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ILAB News 36 | | ILAB News 36

ILAB News 36

Published on 05 May 2014

Norbert Donhofer - New ILAB President

Dear colleagues,

At the General Meeting during the 41st ILAB Congress in Paris the presidents of ILAB's 22 member associations elected a new Committee, and I had the honour of being elected new ILAB President. The members of the ILAB Committee - now consisting of Gonzalo Fernandéz Pontes (Vice-President), Ulrich Hobbeling (General Secretary), Bob Fleck (Treasurer), Sally Burdon, Stuart Bennett, Umberto Pregliasco and Michel Bouvier - are looking forward to serving the League and its affiliates.

The most important proposal that was adopted during the Paris Meeting concerns a possible cooperation between ILAB and AbeBooks. The aim is that ILAB booksellers listing on AbeBooks are highlighted on the Abe homepage as the world's leading experts. This would be an enormous advantage for all ILAB dealers who offer their books on one of the biggest commercial databases, and it would be a clear sign to all book collectors where to buy high quality books with confidence. The presidents discussed the proposal carefully and finally decided to allow the Committee to continue the negotiations with AbeBooks to prepare a contract fixing the detailed steps - and the limits - of such a cooperation. As soon as the details of the contract have been worked out it will be discussed with the Presidents and the ILAB affiliates.

Other projects on the agenda of the new ILAB Committee are a worldwide "Rare Book Day" in cooperation with the UNESCO World Book and Copyright day on 23rd April 2015, further cooperation with CINOA and IFLA and improvements of the ILAB website.

Our most important task, however, will be to rebuild the public image of the international antiquarian book trade. In the past years the reputation of the professional trade has been seriously damaged by spectacular thefts and forgeries which were echoed in the media all over the world. It is our duty to regain the confidence of our customers and to hold up the standards defined in the Code of Usages and Customs of ILAB and its member associations.

Norbert Donhofer (ILAB President)

Norbert Donhofer joined the ILAB Committee in 2008. Under his guidance the ILAB Internship Program has been set up which enables young booksellers to study the trade in different countries and from different perspectives. Meanwhile ILAB interns spent several months in Spain, Hungary, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, where they were taught and hosted by internationally reknown ILAB booksellers.

Gonzalo Fernandéz Pontes joined the Committee in 2012. In his work he lays special emphasis on the prevention and detection of book thefts. As supervisor of the ILAB Stolen Book Database he has been coordinating ILAB's efforts in this important field for two years.

Learn more about the new ILAB Committee - Contact the Committee members

In the Press - Rare Kepler Book Returns to Stralsund, Germany

"May I please give this book back to Stralsund. It is a great day for the German-American friendship, for the cities of New York and Stralsund and a great day for rare and valuable books in archives and in libraries."

With these words rare book dealer Jonathan Hill, New York, handed over a unique early edition of Johannes Kepler's works which had once belonged to the archive of Stralsund (Germany). For centuries the worth of the book had been unknown. A year and a half ago Jonathan Hill discovered the book in a catalogue, bought the book and, as he said in a press conference on 15th April 2014, brought it back to where it belongs: to Stralsund.

A detailed report will follow. Click here to see the TV news.

The Secret Life of Harper Lee

Nelle Harper Lee, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, was born on April 28, 1926 in the sleepy town of Monroeville Alabama. As a girl, she became friends with another future writer: Truman Capote. The two were outsiders among their peers but discovered an affinity for each other. According to Capote biographer, Gerald Clarke, "Nelle was too rough for most other girls, and Truman was too soft for most other boys."

Harper Lee and Truman Capote. A collecting tip by Andrea Koczela

The Art of American Book Covers - Peacocks

Peacocks and peacock feathers were a pervasive image of the Aesthetic Movement, a symbol of beauty in nature. Whistler's Peacock Room of 1877 was a monumental tribute to this theme. Albert Angus Turbayne is sometimes thought of as a British designer, but he was a native of Boston, born in 1866. He lived and worked in England for much of his career, and was considered among the top book artists, creating designs for trade bindings and fine bindings with gauffered edges.

Richard Minsky has been making and remaking artists' books for over fifty years. His tremendous work is documented in The Book Art of Richard Minsky, published by George Braziller Inc. in 2011. On his blog and on the ILAB website he shows beautiful examples from the history of book binding.

Read it!

Collecting - The Rembrandt Connection

"I saw the documentary about its ten year renovation on television. I watched the opening ceremony on television too and I have heard from people who have been there that the museum is very beautiful. I am deliberately delaying my visit. I am feeling a bit uneasy because I know that they are still there, but not exactly where. I know that they will look at me, just as they did the first time. They will remind me of my promise and I will feel guilty, fall silent and won't have a proper answer. I know, I know, you don't understand, but let me explain about my ‘Rembrandt connection', well, not with him personally but with one of his paintings."

A wonderful story of a young man who became a collector and an antiquarian bookseller.

Sheila Markham's "Second Book of Booksellers"

Good news for all book lovers: On 1st May, 2014, Sheila Markham's "Second Book of Booksellers" has been published. Sheila's "conversations with the antiquarian book trade" are legendary. Her interviews with the most influential figures of the antiquarian book business first appeared in the Bookdealer, and were then published in book-form as "A Book of Booksellers" in the year 2004. Ian Jackson called it "an essential archive of book trade history".

Her "Second Book of Booksellers", recently published, is as delightful as the first one. Or as Charles Cox writes: "I can think of more sensible occupations, but I can't think of any more pleasurable."

Read a preview!

ILAB Internships - Australia 2014

Maria Rodionova spent six weeks in Australia where she learnt a lot about rare books, the Australian antiquarian book trade, auctions and the differences between the business in Australia and her home country: Russia. "It was a great work and life experience for me. My trip to Australia brought me new ideas and I hope I will be able to make them reality."

Read Maria Rodionova's reports - Learn more about ILAB Internships - Join the ILAB Interns on Facebook

41st ILAB Congress in Paris from 13th to 16th April 2014

It was THE meeting place for antiquarian booksellers from all over the world: The 41st ILAB Congress in Paris, preceded by the Salon International du Livre Ancien & 25th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Grand Palais. Click here to read the reports including ILAB President Norbert Donhofer's welcome speech and to see the pictures of: the book fair - the ILAB Breslauer Prize ceremony - the Presidents' Meeting - the Monday excursions - the Tuesday excursions - and the Wednesday visits!



Next fairs:

Madrid International Antiquarian Book Fair, May 15-17, 2014

Hotel Wellington, Madrid (Spain), organized by the Iberian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, AILA. Click here for more information:

57th London International Antiquarian Book Fair; May 22-24, 2014

National Hall (Olympia), London (United Kingdom), organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, ABA. Click here for more information:

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