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London 1958 | | London 1958

London 1958

Published on 02 March 2011
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RESUMÉ OF THE MEETING OF PRESIDENTS

HELD IN LONDON

SEPTEMBER 9th - 10th 1958

& COMMITTEE’S REPORT

 

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE - COMlTE EXECUTlF

PRESIDENT: J. E. S. Sawyer, 12, 13, Grafton Street, London, W. 1

VICE-PRESIDENT: FI. Tulkens, 21, Rue du Chene, Bruxelles

TRESORIER - TREASURER: E. Grenholt Pedersen, Fiolstrcede 19, Kobenhavn

COMMITTEE MEMBERS -·CONSEILLERS:

Dr. Ernst L. Hauswedell, Hamburg 36, Fontenay 4

Fernand De Nobele, 35 Rue Bonaparte, Paris VI

Richard S. Wormser, Wolfpits Road, Bethel, Connecticut, U,S.A.

PRESIDENTS OF HONOUR - PRESIDENTS D'HONNEUR: P. H, Muir, A. Poursin

MEMBER OF HONOUR - MEMBRE D'HONNEUR: M. Hertzberger

 

 

MEMBERS OF THE LEAGUE MEMBRES DE LA LIGUE

AUSTRIA - AUTRICHE: Vereinigung der Antiquare Osterreichs, Grunangergasse 2, Wien 1

BELGIUM - BELGIQUE: Syndicat Beige de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne, 112, Rue de Trèves, Bruxelles

BRAZIL - BRESIL: Associccco Brasileira de Livreiros Antiquarios, Avenida Rio Branco 138 XI, Rio de Janeiro

DENMARK - DANEMARK: Den Danske Antikvarboghandlerforening, Fiolstraede 19, Kobenhavn

FINLAND - FINLANDE: Finska Antikvariatforeningen, Yrjonkotu 1, Helsinki

FRANCE - FRANCE: Syndicat de la Librairie Ancienne & Moderne, 117, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris VI

GERMANY - ALLEMAGNE: Vereinigung Deutscher Buchantiquare und Graphikhäindler, Karolinenplatz 5 A, Munchen 2

GREAT BRITAIN - GRANDE BRETAGNE: Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, 15, Orange Street, London, W.E. 2

ITALY· ITAlIE: Circolo dei Librai Antiquari, Via Barozzi 6, Milano

NETHERLANDS - PAYS BAS: Nederlandsche Vereeniging van Antiquaren, Loan van Meerdervoort 45, 's-Gravenhage

NORWAY- NORVEGE: Norsk Antikvarbokhandlerforening, Kirkegaten 15, Oslo

SWEDEN - SUEDE: Svenska Antikvariatföreningen, Drottninggatan 62, Stockholm

SWITZERLAND - SUISSE: Syndicat de la Librairie Ancienne et du Commerce de l'Estampe en Suisse, Bleicherweg 20, Zurich 2

U.S.A.· HATS-UNIS D'AMERIQUE: Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, 3, West 46th Street, New York 36

 

COMMITTEE OF HONOUR COMITE D'HONNEUR

AUSTRIA - AUTRICHE: Dr. Wilhelm von Klastersky, Ancien Directeur du Cabinet du President de la Republique Autrichienne

BELGIUM - BELGIQUE: Lyna, Conservateur en chef de la Bibliotheque Royale de Belgique

Yoet, Conservateur en chef du Musee Plantin-Moretus

DENMARK - DANEMARK: Flemming Hvidberg, Ancien Ministre de l'lnstruction Publique

Svend Dahl, Ancien Bibliothecaire de l'Etat

FINLAND- FINLANDE: Carl Enkell, Pre Minister of Foreign Affairs. M. Waltari

FRANCE - FRANCE: Edouard Herriot, President d'Honneur de l'Assemblee Nationale. Georges Duhamel, De l'Acadernie Française.

Emile Henriot, De l'Academie Française.

M. Le President Robert Schumann

GERMANY - ALLEMAGNE: Dr. Edwin Redslob

GREAT BRITAIN - GRANDE BRETAGNE: Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, G.B.E.

T. S. Eliot, O.M.

ITALY - ITALlE: L. Einaudi, Ancien President de la Republique Italienne.

S. Exc. Lombardo.

Comm. Guido Arcamone, Directeur General des Academies et des Bibliotheques d'ltalie

NETHERLANDS - PAYS BAS: Dr. W. J. M. A. Asselbergs, Professeur à l'Universite de Nirneque

H. De la Fontaine-Yerwey, Bibliothecaire de l'Universite d'Amsterdam

NORWAY - NORYEGE: Wilhelm Munthe, Ancien Bibliothecaire en Chef de la Bibliotheque de l'Universite.

Jonas Skougaard, Avocat à la Haute Cour

SWEDEN- SUEDE: Dag Hommorskjold, Secretaire General de I'O.N.U.

Dr. Uno Willers, Directeur de la Bibliotheque Royale

SWITZERLAND - SUISSE: Pierre Bourgeois, Directeur de la Bibliotheque Nationale à Berne et Delegue de la Suisse à l'Unesco

U.S.A. - EATS-UNIS D'AMERIQUE:

Dr. Curt F. Buhler, Keeper of Printed Books, Pierpont Morgan Library.

Dr. Luther H. Evans, Directeur General, UNESCO.

