bank transfers. Our site and check-out processes are completely encrypted, so your data is safe whether you place an order on our website or over the phone.

Can I order over the phone?

We’re happy to take orders and answer questions over the phone between 10am and 6pm British time weekdays at +44 (0)2035 751454.

What are your shipping policies?

Our books are packed to the highest standards and are shipped via Royal Mail within 2 business days from when your order is received. If you order a very large or expensive book we may contact you to discuss alternative shipping options, rates, or insurance. Parcels shipped within the UK usually arrive at their destination 1-2 working days after they leave our premises. Parcels going overseas generally arrive in 3-5 working days for western Europe and 5-7 working days for other international destinations, unless you select an expedited service. Please feel free to contact us if you prefer a different shipping method or company.

What are your return policies?

We strive for 100% customer satisfaction. If for any reason you are unhappy with your purchase please contact us within 30 days of delivery to initiate a return.

How can I get in touch with you?

The best way is to email info@alembicrarebooks.com or telephone +44 (0)2035 751454 between 10am and 6pm on weekdays. You can also sign up for our occasional email newsletters using the form on our homepage, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or subscribe to our blog.

Do you have a shop? Can I see the books in person?

We don't have a shop at this time, but if you would like to see a book in person please contact us to arrange a meeting. We also occasionally exhibit at book fairs - sign up for our mailing list to stay updated.

Can I see more photos of a particular book?

Yes - we’re happy to take additional photos for prospective buyers. Just email us to let us know what you need.

Is the website up-to-date? Do you have any books that aren't shown on it?

Our website is updated in real time to accurately reflect our stock, and the majority of our books are listed there. However, it’s always a good idea to get in touch if you don’t see what you’re looking for, as we may be able to source the book for you.

Can you find a particular book for me?

Yes! We maintain a wants list and are happy to source books for clients. Just contact us to let us know your needs.

Do you buy books?

Yes - to sell a book, please email us a description containing: the title and author, publisher, and date of publication. Please include photographs of the outside of the book, any damaged areas, and the title page/copyright information - mobile phone cameras are fine for this. We will get back to you within a week to let you know whether we’re interested, and all purchases are contingent on us viewing the book in person.

Can I get a certificate of authenticity?

We don't offer certificates of authenticity, but each book comes with a full description on our letterhead matching the description on our website.

Do you provide valuations?

Unfortunately, we cannot provide formal valuations for insurance or other purposes.

What is a first edition, and what makes a book rare?

Please see our rare book guide for more information.