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Amsterdam 1982 | | Amsterdam 1982

Amsterdam 1982

Published on 10 April 2011




Dear Colleague,

Although. I have spoken to most of your National Presidents, this is the first opportunity I have had to write to you personally. The League exists to unite the different national Associations and to serve all the members of those Associations. If there is any way I can help you or be of service to you please do not contact me. I cannot hope to get to know every member of every Association around the world, but if you are visiting England and feel like a talk - you know my address.

It was a moving moment at the Presidents' Meeting in Amsterdam last October, when our dear friend Bob de Graaf announced his retirement as President of the League. He has served the League loyally and most conscientiously for nine years in various offices, and has brought to them all a dignity and high standard. He will be much missed in our meetings, and hard to follow.

It is now history, but nevertheless a great disappointment, that the Congress in France failed to materialize. However, the Dutch Association stepped in and provided us with an excellent meeting and delightful social occasions. We are most grateful to them and are much in their debt.

At the meeting, that great stalwart of the League, Hans Bagger, was elected to the position of Vice-President, and will also continue as our Treasurer. Jacques Van der Heyde was voted to be the person to fill the vacancy on the Committee and, for .ease of communication, he has since been appointed secretary. The Committee has met twice so far since the Presidents' Meeting.

The Presidents will be meeting again in September when we shall be the guests of the Swedish Association. I said at the beginning of this letter that we are here to serve you, but as Bob de Graaf observed, the Committee can only function satisfactorily If It receives response from its individual international members - which means you! There will be time set aside for discussion in Stockholm, so if you want some matter discussed, inform your Association's President, By the way, you may wish to join us in Stockholm as there will be a Book Fair at Bla Hallen Stockholm Town Hall on September 24th-25th.

If you have any interesting item of news or amusing (or otherwise!) anecdote, please send it to our industrious News Letter Editor - he needs all he can get.

Some colleagues have complained that they are not receiving the full amount of their invoices, either through fluctuations in exchange rates or because of bank charges. I would draw your attention to Article 4 of the League's Usages and Customs (which every member should have) in which it states "The supplier must receive the full amount of his invoice; therefore all clearing and bank charges shall be charged wholly to the purchaser." Some countries have very high bank charges, so ask the supplier for the cheapest method of payment.

We have asked Associations who are hosts for League Congresses, to hold their costs down as much as possible (even at the expense of having less grand social occasions!) so that more delegates can attend. I understand that the British Association are trying hard to keep the costs of the 1984 Congress to approximately those of the New York Congress in 1980 - so start making your plans for September 1984. I am told that some British booksellers are offering hospitality in their homes, so if your are interested I suggest you write to the British President.

There are signs that the economies of various countries are not as gloomy as they were, but there may still be cases of colleagues in difficulties. Keep a lookout for them and try to help where you can - our motto states "The love of books unites us".

I send you my greetings and very best wishes,

John Lawson, President



London, June 9, 1982


Present: the whole Committee, excused Mr. Hans Bagger.

The President opened the meeting at 9 a.m. with a welcome to those present.


(1) Preliminary Discussion: Mr. Bagger's apology for his absence was accepted and deeply regretted. Leona Rostenberg was warmly received by the President and Committee members and was requested by the President to take the minutes. The minutes of the Stuttgart meeting held in January 1982 were accepted.

Deaths: The Committee deeply regretted the deaths of the late ILAB President Stanley Crowe and of the founder of the ILAB Menno Hertzberger. Formal tributes by the President will be paid to both these outstanding leaders at the proposed Paris Congress in October 1982 and in the ILAB News Letter.

(2) President's intermediate Report: The President reported upon the election of new national presidents:

Belgium: Albert E. J. Van Loock

Denmark: Peter Grosell

Germany: Friedrich Zisska

Great Britain: Keith Fletcher

Japan: Mitsuo Nitta

United States: Elisabeth Woodburn (Robertson)

(3) Miscellaneous: Maria Conradt reported on sales of the Dictionary of the Antiquarian Book Trade.

News Letter: The Editor announced that the next issue will be published shortly. Publication has been postponed so that the President's tributes to the late Stanley Crowe and Menno Hertzberger may be included.