Dr. Lawrence C. Wrath, Librarian, John Carter Brown Library

 

PRESIDENTS

AUSTRIA - AUTRICHE: Mr. Christian M. Nebehay

BELGIUM - BELGIQUE: Mr. FI. Tulkens

BRAZI L- BREZI L: Mr. Erich Eichner

DENMARK - DANEMARK: Mr. E. Grenholr Pedersen

FINLAND- FINLANDE: Mr. Osk Hiltunen

FRANCE: Mr. Andre Deruelle

GERMANY - ALLEMAGNE: Dr. Georg Karl

GREAT BRITAIN - GRANDE BRETAGNE: Mr. Alan G. Thomas

ITALY - ITALlE: Mr. Giov. Vittor. Bourlot

NETHERLANDS - PAYS BAS: Mr. Max J. Elte

NORWAY- NORYEGE: Mr. Jorgen W. Cappelen

SWEDEN- SUEDE: Mr. A. Andersson

SWITZERLAND - SUISSE: Dr. Alfred Frauendorfer

U.S.A. - HATS-UNIS D'AMERIQUE: Mr. Michael Papantonio

 

COMMITTEE’S REPORT

TO THE PRESIDENTS’ CONFERENCE

 

To be held in London at the British Academy, Burlington Gardens

September 9th & 10th 1958

 

This is the first time that a Congress has not been held, no invitations were received from any of the Associations to hold a Congress in their own Country, so according to Rule No.27 the Executive Committee have called a Conference of the Presidents, or their representatives to meet in London on September 9th &10th, and ask that they be mandated by their Associations with the fullest possible powers.

The following report deals with the work of the Committee since the Munich Congress and will form the basis for our Agenda at the Presidents' Conference.

 

Finance

A copy of last year's Balance Sheet is given at the end of this report. The financial position of the League is strong, its greatest expense at the moment being the cost of the Directory, but which in a few months time will be recovered, and later as more copies are sold bring profit to the League. The appeal made two years ago for gifts of Books, Manuscripts, Prints, and ALS. to be sold by auction in order to collect a capital sum for the League has met with no response, so that a permanent office and Secretary for the League are as remote as ever.

The Netherlands and the U.S.A. have increased their subscriptions. France owing to devaluation had to pay 20% more to meet her subscription. The German Association paid all Secretarial Expenses at the Munich Congress, expenses usually paid by the League, a gesture which is very much appreciated.

 

Dictionary

There have been a few sales during the year and at the moment there are about 670 copies available. If all members will once again advertise this important work it should be possible to sell half this number during next year.

 

Supplement to old directory

About 270 copies remain unsold. It is suggested that these be destroyed.

 

Directory

It is hoped that this publication will be ready by September, a selling price will be fixed as soon as the cost price is known. The Directory will comprise 500 pages, 1300 addresses, 5000 entries and 50 pages of advertisements. 1500 copies have been printed and already 750 are sold before publication. The Committee suggest that future editions of the Directory should be handled by a commercial firm, this suggestion will be discussed at the Presidents' Conference.

 

Confidential Lists

Information and Lists have been received from a few associations and have been circulated among all members.

All Presidents are asked to refer to the Minutes of the Committee's Meeting in Paris in March und study carefully the full report on Confidential Lists drawn up by the President, and also consider the French gradings which form an appendix to these minutes.

During the year no complaints were received concerning any member of the League.

 

Plaque

300 copies were ordered and so far 180 sold - many countries have still not ordered this attractive sign. Will the Presidents of all those countries who have not ordered the Plaque make another appeal to their members to display this sign which not only advertises the League but is an indication to the Public of a reliable bookseller.

 

Retirement of President and Vice-President

The President retires after six years in office.

We are all sad to learn of Mr. FI. Tulkens' retirement as it was everyone's wish that he would be elected President. However, as Mr. Tulkens told the Committee he has been in office for nine years, which is a long time, with many, many days spent away from one's business. He was asked several times to reconsider his decision, but he was adamant on his retirement.

 

League Files

There are now two large boxes of the League Files which must now be moved to a permanent home - where? A decision must be taken at the Presidents' Conference.

 

Congress 1959

It is essential that a full Congress be held in 1959 so that the interest caused by the gathering of Nations may continue to strengthen the League.

The Committee have met twice this year, in Paris on March 4th and in Barcelona on June 2nd. We are indebted to Mr. Poursin and Mr. de Nobele for acting as our hosts in Paris, and also for making the arrangements for our meeting. Mr. Joseph Porter (a member of A B.A) arranged our meeting in Barcelona and announced the formation of the Spanish Association - Agrupacion hispana de libreria antigua y moderna - when this new Association is properly constituted they may under Rule 8 apply to the Executive Committee for membership of the League.

The interest shown by members of the Spanish Association to the League and the hospitality to the members of the Committee on their visit to Barcelona was remarkable and kindly. We thank Mr. Porter and his colleagues for acting as our hosts and making all arrangements for our meeting.

Minutes of each of these meetings have been sent to all Presidents, and once again they are asked to read them carefully and bring them to the London Conference as they contain many details of the Committee's work which have not been included in this report.

Except for Mr. Richard S. Wormser and Messrs. Hertzberger and Muir, we have had a full attendance of the Committee at each meeting including also Mr. Andre Poursin - President of Honour.

In conclusion I would like to thank all members of the Committee for their full support during the year - each one has had some problem to deal with, has  always done it well and with enthusiasm and sent to me a concise and clear report of the problem involved. This is very comforting to your President, who for the last three years has been surrounded by an intelligent body of men whose faith in the League and determination to increase its prestige has never failed.

In the report to the Munich Congress I named each member of the Committee and to these sincere remarks I have nothing to add except to say that I am very sorry to leave them.

To our new President we send our best wishes for a very successful term of office, and one and all promise him our full support.

J. E. S. S.

 

MEETING OF PRESIDENTS

The British Academy, Burlington Gardens, London

 

AGENDA

 

1. Appointment of Tellers.

2. Treasurer's and Auditor's Report.

3. Subscriptions for 1959.

4. Dictionary Report on Sales.

5. Confidential Lists - Report by Dr. Hauswedell and Mr. de Nobele on commercial firms specialising in Confidential Lists.

