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Copenhagen 1979

Published on 08 April 2011






Dear Colleagues,

This "President's Letter" is a feature of our Newsletter inaugurated by my excellent predecessor, Stanley Crowe. From its early beginnings it has been favourably received, and as it is already a kind of tradition, I have decided to continue it.

First, many of you will already know that - after having edited the Newsletter during a period of six years - my task has now been taken over by one of our new committee members, Mr. Jorg Schafer from Zurich. I have no doubt in my mind that Jorg will do a fine job, and I think the present issue testifies to his ability to do so, as well as of his intention to make the contents of the Newsletter more interesting to the benefit of all its readers. May I use this opportunity to ask for your cooperation? You can help our editor by contributing now and then an article, a short note, a letter, etc. which you think would be of interest to your colleagues in the trade. I am sure Mr. Schafer will be grateful, and your colleagues will appreciate your effort.

A short look back to 1979: The national presidents met in Copenhagen in September last year at the kind invitation of Den Danske Antikvarboghandlerforening. The formal business meetings were very useful, and several decisions were taken. You will find the minutes and the accounts of the Treasurer printed in this Newsletter. Please read them as they will tell you about the working side of the League.

Perhaps the most important decision taken in Copenhagen was the admission by unanimous vote of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers as the seventeenth member-association of our League. To all our Australian colleagues I bid a most hearty welcome, and I hope they will take an active part in the affairs of the I.L.A.B.

Another feature of our Copenhagen meeting was the election of three new members of the Committee. After a long and very distinguished career as an officer of the League, Mr. Stanley Crowe had decided to retire as President. Mr. Mitsuo Nitta who had served during two subsequent terms in a most excellent way could not be re-elected. The sad and untimely death of our lamented friend Pierre Petitot made it necessary to fill another vacancy. I am most grateful that three colleagues from three different countries were willing to put up their candidature for the Committee. Unanimously elected in Copenhagen were: Mr. John Lawson (our new vice-President), Mr. Jorg Schafer (committee member and editor of the Newsletter) and Mr. Francois Chamonal (committee member). In its new composition the Committee has already met twice, and I can assure you that we are cooperating in an excellent way.

There is of course more to say about the Presidents' Meeting in Copenhagen, but as I don't want to take up too much space, I refer you to the Minutes printed hereafter. Let me finish this paragraph by mentioning the wonderful hospitality and the very enjoyable programme offered by our Danish friends.

Now a short look ahead: In September this year the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America are inviting all members to a Congress and a Book Fair in New York. The invitation and the programme will probably already have reached you by now or they will reach you shortly. The presidents have already had an opportunity to have a look at the proposed programme, and may I add it is a most attractive one. Our hosts and the Committee do hope that as many of you as possible will be able to participate.

Finally, to quote my esteemed predecessor: "Please remember that the League exists to serve its members". - If you think I can be of any help, please don't hesitate to drop me a line.





London, March 5, 1979


Present: Mr. Stanley Crowe, President

Mr. Bob de Graaf, Vice-President

Mr. Hans Bagger, Treasurer

Dr. Maria Conradt, General Secretary

Apologies for absence were received from the Committee-Members William Salloch, Pierre Petitot, Mitsuo Nitta and from the Presidents of Honour Mr. Menno Hertzberger and Mr. Fernand de Nobele.


1. The Minutes of the meetings at the Congress in Zurich, September 1978, were approved and signed by the President.


2 a): President's Report: Since the meetings in Zurich, most matters arising had been routine. The President reported on his activities taken to collect and tabulate the information regarding the Regulations concerning the Import & Export of Books, Manuscripts, Maps and Prints in the various member countries. With regard to "Guidelines for the Conduct of International Antiquarian Bookfairs", the President still awaits a contribution from the Swiss Association, as he wants to formulate this and lay it before the Committee and Presidents in Copenhagen.

As Mr. Hans Bagger has, after 12 years, been succeeded as President of the Danish Association by Mr. Max Girsel, the President congratulated the Danish Association on their good fortune to have had him for so long and extended a warm welcome to his successor.