Triennial Prize of Bibliography: The Committee for the award of the prize will meet shortly. The prize will be presented at the forthcoming Paris Congress.

Security: Austria and Switzerland abstain since both countries confront legal and police problems. Denmark is not interested.  Finland approves security measures but lacks equipment for computerization. France is not interested.  Although Germany will not subscribe, it wishes to be kept informed of details and developments. Great Britain will maintain its own system and assume its own responsibility. New Zealand's association is too small to institute a computer system. It does maintain a telephone link with Great Britain.

Sweden is not able to participate but will cooperate in any way possible. United States of America has its own communications system and cooperates fully with BAMBAM operated by Katharine and Daniel Leab.

Fairs: Guidelines are in print.


(4) Paris Congress, October 1982: The forthcoming Fair and Congress in Paris were discussed at length. The Committee expressed surprise that no final arrangements had as yet been completed and that the time of the Paris Congress conflicts with the date of the Frankfurt Book Fair. Not only Committee members but representatives of a majority of ILAB affiliate members have protested SLAM's registration fee of $ 500 for participation in the Congress, a fee which would preclude participation by many members, supersede charges by other countries for previous congresses, and contravene the democratic spirit of the ILAB. In consideration thereof, the Committee members passed the following resolution:

"After much deliberation regarding the forthcoming ILAB Congress to be held in Paris, the Committee, in view of the exorbitant price and the dates selected, has unanimously decided on principle only to attend the meetings of the Congress but not to participate in the social functions."


(5) Future Congresses: Reasonable fees must be demanded; if necessary, social functions should be limited.


(6) Future Nominations:

President Bob de Graaf announced that he will not stand for re-election. The Committee made the following nominations:

President: John Lawson

Vice President and Treasurer: Hans Bagger

Members of the Committee: Dr. Maria Conradt, Francois Chamonal, Jorg Schafer.

A vacancy exists for an additional member of the ILAB Committee.


(7) Future Congresses and Presidents' Meetings:

Sweden, September 1983

ILAB Congress, London, 1984

Invitations from other affiliate countries for 1985 and 1986 will be appreciated.

With thanks to all who participated, the President closed the meeting at 1:50 p.m.








October 9th, 9:30 am


Present: the whole committee, and the presidents of honour: Fernand de Nobele, Einar Gronholt Pedersen and Florian Tulkens. Apologies from Georges Deny.

Presidents' Report: Mr De Graaf reviewed events of the past year discussing briefly the cancellation of the Congress and Fair at Paris scheduled for the week of 2nd October. He also reported on his discussions with the postal authorities for a reduction in book postage.

Treasurer's Report: Mr. Bagger was pleased to report that all League subscriptions had been paid. He enumerated the rising costs in League expenses: a. The notable increase in travel expenses. b. Cost of printing the Guide Lines. c. Projection of the publication of and cost of a new ILAB directory in 1984 under the editoriship of Mr Pummer. 

The suggestion was made that new members of the League be requested to purchase a copy of the directory. It was felt this might impose a hardship upon some of the younger members. Despite the cost Sweden has purchased 50 copies of the directory, an inspiration for some countries.

Secretary’s Report: Dr. Rostenberg presented a letter from Kenneth Hince, President of the ANZAAB in which he announced the new address and current membership of the association, requesting that all correspondence be sent to; P. O. Box 356, Prahran, Victoria, Australia 3181.

He listed the current membership at 13.

Newsletter: Mr Schäfer discussed the delayed production of the Newsletter and mentioned the negligence  of the French president M. Bérès, who failed to distribute the copies. 

Triennial Prize: The Secretary of the Triennial Prize, Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing was not present. The prize - whose title was not mentioned - will be awarded to a French author. Since there was no Congress the entire matter has been deferred. Copies of books associated with the  Triennial Prize will remain pro temps in the custody of the Dutch association. 

Security: This nagging problem was discussed in some detail. Germany and Denmark are disinterested in joining the British system of security. The English under the guidance of Mr Baynton-Williams have promoted an effective system.

League vacancies: Mr Van der Heyde of Belgium has been proposed as a new member of the Committee.

The meeting was adjourned for lunch at approximately 11:40 am.