6. New Directory - Report by the Editors, Messrs. Nebehay and Frauendorfer.

7. Plaque.

8. Alteration of Rule No.7 - The Committee propose the following alteration in Rule No.7 which reads:

«Each Association is independent in its own internal affairs, except that no National Association may accept any foreign members other than those who are members of the National Associations of the country in which they operate if such association exists and is a member of the League.» The Committee propose to insert the words «or retain» after the words «to accept».

9. Retirement of President and Vice-President.

10. Election of President - Election of Vice-President.

10a. Election of two members of the Committee.

11. Election of Treasurer.

12. Date and Place of next Congress.

13. Other business.

 

Tuesday 9th September 1958. Morning Session

 

The Meeting assembled at 10 a. m. Mr. J. E. S. Sawyer, President of the League in the chair welcomed the Presidents to London and thanked them for their attendance. He regretted the fact that there was no Congress in 1958, due to the fact that no invitation had been received from any Association.

 

Roll Call

The following countries were represented by their Presidents: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Norway, Switzerland and U.S.A. Brazil and Finland were not represented, and were therefore without a vote. Mr. Gronholt-Pedersen had received instructions to vote for Sweden, and Dr. Hauswedell, Vice-President of the German Association for Germany.

 

Item 1. Appointment of Tellers

The Chairman appointed Mr. de Nobele and Dr. Hauswedell to act as tellers.

 

Item 2. Treasurer's and Auditor's Report

Mr. Pedersen (Treasurer) explained that as Mr. Tulkens had done practically all the work on the balance sheet, it would be fitting that he should present the Report.

Mr. Tulkens (Vice-President) then presented the Treasurer's Report.

There being no discussion, the acceptance of the Report was moved, seconded and carried.

Mr. Wormser then proposed a vote of thanks to the Treasurers, which was seconded and carried by acclamation. The Auditor's report is appended to the Annual Report.

 

Item 3. Subscriptions for 1959

The Chairman said that in order to carry out the work of the League, the League needed funds. Through his years as President he had asked for money practically every year, and although the League was now financially strong, it was nowhere near as strong as it ought to be.

Mr. Muir recalled that more than ten years ago a few of the members present today had witnessed a very curious spectacle: an attempt to organise or arrange a union between a number of people who where not at all sure whether they wanted to be united or not. A year later at Copenhagen the League was born. It was rather a weak child at first, and in the ensuing years there was apparent a certain reluctance on the part of its foster parents to support it. It even became necessary to call them together for a special meeting at Brussels to persuade them that their responsibility was an important and growing responsibility, because the infant was growing every day and was making the usual demands which infants do make on their parents. After a good deal of reluctance the foster parents were persuaded to do their duty, The child was now almost fully grown and extremely lusty, and was making growing demands as was natural in a child which was only in its teens. Therefore, the Committee of the League considered it right and proper that they should come to the foster parents to tell them that the child's needs ought to be met. Therefore, in plain words and abandoning all simile and metaphor, the subscriptions to the league ought to be increased to enable it to take its place in the world, as its activities were growing in every direction. The American and the Dutch Associations had already realised their responsibility and had voluntarily increased their subscriptions. He did not think any further words were necessary to persuade the Presidents that an increase in subscriptions of at least ten per cent was necessary.

The Chairman told the meeting that the German and Swedish Associations had already agreed to increase their subscriptions by ten per cent. The Presidents of Switzerland, Belgium, Norway, Italy then declared that they would follow the lead of the countries which had already increased their subscriptions and would make a ten per cent increase in their subscriptions to the League. Great Britain and Austria's Presidents said that it would be necessary to refer the matter to their associations before accepting the increase. Mr. Deruelle (France) made it clear that he fully understood the reasons which had made it necessary to ask for this increase in contributions. But the French Association was in a difficulty, because since devaluation of the franc it already paid twenty per cent more since 1957 in actual French currency, although the result to the League remained the same. However, as soon as the French Association would have reorganized their internal affairs, the S.L.A.M. would reconsider the matter and the President thinks that it will agree to increase its subscriptions also; unfortunately, they were not in a position to do so at the moment.

As there was general agreement, The Chairman did not think it necessary to take the vote.

 

Item 4. Dictionary: Report on Sales

The report on the sales of the dictionary was presented by Mr. Tulkens (VicePresident). Mr. Leclercq (Belgium) suggested that the remaining unsold copies of the dictionary should be distributed among the various Associations on a basis pro rata to the numbers of their members. In that manner the remaining stock could be eliminated and thus accountacy would be simplified.

The Chairman thought the Belgian idea a good one. He had always considered the dictionary to be a book for libraries and there were still thousands of libraries throughout the world which could be approached.

Dr. Frauendorfer (Switzerland) raised the question of corrections. Comment had been made in various trade journals regarding mistakes in the Dictionary, and he thought it a good idea to print an errata sheet. That would improve the sale of the Dictionary.

Mr. Wormser thought it strange that a rare book dealer would consider a First Edition, first issue of a book less saleable than one with an errata slip attached. Mr. Thomas (Great Britain) supported the suggestion of a small supplement which, quite apart from its own value, would be sent out to journals and thus might result in new publicity. Furthermore, he thought if every President went home and appealed to his members to give the matter further consideration, it might do a lot of good.

Mr. Tulkens (Vice-President) thought the idea put forward by Belgium would simplify matters a great deal. It would be a good thing if those six-hundred odd copies of the dictionary were sold before the League had the new directory on its hands. At the request of the Chairman, Mr. Leclercq restated his proposition, and explained in reply to Mr. Muir that each Association would take over and pay for the dictionaries.

Mr. Muir, having asked for that clarification, drew the attention of the Presidents to the fact that they were already committed to go back to their Associations and ask for higher subscriptions to the League. If this distribution of the dictionary was undertaken, it would place an even heavier burden on the Presidents, a burden which, if he himself were a President he would be extremely reluctant to assume.