2 b): The General Secretary reported that the sales of the Dictionary has been good, especially by exhibiting it at the International Fair at Zurich; 70 copies out of 200 have been sold. 26 Glass Membership Plaques have been ordered since October 1976.


2 c): The Treasurer presented a Statement of Cash receipts and Disbursements, 1. Sept. to 31. Dec. 1978, and stated, that the financial situation of the League is sound. A Budget, asked for at the Congress in Zurich, will be ready for the Presidents' Meeting in Copenhagen. The Treasurer stated that the amount of money in the League's accounts will be necessary to finance the text edition of the Directory. Without these funds the League could not undertake such tasks.


3. As Editor of the International Directory, Mr. Hans Bagger reported that it is still selling very well. Since the beginning of this year about 50 copies have already been ordered. The forms for the new edition will be sent to the National Associations soon after the Presidents' Meeting at Copenhagen with a dead-line at the end of the year, so that copies may be available at the Congress in New York in 1980. As before, the National Associations will be responsible for the correctness of material they send, and for the completeness of their list of members.


4. Dictionary of the Antiquarian Booktrade. 70 copies have been sold out of the reprint of the Japanese edition (200 copies). A letter by Mr. Menno Hertzberger to the Secretary, was laid before the Committee, who referred him to the letter of Mr. de Graaf of March 8, 1978.


5. The Editor of the Newsletter. Mr. Bob de Graaf, reported that the Minutes of the Congress at Zurich and the advertisements are set. The Presidents of most National Associations seemed to be interested at the Zurich Congress to have the changes of addresses of their members and the names and addresses of new members be published in the Newsletter, as a Supplement to the Directory proved impossible. Though several have been specially informed of the deadline of the Newsletter only the German Association took the advantage to book an advertisement.


6. Security and Confidential List. These important items appear on the Agenda, as a constant reminder.


7. Customs and Usages. The new and separate issue of these had been sent to the National Associations to be distributed to their members. Most have reported that this has already been done.


7 a): Customs Formalities in various countries. The 16 Member Countries had replied to the President's request for information regarding the Regulations in their countries, concerning the Import and Export of Books, Manuscripts, Maps and Prints. He thought it necessary to tabulate the information in a uniform style and, to ensure its correctness, sent a copy to each President with the request to verify, amend if necessary and return. The information will be printed in a separate brochure as a permanent form for reference and sent free of charge to the National Associations. The Committee expressed its thanks to the President for all. the work he had done.

A letter from Roy Jenkins, President of the EEC, pertaining to the problem, as already discussed at Zurich, has been received by Mr. Peter Eaton and has been forwarded by the President of the English Association.


8. The Secretary of the Bibliographical Prize, Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing, had reported in a letter, that ten out of the books presented for competition are now circulating and that the final meeting of the Jury will take place May/June1979. It is necessary to replace one of the members of the Jury and steps will be taken.


9. Presidents' Meeting at Copenhagen, 1979. Mr. Hans Bagger gave the dates: 1 and 2 of October, and outlined the programme which was approved. The Scandinavian Bookfair, held in Copenhagen, will be opened on Tuesday, the 2nd October at 5 p.m.


10. Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers. The President reported receipt of an application for affiliation which the Committee approved subject to revisions to the Constitution.


11. Elections. Four vacancies will arise in Copenhagen for which the National Associations will be invited to nominations; President, Vice-President, General Secretary and Member of the Committee. The Committee will propose Mr. Bob de Graaf as President, and that Dr. Maria Conradt be re-elected General Secretary. In particular, nominations are sought for Vice-President and for a Committee Member willing to edit the Newsletter.


12. League's Archives. The former treasurer of the League, Mr. Geoffrey Steele, reported to the President that the Grolier Club in New York has offerd to take charge of certain League Account books he has in his charge. TheCommittee agreed that they should be given into the custody of the Grolier Club.