Presidents’ Meeting

Hotel Sonesta, Amsterdam, Saturday 9 October 1982, 2 pm


Present: Officers and members of the Committee

Presidents represented:

Austria Werner Taeuber

Belgium Albert van Loock

Denmark Hans Bagger representing Peter Grosell

France Pierre Bérès

Germany Vice President, Mrs Koppel

Great Britain Keith Fletcher

Japan Mitsuo Nitta

Netherlands Anton Gerits

Sweden Mrs Karna Wachtmeister

Switzerland Marcus Krebser

USA Elisabeth Woodburn Robertson


Australia and New Zealand K. Hince

Brazil: W. Geyerhahn

Canada Gail Wilson

Germany F Zisska

Italy R Rizzi

Norway R Ringstroem

Finland No information

Voting privileges

Nations entitled to 2 (two) votes each: France, Germany, Great Britain, USA

Nations entitled to 1 (one) vote each: Austria, Brazil (proxy to M. Chamonal); Canada (proxy to Elisabeth Woodburn), Denmark, Finland (no information), Italy (proxy to M. Tabanelli), Japan, Netherlands, Norway (proxy to Mr. Bagger), Sweden, Switzerland. 

The President’s Report and Farewell Address: In his customary modest manner President De Graaf reviewed his past nine years in the service of the ILAB as Secretary, Vice President and President. He recalled his work with congresses, contributions to Guide Lines for Fairs, problems of exportation and importation of books, etc. He passed lightly over the extreme difficulties of the past year. His presidency remains a highlight in the history of the ILAB.

Treasurer’s Report: Mr. Bagger repeated much of the discussion reported at the Committee meeting of the morning re-emphasizing rising costs in travel, publication, etc.

Newsletter: Mr. Schäfer impressed upon the members the paucity of news and general information.

Security: The President reiterated the morning’s discussion. The American President Elisabeth Woodburn discussed the notable progress made in the States through an intensified security system assisted by the work of BAM-BAM, a computerized system of reporting stolen books directed by Cathy and Dan Leab of New York. 

Elections: Mr De Graaf announced that elections could be held by secret ballot or open show of hands. The latter was approved.

President of Honour: The late Stanley Crowe of England was made a president of honour.

Result of Elections

President: John Lawson

Vice President and Treasurer: Hans Bagger

Mr Lawson was unanimously elected to a rousing approval. Referring to himself humorously as a runner in contrast to the jogger, Mr Lawson spoke in a most laudatory manner of the accomplishments of Mr De Graaf about whom not enough can ever be said. President Lawson referred to the difficulties in the present world and also to the book world where some booksellers are finding things financially difficult. However being a successful runner he is also extremely optimistic and anticipates brighter times. “Let us, we who have as our motto ‘Amor librorum nos unit’, unite even more closely and work to help each other as well as ourselves. Let us encourage each other that we may go forward in strength.” Mr Lawson made most complimentary remarks about his vice-president Hans Bagger whose indefatigability and loyalty are so amazing. Since, according to Mr Lawson, it is a Dutch custom to complete a meeting, he returned the chair to Mr De Graaf.

Mr De Graaf announced forthcoming meetings:

Presidents’ Meeting 1983: Stockholm, late September, exact date to be announced. 

Congress and Book Fair, 1984, London, 23-26 September. Mr Fletcher stated that plans for a vey successful congress have already been formulated; the probable cost of registration will be approximately £150. The congress will be followed by a Book Fair in Park Lane Hotel, London on 27-29 September, 1982.

Presidents’ Meeting, 1985: Germany (place not announced)

Congress and Possible Fair, 1986: Venice. Difficulties for exhibiting by foreign dealers were discussed, but the Italian association hopes to settle this problem.

Translation: The ILAB is once again indebted to the cooperation, talent and fluency of E. Franco who gave so much of his time for better understanding and communication.

General Discussion: Elisabeth Woodburn proposed that the costs of entertainment at Congresses be reduced. She also introduced the idea of 2-days workshops at congresses on subjects of interest to the profession.

Mr. De Graaf generously opened the floor to discussion by the French President.

The meeting closed at approximately 5:30 pm


Committee Meeting

Mr. Lawson, the President, has called for a committee meeting at Stuttgart in late January, 1983.