Dr. Hauswedell disagreed with the proposition by Belgium. He did not think it was a right and proper way to distribute the dictionaries. Furthermore, he considered it necessary that the League should be in control of the sales of the dictionary. One day there would be a new edition, and unless the League had full control of the old one, it had no record of the stocks still available. Mr. Poursin supported Dr. Hauswedel's remarks. It was not a matter of the League having to get rid of the 600 odd copies; they had already been paid for. Good publicity and a little more push by the Presidents would be quite sufficient to stimulate interest in the Dictionary.

Mr. Tulkens (Vice-President) pointed out that the question of publicity had been raised at the Munich Congress, had been followed by considerable effort on everybody's part, but the results had not been exceptionally spectacular, as only 131 copies had been sold since then.

Mr. Deruelle (France) spoke against the Belgian proposal. If it were carried, he wondered whether affiliated associations would be compelled to take up the proportionate number of Dictionaries.

Mr. de Nobele raised the question of a new prospectus printed in eight languages. The Committee could undertake to publish it in three months. Answering Dr. Frauendorfer, he thinks the idea of a correction sheet should be followed up. That, of course, would take much longer, at least eighteen months in fact. It is a task which would have to be undertaken in any case when a new edition is printed.

Mr. Muir suggested it would simplify matters if the Belgian proposition were dealt with first, before starting to discuss the correction sheet. In regard to a supplement, the League already had some experience. They had published a supplement to the Directory, and it was the general opinion after its publication that the one thing the League should be determined not to do in the future was to publish any more supplements.

Mr. Tulkens was sorry that the Belgian proposition might cause certain problems. If it was likely to cause any difficulty, the Belgian Association would be prepared to withdraw it.

Mr. Leclercq (Belgium) withdrew his proposition.

Mr. Muir suggested that Mr. de Nobele's proposition of a prospectus to be printed in eight languages should be adopted.

The Chairman expressed his readiness to do so on behalf of the Committee, because he thought it was a matter for the Committee and not for the Presidents. The Committee had discussed the prospectus at their meeting the previous day, and had agreed that it was a good idea. Proofs would be corrected  by each member Association, and they would be issued with a certain number of copies. The cost of printing would be borne by the League.

Mr. Bourlot (Italy) thought that the publication of the prospectus would occasion expenditure to the League and possibly cause confusion. He considered that the best method of publicity was that undertaken by each Association in its own journal.

The Chairman agreed that it would cost the League some money, but in addition to advertising the dictionary, the prospectus would also advertise the new directory, which was an added advantage.

Mr. Poursin asked whether a page had been reserved in the Directory for advertising the Dictionary.

Dr. Frauendorfer informed Mr. Poursin that two pages were reserved for advertising the Dictionary. He thought that the fixed end-papers would be most suitable.

Mr. de Nobele wondered whether the Presidents could be asked approximately how many copies of the prospectus they would require. The Presidents then indicated roughly how many copies their national associations would require: Austria 50 ; Belgium 100; Denmark 100; Great Britain 500; Germany 400; Italy 500; the Netherlands 50, and possibly 2,000 in the English language; Norway 75; Sweden 50; America 2,000.

Mr. Deruelle (France) and Dr. Frauendorfer (Switzerland) asked for further clarification on how the prospectus was to be used, as the number of copies they would require would depend on that.

Mr. Wormser explained that the Committee had not asked Presidents for definite orders; they only wanted a rough idea of how many copies they would have to print. As for the method of distribution, the choice lay with individual Associations.

Mr. Muir thought, as there seemed to be some confusion about the matter, that the Committee owed it to the Presidents to explain what their views were. He had been under the impression that the idea was for each President to distribute the prospectus amongst the members of his Association, whereupon each member could ask for the number of copies he required for insertion in his catalogue, and so on.

It was agreed to print a prospectus as suggested by the Committee in eight languages, to include an advertisement of the Directory.

 

Item 5. Confidential Lists

The Chairman told the meeting that since the League had been formed the Confidential Lists had steadily dwindled. He had received no report at all since the Munich Meeting of bad accounts concerning any member of an Association affiliated to the League.

Dr. Hauswedell explained that, having been asked to make a report to the Committee about the system employed in Germany for some years, he had made a study of whether that same system could be useful to the League. The commercial firm which prepared the German Confidential List had its offices in Hamburg. Nearly all German publishers were co-operating with that firm. On the whole he felt, although the connections of this firm had grown across the frontiers into Switzerland and Austria, it would not be practicable to use that  system for the League, because it depended on very close co-operation between the firm and the various publishers. Also, the cost of such a scheme to the league would be very high. Therefore, it was his opinion that the French system might be of greater interest to the League, and he asked Mr. de Nobele to enlarge upon that.

Mr. de Nobele explained that in France the organisation publishing confidential lists was part of an association covering the paper, printing and book trades. They published monthly lists, and it was possible for the League to become affiliated to this organisation. It would cost approximately 15,000 french francs a year for one list or several copies of one list. The cost might even be brought down to 10,000 francs a year if the League agreed to pass its own information on to this organisation. He thought the lists might provide a basis for the formation of a central card index, which would, of course, involve a lot of work for someone.

In reply to a question by Mr. Wormser, whether there were any restrictions on the information supplied, or whether it could be published generally, Mr. de Nobele said that the lists were printed on completely blank paper, and it was, therefore, impossible for anyone to trace the origin of the lists. Mr. Nebehay (Austria) then asked whether this organisation was conducted on a national or international basis, and received the reply from Mr. de Nobele that generally the information related to French firms, but if the organisation received information from abroad, it would also publish that.

Mr. Bourlot (Italy) expressed the opinion that as the French organisation had to be supplied with information anyway, it would be much better if the national Associations supplied the information they had to the League Headquarters direct, and thus saved expenditure. Mr. de Nobele explained that it was not quite the same thing, because the French organisation, besides being supplied with information, went to a great deal of trouble to obtain its own information from various sources.