13. Future Congresses and Meetings.

1979, 1 - 2 October, Presidents' Meeting in Copenhagen

1980, 21 - 24 September, Congress in New York

1981, possibly Presidents' Meeting in Kyoto

1982, possibly Congress in Paris

As there was no other business, the President closed the Meeting at 6 p.m.



Copenhagen 1979

Committee meeting, Sunday, September 30th


Present: Stanley Crowe, President

Bob de Graaf, Vice-President

Hans Bagger, Treasurer

Dr. Maria Conradt, General Secretary

William Salloch, Committee Member

Mitsuo Nitta, Committee Member

Interpreter: Edgar Franco

The President opened the Meeting at 2 p.m. and asked the Committee to admit Mr. John Lawson and Mr. Jorg Schafer as observers. Agreed.

The Minutes of the Committee Meeting at London. March 1979, were approved unanimously and signed by the President.

The Committee then considered the Agenda in preparation for the Presidents' Meeting.

The President closed the Meeting at 4.30 p.m.


Presidents' Meeting, Monday October 1st


Present: The Committee as at the Committee-Meeting, Messrs. E. Grenholt Pedersen and Mr. F. De Nobele, Presidents of Honour. The Presidents of the following National Associations: Austria (W. Taeuber), Denmark (M. Girsel), France (L. Loeb-Laroque), Germany (G.M. Reiss), Great Britain (R. Kilgarriff), Italy (Dr. R. Rizzi), Netherlands (A. Gerits), Norway (B. Ringstrem), Sweden (Mrs. K. Wachtmeister), USA (L. Witten). Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing, Secretary Bibliographical Prize

Interpreter: E. Franco

Proxies: Belgium and Brazil: Mr. M. Girsel - Japan: Mr. M. Nitta - Switzerland: Mr. J. Schafer

Canada and Finland were not represented. In all 18 votes were represented

Apologies: The Presidents having given proxies as mentioned above. The Presidents of Honour: Messrs. M. Hertzberger, D. Massy and Fl. Tulkens.

The President opened the Meeting at 9.30 a.m., and Mr. Girsel welcomed those present on behalf of the Danish Association.

Mr. Loeb-Laroque announced, regarding item 16 e) of the Agenda, that the French Association had nominated Mr. Francois Chamonal as a candidate for Committee Member.

The Meeting observed a minute's silence in memory of those members who had died since the last meeting.


1. Nomination of Scrutineers

Mr. Gronholdt Pedersen and Mr. Salloch were appointed.


2. Minutes of the Meeting at Zurich, 1978

The Minutes, as printed in the Newsletter 31, being approved unanimously, were signed by the President.


3. The Presidents' Report on the League's Activities since September 1978

The President extended a word of welcome to the Presidents newly elected in several National Associations since the last Congress in September 1978 at Zurich (Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland), proceeding then to a short survey over the activities of the League in the meantime. The Committee met in London of March 5, 1979. All matters dealt with occur on the Copenhagen Agenda.

Referring to the New Edition of the International Directory, the President underlined two points regarding this most important reference work: that it performs a valuable service for individual booksellers and makes them known across the World at no cost to themselves, and secondly that it assists the finances of the League.

The Newsletter has been used by one Association to announce New Members and Changes of Address by an advertisement. This is considered to be the best way to cover the gap between two editions of the Directory, and one recommended to all National Associations.

The President reported on the discussion at the Zurich Congress regarding customs problems. To assist the problems of Export & Import, the President had collected a dossier of the existing Export and Import Regulations concerning books and allied material in the 16 countries comprising the League. This has been printed and will be distributed to the members (Item 9 of the Agenda).

As a last item the President stressed the necessity of sufficient capital for the League to finance the various projects. It has not been sufficiently self-supporting enough to cover in full its running expenses.

The President closed with a word on the importance of the League and expressed his thanks to the Committee Members.


