FROM GUTENBERG TO ZUCKERBERG – THE FIRST EVER ILAB ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR IN BUDAPEST
An Interview with Adam Bosze
From 21 to 25 September ILAB booksellers from across the world will gather in Budapest for their bi-annual congress and the first ever ILAB Antiquarian Book Fair held in the Hungarian capital at the wonderful Vigadó. Adam Bosze, President of the Hungarian Booksellers’ Association (MAE), and his colleagues have organized a fantastic programme to welcome rare book dealers from five continents for five days celebrating the world’s written heritage and the culture of literacy. Follow ILAB in conversation with Adam Bosze about the importance of real books in a virtual world, the fascination of ILAB Congresses and the highlights of the Book Fair:
ILAB: How many colleagues will travel to Budapest and where do they come from?
AB: We are expecting about a hundred colleagues from practically all over the world: from most European countries, America and even Japan.
ILAB: What is your personal Congress highlight?
AB: For me, the greatest joy and highlight of the Congress is the fact that it has come about at all, that I will see many of my colleagues from abroad and Hungary coming together, exchanging ideas and simply enjoying themselve. What really makes me happy is that our dream has come true.
ILAB: Why is Budapest so special?
AB: Budapest is special for a number of reasons, I think. First of all, it can boast of a very vivid and historical cultural tradition, not only regarding books but also architecture, art and music. The libraries of the capital combine these qualities and we hope that our colleagues will learn, hear and see new things at the exhibitions and presentations. Secondly, Budapest is simply enchanting due to its geography. Even though I have lived in Budapest for decades, I am still fascinated by the Danube, the bridges and the cityscape on the whole. Thirdly, Budapest is special as many of our colleagues will see it for the first time in their lives, and I sincerely hope, they will enjoy what the city has to offer.
ILAB: The Congress will be succeeded by the first ever ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair in Budapest at the Vigadó. How many dealers will exhibit there? Tell us about the bibliophile highlights visitors will have the chance to enjoy.
AB: There will be roughly 30 exhibitors: besides Hungary, we will have the honour to welcome antiquarians from Denmark, Germany, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria and Japan.
All exhibitors will bring us most precious and valuable items, and it is difficult to pick just a few. Nevertheless, I’ll try, but keep in mind that at the fair itself, there will be many more similarly delightful pieces on display:
The Antiquarian Herman H. J. Lynge & Søn from Copenhagen provides us with a previously unpublished, handwritten letter written by Albert Einstein on 10 December 1928, addressed to his former assistant, Herman Müntz.
The Grazer Antiquarian Matthaeus Truppe (Matthaeus Truppe Buchhandlung und Antiquariat) will exhibit among other things a map of Greater Budapest from 1865. It can be assumed that the map was issued by the Military Geographical Institute in Vienna, which is especially precious to us, as it is clearly connected to Hungary.
The Antiquarian Brinkman from Amsterdam will bring with him an original edition of the ’Constitutio Criminalis Theresiana’, the penal code adopted by the Empress Maria Theresa in 1769. As Maria Theresa was one of our most significant rules, also this item has an especially important place at the exhibition.
The Múzeum Antivárium from Budapest will bring us the third, 1606-, edition of the Italian historiographer’s, Antonio Bonfini’s work ’Rerum Ungaricum decades quatuor cum dimidia’, a history of Hungarians from 1496. They will also bring something very topical: the autographed first edition (1926) of the leading figure of the Hungarian avant-garde: The Book of Purity, by Lajos Kassák.
The Földvári Antikvárium will, among others, display Miklós Horthy’s letter to Adolf Hitler from 1938. In his letter, the Hungarian regent informed Hitler that the special apple sorts have been sent to Germany, as promised.
ILAB: The Hungarian Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association is a young and vibrant organization and the youngest member of ILAB. Why was it so important for you and your colleagues to organize such a huge Congress and Fair?
AB: We felt that here we have this treasure, this capital city of ours with plenty of beauty and cultural wealth, and it is unknown to many. We simply have to share all these gorgeous pieces of art and tradition with our colleagues! On the other hand, as the membership of the Hungarian Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association’s is really relatively recent , the antiquarians are somewhat isolated, which we definitely want to change, and what better opportunity is there for it than an ILAB Congress and Fair in Budapest where intellectual and personal exchange between the colleagues will well be possible.
ILAB: Four weeks before the official opening: your final advice to all Congress and Fair visitors?
AB: Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see Budapest in colourful late September!
42nd ILAB Congress
26th International Antiquarian Book Fair
21 – 25 September 2016
>> For more information about the congress and fair visit the official website.
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(Pictures: ILAB, Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of Hungary, MAE)