Mr. Nebehay (Austria) after being informed by Mr. de Nobele that the cost of the confidential lists would be borne by the League, went on to suggest that distribution could be made quite easy by sending one copy to each National Organisation, and members could contact their respective organisations for the information. In his opinion, it did not really matter if there was a lot of superfluous information; the vital thing was to avoid the omission of the one name which might be important.

Mr. Hertzberger thought it would do no harm to have a subscription. He raised the point of non-members being allowed to advertise in The Clique and similar publications. He sometimes asked himself why he should be a member, if non-members received equal attention. He thought the League ought to bring pressure to bear in order to help their members.

Mr. Wormser thought it would be a good idea to subscribe to the French organisation, because even if much of the information supplied was of no use, some of it at least would be. Referring to Mr. Hertzberger's complaint about the lack of distinction between members and non-members, he said that the League had no control over private publications.

Dr. Hauswedell proposed that the League should subscribe to the French organization for the trial period of one year. That would not mean, of course, that the Committee would stop all its own efforts in getting information.

Mr. Poursin agreed, but emphasized that it was still necessary for every Association to supply all the information it could, whenever it had any, to the Committee of the League.

The Chairman also thought that the proposition was a good one, and he hoped it would be carried.

Mr. de Nobele then offered, with the assistance of Dr. Hauswedell to collect together all the information already contained in the various files of the League, but possibly lost sight of. With that information he would try and prepare an up-to-date list. He would then approach the French organisation to see what could be done. He hoped to be able to report progress to the next General Assembly.

Mr. de Nobele's offer was greatly appreciated by the Presidents and greeted with prolonged applause.

The Chairman thanked Mr. de Nobele and Dr. Hauswedell on behalf of the Presidents for the work they had put in connection with the Confidential Lists.

 

The meeting adjourned at 1 p.m.

 

Tuesday Afternoon Session

 

The Meeting resumed at about 3.30 p.m.

 

Item 6. New Directory

The Chairman, before asking Mr. Nebehay and Mr. Frauendorfer to submit their reports, thanked them for the generosity with which they gave their services to the League in the preparation of the new Directory.

Mr. Nebehay (Austria) reported that the Directory was a little behind schedule; more or less all the entries were printed, but the index was not yet ready. He estimated that another month would be needed to complete the work. Printers costs had been higher than anticipated, principally because seven quires, which had already been broken into pages, had to be entirely reset.

Mr. Muir expressed his appreciation of the new Directory, its presentation, typography, size, and so on, and said it presented an enormous advance over the previous Directory. He congratulated Mr. Nebehay and Dr. Frauendorfer on the excellent result they had obtained. He proposed that the Presidents should be content to leave the deliberations about the cost, price and discount to the Committee. This motion was carried unanimously.

Dr. Frauendorfer and Mr. Nebehay, editors of the Directory paid tribute to each other's contribution to its preparation, each modestly attributing to the other the major effort. Both suggested that publications of this kind should in the future be entrusted to a commercial publisher under the supervision and control of the League.

 

Item 7. Plaque

The Chairman told the meeting that of the 300 copies of the plaque which had been manufactured, 180 had been sold. In addition the French Association had ordered on approval fifty copies, and the German Association another ten. He hoped Presidents would make another appeal to their members to display the sign, which not only advertised the League but was an indication to the public of a reliable antiquarian bookseller.

Mr. Nebehay asked for five copies to be sent to his association.

Mr. Papantonio thought that if twenty-five or even fifty plaques were sent to America and displayed at the Annual General Meeting of his association, they might be disposed of.

Mr. Elte asked for ten plaques to be sent to his association.

 

Item 7a. League Files

The Chairman told the meeting that he has a large box containing the League's documents and asked for suggestions for their disposition, bearing in mind their importance as records. Dr. Hauswedell said that the German book trade's headquarters in Frankfurt could probably house them but he thought London or Paris more suitable as centers of the League. Mr. Hertzberger offered to get in touch with a Dutch association of the antiquarian and modern book trade in Amsterdam which might have space for the files.

Mr. Popontonio's motion that the matter be left to the Committee for action was carried unanimously.

 

Item 8. Alteration of Rule 7

The Chairman said the proposed alteration of Rule 7 was intended to safeguard the League, and to make it more difficult for anyone not qualifying to join. It also safeguarded the Associations. As everyone had had notice of it for eight months, and as it had been passed by the Committee, he did not think there was any need for discussion and he asked the meeting to vote.

There was almost unanimous agreement among the Presidents and the Committee that there should be discussion before the vote was taken. Following fruitless efforts to resolve the matter, the meeting adjourned for a brief recess.

When the meeting reconvened, Mr. de Nobele recalled that at the Munich Meeting the Alteration to Rule 7 had not been discussed; it had to be withdrawn because it had not been presented in time. If the alteration was accepted, it would have a far-reaching effect on the rules of the National Associations. For instance, the rules of the French Association laid down specifically all the grounds for which a member could be expelled. He asked for some clarification on whether the alteration would affect the present position or would apply only to the future.

In reply The Chairman said the alteration had been before the Meeting in Munich; it had been included in the Minutes of the Paris Committee Meeting, and members had had notification of it since. In regard to Mr. de Nobele's other point, he said he could only refer him to the exact text of the alteration. Mr. Muir said he thought everyone was at cross purposes. Mr. de Nobele's point, as he saw it, was that although the matter had been discussed by the Committee, it had never been discussed either by the General Assembly or the Meeting of Presidents, although it had been presented to them. The meaning of the alteration was perfectly clear. If it was passed, it would apply not only to the present or the future, but also to the past; in other words it had a retroactive effect.

After Mr. Tulkens had referred to the relevant parts of the Minutes of the Committee Meeting held in Paris on the 4th of March, Mr. Poursin recalled some of the well-tried traditions of the League. So far, any proposition to be voted on had always received full discussion. Members of the League, who had always been used to fair play, always understood that they would be allowed to discuss fully any important question affecting the League.