Stuttgart, January 26th 1983


Present: The President Mr. John Lawson, the Vice-President and Treasurer Mr. Hans Bagger, Committee-Members Mr. F. Chamonal, Mrs. M. Conradt, Mr. J. van der Heyde, Mr. J. Schafer.

Apologies: Dr. Leona Rostenberg, the Presidents of Honour Mr. F. Tulkens, Mr. De Nobele, Mr. Grenhold-Pedersen.

The President opened the Meeting at 9 o'clock and welcomed those present, especially Mr. J. van der Heyde as a new member of the Committee. He then turned to the Agenda of the Meeting:


(1) To approve the Minutes of the meetings of the Committee in Amsterdam.

These minutes were approved. The discussion of the Minutes of the Presidents' Meeting there, that were distributed to the members of the Committee has been postponed to this year's President Meeting in Septmber 1983.


(2) President's Intermediate Report. The President reported on the correspondence during the last months: a Welcome to the Committee to Jacques van der Heyde, a letter of thanks to the Dutch Association for their hospitality to host the necessary Presidents' Meeting after the cancellation of the Paris Congress. A letter of congratulation to the newly elected French President, Mme Jeanne Laffitte asking as well for the possibility to present the Bibliographical Prize to Mme Francoise Weil, who had won the competition (it will be organized by the French Association during the first months of 1983). The Australian President had objected to the passage in the Kyoto Minutes regarding his absence from the Meeting, the fares from Australia to Japan being higher than those from New York or from Europe and their only recently founded Association being without sufficient funds to pay the expenses. He will receive a letter from the President apologizing.

After having considered the dates of the Congresses of the 'Association Internationale de Bibliophilie' in respect to the LEAGUE's activities, two substantial letters received from Dutch members were presented, the President expressing his satisfaction that members of the LEAGUE made proposals for the practical future of the LEAGUE. The letter from the former President of the Dutch Association, Mr. A. van Gendt, written for the Newsletter, and the letter of the acting Dutch President, Mr. A. Gerrits, will be distributed by the President to all Presidents of National Associations as a topic for discussion at the coming Presidents' Meeting at Stockholm.

The President raised the problem of the Secretariat of the LEAGUE.

Considering the difficulties that the acting General Secretary has not being able to take part in the Stuttgart Meetings of the Committee in January each year and regarding the distance of her place to the President's, Mr. van der Heyde was asked to act as General Secretary, to which he agreed.


(3) Bibliographical Prize. At 10.30 Dr. F. Kocher-Benzing, the Secretary of the Prize joined the meeting, reporting that the 8th Triennial Prize will be announced shortly. The 7th Prize will be presented shortly to Mme Weil, As to the books received, one each will be placed into the archives of the LEAGUE at Amsterdam.


(4) Treasurer's Intermediate Report. The treasurer reported an expensive year as the extra-meeting at London caused by the problem of the Congress at Paris drew heavily on the travel-expenses. It became necessary to convoke and prepare a Presidents' meeting instead of the cancelled Paris Congress.

Regarding the Directory, the editor Mr. Bagger stressed, agreed by the whole Committee, that it must be published in the form of a well printed book. As to the production there are proposals to use the help of a computer in order to diminish the financial figures for the following issues. The question will be considered by the Committee.


(5) Intermediate Report of the Editor of the Newsletter. It was agreed to be necessary to print the Minutes of the Sessions and to publish them for all members to see. The next issue will be published in spring this year, comprising the minutes of the Stuttgart Meeting.


(6) Security. The English system is working very well, the thefts have diminished considerably. Mr. Bayntun-Williams is still working on a Security scheme for the whole LEAGUE. The British connection with the ABAA Computer system 'Barn-Barn' is in action.


(7) Other business. No further questions regarding the Presidents' Meeting at Stockholm.

It was agreed that the meeting in June during the London Book Fair will be informal as they have been in former years, and only for those who happen to be at London for the Fair. It was proposed to drop the "Secretary's Report" from the Agendas except if a special matter of importance has to be reported.

The number of sales of the DICTIONARY (distributed as before from Hamburg by Mrs. Conradt) will be reported in the Treasurer's Report.

The President thanked Mr. Chamonal for his translations since Amsterdam and closed the Meeting at 12.30 with thanks to Mr. Schafer for his translations during the meeting.

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