4. Treasurer's Report

The Treasurer distributed a Statement of Cash Receipts and Disbursements 1.1. - 31. 8.1979 and a Budget for 1980, and underlined that the year 1979 will be very expensive due to the Triennial Bibliographical Prize. Nevertheless the subscriptions can be held the same as this year. Mr. Loeb-Laroque expressed the Meeting's thanks for the Treasurer's excellent work.


5. International Directory

Mr. Bagger announced that the new edition of the International Directory is meant to be ready for the next Congress in 1980 at New York. The forms will be sent soon to the Presidents of the National Associations and they are asked to ensure that they be filled out quickly and correctly and be returned to the Editor in their entirety as soon as possible. Mr. Witten suggested that the Directory include the names of senior employees, as in the Directory of the ABAA. The President asked him to present this proposal to the Committee for discussion.


6. Dictionary for the Antiquarian Booktrade

87 copies have been sold, but the League still has a stock of 113 copies. The problem of a revised edition will be discussed later, after more copies have been sold.


7. Newsletter

The Editor reported on the difficulties of publishing the Newsletter more regularly. The main problem is that the preparation of the Minutes in two languages takes so much time. Unfortunately, there has been no response to the request of the President and the Editor to communicate some article of interest to antiquarian booksellers. On the other hand, the Newsletter is still not self-supporting. The Editor intended it should be so when beginning his work in 1973, but the costs have risen enormously and too few advertisements have been booked. As the Editor resigned at the end of his second term, the President expressed the Meeting's sincere thanks for his excellent efforts and work. Mr. Gerits, President of the Netherlands, promised an article and Mr. Kilgarriff, President of Great Britain, promised to send the Newsletter of his Association to the new editor, so that suitable articles might be taken from it.


8. Customs and Usages

The separate printing has been distributed to all member Associations.


9. Customs Regulations and Formalities

They were presented and will be distributed to all Associations. Amendments should be sent to the new President for a corrected new edition which will be published at a later date.


10. Security and Confidential List

A Mr. Frank Welsh, 3 Theale Lane, Wellingborough. Northants. uses the sign of the League illegally on his card. Mr. Kilgariff intends to bring an injunction against him on behalf of the British Association.


11. Bibliographical Prize

Out of 10 books, which had been selected out of more than 30 publications, the Jury finally awarded the 6th Triennial Prize to Mrs. Blanche Henrey of Great Britain, for her "British Botanical and Horticultural Literature before 1800". The Prize to be given to Mrs. Henrey at the Farewell-Dinner. The brochures for the next Prize will be distributed at the beginning of next year. Mr. Witten suggested that books on Manuscripts should be considered also. The Committee will decide this question.


The first session of the Presidents' Meeting closed at noon.


The President opened the second session the following day at 9.30.


12. Guide Lines for International Book Fairs

The President distributed a draft of such guide-lines as could be compiled from the replies of National Associations having organized International Book Fairs, and asked for comments, amendments and additions. The following points were made:

1) open only for members of the National Associations. All Material exhibited has to be kept for immediate sale and should not be sold prior to the opening of the Fair. 4) The problem of oversubscription was discussed. 6) The laws of the USA do not allow refusal of exhibits. However there should be strong recommendations, so that at least there are proper descriptions with a clear statement of defects. 8) Mr. Reiss stated that the catalogue of the Diisseldorf Fair, done by the organizing firm, was not a good example. It should be done by

the antiquarian booksellers themselves. It was agreed that the LEAGUE should sponsor one International Fair only per annum.

The Guide-Lines will be discussed at the next Congress and in the mean-time the Presidents are requested to discuss them within their own Committee.


13. The President to report two Comments from Dr. R. Rizzi

The President of the Italian Association recommended amendments to three articles of the Usages and Customs: Art. 10 should read "within 4 days"; Art. 12 should have the addition "and pay back the money already received"; Art. 3 amended into "be paid for immediately on receipt of the invoice".

The President suggested that these amendments should be brought forward at the next Congress.


14. Congress and Book Fair, New York, 1980

Mr. Witten presented a draft programme. Some points were discussed and the President thanked the American Association for their invitation.


15. Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Australia and New Zeeland

This National Association was founded in 1977. The President reported that the Committee had made two comments and two suggestions to the Rules of that Association when they made application for affiliation, and that the amendments suggested had been fully accepted. The statement that the members of the Association will accept the Constitution of the ILAB as set out in the "Rules" and that they will be pledged to observe and maintain the aims and standards laid down by the ILAB and expressed in the "Customs & Usages", had been signed by Mr. Kenneth Hince, President, and by Mr. Gaston Renard, Hon. Secretary.

All Presidents voted in favour of the affiliation.

Whilst votes were being counted the President moved to item 18 on the Agenda.


18. Any other Buisness

Mr. De Nobele brought forward the suggestion of Mr. Frederic Adams, President of the Societe Internationale des Bibliophiles, that he might be the permanent representative of the Antiquarian Booksellers in the Committee of that Society, as Mr. Crowe, President of the ILAB, the actual representative of the Antiquarian Booksellers, had been prevented from attending the Congresses of that Society all three years by the coinciding of the dates with his League functions. The President designate of the League, Mr. Bob de Graaf, being asked by Mr. Crowe, could not but agree and so Mr. De Nobele was appointed unanimously by the Presidents to be the permanent representative in the Committee of the Societe des Bibliophiles.


16. Elections

By seperate voting the following were elected:

a) Mr. Bob de Graaf, President

b) Mr. John Lawson, Vice-President

c) Dr. Maria Conradt, General Secretary

d) Mr. Jorg Schafer, Committee Member

e) Mr. Francois Chamonal. Committee Member

Mr. Crowe thanked Mr. Mitsuo Nitta for his enthusiastic interest in the business of the League during his two terms as Committee Member, and thanked Mr. Edgar Franco for his unrivalled dedication as Interpreter.


17. Future Meetings

1980: Sept. 28 - Oct. 5: Congress and Fair in New York

1981: Invitation by the Japanese Association for a Presidents' Meeting in Kyoto

1982: Invitation by the French Association for a Congress and Fair in Paris

1983: no invitation received as yet.


Committee Meeting, 12.30 p.m.


The new Committee, as elected, and Mr. Crowe, past President. The new President gave a survey on his ideas of the work and possibilities of the League and detailed some items he intends to abandon and others he intends to emphasize.

The next Committee Meeting was fixed for January, 29th 1980 at Stuttgart.

(Minutes: M. Conradt, revised by J. Lawson)



Stuttgart, January 29 - 30, 1980


Present: the whole Committee, apologies from Mr. W. Salloch; temporarily: Dr. Frieder Kocher-Benzing.

The President gave his report for October 1979 - January 1980 to the Committee.

The Guide-Lines for International Book-Fairs - a draft complied by the past President Mr. Stanley Crowe had been distributed at Copenhagen - will be discussed at the Congress at New York. The British Association is, so far, the only Association to send in suggestions.

The Treasurer presented a Statement of Cash Receipts and Disbursements 1.9.1979 - 31.12.1979.

The Editor of the Directory presented an Estimate for the publication of the new edition. The Committee approved it.

The 7th Bibliographical Prize will be announced shortly. It was stressed that Library Catalogues are excluded from the competition by the Rules. The Treasurer suggested establishing from the Funds of the ILAB a Foundation for the Bibliographical Prize, the higher interest to cover all the costs of the Triennial Prize.

The discussion of the President's Working Paper included the problem of book-thefts, the postal rates for Booksellers' Catalogues, the possibility of a new revised edition of the Dictionary, the possible stimulation of the founding of Antiquarian Booksellers' Associations in other democratic countries not yet represented in the LEAGUE.

It was regarded as most necessary to refund the entire travelling-expenses of Committee-Members for every Meeting to enable younger members to stand for elections. There was a long discussion on the consequences for the Finances of the LEAGUE. The running costs of the LEAGUE should be mainly covered by the subscriptions.

The Committee will meet again at London on June 11th 1980.

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