Mr. Deruelle put the French point of view at some length. According to the rule of the French Association, it was impossible to expel a foreign member simply because he was not a member of his own organisation, unless he contravened the rules of the French Association. If the alteration was passed, it would be necessary for all national associations to be informed immediately if any member had been expelled by any association affiliated with the League, specifying the reasons which had brought about his expulsion. Further, any National Association might find itself involved in litigation due to the application of the amended rule. He thought, therefore, that the League ought to give some assurance to National Associations that it would bear the cost of such litigation. In order to make the amendment more acceptable to the French Association, he proposed an addendum to the effect that an Association would not be able to retain as a member a foreign bookseller who had been expelled by his own Association unless such expulsion was for either a political or religious reason.

Mr. Hertzberger pointed out that if the meeting passed the Alteration to Rule 7, in whatever wording, they would have to abide by it in the future.

Mr. Nebehay declared himself in favor of the Alteration. As Editor of the new Directory, he had already been threatened with a law suit, and he asked for the protection of the League.

Mr. Poursin points out that there was a precedent as the same thing had occured in regard to the first Directory, when certain advertisements must have been refused. There will be now a precedent for future differences: The tradition of the League. In any event, it is important that the editors of the new Directory will be guaranteed by the League in their quality of commissioners charged with this work by the League. If that principle were not accepted the officers of the League or their commissioners might find themselves in a untenable position.

The Chairman was glad to give assurance that anyone who acted on behalf of the League would be protected by the League.

The proposed Alteration to Rule 7 was then put to the vote, voting being as follows:

For the Alteration 12.

Against the Alteration 3.

The proposed Alteration to Rule 7 was therefore declared carried.

 

The meeting adjourned at 6.40 p. m.

 

Wednesday, 10th September, 1958. Morning Session

 

The Meeting resumed at 10.30 a. m.

 

Item 9. Retirement of President and Vice-President

In paying tribute to the President on his retirement, Mr. Muir recalled the occasion of his assumption of the Presidential Chair. With very little warning indeed he had had to preside over the meeting in New York, owing to the sudden illness of President Georges Blaizot, and he conducted that meeting with enormous efficiency and great success. No one who had not actually been President himself could imagine the enormous amount of work and responsibility that post entailed. He was sure that everybody present would echo his feelings when he said how very much he regretted the occasion.

The Meeting then gave the retiring President a loud ovation.

The Chairman then thanked the Vice-President for his help and assistance over the past years. Amid applause he said that no President ever had a better VicePresident. Mr. Tulkens had worked for the League for nine years, and no one ever deserved a reward more than he did. The League was generous, but had very little to offer by way of reward; but one thing they could do was to make Mr. Tulkens a President of Honour, and that is what he proposed they ought to do.

The Chairman's proposal was carried by acclamation.

 

Item 10. Election of President and Vice-President.

After The Chairman had proposed, amid applause, that Mr. Richard S. Wormser should be elected President of the League, Mr. Wormser assured the Presidents that he appreciated the great honour which had been bestowed upon him, and assured them that he would carry out his duties to the best of his ability.

The proposal of the Chairman that Dr. E. L. Hauswedell be elected Vice-President of the League was carried by acclamation.

In thanking the members present for honouring him with their confidence, Dr. Hauswedell emphasised that the officers of the League could not carry out their work without the full co-operation and help of all the Presidents of National Associations.

 

Item 11. Election of Treasurer and Committee Members.

Mr. Grenholt-Pedersen asked to be allowed to retire from his position as Treasurer. He pointed out that for some time past it had been quite impossible to carry out the Treasurer's duties from Denmark because of currency exchange restrictions there, and therefore the work had fallen for a long time 011 Mr. Tulkens, the Vice-President. He declared himself ready to remain on the Committee for the rest of his term of office, and hoped the Presidents would support the new Treasurer to be proposed by the Chairman.

The Chairman said that there were two vacancies on the Committee, and that only two nominations had been received. Therefore, he proposed that Mr. Georges A. Deny of Belgium and Mr. Dudley Massey of Great Britain should be elected. - This was carried by acclamation.

The Chairman then proposed that as Mr. Deny's offices were situated in Brussels, so that the same accountant would be able to look after the League's books as he had done before, Mr. Deny should be elected Treasurer of the League.

This was also carried by acclamation.

 

Item 12. Date and Place of the next Congress.

The Chairman considered it essential that a full Congress should be held in 1959 so that the interest caused by a gathering of nations might continue to strengthen the League. He asked whether any country wished to extend an invitation.

Mr. Papantonio recalled that three years ago, America had had the honour of being host to the General Congress. Therefore, if there were any other invitations they would have to take precedence, but the American Association would esteem it a privilege to again be hosts to the General Congress in America in 1959. (Prolongued applause).

It was agreed that the Congress should be held in New York, with October 5th to October 9th, 1959 set as tentative dates.

 

Item 13. Other Business.

Mr. Hertzberger thought that so far very little had been done to raise the status of the Antiquarian Booksellers. Those who were privileged enough to be able to afford the time and expenditure involved in coming to the Congress of the League could benefit by the contact which they could make there with members of other Associations, but those who were not so privileged had very little contact with the League. He wondered whether in the coming year a little more publicity could be made in the press for the book trade. It seemed to him that the League so far had been run on rather old-fashioned lines. Attention should be paid to the economic situation, and it was his opinion that the League ought to have a press officer who knew how to draft a letter for the press and hand out inFormation to journalists. The antiquarian book trade was not represented at the International Exhibition at Brussels, which he thought was a great pity, particularly as it was much easier nowadays to send books from one country to another.

In reply, the Chairman expressed his conviction that everyone in the room was whole heartedly agreed with what has been said. However, although the funds of the League had been built up considerably, they were not large enough yet to allow of an International Exhibition to be held.

Mr. Muir thought Mr. Hertzberqer's idea of having a press officer an excellent one, and he therefore proposed that Mr. Hertzberger should be appointed the first press officer of the League.

In spite of the protests of Mr. Hertzberger, this proposition was carried amid great applause.

A suggestion was then made by Mr. Elte (Netherlands) that a Court of Appeal be set up by the Committee, possibly consisting of three people, who would be empowered to deal with complaints and disputes arising out of the application of the amended Rule 7.

The Chairman said that the suggestion had been noted and pointed out that as  it entailed an amendment to the rules it would have to be presented in the form and manner called for in Rule X of the Rules.

Mr. Wormser then told the Meeting that the Grolier Club of New York was celebrating its 75th Anniversary soon, and a party of between sixty and a hundred members of the Club would be coming to London some time in April, 1959. It had occurred to him that it might be a friendly gesture on the part of the League if, in recognition of the hospitality extended to the League by the Grolier Club in New York, the League extended an invitation to the Grolier Club members while they were in London. The Committee had discussed this matter at their last meeting, and the suggestions made had ranged from a reception to an exhibition of valuable books owned by members of the League.

Mr. Thomas (Great Britain) supported Mr. Wormser's suggestion. No one who had gone to America and received the hospitality of the Grolier Club at their splendid premises would ever forget it. He was confident that the ABA would be on the spot and pleased to do the work of organisation, and he hoped the occasion of the reception could be made not only a national, but an international occasion. As regards the suggestion for an exhibition of antiquarian books, he was sure that the ABA would co-operate with the Committee of the League in anything the Committee proposed to do. As it happened, the ABA were running an Annual Exhibition of antiquarian books for sale, but on the whole it was meant for smaller booksellers, and probably not the sort of thing the Committee had in mind.

Mr. Wormser did not think there was any need to emphasize that whatever arrangement the Committee would make would be made in continuous and complete consultation with Mr. Thomas and his Committee.

Mr. Muir drew attention to the fact that if a reception was held in London, the money of the League would be spent on something which would ultimately prove of benefit only to the members of the ABA He thought it was for that reason Mr. de Nobele had proposed that there should be some sort of exhibition of books owned by antiquarian booksellers who were members of other Associations affiliated to the League. In that way the visit of the Grolier Club to London might prove of benefit to all members of the League.

Mr. Wormser proposed that the Committee should be authorized to arrange some form of reception and/or exhibition in honour of the Grolier Club, the arrangements to be made in collaboration and consultation with the ABA

Mr. Thomas, as President of the British Association, seconded the proposal and assured the Committee that they would do their best to help in every way they could.

The motion was carried unanimously.

Mr. Wormser wanted the Meeting of Presidents to go on record as thanking the British Association for reserving such a convenient and comfortable hall for the Meeting. (Applause.) In reply, Mr. Thomas said the British Association had been very happy to welcome the Presidents of National Associations to the British Isles, and they were hoping to have the privilege again in future. In conclusion, the Chairman proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Franco, the interpreter, and to Mrs. Sterling, the reporter.

The vote of thanks was carried by acclamation.

The Meeting terminated at 12.50 p. m.

 

Wednesday Afternoon Session

 

The Meeting resumed at 3.30 p.m.

In the Chair, the newly elected President, Mr. Richard S. Wormser, (U.S.A.). The Chairman thanked those present for attending and said he had called the meeting in order to explain what the Committee hoped to do and what the Committee hoped the members would do. The League could not exist merely by having a Committee, no matter how efficient and hardworking it was, and depended on more than lip service from the Associations and their heads. There was, therefore, need for communication between the Associations and the Committee in both directions.

The Committee felt it would be naive simply to ask Presidents of Associations to write to the Committee every month about the Associations' activities. The Committee, therefore, proposed to send out to Associations a brief form on which Associations could monthly pass back elementary information about their activities to the Committee. This information would include the names of members admitted since the last communication, those no longer members, and matters of that kind. Dr. Hauswedell also suggested that there should be "Letters to the Presidents" giving them information which they could pass on to their members, in order to show them what the League could do for them even though the great percentage of members really did very little international business.

It was also suggested that, if a member of the Committee or one of the officers of the League, or one of the Presidents of Honour happened to be in an area where was going to be a meeting of the local Association, he should be welcomed at the meeting or possibly some special arrangement could be made so that he could meet members of the national association to acquaint them with the work of the League.

Mr. Sawyer's efforts to finance the League and his views on the importance of selling its publications and advertising them would be continued by the new administration.

The President believed that 1500 copies of the Directory had been printed at a cost of roughly $ 5,000, the cost of each copy, therefore, being about $ 3.33. It was proposed that one copy should be sold to each member at an approximate price of 15 Swiss francs, and that the price of further copies should be 30 Swiss francs on which Associations would be allowed a discount of one-third, making the price 20 Swiss francs net for copies sent to Associations for re-sale by members or other purposes. The Committee wished to hear the views of those present on these proposals.

Mr. P. H. Muir (President of Honour) recalled that the League had been able to give a 50 per cent discount to Associations on the previous Directory, thus enabling Associations to give their members a discount of 33 1/ 3 per cent. That was not possible in this case. It had already been announced that the new Directory would not cost more than the old one, and the League were, therefore, bound to a price not exceeding £ 2.10 s. roughly equivalent to 30 Swiss francs. If the League was to make any profit out of the transaction at all they could not sell at a price below 20 Swiss francs, which was 30 Swiss francs less  33'/3 per cent. Associations would decide for themselves how much of the discount they could pass on to their members.

Mr. A. Poursin (President of Honour) pointed out that the cost of $ 5,000 for the printing of the Directory did not take into account money received for advertising which would be to the profit of the League. Another point to be borne in mind was that a certain number of copies of the first Directory were presented to members of the Committee of Honour and various personalities in order to give publicity to it. This would take up between 60 and 100 copies, and would necessarily increase the cost of publication by possibly 5 per cent. In order to sell the publication quickly, it was essential that booksellers should have a discount which enabled them to make some small profit after advertising the publication in their catalogues.

Dr. Frauendorfer (Switzerland) enquired the price of copies on thin paper.

The President and Dr. Hauswedell thought the relative difference in price would be roughly 20 to 25 per cent.

The President, after pointing out that a member could only have one copy at the member's net price either on ordinary or on thin paper, suggested that this copy should cost 20 francs if printed on thin paper and 15 francs if printed on ordinary paper. Further copies would bear a list price of 40 francs for thin paper and 30 francs for ordinary paper. In reply to Mr. Poursin, the President pointed out that the Directory was unique among the League's publications because it was in itself an advertisement, and the mere fact of having them distributed, even at little profit to the dealer, more than made up for the small lack of discount there might be.

Mr. P. H. Muir pointed out that the thin paper edition was limited because of the comparatively limited demand for it in response to the questionnaire that had been sent out by the editors. It would not, therefore, be possible for a bookseller to order for himself a copy on thin paper unless he had already ordered it.

Mr. Nebehay asked why should the National Association make a profit on selling copies to its members?

The President replied that it need not, and that indeed the American Association was not allowed to. The Meeting was, however, not discussing the discounts to be given by National Associations, but at what price the Directory should be offered.

It was then agreed that copies supplied to members for their own use should be 20 francs for thin paper and 15 francs for ordinary paper. Fixed retail prices of further copies should be 40 francs for thin paper and 30 francs for ordinary paper.

Dr. Hauswedell stated that 1,250 would be printed on ordinary paper and 250 on thin paper.

The President, referring to the discount to be allowed to the Associations, said that whatever discount was allowed could be passed on in full by an Association to its members if it chose to do so. His proposal was that the discount to be allowed should be one-third. The prices already agreed were the prices at which copies must be sold to the public, regardless of the discount.

Dr. Hauswedell thougt it desirable that the price should be the same in every country because librarians were apt to compare prices. It should be borne in mind that there might be some customs duty to be paid on copies of the Directory which were dispatched from Brussels to other countries. In Germany, for instance, there was an import tax of 4 per cent which raised the price of the book. Would Associations be allowed to add that 4 per cent to the price or not, and who should pay it?

The President thought conscience should be the guide in this matter. Mr. Sawyer thought that common sense might be of use.

Having dealt with the Directory, the President asked those present if they had any ideas to put forward which they thought would benefit the League. Any suggestions would be considered by the Committee, and if any action were proposed on them the Association presenting the idea would be consulted. Mr. Sawyer said that in the past he had had the privilege of having most of the front page of a publication called "The Clique". If any time during his years of office the President wished to use it for the League, Mr. Sawyer granted permission. The President thanked Mr. Sawyer.

Mr. Sawyer asked whether there should be in official date of publication or release date. The President thought that there should be, and said that it would probably be announced in the circular.

Mr. Bourlot (Italy) asked whether it was a definite ruling for future occasions that those attending Committee Meetings should receive only 50 per cent of their travel expenses occasioned by the meetings, as was the case in Barcelona. If that was a definite ruling and not a ruling applying to Barcelona only, Italy proposed that members of the Committee should recover in full the cost of first class travel by train.

The President could not speak for the members of the Committee who were in Barcelona, but he thought that the action had been taken by them unanimously. He would ask Mr. Sawyer, who was President at the time, to comment on the matter.

Mr. Sawyer said that it was the duty of the President to safeguard money entrusted to him by other people. When Barcelona had been suggested he had said it would be expensive and he was not sure if the Spanish Association would join. Mr. Grenholt-Pedersen had thought it was a good idea and had suggested in Committee that members of the Committee should charge only 50 per cent of their travelling expense, and that was all that had been charged. Mr. Sawyer wished to remind those present that the expenses charged were only for travel by air, rail, or steamship, and did not include hotel expenses and other incidentals.

Mr. Nebehay professed himself a little concerned at the invitation to meet in America in 1959, and wondered whether it would be possible for many to attend since the expense of attending would be very high.

The President said the time for raising that point had been when the Meeting was discussing Article 12 on the Agenda at the regular session, and that it was too late now to add anything to that discussion.

There being no further comments, the President wished to thank the Presidents for their patience and cooperation. He assured them that the Associations would be hearing from the Committee, and in return he wished to hear from the Associations.

The meeting closed at 4.40 p. m.

 

MEETINGS

 

1. Amsterdam          September 1947       Chairman            P. H. Muir

2. Copenhagen         September 1948       Chairman            P. H. Muir

                                                             Elected President W. S. Kundig

3. London                 September 1949       President              W. S. Kundig

4. Paris                     September 1950       President              W. S. Kundig

                                  During the meeting Mr.Kundig resigned on account of ill health and Mr. P. H. Muir took the chair.

5. Brussels                 September 1951       President              P. H. Muir

6. Geneva                  July 1952                  President              P. H. Muir

7. Milan                    September 1953       President              G. Blaizot

8. Vienna                  September 1954       President              G. Blaizot

9. New York              October 1955           Vice-President     J.E.S. Sawyer - President Blaizot, owning to illness was unable to attend.

10. London               September 1956       President              J. E. S. Sawyer

11. Munich               September 1957       President              J. E. S. Sawyer

12. London               September 1958       President              J. E. S. Sawyer

 

PUBLICATIONS

 

1950                              Rules                                 

1951-52                        International Directory                              

1953                              Compendium of Usage and Customs          

1954                              Card of Welcome                                      

1955                              Directory Addendum                                 

1955                              Export and Import Terms                         

1956                              Dictionary for the Antiquarian  Book trade         

1957                              Rules                                                         

1958                              International Directory                              

                                      Minutes and Reports                                 

              &am


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